Recent life circumstances led me to wonder what my husband would do if I were, let’s say, no longer in the picture.
Glaring at Eyeing him one night across the dining room table as I angrily stirred the beef stroganoff I wasn’t going to eat around my plate, I thought, “He’d be married again, inside of six months, I’m sure of it.”
And then I got to thinking what I would do if he were, let’s say, no longer in the picture.
And then I remembered all my blog posts here on dating, and decided I would just throw myself on his funeral pyre, or join a nunnery or something rather than date again.
But then I saw the current issue of the Atlantic which features a long excerpt from Dan Slater’s forthcoming book, A Million First Dates: How On Line Dating is Threatening Monogamy and thought maybe my husband, in this not-so new age of internet dating (a college classmate of mine went out with some dude she met in an internet chat room way back in 1999, and eharmony.com has been around since the year 2000), won’t get married again at all. Maybe he’ll just have an endless stream of first dates, never going beyond that initial meeting over a cup of coffee at a Starbucks, fruitlessly searching for someone as terrific as me. At least, that’s what Slater suggests (and gives me some hope that my husband will remain alone and miserable sans moi):
But what if online dating makes it too easy to meet someone new? What if it raises the bar for a good relationship too high? What if the prospect of finding an ever-more-compatible mate with the click of a mouse means a future of relationship instability, in which we keep chasing the elusive rabbit around the dating track?
I’ll agree with Slater that on line dating probably makes it easier to date. Thinking back on the days before I wore a ring on my finger, I can’t help but imagine how much easier it would have been to just hang a sign around my neck that read, “I’m looking for a date!” (which is what posting on an internet dating site is, essentially) rather than patiently wait for some guy I was sure (absolutely sure!) was interested in me to ask me out.
Single Me: (pointing to the sign around my neck) Did you see my sign?
Cute Guy: Yeah, I saw it. Good luck with that.
Single Me: Oh, so that time you laughed at that joke I made, and that day you told me my hair looked awesome, and “accidentally” bumping into me on the Quad, not once, but TWICE in one week meant nothing?
Cute Guy: Yo, I already have a girlfriend . . .
So I can understand how
hanging a sign around my neck posting on an internet dating site takes a lot of
the guess work out of dating, and in that way makes getting a first date easier, but the goal of dating isn’t getting a first date, is it? It’s getting a second date.
I’m not sure the internet makes getting a second date any easier. The mere fact that I know I can go on a first date every night of the week because of my JDate.com profile doesn’t make me more likely to throw that plate of beef stroganoff at my husband and tell him to go to hell.
With or without internet dating, there have always been people who want to be (or don’t want to be) in committed relationships. There’s a growing body of evidence that suggests that divorce rates tend to follow economic trends (you can read about that here, if you like) and, according to the Center for Disease Control (yes, they track this stuff, too!) the divorce rate in the U.S. has actually been declining since the year 2000 (remember, that’s when eharmony.com launched) from 8.2% to 6.8%.
Here’s a terrific recipe for beef stroganoff.
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