Perfect spouses can’t be ordered with specified traits
Rob Reiner’s classic film, When Harry Met Sally, is the story of (spoiler alert) when Harry met Sally.
Some couples met overseas during the Second World War.
Some met at high school dances. Some met when playing for competing teams.
Many met at work or at church. Few met while piloting a gondola — even
though it sounds romantic, those things are a bugger to steer and take
a lot of concentration to navigate.
How did you meet your spouse?
I actually saw Brooke many times before we were introduced. Our family
sat behind theirs in Handel church when we missed mass in Landis. Since
we were only four and six years old at the time, it is no surprise there
was no great initial spark.
We met again when Brooke drove to our school for driver training.
So where is a young (or middle-aged or old) individual to go in search
of lifelong love? Well, you go the same place you go to buy a pair of
cougar-print rubber boots, an autographed baseball card or a new foil
for your electric shaver: the Internet.
Dating websites like Catholic Match, eHarmony, Match.com, ChristianMingle,
LavaLife, Zoosk and many others have introduced millions of people to
a first date, which, in some cases, have led to a marriage.
In many ways, this is not much different from when single farmers, who
did not have access to a wide swath of ladies to choose from locally,
turned to the Home Loving Hearts section of the Western Producer.
This is not always the case with online dating.
Many of my friends have shared their initial excitement about going to a dating website and entering their personal data (age, weight, height, income, sexual preferences, income, past diseases, pets, education . . .) and then entering the data about their “dream companion.” They mostly admit to a naiveté about the whole process — the neophyte’s hope that their Romeo or Juliet is just a click away.
Online dating is a double-edged tool. While these dating websites open
you to a plethora of companions you may never have been able to meet
by chance, they have the shadow temptation to turn the search for a life
partner into the search for a truly elusive perfect partner.
One friend shared how many women seemed interested in him
online when he first signed up. He was a single, healthy, wealthy, funny,
attractive, well-built lawyer with no children or debt. Women were wooed
in the beginning — until
they asked how tall he was. When he replied “5 foot, 8 inches” many
women ceased communication simply because he did not meet their height
His now wife of two years can only smile and say, “Their
Online dating is and will continue to be a legitimate forum whereby people
seek a future spouse. Those who enter into this cyber world of choice,
though, need to heed the experience of the many who married before them:
the perfect spouse is not a shopping list of attributes and traits. The
perfect spouse is one who loves the perfect in us, forgives the sins
of us and puts up with the rest of our frailties and shortcomings.
All of our love stories are important and real vignettes in a much larger love story: a love story played out through creation, crucifixion, resurrection and the labour we give every day to our family and community.
Sittler and his wife Brooke have three children. He is the acting director of Pastoral Services for the Diocese of Saskatoon and sits on the Marriage Task Force and the Retrouvaille board of directors. He welcomes feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org