By Freda Rumford from the February 2012 Edition
When we were young, meeting persons of the opposite sex was really so easy. Still at school, we would eye others in class and get a pretty good idea of who was interesting or otherwise. Who had a sense of humour? Who was the class clown and who wasn‟t?
It was not such a good idea to form attachments in the work place, as many of us discovered and learned a little too late. But there were always the after work parties and the dullest workmate often had the neatest brother or sister. Church and the Church socials or dances were incredible hunting grounds, as were local hops and barn dances.
But now, we are in a very different world and at a different age, so what is one to do? As said by the King of Siam in “The King and I” – “Tiz a puzzlement!” It was astonishing in discussing this difficulty with many friends; just how many of them used the “Matchmaker” or “Yentl.” Not literally of course but the new age equivalent – the “Dating Site” on the Internet.
Being totally unacceptable to many people, the Bar scene is fraught with danger. Bar flies and drunkards along with errant spouses on the hunt for a little extra curricular excitement, can quite often make a hunt for a mate literally dangerous. How is it possible to recognise a drug dealer or a person with STD‟s over a glass of beer or two and behind that attractive smiling face?
How is it possible when feeling happy after a couple of glasses of wine to know that something hasn‟t been slipped into an unattended drink and making one a target for the night? There is no way to check a background in the way we used to. There is not always an intimate friend to take you aside and say “watch out he/she is bad news”. Often, not even a friend to make sure that one doesn‟t leave the party alone or walk in places that could become serious trouble.
As an adult, one would expect that along life‟s path, we would have become cognisant of these dangers but such is not always the case. Often we have led a fairly safe and sheltered life when all of a sudden, things change and it is impossible to know what to do. Coupled friends are not always as helpful as they may be but sometimes a little too helpful as they introduce totally inappropriate people to pair up for a dinner and the movies.
Enter the Dating Services: E-Harmony.com, Match.com, Plenty of Fish and many others. Which one of these to choose? All offer the best pre-selection or background checking as well as promising to supply ideal companions directly to your computer in the safety of your home. Does this, in fact, happen? No way Jose! Specifying a female person within 50 mile of home base and between the ages of 40 to 60, can produce a lady of 25 with totally different interests and who lives 300 miles away. Who is to say that the 67 year old man with the pleasant smile is not actually who is pictured but a nasty individual on the prowl?
If these people are being vetted, would not someone realise that the picture of a 25 year old stud is not a 57 year old doctor who is looking for someone of similar vintage. A lady requesting a gentleman of a certain age can be quite surprised to receive a request to meet from another lady. A gentleman asking to meet a lady in her fifties with particular interests was astounded to meet a lady in her early forties with a professed desire for flagellation and sadomasochism.
As in all persons unknown, it can be a “crap shoot‟ to meet a person of similar ideals and desires as it is with a friend‟s friend. Is it really necessary to have to write to 189 persons supposedly interested in finding a companion, or a mate, before having a response from just two? Are there really people behind the photograph of an „ideal match‟ or are these past enrolees who have moved on and not now available anyway?
Occasionally someone hits the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow but more people become disenchanted or even doubt their own attractiveness. Never the less, it is now a way to meet people other than the old tried and true methods which are no longer possible. Just pay the $45 a month and you can shop for men or women to your heart‟s possible content. That part is really fun, it is only when no answers arrive that it becomes a dismal way towards despair.
Some are obviously lucky as more and more friends admit to meeting on line, and perhaps marrying a person that never in a million years would they have met if looking for themselves. The secret is in weeding out the unscrupulous ones preying on their unsuspecting victims. This has happened many times and been reported in newspapers over recent months. As in all things, it really is „buyers beware.‟ Watch for peculiarities and tales that just don‟t add up whichever way they are counted. But if you are amongst the fortunate, congratulations are in order; you have hit the Jack-Pot.