On Sunday, March 30, 2014, this column initially posted that the network seeking participants for a show about online love stories was HGTV. It was stated in error. The network casting for this show is not HGTV, but it is one of the major TV networks. With apologies, the error has been corrected in the article below.
Social networking has made meeting people virtually as easy as one...two...three! It's no wonder online couples are hooking up in droves these days. With so many interactive platforms like ooVoo, Skype and Google Hangout, you don't have to fear being "catfished" any longer.
If you're ready to take your online love offline, a major newtork may be able to help you. A major network wants to treat your online love to a week long IRL (in real life) romantic rendezvous. On March 30, 2014, this column received correspondence from casting assistant Gloria Dios with the following request:
We are currently casting nationwide for couples between the ages of 28-45 that have been dating online for months, but still haven't met in person.
We’re looking to connect with anyone who has an interesting story to share- whether you've been dating for a few months, a few years, or anything in between- we want to hear from you! Couples selected to participate will get a week long rendezvous to take their romance beyond the internet, and ultimately help affirm their feelings for each other.
We are reaching out to you in the hopes of finding fun, online couples with outgoing personalities who are ready to take their relationship to the next level. If this sounds like you or someone you know, please email CastingOnlineCouples@gmail.com and include your name, age, contact information, a photo, and a short bio explaining your online relationship.
Finding love online is so convenient that even celebrities are doing it. Evelyn Lozada met ex-husband, Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson via Twitter. We all know how that turned out.
Sometimes online coupling works out well. "Are We There Yet" sitcom actress Essence Atkins met her husband online several years ago. At 36, Atkins was tired of go nowhere relationships and turned to Match.com. In a 2011, interview with Essence Magazine, Atkins tells the story of choosing online dating:
ESSENCE.com: You met your husband online. What led you to Match.com?
ATKINS: I put myself in the frame of mind where I wasn’t going to waste any more time. I met my husband at 36; a lot of people have questioned it like, "she’s so desperate." I didn’t want to waste any more time. After 35, I felt like I'd been in these relationships, some were great, some weren’t so great, but they weren’t right partnerships. So I did this inventory, I’m not going to just settle for anyone, and at this point I don’t have anymore time to waste if I wanted to have children.
I started realizing that when I went out on dates, that if this person wasn’t partner potential, to just stop at two dates, or a date. What online dating did was offer me the opportunity to go out with a bunch of different people from different industries, I really didn’t want to limit myself with people who are in the entertainment industry. I wanted to date outside of the business but I didn’t have a network outside of the industry in L.A. I felt like going through the online system, it gave me permission to go out with someone once or twice and say, "you know it was really nice meeting you but I don’t feel any romantic chemistry," and everyone just kind of accepts that as ‘OK, thank you.’
There used to be a stigma associated with online dating, but it is so commonplace now that people hardly keep it a secret. Love is love no matter where you find it, right?
Have you found love on the information super highway? Are you a star waiting to be discovered? You may be exactly what this casting agent is looking for with their new unscripted series.