So how did you two meet?
March 16, 2011 1:46 PM   Subscribe

How do I convince my romantic sensibilities to get on board with the real possibility of meeting a long-term partner/true love through online dating?

I have been online dating off and on for about two years with some success. In addition to a couple of guys I like as friends, I met one guy via OKCupid who I dated for 6 months. Soon after that relationship, I took a little break and now I'm trying to get back into it. Except, I've recently realized that there is some part of me that doesn't like the idea of meeting a long-term life partner this way.

Why not? I guess I wish that I would meet more dates in real life (but since I'm not, I'm not, and might as well use what works); I feel some remaining stigma around internet dating being...desperate or not cool or something (but this is a weird one because I know that there are some awesome people on OKCupid); maybe I feel like it's less romantic than real life encounters; I'm not very technologically oriented and am a little old-fashioned in some ways (i.e. I like poetry and darkrooms and handwritten letters). I don't know. Basically, I see and accept these hangups for what they are. Annnnd, I want to get over them so that I can go back into the online dating world more fully open to the possibility of meeting a great match there.

I know that many many Mefites have met their true loves and spouses and sweeties online. So please, tell me how you got over the internet dating stigma, if you ever felt it in the first place. And if you never felt it, why not? Also, do you feel fine about telling the world that you met online? For what it's worth, I think these hangups are both about myself and about others' perceptions of me, but more so about my expectations for myself and my life (i.e. I never imagined I'd meet my partner this way, but who did until like 5 years ago, right?) Also, I live in a small city/town where internet dating is not nearly as common as in larger metropolises, which I'm pretty sure is part of this.

Advice and suggestions will be greatly appreciated. If I sound snobby, I apologize. I know my issues with this mostly come out of my own insecurities and expectations. Thanks!
posted by tacoma1 to Human Relations (35 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
i didn't meet my sweetie on a dating site, but we knew each other from a mailing list (we'd met a few times at social events related to the mailing list). so, basically, like seeing a mefite at a few meet-ups and then after a few years, randomly ending up sort of hooking up and then falling madly in love and now it's 10 years later.

i don't know if 'meeting people through some non-dating internet thing' avoids the 'online dating' stigma in your mind, though.

but meeting online is just how you meet. there's plenty of room for poetry and dark rooms and even hand written letters.
posted by rmd1023 at 2:03 PM on March 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

Other than one ex, just about every man I've ever dated (including the one I married) is someone I met online. (The first was the sysop on a BBS I used back in 1991; that's how far back I've been doing it.) I've never felt any stigma about meeting online, because my meatspace social circle has never been a good way for me to meet people, and it seemed a natural outgrowth from my online activities anyway. I also have found that once I met someone and clicked with them, the fact that we met online was not all that important. (I have a personal policy of not corresponding too long with people online before meeting - I don't want to build up a relationship with someone on the screen that doesn't match up with how we get along in person. I think that helps make the way we met less important.)

That said, the guy I'm currently seeing is sometimes reluctant to tell people we met online, and his friends were really surprised when I was introduced to them and they asked how we met - a bunch of them said that they had never known anyone who met that way. He's ten years older than me, though, so I wonder if it's an age difference. You don't mention how old you are - is that part of it?

Anyway, I guess the biggest takeaway I have from my experiences is that the longer you're with someone, the less significance the way you met has. And you can certainly try it and decide it isn't for you!
posted by Neely O'Hara at 2:06 PM on March 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

I met the other halves of both my significant relationships to date online, but I have never used an online dating site. I met the first one in a music chatroom and the current one on Twitter, of all places. Maybe if it's the serendipity of meeting someone you just click with that your romantic side misses, try just socialising online rather than dating? Find a community relevant to your interests, hang out, see who you meet.

I have never felt that there's a stigma and I happily tell people I met my SO online, but I am a self-confessed socially awkward nerd girl who spends far too much time on the internets anyway so it's not really something it would occur to me to be ashamed of.
posted by corvine at 2:07 PM on March 16, 2011

Best answer: When you think about it, how is meeting someone online different from meeting someone at a bar or at a coffee shop? I think aside from the obvious "format" differences, the thing that's challenging about meeting people online is that when you meet someone doing something else, it's easier to pretend that you weren't really looking for someone to date. When you tell the story of how you met, it's more fun to say that you met at a party or stumbled into each other while getting coffee than it is to say you put a profile online and spent hours browsing through singles and judging people based on what they look like and how they spelled things until you decided to take a chance on some people.

When it comes down to it though, wanting to find someone to be close to and love is one of the most fundamental characteristics about being human. Who cares how you met the person who fulfills that need for you? I met my husband through a friend who I met online. Is that one step removed better?

All that said, internet dating sites aren't for everyone. There's something cold about the selection process that doesn't jive well with people. The friends I've seen it work for decided they were going to be really open minded and give people a pass on their online impressions for most thing and go out on tons of dates so they could actually judge people based on what they were like to be around rather than a picture and a few lines in a profile. Maybe if you reframe the experience as an introduction service rather than match making service it would be easier. The other thing you could do is really use it as a way to meet friends. The more people you know, the more chances you get to have those in person encounters to meet someone really great.
posted by Kimberly at 2:08 PM on March 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: When I lived in New York City, I found internet dating very romantic! I knew it was a huge city filled with amazing people, who I would never meet but for the tiny little messages in a bottle we posted for each other on the internet.
posted by yarly at 2:10 PM on March 16, 2011 [16 favorites]

For me it was the realization that only the first meeting was as a result of an online transaction. Everything that happens after that first meeting is just like any other dating situation. Either it works or it doesn't but once you are meeting in real life, real life takes over. It's not like your relationship is any different because you met through a dating site. It's all the same as people who didn't meet online from the first meeting on out.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 2:10 PM on March 16, 2011

I haven't read the whole article, but Wikipedia's article on online dating services should give you some idea in tangible numbers of just how popular online dating has become.

Stigma does take longer to leave some places than others, but by being a part of the way that works for you, you're helping to get rid of that stigma for others in the future. And that means you're widening your pool of potential future people you could meet via the Internet!
posted by aniola at 2:11 PM on March 16, 2011

Do you explain in your profile that you're looking for someone to share handwritten poetry and letters with? That's a great thing to bond over when you meet an Internet Person!
posted by aniola at 2:14 PM on March 16, 2011

Best answer: How did I get over the internet dating stigma? In my mind, the internet is like a big old-fashioned community hall or church or whatever in the 1800s and I'm Miss Pretty Frill-Hat. Over in the back row or just coming in the side door from the stables is Mr Manly Mann. He sees me, or I see him, and there is interest. So the interested party writes a letter and gets their maid or valet or stable-boy or whatever to deliver the message to the other person asking if they'd care to step out for a walk after church or come for tea on Sunday or some other old-fashioned meeting style.

Except the maid, butler etc is OK Cupid and the meeting hall is the internet. In other words, I see more similarity between internet dating and Jane Austin's time (ie: semi-arranged meetings) than I do between internet dating and meeting in a bar. Keeping that in mind works for me.

I met my sweetie on an internet dating site. He wrote to me on a Saturday, I replied on the Sunday with my phone number. He rang that day and we talked (I liked him as soon as I heard his voice and conversation style). We spoke again the next day and arranged to meet at his rural property for morning tea and a walk in two days time (he coincidentally lived near some very good friends of mine and I believe in meeting asap). I arrived at 10.30am on the Wednesday and after walking and talking for awhile I realised that my skin really liked his skin. Although it was only meant to be a daytime meeting, I stayed three days, went home, packed up all my stuff and moved in with him within the fortnight. That was two years ago and our relationship just gets better and better every day.

When people ask how we met, we both smile and say "The internet!" We are not shy about it for the reasons I listed above. Our friends can see that we are a really good match and his friends who are single (men in their mid 40s, early 50s) look at my darling (who is a quiet achiever, not an extrovert) and wonder how a man living on the rural backblocks could hook a babe like me. We tell them, try the internet! But what most of them don't understand is that you need to be seriously looking for heart-food, not just eye-candy. You need to be honest. You need to be yourself.
posted by Kerasia at 2:20 PM on March 16, 2011 [12 favorites]

I met my fiance playing World of Warcraft. If that isn't full of internet stigma, I don't know what is! I totally admit that the first year we were together, I'd usually mumble something about the internet. As time went on, I decided that it seemed silly be ashamed of meeting someone online rather than at a bar- at least this way I knew we had some common interests. I was actually surprised about how many people seem really enthusiastic about the story now- my mother even tells people where we met with excitement.

What it took for me was to change my mindset to think of the internet as a fantastic matching up machine, where I could find people who had shared interests, and who I could talk to some before feeling pressure to go out right away.
posted by Zophi at 2:21 PM on March 16, 2011

I met my wife at a frat party. I can't imagine that online dating has less cache than that. Also, I know a couple who are both over 60 that met via a dating site a few years ago, and I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that senior citizens are a fast growing demographic for online dating. It's quickly becoming more normal than meeting at a bar, or a frat party. So just remember that you may be a little ahead of the curve for where you live, but you aren't doing anything that isn't "normal."
posted by COD at 2:23 PM on March 16, 2011

I met Mr. Leezie online back in 2000, in the dinosaur era of online dating when the stigma attached to it was even higher. We'll be married 8 years next month and have been together for 11 (oof!).

I did feel the stigma at the time. For me it took the form of being overly concerned about whether potential matches were really psychotic serial killers or just plain weird and not fit for polite society. I was slightly less concerned about what my friends who think. But, at the time I was in law school and my opportunities to meet people the normal way were limited to bars and school and neither was an attractive option. So, free online dating trial it was!

My main concern was easily fixed once I found that with Match (at least the iteration I used back then) I could easily figure out who was and who was not crazy. Mr. Leezie's was the only profile that I read that gave me that twang of interest. Maybe it was kismet, but I just knew there was something there. We emailed back and forth for two weeks, met and have been together ever since (insert awwww here).

We've often remarked over the years that we would never have met each other any other way except online and how fantastically amazing it was that we managed to connect that way.

I hope you have your kismet moment too!
posted by Leezie at 2:23 PM on March 16, 2011

I (male) felt a little stigma, I guess. I mean, I didn't go around announcing that I was looking for dates online. But I think what got me over the stigma is when I asked a couple whom I liked and respected and seemed happy how they met, and the lady cheerfully said "We met online!" It was a good example for me, because I realized in that moment that I certainly didn't attach any negative stigma to them.

But, like you, I had the romantic notion of just spontaneously meeting someone, falling in love, and living happily ever after. That seemed like the "right" way to do it. I had even decided that I simply would not respond to any online date messages. But then, someone wrote who seemed interesting and I relented.

Short version: we met, fell in love, and have been inseperable, and are living happily ever after. It's better than I could have ever wished or hoped for. And we're getting married.

When people ask how me met, I cheerfully reply "We met online!"
posted by The Deej at 2:29 PM on March 16, 2011

I met my husband at a party with a bunch of my friends, who were almost all bloggers who originally organized online, and he knew them via similar circumstances. So we all but met online, I guess. But I had been using online dating sites for a couple of years at that point, and it was all the same to me, frankly.

I can't really imagine walking up and down the street stopping random strangers to ask them what their interests are until I find someone would generally meshes with me. I'm pretty sure I'd miss out on quite a bit if I had to do it that way. But then, I'm an internet person and have been (and have been making real-world friends of varying kinds) since before the internet became what it is, so I have a hard time even understanding what your stigma is in the first place. Meeting in person is a highly superficial interaction first and then, possibly, something deeper. Meeting online certainly has its shallow aspects, but you have to actually engage with someone's brain immediately thereafter. If you told me you met your boyfriend in a bar or at a concert, I'd wonder how you got together without being able to hold a conversation.
posted by Lyn Never at 2:30 PM on March 16, 2011

Best answer: When I started online dating, I wasn't thinking I wanted a longterm relationship at all. That might have helped me get over the dismay of having to resort to online dating for a real relationship.

But THEN I met someone fantastic and suddenly realized that I want a very long relationship with him and no one else. But rather than just a "success story," let me point out that the internet is the modern short circuit to meeting people that has replaced blind dates and arranged marriages. My sweetie and I work two blocks away in a town that's not very large and it turns out our paths crisscrossed every which way. But we would NEVER have actually met on any meaningful level because he's shy and I'm aloof. The internet short-circuited waiting around for fate to have him spill ketchup on me our corner cafe or something. Maybe it helps to think of it that way?
posted by motsque at 2:30 PM on March 16, 2011 [4 favorites]

We've often remarked over the years that we would never have met each other any other way except online and how fantastically amazing it was that we managed to connect that way.

Sorry to add more, but I'm quoting Leezie because it's the same with us. It doesn't seem likley that there would ever be a different context in which I would have met my fiancee. Our social circles, work circles, and every other kind of circle would never have coincided. Online dating brought us together, and that's good enough for me.
posted by The Deej at 2:33 PM on March 16, 2011

Met my husband on a BBS that were were both active on as young teenagers. After a year or so of talking over the phone as late teens, we met in person in 2004 at the wedding of two other friends who met on the BBS (the second of the six now-married couples who met within our little group of 40 or so), and were married about two and a half years after that. I usually give two types of answers to the question of how we met. The short answer is, "We met at the wedding of mutual friends" and the long answer is the full-blown story. Some people think it's a little odd, but I think it reassures them that we're still close friends with all those former BBSers, we visit each other periodically, we've been to each others' weddings, met their children, etc.

I guess maybe it was because the internet was a huge part of my life since I was basically still just a kid, but it's never seemed too odd to me. My husband was, back then, my best friend, and he still is now, many years later. I choose to think of it as a very romantic way of meeting him. So many movies are made about couples meeting in serendipitous ways, love at first site, the search for the One True Love out in the world, and what's more romantic than finding my best friend and partner in life amongst the millions of people online? I mean, you can't get more poetic than that. :P
posted by takoukla at 2:34 PM on March 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

I answer the "how did you meet?" question differently depending on the person who asks. For friends and other people I trust, I say the truth: "Craigslist." On the other hand, that answer can get me into complicated and/or uncomfortable conversations with people who really don't need to know the whole story (i.e. dentists, colleagues, random people). For them I willingly mishear their question and answer, "In Minneapolis." You'd be surprised how well that answer suffices.

Personally, I think it's hilarious that I met my husband off the Craigslist, since their personals section has a reputation for sketchiness and my husband is one of the least sketchy people in the world. I never felt much of a stigma because I've gone out on much worse dates with people arranged off-line (oh, those horrible blind dates set up by friends...). Plus, once I met him, *poof,* I was done with online dating forever.

I can't speak to the small-town stigma, but I always appreciated internet dating for helping me meet people I would never meet or have a conversation with in my normal, everyday life - and those people were living right under my nose! Amazing!
posted by Maarika at 2:35 PM on March 16, 2011

I'm not very technologically oriented and am a little old-fashioned in some ways (i.e. I like poetry and darkrooms and handwritten letters)

This is the kind of thing you should put in your dating profile, so that people understand why you'd prefer, if you see potential in them, to meet up in real life ASAP.
posted by hermitosis at 2:35 PM on March 16, 2011

Best answer: Three things that come to mind:

1) I know couples with very romantic "how we met" stories that involve online dating. It probably wouldn't be too hard to find similar stories online, maybe reading them would change your mind.

2) In some cultures it doesn't have a stigma. Maybe that's b/c it's the modern version of a long tradition of matchmaking or arranged marriages, I don't know, but it's just not there. It might help to think about that. (If you're the type of person who likes thinking about how different cultures do things in general.)

3) For several reasons having nothing to do with what I wrote above, I don't do it b/c it's just not for me. If it's not for you, that's OK - you don't have to do something just because everyone else seems to be doing it.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 2:41 PM on March 16, 2011

I had several first dates through, including one who is still a friend, before finding okCupid. Had a couple more first dates. Then I expanded my okCupid search on a whim to the rest of the country. Found a perfect guy in Chicago (I was living in Orlando), and wrote to him because he sounded cool (without much expectation of meeting). But that was 2.5 years ago, and I've been living with him in Chicago for almost 2 years now, so there you go!

At first I was a bit embarrassed about it. Not as much as I was about the guy I met before that, playing WoW. Ha! But I got over it. Who cares how you meet? As far as I'm concerned, anything that gives you a bigger pool to choose from is a good thing.

Sure it's less romantic than some perfect guy holding the bus or the elevator for you, or touching hands reaching for the same last copy of People's History of the United States. But it may also be that you've watched too many rom-coms with their goddamn "Meet Cutes". Look, you won't have any romance if you don't find some promising folks to be romantic with!
posted by Glinn at 2:46 PM on March 16, 2011

it turns out our paths crisscrossed every which way. But we would NEVER have actually met on any meaningful level because he's shy and I'm aloof.

Me too. Although we met on the internet while living 100 miles apart, we would have met a couple of months later anyway because I would have been helping some good friends stage an event and he was employed by them to do the sound. However, we may not have done anything more than said 'hello' because neither of us would have known that the other was single, looking, and had a passion for Rick Wakeman prog rock albums.

The internet gets past all that. The internet makes it ok to say "single and looking!" whereas you can't walk around town with a lapel badge that says that (iphone apps excluded). In fact it allows you to say 'single, looking, I hate rotary clothes line and I swoon to the first 24 bars of 'Journey to the Centre of the Earth'. What could be better?

In this way internet dating takes into account our modern desire not to conform to strict social mores. Pre-internet dating, if you were unusual or had interests out of step with the general populace, it was hard to express that and find a suitable mate. Now the internet makes it easier to find someone who may be a best possible special snowflake match.

The other thing about internet dating is the friendships and flow on benefits. Years ago I was contacted by a fella just before I was heading OS for a few months travel. We communicated a bit but didn't meet until he flew to Laos to catch up with me there. We had an affair, it didn't work out for a number of reasons, but we stayed good friends. Some three years later I invited him on a trip with some other friends of mine and now he and one of my best girlfriends are together, happy and well-suited.
posted by Kerasia at 3:01 PM on March 16, 2011

Best answer: Well, online dating is at least 15 years old now. Some sites are old enough to drive :)

That said, I met my husband online here. I've done online dating and I've met people in real life, and frankly, neither one is perfect.

But as to the stigma, I really don't get it nowadays. We bank online. We attend college online. We search for medical diagnoses, pay our taxes, communicate across the globe and choose places to live online. Why should looking for a date be any different?

And as to your romantic side, I truly appreciate that, having come from a small town myself. It's hard to find someone like you when the population's really small. So, I ask you: which story of how two people met is more romantic?

1. "He wrote me these amazing emails (love letters) and then we started dating and everything clicked. Now we're married!"

2. "I went to a bar with some friends and looked really hot in my outfit, so he bought me a Jager bomb and we had drunken sex a few hours later. Now we're married!"

Conventional ways to meet people aren't conventional anymore. You live in a small town. Surely you've looked everywhere you think you'd find someone compatible with you already, and you've checked out all your own friends and friends' friends, too. There's no shame in being picky, and the people that have hangups about shit that you have had success with and enjoy doing don't matter. But if it doesn't work, then stop, obviously. Nobody should or shouldn't do things because of other people's ignorance, but because they're doing what's best for them.

We tell everyone how we met and I'm not ashamed of it. My best friend married a guy she met on Match and her baby is freaking adorable - but get this: she doesn't have Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, none of that shit. She ONLY has work email. She hates the idea of an online presence and doesn't watch television. But, surprise, after 3 years of dating guys in real life that lied to her, broke her heart, and turned out to be married, she gave up on that and found her husband on her 3rd date after trying online dating.

They were married 7 months later. I guess pre-screening out the crap she couldn't deal with sped things up for them; he said pretty much the same thing. Their son was born 14 months after they married. She happily tells everyone that she never would've met her husband any other way, because he wasn't her "type" - but sometimes you gotta look deeper than the book cover to get the whole story. And that's what a profile can give you - a peek into someone's interior.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 4:55 PM on March 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I didn't think that much of internet dating when I signed up for it. As a way of choosing a partner it just seemed so clinical, like "the computer says we're a 92% match!" should replace the first ever words you'd otherwise speak to each other. No way, that wasn't how I was going to meet the love of my life. If I ever settled down with someone, it'd be someone I'd met when I wasn't looking - let alone openly shopping - and our connection would just be so obvious we'd end up falling in love anyway.

But, there I was picking myself up after a road accident of a breakup, and I wanted some fun non-serious flings to get past that, and my best friend was signing up for this dating site anyway so I thought well why not, it's as good a way as any.

Met a couple of people, nothing really clicked, but I was having fun when I bothered to follow up on things. Which was actually not that often, shamefully. I ended up meeting one man for drinks after I realized we'd been emailing back and forth in a friendly chatty way for two months and I still hadn't taken him up on the offer of meeting in person. He was the one I was hoping for a friendship from, if not a fling - we'd already established neither of us was looking or a relationship, but we had lots in common and got on really well.

Turns out we got on really well in person, too. Also turns out that sometimes things don't go the way you planned, no matter how sure you were when you planned them. We're still stupidly happy together and very much in love, and currently looking for our first house. And I don't even think we were a 92% match.

So yeah, on the one hand I never did meet him in a totally spontaneous and unplanned way that neither of us saw coming. But on the other, I sort of did after all.
posted by Catseye at 5:31 PM on March 16, 2011

I met my amazing boyfriend on Craigslist. I knew from reading his post that he was someone I could get along with. Personally, the survey/Q&A format of official dating sites doesn't really appeal to me.

In past relationships, I would be a little embarrassed about answering the "how did you two meet?" question. But now I'm fine with it. I think we have a cute story that happens to involve Craigslist. And most people seem either totally accepting of the online thing or genuinely interested in how it works.
posted by pourtant at 5:37 PM on March 16, 2011

The internet gets past all that. The internet makes it ok to say "single and looking!" whereas you can't walk around town with a lapel badge that says that (iphone apps excluded). In fact it allows you to say 'single, looking, I hate rotary clothes line and I swoon to the first 24 bars of 'Journey to the Centre of the Earth'. What could be better?

and nthing "we never would have met otherwise."

It's just another tool. That's all. And if you think about it, doesn't it make the most sense to cast a wide net than to limit yourself because of a (fast fading) social stigma?
It doesn't have to be your only tool, and for best results shouldn't. What's to stop you from continuing to meet people in real life? Smart people maximize their options. Life is short, connections are forever being missed. Putting yourself on the online-dating-radar can only help, right?
(Small town + meeting people is hard)/online dating = practical.

It punches me out sometimes to think of all the amazing people in my life that I almost didn't meet because of an inexplicable reluctance or silly hangup (and yes, some of those were online dates). The science Ph.D who showed me why camping is a good time? The sound effect artist who taught me about classical music? So worth it. And if you're introverted with nerdy interests looking for someone similar, good news - they're probably online.

A lot of "how we met" stories are mundane, and if you meet someone that you end up dating for years or the rest of your life, what's notable is what comes after the initial connection. Which you will only be worrying about because it was a wildly successful connection. Unless you have a great story, people care for maybe 2 seconds then move on. Also consider this: each time someone who isn't Comic-Book-Guy-esque is unabashedly honest about the cyber source of their IRL hotness, a bit of the stigma dies. Yay!

If a couple you otherwise thought highly of told you they met on the internet, would you think less of them? If anything it makes me think more highly of the method.
posted by mellavellum at 5:48 PM on March 16, 2011

I was kinda skewed out by Internet dating too but I worked in this tiny little office so I knew I wasn't really going to meet anybody in real life through no fault of my own... So instead I did singles events in real life. I joined single volunteers, went to a singles dinner, and joined clubs where I knew there would be a lot of single men my age. I met my husband at a single volunteer event 3 months later. So you might try singles events if you can find them in your area.
posted by bananafish at 9:14 PM on March 16, 2011

Almost all the guys I've dated are guys I've met online, whether through BBSes (way back in the day), other online communities, or online dating sites. I will say there was much more of a stigma back in the early 90s than there is today. Now it's just another way to meet people.

I met my boyfriend on I can tell you our paths probably would never have crossed otherwise.
posted by SisterHavana at 10:13 PM on March 16, 2011

Best answer: Stop and think: what's the stigma, what is it that other people are going to think that they're going to be judgmental about? A couple ideas spring to mind.

1. You must be a social retard if you're online dating. But people will make up their minds about whether or not you're a social retard long before they find out you're online dating.

2. You must be desperate if you're online dating. Fact is, it's just an easy and efficient way to meet someone you wouldn't otherwise meet. More to the point, the fact that you're single and actively looking for someone -- how is that a bad thing? Adults with any experience will think this is a good idea, and that waiting around not looking because obviously you'll have a magical moment from a movie in line at Starbucks or the airport would be a bad idea.
posted by J. Wilson at 4:45 AM on March 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

I've been meeting people online since the days of BBSes and still have friends I met from the BBS days back in high school.

That being said, I felt a little weird signing up for a dating site. I met someone one OKC that I had a 1.5 year relationship with. I felt completely comfortable telling my friends and family, but weird telling my coworkers. I decided just telling the truth though was easier than coming up with a fake story of how we met. I felt nervous at first, but to my surprise, their responses were positive. Most of them said they had tried it too.

I'm a bit nerdy though and don't see myself meeting a random stranger in a bar. Plus, meeting online first gives me a framework of the person so I feel completely at ease when first meeting.
posted by parakeetdog at 7:26 AM on March 17, 2011

My husband and I met on okcupid. We are another couple that would never have met if not for the internet. When people ask us where we met, we tell them that we met online. Most people are interested, but you get the rare one that looks at you weird. To me, meeting someone online is way less sketchy than meeting them at a bar or club. I can't speak for the romance angle of it though, I am one of the least romantic people on the planet.
posted by crankylex at 7:38 AM on March 17, 2011

Best answer: I agree with Kerasia about it being similar to Jane Austen's meeting people at a ball through your butler. Or maybe it would help if you gave OKC the name of your overbearing aunty or a Yiddish grandmother type. As you log on, try saying something like "Let's see who Bubbe Rachel has chosen for me to meet this week."
posted by CathyG at 8:07 AM on March 17, 2011 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Please put out of your mind that there ever was such a thing as "the good old days of meeting people" as far as relationships are concerned. Just to give a few examples: Lydia Bennet didn't meet George Wickham online, nor did Henry VIII's wives meet him online. And the traditional saying in marriage rites about "if anyone knows any reason why this man and this woman should not be joined, let him speak up or forever hold their peace" was a way to keep people from committing bigamy. Do a search in the website London Lives for bigamy, and you'll turn up a whole raft of people who married a second spouse while their first was still alive. All before the days of the Internet. Even introductions through friends, family and church might turn up a Wickham instead of a Darcy.

Think of the Internet as a matchmaking blessing: instead of having to hit one of two bars in town, beg your friends for setups, and hope for the best, you can find thousands of eligible cat-loving atheists with dark hair and a steady job or whatever it is that you are looking for. Yes, there are weirdos on the Internet, but there have always been weirdos, not to mention George Wickhams, in real life. People meeting on the Internet have become so common now that there is no real stigma. The only Internet matchmaking that I think of as dubious or icky are the mail-order-bride type sites. There is still a stigma to those - but they are a tiny minority in the vast ocean of meet sites.

"Meet-cute" stories make for great newspaper columns or tales to tell the kids. But trust me, any future children you might have care far more about Mom and Dad being happy with one another than whether Dad first noticed Mom because she wore a cute hat.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 8:09 AM on March 17, 2011

Response by poster: Amazing answers, all you beautiful internet-loving people! I feel my hangups about this slowly but surely fading. It's particularly helpful for me to imagine OKCupid as a modern version of Jane Austen-esque romance.
posted by tacoma1 at 11:04 AM on March 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

I met my husband 6 years ago online in an online RPG forum. We wrote stories together for aobut 6 months and then realized we much preferred chatting out of character and then things went from there. I ended up moving to the USA from Australia to be with him and we've been married 2 years now.

When people ask me how we met I always smile and say "The old fashioned way . .online".
posted by wwax at 9:06 PM on March 18, 2011

« Older iWant to Pwn my Phone...   |   Need to find an immigration lawyer Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.