In my continued efforts to determine just how far this serial dating epidemic has spread (and how I might learn from those who’ve gone before me), I decided to tackle Kissing Frogs in Cyberspace by Dianne Sweeney.
The basic premise is exactly what one would expect of an online dating memoir: a self-possessed but single thirty-something decides to “take control” of her love life and embarks “upon a six-month quest” to find—you guessed it: the man of her dreams.
In this case the single thirty-something is a high school English teacher so Kissing Frogs was an absolute delight to read on several counts. Firstly, the girl can write, so instead of pausing every three sentences to think to myself “You know, she really should have reversed the order of those two clauses there…” I actually got swept up in the all of the drama of Sweeney’s “quest.”
Secondly, now I know why all of you read this blog—it’s addictive! Each time she got ready for her next date, I found myself wondering “What’s he going to look like? And what’s she going to wear? And what’s she going to do if he’s The ONE???” I’d really like to meet her for a coffee and swap notes.
Sweeney takes a slightly less manic approach to online dating than I originally did (ie. she doesn’t try to cram 30 guys into 3 months) and she never subjects herself to stilettos but I guess that’s the sort of wisdom that comes with age…
Interestingly enough, she bucks just about every bit of first date advice in existence and opts for the movies more times than not.
I think seeing a movie together makes an awesome first date. I mean let’s be honest. This is not a date (I know, I just said it was.) It’s a meeting to see if the person we have spent the last couple of days communicating with looks like his or her online picture. Naturally, if there is a spark, or if the chemistry is there, dinner or drinks could follow the movie. If the date is a total bomb, and you just want to back in your bed devouring Chunky Monkey and reading US Weekly, you’ve only wasted two hours.
Hmmm… she makes a pretty compelling argument (I do love me a good pint—or two—of Ben and Jerry’s) but I think I’ll stick with cocktails and the various forms of cruel and unusual punishment I inflict upon my feet.
I was both relieved and somewhat disappointed to see that Sweeney experienced the same difficulties with eHarmony that I (and approximately half of the online dating world) have experienced. She never actually reveals which three online dating sites she tries but I’m pretty sure Match.com and eHarmony were amongst them (and yeah, this is one of those few times when I do actually know what I’m talking about).
At 5’11”, you see, Sweeney had even more issues than I did with eHarmony sending short guys her way. She didn’t even ask that they be taller-than-her-in-heels, just that they not be shorter than her so let this serve as a final warning to any of you considering eHarmony: don’t. If you’re even remotely selective in your dating habits, steer clear of eHarmony.
I won’t spoil the ending but Kissing Frogs in Cyberspace is a quick read (I finished it in just under two hours, and that’s including the part when the snap on my bikini broke during a pre-Pittsburgh tanning session on my parents’ roof deck) and if voyeurism is you’re thing, this is your book! Unlike me, Sweeney actually gives her men names and even includes some of her personal email correspondence. (And the guys I’ve dated think I’m bad!) She also has a really neat website and an actual trailer for her book (which, in my infinite tech savvy, I’ve managed to embed below because if I keep writing about my adventures in online dating, I think my tan lines will be the least of my problems.)
- An Epidemic of Serial Daters (katrichterwrites.wordpress.com)
- The Science of Single: A book review for people who don’t like book reviews (katrichterwrites.wordpress.com)
- Wait… eHarmony guy Dr. Neil Clark Warren tells us not to get married? (cbsnews.com)