How do you take two complete strangers and turn them into lovers? It used to be the job of matchmakers, those busy little women who set up arrangements that with little failure turned into marriages. Some believed it was the alignment of the sun and the stars, the planetary interplay of the universe. Then the theory turned to chemistry, the molecular magic of the human body. Oh, and let’s not forget the blind date, where the unknown becomes the known as quickly as one can answer a doorbell. There are so many different ways and notions about how people meet. For centuries men and women have met, fallen in love, partnered, and procreated. The only contrast between then and now is the way that people meet.
With the electronic and digital age upon us, meeting and falling in love has taken a new and exciting twist. Meeting someone online has become a way of life for millions of singles. It starts with choosing a dating site that is comfortable to navigate and leads to searching through profiles and photos of prospective dating candidates. The profile, rich in an upbeat and positive descriptive words, describes the perfect mate out of all other possibilities. The photo, often retouched to illuminate and highlight features, is as important. Together they create a package that begs to be opened.
What’s next? The profile and photo combination is chosen, and the initial message is sent electronically. The first “hello” is so important. What is captured in the first contact will always be remembered. The connections continue and getting to know each other is an exploration that begins to have a déjà vu feeling to it. Feeling like you have traveled this road before, it’s easy to get caught up in the “trying to look good and act positively” roles. Trying too hard to impress may lead to failure. Being and presenting one’s true self is the key to a successful first date and beyond.
Now comes the fun part. Developing a bond between two people comes with trust, time, and maybe some of that good old fashioned chemistry. Sizing up the situation becomes almost second nature with practice. How many dates does it take to know that this person is not the one for you? Not too many ones would think. First, you have to get the first impression of the photo vs. the real life person standing in front of you. Was the photo a lie or did honesty reign? Once passed the photo test, the personality test lingers close behind. Is this person for real? Is the profile the true measure of the man (or woman)? Profiling becomes a tedious task for so many singles: searching and dating and starting all over again. Dating becomes a ritualistic way of life, and rather than it leading to something long-lasting, it becomes a string of first dates that end in disappointment.
Let’s not despair. The magical key to open a heart doesn’t only exist in fairy tales but also in real life. Online dating has success stories that speak of enduring love; friendships that grow and flourish with time; and marriages that are created from an everlasting bond. Statistics show that online dating can be a successful way of meeting your mate. It takes a resilient soul, a keen eye, perseverance, and an open heart. Give it a try, the next person you meet may be just the one you have been searching for.
The truth is not much has changed, except that today’s matchmaker may be the next text message from a digitally designed hand held the electronic device. Then again, it may just be the alignment of the solar system and let’s not forget that a little bit of chemistry goes a long way. Have fun dating online. Most important, be safe, play smart, and find love.