Part of the allure of the TV singing competition “The Voice” is that the contestants are judged initially on only the quality of their singing. I can see the wisdom of this, as one’s appearance and movements affect how we respond to them and it could sway how one votes for a performer.
I thought about how this applies to dating. We want to believe we fall for someone based on their inner being, not their outward appearance. Yet we need to feel attracted to someone and most often that involves their outer image. I’ve been in relationships with people I wasn’t drawn to physically because I liked their personality, but it’s not common to do so. And I’ve fallen for handsome men who treated me poorly.
This week, a man who lives thousands of miles away has started corresponding with me, initially by email, and now by IM. He’s smart, funny, articulate, and educated. We’ve exchanged pics, of course. I don’t like to spend time on people who aren’t local, but this guy is fun.
We haven’t even talked on the phone, but he says he’s developing feelings for me. I know not to take this seriously, as I don’t believe one can develop true feelings for someone without having met. I’ve fallen for that in the past, beginning to get emotionally connected to someone only from emails and phone calls. Then when we’ve met, there was no physical attraction, or he acted different in person, or he treated me poorly.
So can we really find a connection with someone without seeing them, a la The Voice? Some would say you are able to experience the person’s true essence without the distractions of their physical appearance. However, it’s easy to pretend to be a certain way when the only communication is virtual. When someone’s smile, eye contact, facial expressions, walk, movement and how they treat you is so crucial to creating a connection, how can you really do so without a physical meeting?
I think of olden days when people would court via mail, become engaged and only meet right before the wedding. How did those marriages work out? I’m sure some did well and others didn’t. About the same as our marriages nowadays. I know they had much different criteria for a marriage in those days.
What do you think — have you developed true feelings for someone before you’ve met in person? Then did it continue as a relationship? Or have you experienced the same as me — a lot of time invested before meeting then to have it fizzle at the first date?
If you want to explore other things to consider about online dating, get your copy of Winning at the Online Dating Game: Stack the Deck in Your Favor.