Monday, July 11, 2011

Dating in the 21st Century

The last two weeks have been busy ones in the household of the Northern half of Evelyn David. It was my husband's birthday and our anniversary. Though he's a (very, very proud) grandfather now, in the important ways, he's still the intelligent, kind, generous, funny seventeen-year-old guy who picked me up in his Dad's Oldsmobile to take me to my junior prom. His once fiery red hair is now softened with white, but he's still seriously handsome with a killer smile. He is the smartest guy I know. If you're looking for someone to be your lifeline on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire," call him. He has an amazing capacity to know something about everything. He is a rock in a crisis; a marshmallow when it comes to Ms. Riley, our granddaughter.

Without sounding too much like an old fogey, although I readily admit that I am one, I'm old-fashioned about courtship. Though I've encouraged my unmarried son and daughter to try Internet dating, in fact, there is something about the method of girl meets boy, face-to-face, and actually goes out on dates (not e-chats) that is appealing. It was love at first sight for me, and I didn't over-analyze it. My gut instinct told me this guy was a keeper.

Are we raising a generation who are personally risk-averse, while professionally daring? When I was in my twenties, holding on to the same job for 25 years was considered a smart career move. Today if you're in the same job for 5 years, you're either President of the company or stagnant. It seems to me that our kids have no trouble changing jobs or partners. I understand that in this new corporate environment there is no incentive to be loyal to one company or brand, but how about in love?

Is the corporate "it's just business" environment carrying over to personal relationships as well? Is the skyrocketing divorce rate evidence of that? I once thought that Internet dating sites were a good alternative to the bar scene. I understood that once you had graduated from college, it was harder to meet potential mates. Certainly, you didn't want to date anyone with whom you worked – but where else would you meet someone if you were working long hours?

But now I've seen the jaded side of these web match-ups. Sure I can list several very happily married couples who met on one of those sites. But I can also point to countless under-30-somethings who spend a long time chatting on-line with various potential love interests without ever committing to meeting in person. At some point, it seems to me, you've got to bite the bullet. You've got to invest in face time. They would argue that the pre-date dating winnows out the losers in the group. I suspect that it makes those verbally precocious more attractive and downplays those who may not be quite so glib, but have real substance.

Not sure where I end up on this modern-love dilemma. How about you Stiletto Faithful? What do you think about Internet matchup sites?

And in the meantime, Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary to Pop-Pop.

Marian, aka Grandma, the Northern half of Evelyn David

Brianna Sullivan Mysteries - e-book series
I Try Not to Drive Past Cemeteries- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
The Dog Days of Summer in Lottawatah- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
The Holiday Spirit(s) of Lottawatah- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
Undying Love in Lottawatah- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords

A Haunting in Lottawatah - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords

The Sullivan Investigation Series
Murder Drops the Ball (Spring 2011)
Murder Takes the Cake- Paperback - Kindle
Murder Off the Books- Paperback - Kindle
Riley Come Home (short story)- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords

Love Lessons - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords


  1. So are you back from San Francisco, Marian??? I hope you write about your trip! Now onto the subject of your post...I'm very glad I met Ed in person. I think first impressions are very telling. I do know people who've met and married after dating online, but I don't think that ever would've worked for me.

  2. I can vouch for you: your husband is very handsome. :-) Great post! You've hit the nail on the head. There doesn't seem to be any romance or mystery anymore in relationships. I became involved with my husband the good, old-fashioned way--he was my French tutor. Just so you know, I don't speak a lick of French. Maggie

  3. I think meeting someone on line might be hazardous. I've had two friends who've done it. One would meet her date only at lunch time in a public restaurant. She did that several times with no positive results. The other nearly married the man of her dreams, wedding all planned, invitations out, honeymoon paid for, and she found out he was an alcoholic when he nearly died from alcohol poisoning, a few months later he did die when his liver and kidneys failed. Wedding canceled, and she took a girlfriend on the honeymoon trip.

    Of course I met my husband on a blind date, saw him on weekends for about 6 weeks, he left, then called and asked me to come to where he was to get married and I did--60 years ago.


  4. You'll be happy to know that the divorce rate among college-educated Americans married ten years or less has plummeted to eleven percent. Of course, it may be that nobody is getting married.

  5. As someone stuck in the trenches of modern dating, I have to say that I long for the kind of meet-cute romances that not only exist in books, but in real life (if more rarely). I just have never really found a online profile to catch my imagination. As a writer myself, I am a little wary of words in that context--very easy to make stuff up, or exaggerate, or in some other way be not quite authentic. There are actually services that help people write their profiles!

    Plus, there are lots of studies about the harm of having too many choices, which I think is part of the issue. Why try to make it work through the bad times with one person when their are hundreds of people online waiting for your email?

    Excellent blog post! Now, can you tell me where to find my own meet-cute?