Posted by: Patrice Fitzgerald | February 13, 2009

Bold new horizons in Internet Dating

Today in The Daily Beast, Laura van Straaten describes a bunch of new ways to hook up with the partner of your dreams, including a site — Great Boyfriends — which provides promotional letters by those who know the prospect, including friends, family, and even former lovers.  That may work if you’ve had a great relationship and just decided to move on, but I bet most former partners would have nasty things to say about the guy or girl they just dropped.  Particularly if you were the droppee rather than the dropper!

To me, it’s not about more sophisticated matching software.  It’s more about continuing to keep your heart and your mind open — being willing to put up with the long march which includes fun dates as well as boredom and the inevitable rejection.  The way I found my wonderful Mr. Right was by treating the idea of a relationship as an important part of what I wanted in my life.  It was fun for a while to date a lot of guys, and then it got tedious.  But I wanted love, and I wanted companionship, and I sure did want sex.

So I kept looking.

And I didn’t demand perfection, though he turned out to be pretty darn perfect.  When I met my husband -to-be, he was living in the damp basement of somebody else’s house, (since he is a bit of a Henry Thoreau at heart, and was feeling guilt because he had decided to separate).  I was mildly appalled when I saw that he was using brown paper grocery bags with the edge folded down as trash cans.  I offered to buy him one, but he told me that he liked doing with as little as possible.  Trust me — it’s three years later, we’re married and living in a beautiful house by the water, and have lovely real trash cans.

And what kept me interested, despite the stage he was in when we met?  All those desires.  The dream of having someone like Richard in my life.  I fell in love with his passion, his intelligence, his musical soul.  His hot kisses and his great, child-like enthusiasm.  The trappings didn’t matter.  I was willing to imagine the trappings issue working itself out.  And it did.

So I’m not sure that the best software in the world can make love happen for people.  I think it has a lot to do with desire, faith, and the willingness to keep oneself vulnerable.

And surely the rewards are worth it.

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