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Thomas More

God in the electrons...interesting.

I have not seen how they work, however, I imagine your search comes up with more than one result. Much like the tree frogs I've been watching on "Planet Earth" there is still a selection process going on, on-line, even if not at a party, dinner, mall, etc. You are still forced to thin the heard to the few guys you choose to email with, right? It seems like there is something old-fashioned, natural, even with the new medium. Or, in Christianese: "God drew me to your father's profile..." (or, in other circles: "I thought he was hot, so I emailed him.")

That said, I agree with you on the romantic-story angle. It does seem to lack the personal excitement of the chase that marks traditional courting. The good news is, that the old system still works, even if trying out the new. After spending hours on the computer looking for the right person, you might take a break, go get a cup of coffee and...presto. Who knows.

For whatever reason, it just seems to be more difficult to make something seem romantic if it is new-fangled. You need antiquity for a good romantic story: bended knee, chivalrous acts, a horse, maybe even a dragon slaying. But the stories we--and our ancestors--grew up hearing don't involving the web and modems, etc. Therefore, they can't be in our 'romantic lexicon'--I don't know that they ever will be, but our generation can't have it, all those things were invited/came into use after we heard our stories and developed our romantic notions. We are in a transition generation, where our stories were on paper, but our lives are electronic. By contrast, our parents' stories were on paper, as were their lives (meaning, no computers.) Our kids' stories will be electronic, as will be their lives.

Who knows, our kids or their kids might not think of an eHarmony meeting as any different from the White Knight storming a castle.

One other thought, I wonder about the disclosure part of these sites. A relationship, to be crass, is simply deconstructing all the lies/enhancements you told the girl on your first date (in order to secure a second). Obviously, I'm kind of kidding, but you know what I mean: we over sell up front, and the true us comes out as we go. The process of relationship is letting the true you come out, and having the other love it: wrinkles and all. But no one leads with the wrinkles, foibles, and idiosyncrasies. I wonder when the sites ask about what you are like and where some of your boundaries are, if they are not taking a key component out of the first/second date mysterious dynamic. I don't know the answer, but I have wondered about that. It takes out the "I wonder what she'll think about..." as it (whatever "it" is) has already been posted. Dating, it seems, is about mystery--the mystery keeps us coming back. Relationship is not as much about mystery as about knowing and caring. Lest the ladies out there jump down my throat, there still is mystery in relationship (especially if you are in a relationship with a female; they are inherently mysterious). But the balance of unknown/known shifts. Always not knowing would not be desirable. Knowing, deeply and truly, if you think about it, is actually more romantic--I think--than mystery. Mystery is fun. Knowing is life.

That by the way, is why I'm an opponent/scoffer of the married peoples' so-called "date nights." You are married. You are not dating. Embrace the difference. Go out and have fun alone, without the kids, whatever. But don't go on a "date." That's for single folks.

I trust that'll prompt some vociferous objections. But that's my story, and I'm sticking to it!


OK, I'm jumping in. First of all, Philomena, I see your point. It doesn't seem so romantic to me to meet online, but eventually the two people do have to meet... in person... someplace. So, while the beginning may be electronic, eventually (hopefully) it will be real-life. Once the dating takes place in person, then there should be lots of opportunities for romance and mystery even.

As for Thomas' thoughts, they are great overall. I do disagree with the date night idea. I think it's awesome for married couples to go on dates. My husband and I do every Monday night. And I must admit, I get a spring in my step and try to put on lipstick and a short skirt or whatever I would have put on before I had 3 screaming kids draining the lifeblood and romance out of me. OK, it's not THAT bad. But by having official "dates," I am reminded of the more "mysterious" days of our relationship and am inspired to create some new ones.

I must cheer on one other thought you had, Thomas, how mystery is fun, but knowing is life. I can still remember where I was (on a blue and white striped couch) when I asked my then "boyfriend" if he could truly love me, the real me, with all my faults. I will never forget his answer -- his resounding yes, heartfelt and true. I knew he meant it.

That promise to love through thick and thin has stuck. And while raising 3 kids, and being up half the night, and cleaning up vomit isn't particularly romantic... watching someone love me through it all IS. That's called REAL LIFE. And there's nothing more beautiful and romantic and even mysterious than experiencing that kind of love in this world.

Thanks for letting me brag about my wonderful husband.

Love to you all,

P.S. Philomena, whoever you end up with will be lucky indeed.

Thomas More

OK Lucy, so as I read it, you agree with me 100%, but want to call your night out a "date". Fine by me. I, for the record, am pro-wives-putting-on-lipstick-and-short-skirts. But you all knew that, didn't you?

As for what your Monday night is, I still don't think it is a "date" if that word means what it commonly means. But working to keep the first love of the spouse (the eros side) and not just the agape or philos is a good thing--and worth the effort many couples start forgetting to put in. I love the notion that my wife and I have moved beyond dates. We still have time alone with each other (I just scored a dinner for two and two tickets to 'Hamlet' for us next week!) but there is something wonderful about being beyond the 'date'. (And wonderful beyond the simple no-longer wondering if you'd get a kiss at the end of the night!) The kids can certainly turn a wife into a mom-only, which is dangerous territory, I think, for the marriage, the kids, and the adults. So we need to be deliberate about being together as spouses.

Mrs. More and I took a parenting class with an older Christian couple a few years back. They raised 5 sons, all of whom are solid people. The parents' notion was: "kids are renters...they are passing through in 18 years...but our spouses are with us forever...allocate your time accordingly." It set the kids up well (despite the first blush thought of how that could be harmful to the kids' 'self esteem') as it showed the kids the value placed on the marriage, and that the kids were planets in the family solar system--not the sun around which everythign else revolves. Very healthy I thought. They also made it a point, with 5 sons mind you, to take a 1 or 2 WEEK vacation with just the two of them EVERY YEAR. Farmed the kids out to grandparents and church friends and set out together. I know one of their sons and his wife now do the same thing in their marriage.

Cool stuff.

Again, lest there is any ambiguity, or in case Mrs. More happens to read this: I am all for the lipstick and short skirts, and on behalf of all husbands encourage the wives to follow Lucy's lead. Just wanted to be clear on that point.


Maybe I should rename my weekly bible study "date night". That way, I can mention it regularly. e.g. "I have to leave work early today because it's date night". I LIKE it!

Thanks for the great comments.

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  • Justin Martyr
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