"Dating is primarily a numbers game.... People usually go through a lot of people to find good relationships. That's just the way it is." Henry Cloud
Traditional dating is anything but a tradition now. Dating has become like a fossil, a dinosaur bone buried deep in the bellows of the Earth only to be rediscovered and studied. Who were those archaic creatures that used to see courtship as an honor, not an expense? Just 30 years ago we were still finding people the natural way, through conversation and face to face attraction. As the Internet began its conception in 1991, we slowly evolved into a by-product of the technology age - anxious humans searching through data bases for a compatible partner as if we could cyber-manifest our perfect match. Maybe someday things will be simple and we will just wish for a change or a partner and it will all happen in an instant. But, for now, here in the world of 3D, we are still emotional and affectionate beings searching for someone to love and be loved.
Decades ago, we would find each others phone number in a phone book that was left on our doorstep with anticipation two times a year. If the number was unlisted, we were amiss. Currently, gathering information is a quickly completed endeavor as all we need to do is ask, Siri. Siri is our personal genie that hails from the speaker of our i-phone. By asking her a question we can have her connect us to our desired person, get their address and directions through GPS and see their Facebook profile all within seconds. This new technology might be considered an improvement, especially to the old ways of doing things, but what has this advancement done to personal communication and dating?
Have we lost the chase or have we sped up the process?
When we are single we crave companionship. We look for ways to meet people by chance as we frequent activities with our friends to concerts, bars or restaurants. Many are finding the social media networks to be a place to meet future partners. Facebook is the leader in social networking for all types of people young and old. There are now open free chat rooms that can be visited 24 hours a day with options to become members at many on-line dating services which fill the gap when you can’t figure out where to meet people around your town. The closest to real-life connection, without leaving your home, is Skype; video-conferencing here can be the best alternative to a blind date ever revolutionized. Let’s take a browse through each of these opportunities for success in dating and help us move toward a partnership by the end of 2014.
Facebook is a cyber-universe within what becomes the tiny earth we live in as within seconds one can be communicating with a new pal in New Zealand or the Netherlands and never leave the couch. Canada has the surprising most active members out of a total of 3.17 billion users a month. 72% of all adults are active on Facebook at least once a month according to the latest Facebook statistics (http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/by-the-numbers-17-amazing-faceboo...). Facebook is a place where we can see our future mate’s posted dinner from last night and who they tagged as accompanying them, see if they are still connecting with their X and if the breakup was mutual, find out their favorite movie or recording artist and spy on all the photos they have posted. So, what about the mystery, the butterflies and curiosity, have we solved how to not to kill the cat? Do we now rely on visual and cataloged information to judge how worthy a person is and if we should even consider them a fish in the sea?
"Real magic in relationships means an absence of judgements of others." Wayne Dyer
Absolutely anyone can put together a Facebook profile, even a fake one if they want. Just like anything else in life, we have to be cautious and remember to be smart with our safety. How much information do you offer to someone on Facebook? Some people have their address and phone number right on their “about” page. We may be single but we don’t want to be stalked or worse. Think before you fill out your profile.
Some people have no filter to what they will say on their status updates. One can make a quick decision or judgment to like them or not based on just one post. Talking about ourselves on-line is like a promotional billboard about how we run our lives, what our values look like and the barometer of our mental health. There is poking, instant messaging and wall posting to show someone we might have interest in connecting further. Not sure what the poking is all about, but many of us are feeling prodded and followed every time we log-in. To message back or not to message, that becomes the question. Ignoring someone that pokes you isn’t rude it is just a choice. However, it is always better to be kind and conscientious, even if it is just a “no thanks, I am flattered” response back.
"Dating is pressure and tension. What is a date, really, but a job interview that lasts all night?" Jerry Seinfeld
If Facebook is not the way we see ourselves connecting, no problem. The gregarious on-line Match Making industry has created a 1.9 billion dollar empire to help us out of single-hood. There are now over 1500 on-line dating services. The statistics for single people finding true love on-line, defined as a long-term relationship, is about 33% with an average time remaining together a mere 18 months. According to statistics, there are over 100 million single people in America. And, according to Wall Street Journal, if you have an internet connection you are more likely to have or be in a relationship by a margin of 72%. Having free Wi-Fi and handheld compatible devices seems essential now to be and stay in, relationship. All those without the internet, well they are still fishing in the sea of true to life meetings while everyone else is playing virtual reality.
Let’s Skype it out! Seriously, we are now meeting people or even orchestrating dates on-line through Skype. Skype is a wonderment of sorts as we are broadcasting real life images –ourselves - across the frequencies of space and time. 300 million active users have found the comfort of screen-to-screen connections. A whopping 4.9 million daily users opens the doors to many opportunities to click, call and converse. No more all night phone sessions with our ear pressed against the phone and our arm falling asleep…wait that may have been retired too with Bluetooth devices. The mobile phone is also a stage when using Skype, 100 million users a day use Skype on the go. The temptation to connect instantly is at our command, like a genie or better known as Siri: project, program and receive.
"Online dating is just as murky and full of lemons as finding a used car in the classifieds. Once you learn the lingo, it's easier to spot the models with high mileage and no warranty." Laurie Perry
Skype is for the adventurer that doesn’t want to hide, exposes emotion and engages in conversation. This date is known as a Skype session, it is free and it is live. Since we cannot hide behind a keyboard or fake profile picture, we actually have to prep for this meeting, liken to the archaic pick-me-up at home date, we do our hair and make-up, dress to impress and maybe even brush our teeth. Who knows where this may lead us. We put together an environment in our house that represents ourselves and 1-2-3 action we are on camera. There is a somewhat magical feeling about seeing the person you are talking to, looking into their eyes and hearing their voice right on screen. This is really as close as it gets to being with someone when they aren’t really there. This medium has definitely helped the long-distance relationship survive a little longer. Things can get pretty hot with sexy talk or cyber strip tease. Let’s be honest, this is the perfect world remedy for an agoraphobic.
Whether we are on the typewriter of our laptop or i-pad, shining up our webcam or filling out our on-line match making profile, this is dating in 2014. Who knows what the next decade will bring, maybe something like instant thought creates the person of our dreams and they appear right next to us in the exact form we visualized? Well…probably unlikely, yet we would have said that about the Internet close to 25 years ago now. Keep an open mind out there when trying out any of these new dating opportunities and always go with an open heart. Love will happen and we don’t just have to press send or start. Get out there and communicate in person, find another hand and walk the path of life. Love is worth the journey, no matter what it may look, feel and sound like.
Love Courageously! Just LOVE