E-Soul Mate?


Modern dating services puzzle the living daylights out of me. No matter how hard I ponder the concept, I cannot understand why anyone would utilize such services, but it remains a zillion dollar industry.

I suppose I was very fortunate in my life, so I shouldn’t use my own history as a typical example, but at least let us start there. My wife and I met in college and the short story goes something like this. I wanted to meet a young lady who did not know I was alive. A friend told me she had a part in a university production of Macbeth, so I figured if I could land a part I might meet her.

Now, I am no actor. I had never been in a play, and had no interest. Nevertheless, I tried out and landed a part as a soldier. The object of my affection was one of the witches, whom I did get to meet. We went on one date, had nothing in common, and I was stuck doing nine more shows.

In any event, the witch had a sister for whom I had no attraction, but she was a real sweetheart and we became friends. The sister was a sorority girl, so I got to meet all of her sisters from time to time. One of those sisters was my wife.

I knew little about my wife, except she was always happy. It mattered not if the weather was awful, exams were around the corner, or wild dogs were roaming the campus. She never changed her mood.

One day, about a year later, I was walking to class in September. I was daydreaming because I had just broken up with a girl I dated all summer, and it looked like I would miss the week-long festivities scheduled for Homecoming week at the university. As I walked across campus, I bumped into my wife who was traveling in the same direction. It was the first time in a year I noticed she was not smiling. We walked a while and she never said a word, so I asked her if something was wrong. She smiled and indicated that she would be staying home for the festivities, having just split with her boyfriend.

Now, one must remember that all Italians are supposed to be suave and romantic, so I should have fallen into that category. However, something must have been awry in my gene pool. As we got to a fork in the pathway, we said our goodbyes, and she headed right and I went left. I remember walking about fifty feet when (sharp as I am) it hit me. So I conjured up all that animal magnetism and smooth romantic vocabulary that was second nature to me, turned around and called her name. When she looked back at me, those beautifully tantalizing words flowed smoothly from my lips, which no woman could ignore. I still remember them verbatim: “Hey Carol. I have absolutely nobody on the planet to go to Homecoming with. Do you want to go with me?” I don’t know to this day why she agreed.

To get to the point, that meeting was fortuitous, but I certainly did not dazzle her with my footwork. We had a great time all week, and continued to date thereafter. Three years later, we were married.

So what was it that cemented the relationship? My good looks and satin voice? I don’t think so. I always wanted to look like Elvis, with a voice like Dean Martin, but Nature refused the accommodation. Was it my dynamic personality? Every friend I ever had told me that wasn’t it. She was perfect and never lost her smile, but I am not the type to base a future upon looks, a nice smile, or superficial qualities. Who knows, but love is a strange phenomenon.

Yet today, the process we went through seems to have disappeared. Now, young people meet through social networks. They date by throwing a bunch of statistics into a profile and joining a dating service. How does that work? “Oh, you like horses? Let’s get married.” Or, “You have a terrific Facebook photo. We must be soul mates.”

I don’t get it. Before plans are made to spend the rest of one’s life committed to another person, it seems logical to know more than looks, criminal history, and employment possibilities. I know these services often work, but they would frighten the starch out of me. Young people are getting married two months after they meet (and divorced ten months later).

We appear to be raising our children to believe the whirlwind romances they watch on TV are reality. I believe that is nonsense, so I say this:

Ladies, when the bare-chested guy rides in on horseback and rescues you, thank him, and take your time. The odds today are that he is more interested in the horse.

Gentlemen, get real. She looks great on TV, but some of that stuff melts in the sun.


  1. As the models that young people have deteriorate, it is no wonder that people are floundering about how to meet and how to hold a relationship together. Studying successful relationships is a good start.

    1. Robin: I agree, but today online dating seems to be the thing. I know I was just dumb lucky, but if I were younger now, would I be part of an online dating service? Who knows. I ponder what the quality is that says to us "we might click." It can't be a written profile or a picture, or could it?

  2. Even when I was still interested in dating, I never thought to try the online route. However, I know several couples of different generations (not always young folks) who have met their spouses online and seem very happy. Go figure.

    1. Galen: Yes, that is what puzzles me. There are many successes. However, I do notice that most of the success stories involve older couples.

    2. Well, I know a young couple right now who are engaged and met online. Check back in a few years!

  3. I can see computer dating working. I think of Elizabeth Barret and Robert Browning. Their E-dating was done with quill pen in place of computer. And now couples can sit and talk and watch each other.

    Right now, I'm in the middle of my granddaughter's break up. They had the wedding all planned, the rings, the dress and last Friday he said he couldn't do it. She is devastated and calls me every hour. If he feels like that, some day she will consider herself lucky to get out before the wedding.

    Yes, you are fortunate to have made the right choice. Interesting how everything that happened, led you to meeting her and your timing was right.

    1. Manzie: There is no question that online dating does work, and I don't knock it, but I don't understand it.

  4. JJ,
    Speaking as one that was single until age 38 and now happily married...online dating seems to be the only real way to meet any one.

    You meet, you decide, move on or stay with someone. It is the same pattern, but now the meeting part is online.

    I remember I tried EVERYTHING: doing things I love, volunteering, learning something new, getting out of the house. Even went dancing/clubbing with my friends to all kinds of music. Met some nice people, but none of the kind I wanted to date, even if there was someone "datable" at any of those events and places.

    The jobs I've had are isolating as in how many people you can meet. Even after asking for blind dates, few knew anyone for a chance. So, I tried online dating...and found the same clubbing types and worse online.

    Most people just want to meet others, and in that way it is a success. Yes, the goal is love...but the process of having to meet many is still the same. Not everyone lives in a target rich environment like college or a huge office park etc.

    My sister got married to someone she met online.

    Me? I married someone I met at work, in my 3rd "career path."

    1. A-M: You write, "online dating seems to be the only real way to meet any one." I agree. It is huge today and everyone I speak with, young and old, tell me it is the only way to fly. I never thought much about the target-rich environment, but it makes sense. I still find it fascinating.

      In your case, however, I would just assume that your personality alone would have you fighting them off! With me, it was just dumb luck.

    2. JJ,
      You are super sweet. However, I was also accused of being "too picky," "too determined (to be an artist, etc.)" and "too busy."

      To the last comment my reply was always "I make time for what is worth my time." The only one who understood that was Andy. LOL

      It's always dumb luck, in the end!!!!

  5. Lovely story of how you met. I'm not a fan of online dating, but I grew up without computers, too.

    1. Miranda: I must be getting old. It is all moving along too fast for those of us who actually met our spouses before we fell in love. In California, for example, I assume the digital dating coincides with the online pre-nup, but do you roller blade to the face-to-face meeting, head to Vegas for the wedding, and then skateboard to Mexico for the divorce, or is that also done online? ?

  6. Online dating is puzzling to me, too. I only know one person who tried it, and it was a comedy of errors for her. She's in her late sixties, and the guys she met still acted like hormone-crazed teenagers, and they pretty much lied about everything on their profiles. She finally met a fellow through her job and they got married. Meeting someone face-to-face through some shared activities still would seem preferable to the online stuff. The times, they are a-changing... no, on second thought, they've already changed.

  7. I guess I'm still a young person, and many of my friends are quite involved in social media. I use it, but I don't live in it, if that makes sense. I met my wife at a university activity, got her number that night, and called her 3 months later (my Latino blood didn't serve me any better than your Italian I suppose), so my grasp of online dating is as good as yours.
    However, I have a pair of friends who met through an online dating service. They dated for quite a long time before getting married, but the initial introduction was still digital. I guess it all depends on how a person goes about their courtship. Do they simply go by the digital, or do they still go through the trouble to have a personal relationship?

    1. Gabriel: It is amazing. The new technological world is moving very quickly. Next thing you know they'll have test-tube babies!

  8. Fortuitous indeed. I think people are more interested these days in planning everything in their lives. Not that that is always a bad thing....School, Career, Marriage, Family. But sometimes I feel better things come to one when they allow things to take place in their lives naturally. A walk in faith to those that believe or when the timing is right for those that don't. I did not look for my husband. I allowed God to pick one for me.

    I don't think Christian Mingle does that, I think all those internet dating services is like a big ole game of Bingo. You know...Mary Jane B-49 your perfect match is Jimmy B-15. And even then, you never know if those two people are really who they say they are.

    By the way, I have been happily married to the same man for 28 years.~Ames

  9. OK, I simply MUST weigh in on this one! I find a bunch of things about technology to be completely distasteful. I would never dream of getting on Facebook. I can't stand how rude people are with their cell phones. And yet... I am one who met my husband online! However, this was BEFORE the dating websites. We met while discussing morals of all things on a site designed for college students to do research. We ended up writing back and forth as friends for several months before deciding that we were curious about each other and ended up meeting in person. Also, we were from opposite coasts so that made it a bit more difficult to meet. We only had a few phone conversations before that actual meeting so we think that it's pretty cool that we have a notebook of our 'early meeting emails' from the time that we were just online buddies all the way through getting through the last of college before we would actually be in the same time zone for good!
    Now I must say that I probably never would have joined a dating website. It doesn't seem like a good fit for me. However, if you happen to meet someone in cyberspace well then that just proves my old college Sociology professor to be correct. It's all about proximity! And without the internet and a window of about 3 minutes of time when we were both discussing the same issue on a research site, then my husband and I would never have met.
    Oh and BTW, we only dated irl for 8 months before we were married. I still believe in the good old 'you'll know when it's the right one.' We'll be married 17 years this January 17.

  10. Hi JJ.
    I don`t usually read such long writings as yours, but I read yours and found your story wonderful. Very interesting to read. Thank you, and all the best.

  11. Oh JJ, I love how you met your wife, it's actually not unlike how I met my Eddie 25 years ago. We too were highschool sweethearts. We hung out in different circles of friends but somehow at a highschool dance, whilst dancing on the dance floor accidentally, fell into each others arms & kissed. I didn't know what the hell just happened & he says the same thing to this day. He says I stole the kiss and I say he did but I guess sometimes it just comes down to destiny ... we were meant to be. Maybe it was some kind of divine intervention... who knows!! All I know, is I love him madly and he loves me the same. It's a beautiful feeling.. isn't JJ?


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