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Fifty First (J)Dates: The Death of the Meet-Cute and JShame

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The first rule of JDate, or so they say, is that you shouldn't talk about it. Just like Fight Club. Or the Mafia. Now, I am clearly taking this to the other extreme and writing about it as an entertainment form, and clearly hawking for all it's worth, but it makes me wonder. I've been in two situations since I began the JDate Odyssey where a third party came into the equation when I was with a boy and asked how we knew each other. Both times, the guys asked me first about where I thought I should feign our meeting. It bothered me. Not because I have an issue with a need for privacy, but I'm not really sure why there should be one anymore. Rather, that people should feel the need to lie.

Online dating is horribly stigmatized. It just shouldn't be a big deal. It's sort of like when you would walk out of the Joseph Anthony tanning booth to find a St. A's boy (one damages your skin, one damages your pride. You decide which is worse.) Everyone does it, but nobody talks about it. Why?

I guess in some respect there is this idea that by resorting to online dating, you have somehow failed. Which is funny, because the boys I have thus far encountered are extremely smart, cute, and accomplished. Sure, I guess in some way I have "failed" to meet a guy I like in an organic situation, but those days of tripping and falling onto your future husband (this literally did happen to my best friend's older sister, and i am forever envious) are over. I mean, I was even hesitant to tell my parents I was on the site. It's clear when reading through profiles that a lot of these guys who have excelled in every other area of their lives - professionally, socially, athletically - feel some degree of shame connected to JDate. It's plain as day in their writing about "this being my first venture into online dating" or "I think online dating is weird but i want to give this a try" or "my friend told me i had to sign up." I think that making an active choice to find a relationship, whether it be online or not, can often seem like a blow to a guy's masculinity. Or at least it can be perceived that way. Maybe our generation won't have as many great meet-cutes, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meet_cute) but I guess we have to start somewhere.

Until then, I met you because you spilled your drink on me at Local 16.

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