It's official. Romance is dead.
"One day you'll meet a wonderful man in the most unexpected way," said my mother. Or maybe that was Disney.
No one said, "You'll be super-busy trying to form a career. You'll use your schedule as an excuse to start dating online, where you'll meet someone mutually attractive. Then you'll hook up and decide whether to continue dating."
"After several more of these 'relationships,' you'll find that all the other fish in the sea have been reeled in for sushi, and maybe you'll get married."
All right, so I haven't yet resorted to online dating, but I can feel it looming like my 30th birthday.
My generation's expectations of romance are way off. We've grown up watching the prince rescue the princess. Now we're watching The Notebook while scanning profiles online.
There are movies about online dating, of course, but they're not realistic: Girl's friend forces her to make an online profile. After meeting several momma's boys, one Trekkie, and a couple of perverts, girl meets Mr. Seemingly Right. She doesn't realize he's totally falsified his profile... and he's hot, so she falls for him. But wait! Something is about to go perfectly wrong! Said girl realizes that the man she's been searching for was, in fact, her disarming neighbor (who is model-handsome once he removes his glasses). And to think he was there the whole time!
Even movies about an unromantic dating process have been Disneyfied.
My dad was sitting at a bar in New York when he saw my mom modeling a sweater on TV. Recognizing his unrequited crush from the past, he realized he had to see her and spent several days tracking her down. (Days, people. Days!)
Romance does happen, just not in our generation.
I can't imagine sitting in front of my grandkids one day and saying, "Well, Gramps and I met through the Internet." But maybe it will be normal by then. They'll have met their friends through playdate.com.
Just what are we expecting when so much of our socializing is done from behind the screen? We've got two options: Keep dreaming or mourn the loss of dating and click on.