I just heard another online dating service success story. That makes… a million.

Okay, maybe not a million, but it seems that over the last few months, several happy couples (some of them married) have told me that they met online.

I remember when there was a certain stigma attached to online dating. We traditional daters knew that online daters must be lacking in some crucial way, no matter their justifications for tapping into technology. “I work so many hours,” they might say, “I don’t have time to meet anyone,” and though we smiled sympathetically, we were really scrutinizing them, trying to discern what exactly had made them so clearly undatable in the real world .

But not anymore. Online dating is common. And some really beautiful people are doing it. I know – they’re my friends. They’re normal and smart and charming, and they’re hopping online because… well, why waste time? Assuming everyone makes some attempt to be honest in their profiles, you can quickly see who syncs up with your lifestyle, interests, religion, ethnicity.

It certainly does streamline the process. I mean the whole first date – the one at which you ask the potential love of your life about his or her lifestyle, interests, religion and ethnicity – never has to happen. Skip it entirely, and quite possibly the second date, too. So you start on the third date. MUCH more comfortable.

The people I know who met on sites like eHarmony and Match.com seem happy. And shiny. Just like the commercials. And so sometimes, when I’m not railing against technology and hearkening back to a simpler time (that I’m pretty sure never existed), I think that maybe online dating is the smarter way to go. Like knowing the sex of your baby before it’s born, or reading Tolstoy on a Kindle. If we can, why shouldn’t we?

What do you think? Does technology take the romance out of dating, or does it just speed us effeciently along to our happy endings?

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