I first met my husband while wearing my pajamas. Really! No, we weren't at some kinky singles party. I was sitting comfortably in my apartment and he was hanging out in his. But, I will never forget his email introduction via an online dating service, which invited me to check out his profile. It was sweet, endearing and intriguing enough for me to log on to learn more about him. After a week of emails, followed by a week of phone calls, we met for our first date - a traditional dinner and movie outing. Even before I opened the door to greet him, I knew he was "the one." Considering he lived 30 miles away, I'm not certain our paths would have typically crossed. But after nearly 13 years together - including 10 years of marriage (which in Los Angeles is apparently no small feat!) and two beautiful daughters, I have no doubt he is my soul mate.
After my now-husband and I met online, I was recalling some of the hilarious experiences that I had during the whole online dating experience. How could I forget the guy who started every story (no joke!) with “My buddies and I were out drinking one night.” I decided to capture some of them in writing and, from there and based loosely on my own experiences, my novel Click: An Online Love Story emerged. The entire story is told in emails between our heroine, Renee Greene, her three best friends and the gentlemen suitors she meets online. The format felt like a modern way to tell the story that fit the topic, and allowed readers to develop an intimate relationship with the characters.
Clearly, I’m a big fan of online dating and find it to be a useful tool for young professionals who are busy working and finding it difficult to make the right connection at the gym, bar, coffee shop or grocery aisle. I say, people today are “married” to their cell phones and laptops, so why not use that technology to really get married, right?
While Click doesn’t end with a wedding (sorry for the spoiler!), during Renee’s road to happiness, we find many advantages to online dating. My five favorite are:
- On Your Own Terms – Online dating provides a relaxed, anytime and on your own terms experience. Share as little or as much information as you want. Avoid people you are not interested in. Communicate at your convenience. But, don’t send a message at 2:30 am. Nothing smacks more of desperation than an email from someone trolling the Internet for a date in the wee hours of the morning.
- Multi-Tasking Enabled – Flirt while filing your taxes. Chat and trim your nails. Meet a mate while making breakfast. It’s a well-known fact that women are great multi-taskers. Take full advantage of that skill. As Shelley, the over-sexed character in Click says to the about-to-try-online-dating Renee, “A whole host of hot and horny single men that I can review, chat with, judge and mock – all while sitting in my office looking very busy. Maybe I should give it a try myself.”
- Trade the “Meat Market” for the “Meet Market” – Now you can avoid the “meat market” scene of bars and clubs and instead enjoy a “meet market” – an international bazaar (but let’s hope not too bizarre) of prospective mates. The Internet allows you to make an online introduction to thousands if not millions of people around the world. So, if you want to meet someone in Katmandu, well then, can do!
- Save Time, Money and Energy – Let’s face it. Dating isn’t cheap. It takes time, money and, likely your most valuable and scarce resource, energy. With the “try before you buy” environment of online dating, you don’t have to meet for a drink, grab a coffee or sit through a long dinner only to discover there’s no physical attraction, you have nothing in common, conversation is lacking, etc.
- Rejection Made Easy – In Click, Renee gets an email from someone halfway across the world looking to meet someone willing to move for him. After sending a polite and diplomatic “thanks but no thanks” email message, she proclaims to her friend, “It’s so much easier to reject someone over that Internet than in real life. Score one for online dating!” While rejection is easier for both parties when done online, it’s important to remember that people still have feelings.
As I've said many times before, if it happened for me, there's hope for you. So log on and take a chance. To follow updates on the Click saga and share your stories about online dating, visit the Click Facebook fan page.
Get a copy of Click: An Online Love Story from Amazon US (ebook or paper), Amazon UK (ebook or paper), or Barnes & Noble.
Get a copy of Double Click from Amazon US (ebook or paper), Amazon UK (ebook or paper), or Barnes & Noble.