The first girl, he said, was “a little too tall,” and the second girl was “a little too short.” Then he met my mom. Let’s look at how I do things, maybe with a slightly less important decision, like the time I had to pick where to eat dinner in Seattle when I was on tour last year.
He quickly deduced that she was the appropriate height (finally! First I texted four friends who travel and eat out a lot and whose judgment I trust. Finally I made my selection: Il Corvo, an Italian place that sounded amazing. (It only served lunch.) At that point I had run out of time because I had a show to do, so I ended up making a peanut-butter-and-banana sandwich on the bus.
The question nagged at me—not least because of my own experiences watching promising relationships peter out over text message—so I set out on a mission.
I read dozens of studies about love, how people connect and why they do or don’t stay together.
As history has it, when people defected from My Space to Facebook, that online community became a dust town.
Dating sites like Ok Cupid and Plenty of Fish (POF) became more popular.
In the off chance that you manage to break the virtual barrier and coordinate a physical rendezvous, there is a high likelihood the person will have mentally checked out by the second cocktail, eager to swipe on to the next B-list bikini model.
You were defined by how cool your My Space layout was – animated GIFs, custom CSS and your favorite embedded You Tube video.
Could it be that the French have succeeded at tackling the delicate art of online dating with their customary moderation and integrity, allowing them to cultivate genuine connections?
Since we clearly need all the help we can get, I resolve to investigate.
I asked my dad about this experience, and here’s how he described it: he told his parents he was ready to get married, so his family arranged meetings with three neighboring families. That’s how my dad decided on the person with whom he was going to spend the rest of his life.
I am perpetually indecisive about even the most mundane things, and I couldn’t imagine navigating such a huge life decision so quickly. Happily so—and probably more so than most people I know who had nonarranged marriages.