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How Dating Has Changed In The 21st Century

With an article title like this, one might assume that I am ready to tell you some extraordinary news about a new dating environment. Sure, the Internet has introduced one more way for people to meet, but does that actually change the dating scene?

Interestingly, a friend of mine met his current wife online, but not from across country, rather from across town. The two of them lived just five miles apart. Jokingly, we have talked about it from the standpoint of "you could have met, if only you had been willing to get out more." But it was not that easy. Sure, in theory they probably could have met when they were out and running around, but if you talk to both and ask them the places they go and the people they know, the chances of actually having met were entirely unlikely.

He is a Baptist and she is a Catholic. He is a blue-collar worker, and she works for a dentists' office. He goes to football games and hangs with his friends, and she used to go to the bar with the girls. Although they both lived in the same small town and graduated from the same high school, none of his friends had ever met her, and none of her friends had ever met him or his friends.

The two of them were so close, and yet so far apart from one another.

The Internet was instrumental in bringing the two together. They were introduced to one another through their respective personal profiles on dating websites. After a couple of exchanged emails, they turned first to Yahoo Chat, and then they orchestrated a personal meet for dinner at a local restaurant. I guess you can say the rest is history.

After a nine-month courtship, the two were married, and they have been married now for two years.

Lessons To Be Learned

Ah yes, I am one of the guys who write about online dating. So, I got the idea to start asking questions. I wanted to know what if anything could have impacted this hookup in a negative way. Now and again, I will ask a question and wish later that I had just kept my mouth shut. In a way, this was one of those situations, and you will see why in a minute.

Both indicated that a picture on a profile is absolutely essential. Neither was willing to talk to anyone who hid behind a computer on the Internet. Had either one not included a picture, neither would have responded to the others' email.

Both had been doing the online dating thing for a couple years. So, both had scars from the experience.

She said that one should never lie in a profile. She said that when she chatted guys online or met them in person, she was keen to listen to everything she was told. She was looking for discrepancies between what was said in chat, in person and in the profile. She said that when she first started the online dating thing, she did not pay much attention to those things, but she later found that these little red flags were a good indication of bigger red flags that she would not want to discover later.

Both suggested one of my standard pieces of advice was completely valid. I have always said that we should get to know one another a bit better, before we start making commitments to one another.

She said that guys, who were quick to jump into a commitment, were not only nerdy, but also desperate for a good reason. He said that girls were quick to declare love or commitment usually turned out to be scammers looking to make a quick buck. He said that within days of the first declaration of love, she would always be asking for money, and she would pitch a fit if you told her no, after all she would say, the two of you shared something special.

She said there was two emails that she dreaded receiving from guys. She said any email that employed cheesy pick up lines would not be answered ever. She said that if I guy wanted her attention, he would need to give some thought to his emailed words. Second, she said that if she wanted to see a guy's male part, she would invite him to her house for the night. She did not want to see him in an email message.

He said there was two emails that he also dreaded receiving. He did not want to hear "I love you" at all, nor did he want to be spoken to in a condescending way. I asked him what he perceived to be "condescending". He said words like, "sweetie", "dear" and "honey" were immediate turn-offs, as he perceived those women to be professionals looking to get paid for their dates.

All Went Well To This Point, And Then...

You know I am the type of person who is not easily embarrassed. The interview had been going well, and then I asked the wrong question to the wrong person. And it all changed, just like that.

I asked my friend and his wife whether they had ever got together with someone just for fun, like a one-night-stand type arrangement. Both had said yes, and then I regretted having asked the question. My friend's wife indicated that she had one real good "friend with benefits", and as a single guy, I might enjoy some of the activities they liked doing.

If I had stopped here, then everything might have been all right, but I asked what she meant.

Immediately, the alarm went off in my brain signaling too much information! I turned beet red and she laughed. And to this day, I have never lived down that moment in time.

Lance Metzger writes about relationships, offline and online dating. Our no-strings-attached dating site has become a popular online adult dating destination, due to its large membership base of people looking for relationships of all kinds. Learn more at: Consider Lance's new Kindle book, "Making Memories: Creative Dating Ideas", detailed at his publisher's website:

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