Proudly Owning the Fact that You Met Your Sig Other Online
If you’re in your twenties or early thirties, chances are you know someone who met their girl/boyfriend or spouse via online dating. After all, Match.com has been around for close to 20 years now (17 to be precise). Two of my colleagues met their spouses online. One just got married last weekend to a guy she met on eHarmony. She’s an attractive twenty-seven year old who has two master’s degrees and a good sense of humor. When I asked her how she met her fiance, she blushed, looked at the ground, and said almost apologetically, “Oh, we met online.” She chuckled somewhat stiffly and quickly shifted the topic back to the wedding details we had been discussing. I’ve heard countless similar reactions:
- [prefaced with a sigh] “I just wish __ and I had a good meeting story…”
- “If I don’t meet someone worth dating in the next year, then I’ll know for sure I’m desperate enough to join eHarmony.”
- “Oh, um, well… It’s kinda lame. We met online.”
Why the perpetual chagrin undertones when explaining how you met the love of you life? So many of my accomplished, well-educated, attractive, young single friends (which, btw — the fact that I feel compelled to offer these details explaining that my friends who use online dating sites aren’t awkward losers exemplifies the pervasiveness of this stigma) currently have profiles on online dating sites…but they would never readily admit it. Why is online dating still quasi-taboo? Because it tampers with our notions of fate/true love? Is is that we’re still all hoping for the Maria-Tony moment at the dance and meeting someone through a browser isn’t as glamorous? Because you have to pay to join and perusing through the profiles feels a little like shopping?
Isn’t it time to shed the shame and sheepishness, though? Meeting someone you love is never something to be abashed about, even if it is through the worldwideinterweb.
Contrast colleague #1’s response with Colleague #2’s (who is, by the way, a dashing Stanford law grad with a highly successful career):
Me creating small talk over lunch: “How long did you and __ date before you got married?”
Him: “Not long — we met online and were engaged within less than a year.”
No hint of apology. No averting the subject. No mumbling explanations. He proudly owned the fact that he met his spouse through the internet, and that is the new sweet hotttness.