Bob and I have been married for a little more than three years. We are often told what a fun couple we are. Couple of what? Never mind, don't answer that.
We are not shy about publicly proclaiming our affection for each other. I'm not talking about kissing and hugging like teenagers in front of everyone, we only do that if the girls are around and we can embarrass them.
What I'm saying is it is pretty common for one of us to be singing the praises of the other. This often brings on the comment of how cute we are together and eventually leads to how did we meet.
Everything is all jovial until we say we met on Match.com. At this point I am often regaled with how unsafe this is and wasn't I concerned about meeting strange men on the internet and there is even a little bit of sorrow (How pathetic that she couldn't meet a man in the usual way.)
And I really didn't start this post as a way to point out the discrimination of genders on yet another subject but can I just say that reprimands are usually for me not for Bob. The patheticness of it is strictly on my behalf. Strange women are less dangerous? Really? Can you say 'Fatal Attraction'? Soups on.
Somehow men get the thumbs up for the 'large quantities of available babes emailing and asking for dates.' Women get the 'I have heard men talk about the large quantities of loose babes with pathetic dating lives desperately seeking attention from strange men so you must be one of them how sad' look.
So, Match is still not quite a socially acceptable way to meet potential men, but it is getting there. Lately we hear 'You know, my best friends sister's cousin met her spouse that way. But I would never (bow so low) have the courage to meet a man on the internet.'
And can I ask you what is the 'usual way' for women in their 30's or 40's or later to meet men? Church you say? Let's be realistic. There aren't a lot of single guys that age that go to church on Sunday's. Let's face it most are golfing. And the single men that do go to church usually bring their mother's. Or they are there because they are so bitter about their divorce that they are there so they can meet a sympathetic 'church going' girl that will comfort them and make them feel better but eventually that guy does feel better, signs up for Match.com and stops going to church.
Another usual way is the 'fix up'. So and so knows the perfect guy for you. Followed by this guy has a great job, lots of money and a great personality. Umm...what's he look like? Oh, well...he's cute... but he is SUCH a nice guy, I don't understand why someone hasn't snatched him up already. But usually this guy is single for a reason. He's a play-a. He is usually quite wealthy and cute only because he is clean shaven, and dresses well. He is a great conversationalist, polite, pays for dinner and tips well, compliments you and then says "I have a hot tub back at my place." But I don't have my suit. "It's very private, no one will see you and I will close my eyes." That's when you hit the button that makes your phone ring and apologize while saying it's one of your kids and you really must get home. He never calls for another date.
Do you know what the usual and most accepted way of meeting someone is? A bar. No one bats an eye when you say you met your current boyfriend/girlfriend at the bar. Alcohol makes you drunk. Drunk makes you stupid. Boys at bars buy girls at bars drinks to make them drunk and stupid. And since you both go to the same bar three nights a week (and Sunday afternoons!) and, how funny! its the same three nights of the week, it was like kismet and we have been dating ever since. (Later, when she is talking about the break up she is more upset about having to change her nights at the bar to avoid seeing him with his new girl or to hide her new boy from him than she is about the heartbreak-but that's 'normal dating for you').
In all honesty, meeting men on Match is no different than meeting a man anywhere. You are both strangers to each other when you first meet so the first date you are still meeting a man you really don't know. On Match you make your own profile where you tell a bit about yourself and there is poetic license involved. Meeting in 'real time' there is also some embellishment and a bit of exaggeration to the conversation.
The biggest difference is the visual. The pictures posted on the profiles on Match are usually the best picture taken of you. Ever. Doesn't matter if that picture is from 20 years ago or not. If you look good, you put it out there. I can't tell you how many times the dark haired, dark eyed, hot man I saw on Match turned out to be a little gray around the edges and a tad bit heavier, and not quite the 5'8" listed in the How tall are you? box. Surprise! (men are always a little off with measurements aren't they? Ever heard how big that bass was?) If you are meeting in real life you pretty much see what you're gonna get. No surprises. No hidden agendas. Just the real you. Right?