Has the age of the internet and online dating killed old-fashioned romance? How often are us single gals told by well-meaning family and friends, “You should really try to meet someone. What about online dating? It’s a good place to meet people!” What happened to meeting someone by chance, and having a love story that begins with this act of serendipity? What about the romance of the universe leading you to a specific person, with whom you fall in love? Is it that people are no longer patient enough to see what fate brings them? Are people too busy staring at their phones to notice the people around them? Has online dating taken over as the preferred method of meeting people, that those of us who prefer old fashioned meetings are doomed to be alone?
I understand that there are all sorts of great aspects to online dating, I really do. I have just never been a person whose intention it is to date. I’m not looking for endless dates, awkward dinners, or the hardship of building a connection with many men. Over the years, I have been in serious relationships (and married) to people whom I have either known for a long time, or whom I have met by chance. It’s my comfort zone, and I am terribly attached to it. I’m certainly not judging those who find that online dating works for them, I just wonder if those of us who are hold outs for meeting people the ‘old fashioned way’ are now at a disadvantage.
I had dinner with an ex-boyfriend last week, and we were discussing this subject. He had asked how things were with “P”, and while I was bemoaning the saga of my discontent with that situation, he suggested that maybe I start a Tinder account (and to my knowledge, isn’t this just a site for hookups?). I shot him a displeased look, to which he said, “Actually online dating doesn’t fit for you. You’re old fashioned. You need a ‘meet cute’ situation.” I’ll always love him for things like this: knowing me that well, and using the phrase ‘meet cute’ before I did. He went on to make some fun suggestions about where I should go to meet men: farmer’s markets and book stores. “Maybe you’ll fall in love in the ‘best sellers’ section of an independent book store,” he said. The truth is that it doesn’t matter the exact place where I meet someone, but just that I want to meet that person by chance; not because I am lonely and searching with intention to date.
So what do old-fashioned romantics do to find other like-minded people? I mean, other than write about it. Is there some sort of place we can meet up, where each person meets a potential partner through a series of adorable events? A pre-planned ‘meet cute’ situation. There’s gotta be a market for this sort of thing! Okay… off to the bookstore for me!