I am a single, well-educated, black, professional woman. In 1984 and 1985, the New York Magazine and Newsweek, respectively, both lamented that a single woman over the age of 35 had a better chance of being hit by lightening or abducted by terrorists than getting married. It’s an idea that took rule and we’ve never shaken it. Single educated, accomplished women were beginning to feel like American culture’s vestigial organ, like an 11th toe or appendix. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that we spend most of our time parked in front of a social media portal. I believe that we’re losing an essential people skill—the creation of intimacy via interaction with people.
In February 2009, I gave it a try. Yuck. My experience on this site reminded me of a gigantic, very poor-lit nightclub—everyone is lying, but there’s no way to fact-check. In the interests of pseudo-science, I actually went out on a few dates. After all, if I was fighting the substitution of intimacy and disconnection of the electronic age due to social connection and media, I had to avoid the e-lationship syndrome. An “e-lationship” is an interaction between two people that occurs entirely in cyberspace. An actual meeting is not an option.
Each of my “dates” was stranger and less honest than the one before it. I decided to go back to meeting men the old fashioned way—through introductions, meeting via common interests, or seeing someone attractive in a club, restaurant or supermarket. I have the same chances of meeting men who range from addicts to emotionally imbalanced to freaky to just plain boring without paying $44 per month for the privilege.
Prior to Valentine’s Day, I encourage you to think about love. If you’re fortunate enough to have sincere, romantic love, respect and treasure it. If you are like me, remember that you must love yourself first and foremost. You should also ignore the media reports that say we’ll find a unicorn before we’ll find stable, loving partners. There are other facets that define you, love is supposed to be the cherry on top. Marriage equality must never be forgotten until it’s the law of the land. Love 2.0 is unrelenting in that it should be about honesty, trust, passion and intimacy. Just in case they are right, I’m going unicorn hunting.