Friday, May 2, 2008

Online Dating Services

Today I am particularly moved to write about matching services like www.Match.com and www.eharmony.com

I have been performing marriage ceremonies for over 20 years and during that time, I have had the opportunity to experience so many different types of connections between couples. At this time, about 30% of the marriage ceremonies that I perform are for people who met on www.Match.com or www.eharmony.com.

Let me make it perfectly clear that this is not an advertisement in any way, shape or form. This article is strictly based on my observations. I’m writing this article because I am moved and inspired by the connections I see in some of these couples. I am impressed and I don’t impress easily!

When I meet with a couple for the first time, I always ask them how they met. Used to be that they would get the red face, look at each other and start laughing and then I would say, “Oh, you met online.” They would say “Yes, but we tell people we met on a blind date”, or “Yes, but we tell people we met through mutual friends”. More and more, they just look me straight in the eyes and with a huge grin, together chime in, "match.com" or "eharmony" or some other online avenue.

I never really did understand that whole stigma around meeting someone online. I guess it came from the few bad apples/experiences that came out. I always say, it’s not how you met…it’s what happens afterwards that counts. People have met their true love in so many different ways. Who’s to say one way is right and another isn’t?

Anyway, back to my discussion of online dating services…

It seems to me that the connection these couples find with one another is so deep. In fact some of the deepest connections I have ever seen have been between couples who have met online. Maybe they take extra time to get to know each other because they want to be especially cautious, having met online. Or maybe they are able to go deeper because many couples spend the time corresponding in writing for quite awhile before they meet.

When a couple contacts me to schedule a consultation, I give them a pre-marital ceremony questionnaire to fill out and return to me before we meet so I can get to know them a little. It gives them a chance to think about things they might not have thought about with regard to their ceremony, their marriage other topics.

Some couples don’t fill out the questionnaire before we meet. Some fill it out together and either bring it to the consultation or email it back to me before we meet. Some take time to fill it out individually and either bring them to the consultation or email them back to me before we meet. And then there have been those couples who are in a category all their own, the couples who met online. They often fill out the questionnaires with so many details, pages and pages about their feelings and thoughts on marriage, their story of how they met and what they love about each other. They tell me their whole life story. Not kidding, some of these questionnaires have come back with 20 – 30 pages of responses. Don’t get me wrong…that’s not what I expect from any couple. The average questionnaire comes back with 3 or 4 pages and that gives me enough of what I need to know before we meet. I usually find out the rest when we meet.

The point that I am making today is that I don’t really understand the stigma around online dating services. Some of the most amazing couples that I have married met on match.com and eharmony.com. So I say don’t be embarrassed about how you met. Focus on what you are doing to get to know that person and how you will determine if he/she is your life partner. And if you know someone who is in the process of exploring online dating services, support them in any way you can. It’s not easy to meet people these days and although there are some disadvantages to meeting someone this way, I think the positives far outweigh the negatives.

I would love to hear your stories!

Diana Concoff Morgan, M.A., H.H.E , Minister
can be reached at 925-980-9052 or www.WholeHeartPath.com

1 comment:

Becka said...

People should read this.