Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mail order husband (Crazy people, do not come here from Google)

Raise your hand if you knew I met my husband online.


Raise your hand if that surprises you.


Raise your foot if someone in your immediate family or close circle of friends met their spouse online.

So why were you surprised it worked for me, too? Granted, I smell kind of funny, but the Internet isn't scratch-and-sniff so my odds were as good as anyone's, I guess.



Here's the thing. I didn't get married until I was 32 (well, two days shy of it, anyway) and it was totally due to lack of trying. I just was never into the idea of marrying young, probably because my parents were 27 and 26 when they married and never put any pressure on us to rush. Considering I'm the only who's married, they may have regretted that, but . . . that's another story.


I dated a ton. I'm not a troll. From the time I turned 16, I dated regularly, pretty much. (Do the math. That's A LOT of years of dating. This is why I'll NEVER run out of stories to tell. I can write books FOREVER.) But as I got older, it got harder. By my mid-twenties I settled into some longer term relationships (a year-ish) and then I'd get restless and do the single thing again. There are a million complicated but boring reasons for this. And by my late twenties, I was a single, full-time working mom (a fascinating story I'll probably never tell you), and if you think that makes dating hard, you're right. It makes marriage even harder.


But we're talking about dating. I lived in a large city (250,000 people) and we had 2.5 stakes (large LDS congregations there), but most of the single people were young and living at home with their parents. Guys in the late-20's range were either total players or divorced and battle-scarred. Finally, after trying more conventional dating (singles dances and blind dates) and realizing I didn't have a ton of choices in my area, I turned to the Internet. (This is why online dating is a fairly major plot point in all of my novels.) By then, online dating had lost its stigma as a refuge for the desperate. In fact, I'd already had two aunts and one uncle on different sides of my family marry someone they met through an online dating site. 


Besides, how can it be MORE embarrassing to say you're marrying someone you met online than someone you met in a bar?


It's way more embarrassing to say you met your husband in a bar. Especially if you're Mormon. (Okay, no lie, part of me wishes this is exactly what I got to say because it would be hilarious if it were true. To me. But my sense-of-humor ain't exactly right.)


I'm a total pragmatist. I figured I had very little time to date while caring for my son and an ill parent, not to mention throwing my heart and soul into teaching 8th grade. I didn't want to waste that little free time I did have on dates that weren't going to pan out. I had high hopes that the Internet dating thing would let me filter out creeps, weirdos, and flat out bad matches.


. . . 


Um, internet dating really is just your average singles dance, only online. Luckily, I have a fair amount of common sense and I patiently sorted through my options. I still had some wacky dates, but I had some really fun ones, too. And going the internet route DEFINITELY made it easier to find possibilities in southern California I would never have known about otherwise. And vice-versa.


I tried the online thing off and on for a couple of years as time allowed. And it was fine. But then life got crazy, and I had no time for boys. Only books. So I went looking for something to read. And that's when I found Kenny.


But this is already a long blog post so I'll tell you the rest of the story tomorrow. My publisher just asked me to write up an article on online dating because it's a major element in all of my books. The article is going to the Deseret News. If you've got some experience in online dating and wouldn't mind me hitting you up with a few questions, would you shoot me an email at writestuff.jacobson at gmail dot com? Or you can drop me a comment and I'll track you down that way if your email is enabled for return comments.


If you want to win a copy of my book, The List, where you get to see a unique spin on internet dating, then just leave a comment on this post. If you want to win some other cool stuff (a Huntington Surf and Sport sweatshirt or tee shirt, cool wooden jewelry, or an OC ramps shirt) then just go to this post and follow the easy directions. There's a few different ways you can enter, all of them simple.


Lastly but not leastly, Stephanie at Diapers and Divinity reviewed The List. I think I already know what she's going to say because she sent me a pretty in-depth email of her opinion a week or so ago. It was a fun conversation because I write very much out of her normal genre to read, so I was fascinated by her insights. But you'll have to go over there and see for yourself what she thought. And she's always thoughtful. That's what I love about that girl.


I'll be back tomorrow with the rest of the tale of how I went looking for a Friday night read and found a husband.

17 comments:

LisAway said...

Oh, I love your story! I mean this one, the blog post. But, of course I love the story that people are currently paying money for, too. :)

Can't wait for the next installment!

Kristina P. said...

Wait, have you ever told me this? I know I posted about meeting Adam on LDS Singles. Sadly, I was a troll and didn't date very much. But I met him two weeks after joining. And obviously, it was love at first sight for him.

Chantele Sedgwick said...

I had no idea you met your hubby through online dating. That is fascinating! I can't wait to hear the rest of the story! :)

Barbaloot said...

I didn't know either you or Kristina had met your husbands through online dating. I vascillate back and forth between doing it. Single guys in their late 20s are the bane of my existence these days...

Melinda said...

I know quite a lot of people who met their spouse online. Can't wait to hear the rest of the story!

p.s. I want to win your book. Desperately.

Susan said...

I wish I could help you with this, but I was one of those desperate people who wanted to get married. And I fell in love with my husband solely through letters. But there's nothing electronic about that. Good luck, and let us know when it gets published. That's awesome!

Tracy Loewer said...

Wait, I'm still laughing at your "I am not a troll" comment...

Annnnd...I'm done...

I think meeting people on the internet is a great way to expand your horizons (and your dating pool). I know many people who have met their spouse online first.

Kimberly said...

My husband's best friend met his wife online about twelve years ago. They are amazing together - such a great match.

I'm rather annoyed that this post isn't longer actually. Hope the next installment comes soonly, though an article for Desseret news takes precedence, of course. Congrats!

Collette said...

My sister, at age 31, decided to do a '31 dates in 31 days' where her friends and family set her up on a date each day for 31 days and she blogged about it.

(Basically she started her own online dating site where she was the only girl the boys could date. Brilliant!)

Through good old-fashioned fate (and my blog) she met Josh, date #31. They're getting married on Saturday.

I can't wait to read your book. Congratulations!

Sara Dias said...

I met my husband on line. I had previously been married (married at 20, a RM who was zone leader (so I thought I was set; boy was I wrong)had four kids). I was trying to finish off a Uni degree so I didn't have time to date. I met my soul-mate without even trying.I lived in Australia, he lived in California. We were able to cut through the rubbish without all the other hang-ups about dating.How many other dates could you go on with face cream on your face sitting in your PJs, laugh, talk and just be you? This was 13 years ago. We fell in love, married and have had 3 more children. How many other women can say; their soul-mate travel half-way around the world to be with them?

Anonymous said...

Hey Melanie its Aubrey Antis here, I love reading you blog and getting to know better. I'm excited about your new book and am wanting to read it! :)

Maggie said...

This blog post makes me see your manuscript in a whole other light! Thanks for sharing.

Hel said...

can't wait to read your book.

I'm not sure I've revealed that Dal and I met online. Over six years ago. I am finding it less and less embarrassing to tell people. Besides it's hard to explain a relationship between people from two different countries *without* involving the internet. I love finding out that someone else met online.

Karen Peterson said...

Oh, boy, do I have experiences with online dating.

Most of them have not gone well, although there are some good stories.

Christiane R. Woerner said...

Okay, so I didn't meet my husband online, but I fell in love with him via e-mail. He was smart, witty, and his "voice" just captured my heart. Someday, I'll scrapbook our initial e-mail exchanges because we became friends via a series of e-mails.

Amy said...

Melanie! Brother Jones met his wife, Barbara at a bar! Do you remember that story? It's one of my favorites because apparently he had long hair at the time.

I haven't read your blog, I don't think I even knew you had one, but what a perfect day to start. I loved reading about your experiences and about your love. Kenny sounds incredible.

Melanie, we are the same age, but reading about this small part of your life I get the feeling that I am watching you grow up! I just want to jump through the computer and give you a great big hug and tell you how proud I am of you! Thanks for sharing your life through your writings...

Loralee and the gang... said...

I was kinda thrown by the 2.5 stakes thing...but then, of course, cities in CA DO all run together, so that's not a big deal. I have a brother who married a girl he met online. They are in their 9th year of marriage, pregnant with their 4th. And I have a good friend who met her husband online. THAT's a kinda crazy story - but it's about how she became my friend thing, not so much about her internet-marriage. So, I would love to read your book! Hope I get a chance...