by Cara Bertoia
This is an updated version of the first newspaper article I got paid for!! Everyone always told me if I didn't quit being so picky I would end up alone and lonely. I mean if I couldn't find a man in Boston what was wrong with me? But I am a hopeless romantic so I waited until I found my prince charming, and I had to run away to sea to find him. What I really want to know - Is dating easier in the Internet age or does all this technology make finding a relationship harder?
I was sitting at a table in a restaurant last week, answering typical questions. Where did I go to school? What is my present job like? Where do I see myself in five years?
I congratulated myself on how well the interview was progressing, and then I had to remind myself that I was on a date.
In this world of fast foods, ATM machines and high speed cable, what could make more sense than the 45-minute date?
What is the 45-minute date? It's the sanctioned time to meet a person of the opposite sex at a sanctioned place. The place should be public, in case he or she exhibits psychotic tendencies, and should be open, in case someone needs to make a fast getaway.
Ladies, if he suggests you go Dutch, my advice is don't wait by the phone.
The purpose of this meeting is to decide if this is the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. At first blush, 45 might not seem like a long time to devote to this search. But professional daters have told me "that you know, you just know." Some theorize that "you know" within five minutes, but you stay the full 45 minutes.
How did the 45-minute date get to be so popular?
My own personal theory is that it started sometime after school.
Your college relationship breaks up or you get divorced, so you look around and realize you don't know anyone want to date.
There are several routes you can take to reach the same end. Some people turn to match.com or e-harmony, organizations designed to promote the 45-minute date.
A dental hygienist told me last week she goes on 45-minute dates all the time. She said it takes the same amount of time as cleaning teeth, and during brief interludes she pretends she's cleaning teeth. She also makes plans before or after because she has already put on mascara and doesn't want to waste a good outfit.
Of course, this is a two-way street. She once met a lawyer who spent the entire time looking at his Rolex. At the end of the date she was surprised that he didn't present her with a bill for the hour.
A guy who belonged to an internet dating site for a while said there were so many more women than men that he could have met someone new every day. He finally got tired of having the same conversation.
There lies the failure of the 45-minute date. It's impossible to make conversation, impress someone with your wit, look great and check them out all at the same time,
Remember the good old days, when you sighted someone on campus you were attracted to. You studied them for a few days, asked around and found out who they were. By the time a full-length date came around you usually felt somewhat comfortable. I even recall having fun. Fun, I believe, was the reason I used to date in the first place. (although it's been a long time so I can't honestly say for sure).
Can you meet your true love in three-quarters of an hour?
My second cousin is living proof that this method shouldn't be dismissed so lightly. She decided she wanted a doctor, and fifty dates later she met the right doctor.
A very attractive former boss of mine who was meeting all the wrong people went on the radio and asked for a nice Jewish girl, Well, a nice Jewish aunt heard him, called her niece and begged her to give it a try. I mean, what the hell, it was only 45 minutes - halfway between a sitcom and a drama. It worked out, and now the happy couple live in Queens.
The record though was a woman I saw on a national talk show. She went on 500 dates before she finally found HIM.
I love the advice you get from married friends. Date someone you work with. We all know what that leads to - you either get married or one of you has to quit. Date a friend of a friend. When it doesn't work out, there goes the friend.
What's the answer? Do you walk around with a sign that says "I'm single."
Okay, I'm exaggerating, but not by much. Face it, dating sucks. At least the 45 minute date doesn't discriminate.
My research tells me both sexes find dating awkward as hell, but I guess it will be around until someone comes up with a better idea - or hell freezes over.
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