Since I met my husband online, people are always asking me how we met. Old folks are shocked when I tell them. “That really works?” is something I hear from the older marrieds. People under 50 are hip to it, but it’s amazing how many of my single girlfriends don’t want to pay for a membership! I roll my eyes and remind them what it did for me, but the 66 cents a day—what they charge at the best sites—is not the point. For God’s sake, my Starbucks habit puts that to shame! No, it’s part of that traditional gender role thing, where women instinctively expect to be courted from start to finish. You shouldn’t have to pursue anyone and romance shouldn’t have a price tag attached. I get it. As the song goes, “they say all the best things in life are free…” Well, they must have entered an arranged marriage.
Anyway, my friends will pay big bucks for pilates, mani pedis, waxing, gym memberships, shoes and skin cream… Many of those things are purchased with the admitted ulterior motive of helping them land a good man. But subscribe to a dating site? “No, I shouldn’t have to do that.” You have to pluck your eyebrows, do endless ab crunches and overhaul your wardrobe every season, but another little fee on your credit card? That’s too much.
Ladies, we can’t wait for Prince Charming to ride up in his white Mercedes. Time flies and we have to be proactive. Like anything in life, if you want something, you have to take action to get it.
For me, I used to think going out was that action. But I gave up my club-girl ways because so many of the guys I was meeting were too aggressive. I felt like an antelope being tussled over by lions. I tried online dating when all that stopped being so much fun (plus, the hangovers were making me substantially less fabulous). I bought a subscription because whether it’s a marathon, a promotion or a man, if I’m going for something, I’m going for it.
It was nice to feel safe and sound at my computer instead of vulnerable to the clumsy mating dance of some guy who’s had enough Red Bull and vodka to grow horns. Online, you can talk to anyone you want and wear your p.j.s while you do it (until graduating to video chat, which is awesome, but does require the appropriate pre-chat preening).
If I’d had a free membership, I don’t know if I would have ever met my husband because I’m the one who contacted him (he says he would have found me, but I have a hunch he was chasing blondes before we met). You see, free members don’t get to pick who they talk to. They can reply to a message or send a flirt, but they can’t email someone directly.
When I found my future husband’s profile, I just knew he was special. I couldn’t understand why he was on the site, let alone single. I was sure he’d be gone the next day, snatched up by some woman who couldn’t believe her luck (probably a blonde). Now, I have a certain type and I know that not every girl would swoon for him the way I did, but all I knew was I didn’t want to let this catch bite another hook while I was sitting here hoping he responded to my generic flirt. Thank GOD I was a subscriber and could write to him right away. He answered within an hour. We had our first phone conversation about three hours after I saw his profile for the first time. Our first date was two days later, on Friday, and by Sunday night I was canceling other dates.
Sometimes, you just KNOW.
I don’t even know why people bother with free memberships. It sends the message that you aren’t serious about your search for “The One.” Do you think my husband I sit around the house saying “I wish we hadn’t had to pay those subscription fees for the site that brought us together?” Yeah, no. Do we wish we’d met at the grocery store or at church instead? You just don’t think like that when you’re in love. You’ll take it any way you can get it. You’re just happy to have it…
Life isn’t picture-perfect and neither is romance. But once love is yours, anything you had to do will seem well worth it.