Mars Meets Venus: When Worlds Collide

Posted on December 20, 2009. Filed under: Mars vs. Venus | Tags: , , , |

This is the third of a series of posts in which I’ll provide my female perspective on selected topics, while fellow blogger, Jamey Stegmaier, provides his male perspective. We’ll link and post before reading what each other wrote.  Topics we will be discussing will be ones that may be better understood or further examined once considering the perspective of each gender. Note that Mars is a single guy, while Venus is in a long-term committed relationship – not that that would impact our opinions or anything…

Here in the U.S., PlentyofFish and Match.com have the market cornered.  Online dating sites have become the most popular way for singles to meet each other over the past decade.  Approximately 20 million people are active on these sites every month.  While I have never sought love online, I’m sure the process goes something like this:  you decide you’re ready to be someone’s other half, you’re tired of the same ol’ scene, you know of friends who have done it — maybe even been successful — so you register for an account.  You stress over what photo to use; you want one where you look great, but not so great that you set your potential mate up for disappointment.  You try to summarize yourself in a way that will sound intriguing to the type of person you are trying to attract.  You browse the merchandise and wait for the inquiries to start rolling in. 

If I were on the hunt, this may be a viable option for meeting a mate — if it weren’t for one thing.  The whole meeting the mate part.  The idea of getting to know someone online, and developing a romantic relationship before ever meeting them in person would scare the bejesus out of me!  Online, we have the opportunity to craft our words.  To think about the impression we are making.  To backspace.  So when an online relationship crosses the line into real life, there is the potential that the connection will be lost in the conversion.  That’s the kind of build-up that would make me too nervous to enjoy myself (absent some liquid courage – which would probably make the wrong impression).  Therefore, I doubt that online dating would ever be an option for me.

But little did I know that I would be embarking upon a similar experience when starting My Life, Incomplete. 

A little background for those of you who haven’t been reading since inception:  I started this blog in September 2009 and in early October, I stumbled across Jamey Stegmaier’s blog in a tag surf.  We started by commenting on each other’s blogs, as we had an appreciation for each other’s writing and humor.  But from there, an online friendship developed.  We’ve exchanged stories, advice, laughs and support.  We started the Mars vs. Venus series.  I never imagined that we’d meet in person. 

This weekend, my boyfriend, Doug, and I went to St. Louis for a get-away weekend.  We’ve frequented this beautiful city throughout our relationship, and have made it a tradition to spend my birthday weekend there.  Jamey and I made arrangements in advance for the three of us to meet up for a drink on Saturday.  I wasn’t exactly nervous, but not knowing what to expect created a little pre-meet jitters.  I joked to Jamey in email, “what if we’re totally awkward with each other when we meet?  What if we connect here online, but in person you’re a tool?”  His response: “It could happen.  A tool doesn’t know he’s a tool, does he?” 

Turns out, he isn’t a tool at all.  We met at a quiet little bar with about eight bar stools (Jamey’s recommendation).  Doug and I arrived first.  For a second, we thought we might be in the wrong place.  It was us and the bartender.  Then Jamey walked through the door.  Looking just like his signature red-background picture (you know the one). 

Walking from the car to the door, I said to Doug “what do I do when we meet?  I mean, what’s the acceptable and expected greeting?  Do I shake his hand?”  Doug said, “you’ll hug him.”  I didn’t.  He walked in and extended his hand, first to Doug, then to me.  We ordered our drinks and headed downstairs.  Ahhh…  there’s a downstairs!  Very cool wine-cellar-meets-dark-lounge ambiance.  We chatted for nearly three hours. 

Jamey was pretty much exactly what I expected — put together, friendly, a great conversationalist and a perfect gentleman.  Aside from being a blubbering idiot, I’m pretty sure I was what Jamey expected as well.  If you recall, I mentioned I would need a little liquid courage in a situation such as this.  So I had a few beers.  Four, to be specific.  And halfway through number three, I had a lot of liquid courage.  I was all over the board, conversationally.   But I was myself. 

I think the big take-away here, if there has to be one, is that blogging is likely a better foundation for building online relationships than dating sites.  I didn’t choose my picture based on any pretense of meeting someone.  While I do craft my writing to be what I consider a good representation of my writing skills — I’m not doing it to shape someone’s opinion of who I am as a person.  And I believe the same is true for other bloggers, Jamey included.  So when we met, we got what we expected.  The same person we got to know online. 

Or so I think.  Let’s find out if Jamey agrees…

Related posts on MLI:

Here’s where it began…

Mars vs. Venus: What Does Tiger Woods Owe the Public?

Mars vs. Venus: What Women Want… Rather, What I Want

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11 Responses to “Mars Meets Venus: When Worlds Collide”

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I love that you included the “tool” discussion here!

What a wonderful entry. Of course it’s close to home because, well, it’s about meeting me, but I really like how you compared it to the journey a person takes when trying to meet someone through sites like Match.com. I completely agree that blogging is a better gauge for who a person is. If they’re willing to be vulnerable on their blog, you actually know personal things about them when you meet (unlike Match.com, where I think the vast majority of the entries talk about “likes and dislikes,” that kind of stuff–stuff that doesn’t really matter).

As you can read over at my blog, I had a great time. I thought your observations about the initial greeting were interesting. I calculate that kind of stuff. I thought it would be important to show Doug right from the start that I wasn’t a threat, so I gave him the due respect of shaking his hand first (this is similar to two male apes meeting in the wild for the first time). And then I shook your hand because, well, we had never met before! You seem like a huggy person, which is great, but I just thought a handshake was appropriate for the situation.

Anyway, it was great to meet the both of you, and I’m curious to hear your reaction to my entry.

Now, please elaborate on this ape theory, Jamey. I’ve never studied thier behavior. Are you calling me an ape? Should we have pounded our chests and roared?

Maybe :). But I think it worked out the way it did too :).

LOVE this! How cool that you met!

It really was a great experience!

Lauren-
I’ve been on match.com. Some of the people on there seem nice and sincere. I never looked at the women’s profiles, but most profiles of men contain a bunch of adjectives in the first few sentences. Like, “I’m loyal, honest, caring, funny, laid-back, etc.” Some men actually write something about themselves, but the majority “tell instead of show.”

I had two major turn-offs with on-line dating profiles: photos showing a shirtless man that weren’t taken at a beach or pool and poor grammar in the profile and/or email.

At least 90% of the profiles that came up in my searches had at least one topless picture. Of those, over half were taken while the guy was sitting in his living room or standing in his bathroom. Several had him making a muscle with his bicep – the camera was focused on the arm. Every time I saw one of those I had to roll my eyes and then hit the button for the next profile.

As for the grammar, I’m sorry, but if you’re in your late 30’s or early 40’s, there’s no reason you can’t write in complete sentences. I can’t tell you how many profiles had men writing without any punctuation at all, not even periods or commas. Or worse, adult men who use text-type when writing profiles or emails. Typing an email to me that says, “u r cute” will earn you an immediate “thanks, but no thanks” from me.

Sorry for the lengthy comment, but I had to reply to your mention of on-line dating.I tried it, but won’t do it again.

Wow! Photo of a guy making a bicep muscle? How on Earth did you pass that up!?!??? And I love that the guys would have their shirts off in the living room. Ha! Well, just imagine the type of women they must be trying to attract. It certainly isn’t you. I don’t blame you for steering clear. Thanks for sharing, and validating my fear of online dating. 🙂 (I will say, however, that I’ve heard great things about eHarmony. A couple that I am friends with met there, and I’m pretty sure they have found “the one.”)

Christa,

I think what you have to understand is that some of us simply don’t own shirts. I haven’t owned a shirt in years. Pants, yes, socks and boxers, yes; shirts, no. That’s why I’m topless in all photos.

(On a serious note, I don’t understand why men wouldn’t just post normal photos on sites like that. Although, it is a good filter for the type of guys you do/don’t want to date–do you want a guy who is self-obsessed with their muscles? Probably not.)

I wanted to share your dislike of the text-style writing in e-mails. That’s a HUGE turnoff for me. In texts and Twitter, they’re fair game (although I still avoid them). But “what r u doin 4 dinner?” Uh, not eating with you.

Great comments, both your and Lauren’s follow up.

Jamey, I think you just kind of thanked Christa for a comment on my blog! I’m telling Red.

Lauren, thanks for your comment. 😉 Don’t tell Red!


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