Friday, October 22, 2010

Dating - Or Not

I did something crazy this week.  I signed up at an online dating site. 

Within 12 hours I had received an email that some gentleman was asking for a photo of me. Once I got past my shock that my being a homeschooling mom of four didn't scare him off, I clicked on the link to see what kind of man this was.  To my surprise, this information was going to cost me.  The smallest amount of money I could pay right now to join and find out more about this gentleman was close to $50.

Uh, no.  I am not that desperate nor that curious.  And suddenly, I think maybe I don't want to do this online dating thing after all.

This whole experience was quite eye-opening.  There are apparently people out there who will spend large amounts of money (anywhere from $50 for one month to close to $300 for a 12-month membership) to find someone to spend time with and possibly marry.  I actually know three men who have used the same site that I signed up with.  Interestingly enough, not one of them is married as a result.

While I would like to think that online dating  is just another phenomenon brought about by our high-tech society,  I don't think this is the case.  For many years, people have paid matchmakers to find them a match.  This is just a new take on that old system.

Is this the best way to find someone to spend one's life with?  And will these matches made by a computer be more immune to divorce than other marriages?

I don't think so.  I think divorce is a direct outcome of our society's dating practices.

How so? 

Dating tends to lead to serial monogomy.  You date one person for a while, and when that person annoys you or the thrill has worn off, you move on.  Unfortunately, the attitude that "there are plenty more fish in the sea, and I have the right to find one that makes me happier" can carry over into marriage.  It may be deeply buried, but when this has become a person's way of thinking, it doesn't change the moment the wedding vows are exchanged.

Since I have teenagers, I need to figure out what the alternatives are to dating.  Right now, my 16-year-old is doing what we call "Family Dating."  She has a boyfriend, but the two of them only spend time together under the watchful eyes of their parents and siblings or at well-chaperoned church youth activities. 

We considered courtship, but without an involved father, the traditional models of courtship will not work well. 

I have joked with my kids for years that we would be doing arranged marriages, but I don't think they are going to go for that.

So what other alternatives are there, both for my kids and for me?  Is dating okay for a divorcee? 

What do you think?

1 comment:

Giggly Girls said...

I think dating's okay for you as long as the children aren't involved. My sister did a fabulous job dating as a single mom. Gabriel never met anybody she dated until she met the one she married. His dad, however, is a revolving door of women. And you know, first hand, just how fun that is for the kids.

As far as kids dating, I'm still leaning toward arranged marriages. LOL Seriously, I think the way your handling the dating with K is right on the mark. You're a great mom and dad. =o)