It really saddens me that no one ever goes on blind dates anymore. We can check out almost anything–about almost anyone–with a click of the mouse. My FOF sister, Shelley, met her husband, in 1970, through a computer dating service. You filled out an application (no essays, psycho-babble and mindless questions about how many martinis you slurp in a 12-hour period) and some gargantuan computer spit out names and phone numbers of potential mates. Photos not included. When Shelley opened the door to greet Rusty for their first date, neither of them had the foggiest idea what the other looked like. That was part of the fun and mystery. Even if there weren’t an instant spark, they’d still go on the date and be forced to get to know one another. What a unique concept today: Getting to know someone.
Pages of photos on Facebook, essays on eHarmony, and countless other facts (and fiction) unearthed by Google don’t a person make. We are the sum of our parts and our faces and bodies are only parts of the picture. “One of our teachers told us that our generation is illiterate, but visual,” said a 26-year-old friend. Indeed, twenty and thirty somethings astound me when they look at one tiny photo and pronounce: “He/she is not my type!”
“You can decide whether someone is physically appealing to you by looking at his photo, but it won’t measure your attraction to him,” said Sara, FOF’s wise editor. Think about it: Have you ever met a stunning person who has nothing to say? B-O-R-I-N-G. You can look at a thing of beauty just so long. That’s why people don’t stand in front of a Degas or Monet painting, staring at it for hours on end. Conversely, someone whose photo doesn’t turn you on might captivate you with his wit, wisdom, charm, charisma and niceness.
If only we understood when we were young what matters most.