Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Finding Your Perfect Match

Current mood: idealistically realistic

Category: Romance and Relationships


About two million Americans met their spouses online. Now the divorces are starting. How dating Web sites are scrambling to make sure forever really is forever:

In 1995, Matt Frassica, tired of singles bars and set-ups by friends, tried his hand at dating online. There he met, and later married, a woman who also liked long walks in the rain and homemade lasagna. They were even featured in People magazine as a prototype of successful cyber-romance. Then the fairy tale ended. Mr. Frassica said he realized he was gay, and the divorce was official last year. "We avoided getting to know the real person," says the 34-year-old corporate recruiter in San Francisco. "All we knew was the profiles of each other." (His ex-wife confirms that.) More than a decade after the Internet revolutionized dating -- about two million Americans met their spouses online, by one measure -- the sites face a new challenge: keeping these couples together. While most sites started out focusing on dating, they are increasingly using their success in the marriage arena as a marketing tool -- making the stakes higher if these unions start to go south. While many happily married couples say they may never have found a mate offline, there are already indications that meeting a spouse on the Web comes with its own set of potential pitfalls. Some divorce cases, for example, highlight false claims made in the online profiles that led to the initial attraction. In addition, of course, there are the natural perils that can come with getting to know a person virtually instead of the old-fashioned way.


What horseshit. How and where people meet is totally irrelevant. They can meet on the internet or at a singles bar or at a church picnic or at the office or at an AA meeting. What kills most marriages is the sad fact that both men and women are preoccupied with finding the right person rather than being the right person.

If marriage is the goal, once a couple ties the knot, "success" has been achieved. The finish line has been crossed. When infatuation fades - and eventually it does - disappointment, even resentment, is inevitable. We feel cheated. We're stuck with someone we either don't know, or know and don't like. We deserve to be happy, damn it! Time to look for a new partner.