2.07.2011

The New Dating Game

An enormous smile has been pasted to my face lately as my first article for Chloe Magazine just went to print. I've been asked to be a contributing columnist to the phenomenal publication which features fashion, beauty, lifestyle, cuisine, travel, sports and love.

After chatting with the publisher, Sandy Galli, and pitching ideas back and forth, we concluded my first story would be written about online dating. I thank two of my very close girlfriends for providing me with their personal spicy stories of exploration through the online dating world.

I've also been asked to sit in on the next issue's front page photo shoot with a top chef and provide an interview and feature article. I couldn't be more excited about this amazing opportunity. Thanks Chloe Magazine!

I've included a sample copy of the latest front cover as well as my article and layout. Enjoy the full story in large print below!





The New Dating Game

With an infinite amount of possibilities through the World Wide Web, it seems we can do almost anything online these days. Paying bills, booking tickets and shopping for clothes and shoes has never been easier. But, is finding Mr. Right just a click away really that simple?

Online dating is one of the most competitive online industries and reportedly worth $4 billion worldwide. No longer a myth deemed to help divorc├ęs, hermits and freaks find love, an increasing number of those unlucky with dating through “traditional” means are looking to the online dating world for help. Many of these online daters are often successful and busy people who don’t have time to go out and meet that special someone - such the case with a bombshell friend of mine enrolled in a demanding graduate program. As a full-time student, she couldn't bare the thought of meeting another frat boy at the pub. So she tried her luck online, but it cost her…

A $39.99 three-month membership on eHarmony, that is. She scoured the site looking through profiles of upstanding men with great stats and even better profile pictures. She was certain the cyberspace catalogue of suitors would save her precious time and energy by eliminating future dates with men she had nothing in common with. However, when she finally met up with them, they were no different than those beer-chugging frat boys. One man had her caught off guard on the first date when he failed to mention his extreme case of muscular dystrophy ahead of time. Another man took her to a lovely dinner that ended abruptly when he literally slapped down cash at the end of the date and said, “well, that’s my half”.

But the worst was when one particular man had called her prior the first date and asked what her favourite bottle of wine was. She thought it was such a nice gesture considering they were going to a painting class where guests could bring their own wine. He told her he had never heard of that specific bottle and instead informed her of the bottle he wanted her to go out and buy for the date. Needless to say, she never went to the painting class and her patience for online dating expired just as quickly as her membership. She now claims to have enough material to write a book recounting the painful dates she survived with all the men who looked fabulous on paper.

I’ve concluded online dating is somewhat like Facebook in love. Men and women setup profiles divulging interests, occupations and pictures in which they look their absolute best. The “friends lists” becomes the “potential soul mate list” and people open to falling in love can stalk one another online. If both parties show mutual interest, a series of private messages begins which hopefully leads to a virtual spark.

Another girlfriend of mine who is also young, intelligent and beautiful just kept meeting Mr. Right Now, so she too began dating online. After her share of awful encounters with other online daters, she was about to throw in the towel when she met a man she thought was extremely charming through online conversation. On the first date he showed up four inches too short. Turns out Mr. Charming had drastically lied about his height and for the rest of the evening my friend couldn’t stop thinking about what else he had lied about on his profile.

To make matters worse, he spewed out a series of questions jotted down on a piece of paper throughout the night and wanted her to answer them in point form. He proceeded to judge her responses based on his likings to see if they were compatible. She felt pressured and uncomfortable the entire date (if one could even consider it a date). She showed up to an interrogation session where lies and agendas substituted flowers and romance. Can you really blame the girl for deleting her profile that night?

Despite these sad stories, I’ve also heard of couples that met online living happily ever after. Most are however hesitant to admit they needed the help of an online dating site. Call me a hopeless romantic, but I’d like to have a love story to tell my grandchildren about how I met the man of my dreams. Maybe it was love at first sight when we were seated next to one another at a dinner party. Maybe I tripped and he was the one who broke my fall at a concert or maybe he was a stranger who lent me his umbrella on a rainy day. Investing $39.99 to pursue a man via laptop isn’t exactly the Romeo and Juliet tale I had in mind.

Not only that, but I’d like to sit down and sip on coffees with that beautiful stranger and have him unravel the intimate details of who I am, rather than read it from a profile. I want to see the look on a man’s face when he shows up on my doorstep to whisk me away on fantasy date and I’m all dolled up in a fancy dress and hairdo. I don’t want him to have peeked at my pictures online beforehand and ruin the surprise.

Dating isn’t that hard is it? Makes me wonder what everyone did before the phenomenon of online dating. Before there was eHarmony, match.com and hook up this and that, and after arranged marriages which predominantly existed long ago, how did people manage during the in between phase? There were courtships, people fell in love, raised families and the divorce rate was low. Has society become so overwhelming and our own lives so complicated that meeting a perfect mate and falling in love is that difficult? I’d like to go back to a simpler time please.

Although both girlfriends were unlucky with finding love online, I’m not putting down the concept. Just because I haven’t heard many romantic stories about online dating doesn’t mean the Internet can’t provide them. After all, love works in the most mysterious of ways sometimes. Personally, I’ll stick to sizing up that exquisite new pair of shoes online rather than my prince charming for now.

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