I have never been a fan of online dating. Quite simply, the data doesn't pan out. Websites give the erroneous impression that dating is about compatibility, but it isn't; it's about how two individuals interact, even with polar opposite personalities. And that is operating under the assumption that one is being honest on their profile.
Carolyn Bucior wrote an hysterical article chronicling her online dating adventures.
The men wrote simple, declarative sentences like “I like to laugh” and “I like food.” One loved summer. Another loved fall. But they didn’t explore the issue. It was headlines only.
What was the rest of the story? I like fall because the crisp dry weather makes me feel energetic? I like fall because the first frost puts an end to my seasonal allergies? I like fall because I find it easier to hide the corpses under the freshly fallen leaves?
Then the website insisted that a perv was definitely her "match."
And how did she end up meeting her man?
A shidduch date.
OK, fine, she was set up by mutual friends. Same thing.
In the end, I met Alex the old-fashioned way: through mutual friends in Milwaukee. Friends who knew I was quiet, goal-oriented and overly critical. Friends who knew Alex to be thoughtful, brilliant, politically astute and uncompromising.
He lived far away (258 miles), and while we both had tried eHarmony, we had checked off that a match must live nearby . . . On our second date, Alex revealed a trait (smoking) that I would have considered a deal breaker on a computerized checklist. I didn’t criticize . . .
We were married the next year, which was when he fully realized, very much to his discontent, that I chattered over breakfast. He pretty much hates that trait in me. But many mornings he compromises, an indication that the whole story of compatibility is more than the sum of our descriptors.
Annoying quirks are within us all, but when it comes to relationships, there is always what one is willing to put up with.
I hope online dating never replaces one of the oldest professions in the world: in-person matchmaking. No computerized program can beat the intuition and good intentions of friends who are willing to introduce two middle-aged singles, step back and let them figure out if they “share extraordinary levels of compatibility in areas proven to create relationship success.”
In other words, if they can fall in love.