I’m the first to admit it. I love my devices.
We ALL love our technology. And what’s not to love? That fact that we can all own an all encompassing pocket sized super computer that can in seconds do what the beige monstrosity Apple Mackintosh that my family owned in 1984 would have taken a week and a half to compute.
Our technology makes our lives easier in countless ways and we are now connected more than ever before. It stands to reason that eventually there would be a blending between technology and romance and in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s ‘online dating’ was a new thing, that consisted of rudimentary MSN chatrooms on a squelchy dial-up connection. Back then hardly anyone had at home internet, so if you did embrace this crazy new way to meet people, you (a) had to do it when at work because that’s where there was internet and (b) learned early on that it basically operated as a secret society and pretty much everyone was far too embarrassed to admit to using it. To most people, putting yourself out there on the seedy World Wide Web just seemed to be a guaranteed way to increase your chances of going to meet Ted Bundy for a latté.
Now in 2017, its a good 20 years since the net changed the way we could connect with prospective romantic partners. In that time there has been a generational shift and the stigma previously associated with having met a partner online has almost completely disappeared.
Almost, but not quite. I still see it at the coal face, pretty much all the time, from the couples that I meet. When we start talking about their relationship journey and how to convey that part of their story in their wedding ceremony, it’s generally a given that some sort of reference will be made to how they met.
So naturally, I ask that question. How did you meet? Queue the furtive, immediate and mildly mortified glances between the couple before one of them in a quiet voice and with a wry smile replies ‘well actually we met online’. Shock horror.
I’m not sure what sort of reaction some of my lovely clients expect, but I often sense almost relief (and disbelief) when I first don't bat an eyelid and then mention that such a huge number of my couples also met that same way.
To be honest - I’d estimate that probably 1 in every 2 to 3 couples I marry also say that they met online, be it Tinder, Facebook or any one of the various dating websites around. Because I marry reasonable numbers of people, that’s a good sample from which to take some statistics and I can only take from how many people first met that way that online dating remains as popular as ever.
Some couples deliberately stay vague regarding the specifics about how they met, especially when speaking to older family members! They gloss over the details and just say that they met ‘through friends’ or worse, concoct a grandiose story which then has to be remembered so you don’t get found out! That and it just seems easier than explaining that you met because you both swiped your finger in a rightward direction.
I encourage my clients not to shy away from the fact they met online. Ultimately, it's part of their story and although what we say about anything at all in their ceremony is entirely up to each couple, if they really don’t want to be blatant about it then I have some cute ways to reference things with some quirky plays on words.
The truth is, no one cares anymore. No longer is it weird or unusual or desperate to embrace technology as another means of connecting with people. Times have changed and because of the hundreds of thousands, likely millions of relationships and subsequent marriages created since it came along, I would suggest these prove that it’s a VERY successful method of meeting people.
Thanks for reading.