Must Love Dogs

I`m running around like a blue-arse fly this morning. Flying to Joburg at 5pm for the customary fortnightly business trip. I did not pack last night, so this morning was a frantic fashion crises…my house now looks like a Tsunami disaster and my dogs are ecstatic that they`ve been dropped off at the FPU (which translates into really badly-behaved puppies when I get back). So, before I fly off into the wild blue yonder – only to return next week with (hopefully) fresh blogging fodder…Here`s my final thought for the week.

I had an interesting conversation with a friend last night. We were discussing the phenomenon of online dating or dating sites. I`m 28 (see how bravely I just came out with it…sniff) and the majority of my friends are single professionals, ranging in age from their very late 20`s to high 30`s.

We are normal, well-adjusted people. Which means that we all work hard, are ambitious but not to the point where it rules our lives, we are obviously past the teeny-bopper clubbing scene and much prefer having a dinner at a nice restaurant or cooking at somebody`s home. Lately we`re into picnics and sunsets and we love sushi. In other words…we`ve grown up and our tastes have become more refined. We know that we want out of life and love.

We seek out like-minded people who have the same values while we still appreciate each other`s differences. Sounds normal, right? So, why is it that many people I know have recently turned to dating sites to meet the one? My attitude towards it was that it is basically something I wouldn`t do.

My friend, being who she is, wouldn`t leave it at that and challenged me on this. She basically feels that there`s only so much that you can do with a certain pool of friends. You only meet the same people over and over. So, you need an outlet and safe opportunity to meet new people. For instance, I have a friend who would never before have looked at a dating site before, but it is now par for the course. She finds that it is a safe environment in which to meet people it perfectly matches your criteria to that of a prospective mate. Your privacy is protected up and until a point you are comfortable disclosing who you are.

You can be as discriminating as you like about your choice of mate do you want a upwardly mobile black professional male? Or maybe a white afrikaans speaking, rugby player with traditional values? Do you want him to be financially comfortable or must he be a fat cat? Do you need him to be Catholic or maybe Lutheran? Anything you want you just indicate and the system will match you up to somebody closest to your required criteria (and I hear that it`s usually a damn close match). It sounds safe, anonymous and reliable. A sure thing. So, what`s wrong` with it? The only explanation for my reluctance was thus: In a perfect world you can shop for the perfect handbag…or the perfect pair of shoes. But, come on…shop for the perfect man? I don`t know.

My jaded soul says NO, can`t be done. Part of the journey is not knowing what and who you`re going to meet next or spend your life (or moments of your life) with. It just seems too glib that I can sit in my study at home and safely and anonymously shop for the perfect man based on interests, race, religious beliefs, financial status, etc. I`m almost asking, But, where`s the fun in that? And, yeah, many people will sit back and say…but, Jean, to date your way of meeting people hasn`t worked – which is basically a moot point because I don`t make an effort to meet people.

I have no faith in the glorified hook up (anyway, men who want to meet me or date me must ask ME directly).I just feel that you try so hard to control life, why try to control everything else Meeting and getting involved with love interests are supposed to be messy, right? Or maybe that`s the big gaping hole in my theory. Are we getting older and more inclined to say We don`t have the time or energy to deal with messy anymore? We want to get on with it.

Give me the Prince I don`t want to kiss all the frogs to find him. I am being encouraged to go that route… many of my friends feel that I would benefit from an experience like that. But, it almost becomes too easy almost addictive to prescribe or shop for Mr Right (Now?) In a way I can see their point. But take this from somebody who doesn`t even trust a blind date…I am too cynical (read: scared) to put myself out there. The point of this whole piece of extended blog is that… I have an admiration for people who can. Although it sounds like I am being very critical and sceptical, I am very impressed. Perhaps they are moving and adapting to the time we live in. It`s really not easy to meet like-minded people and when all other they have chosen an alternative way of approaching the dating game? Me, I don`t know. Still too cynical and too scared, I think I`ll do things the way I always have.

Sit back, have fun, meet many different people and not worry too much about meeting the one. After all, if you go looking for trouble, you just may find it.

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