I’m a regular reader of Slate’s “Dear Prudence” column, and this week’s entry had the following exchange:
Q. Relationships: My boyfriend and I have been dating for two-and-a-half years and we’re likely getting married someday. I have been welcomed into his family as one of their own and my family is also happy for me. There’s just one problem. Recognizing that both of our families are pretty traditional and old-school, my boyfriend and I lied and told our parents that we met through friends. In reality, we met online. We aren’t ashamed about meeting online, it has become a norm with our peers and in urban communities. While the story of how we met isn’t a recurring topic that comes up, we realize that if we tie the knot someday, this is likely to come up again. Our friends know we met online and our families don’t. How should we break the truth?
A: By telling them the truth. When you are each with your own families, either separately or together, and the topic of marriage, etc., comes up, you say, “We need to correct a misimpression. We didn’t get fixed up by friends. We got fixed up by an algorithm that had excellent judgment. We met on an online dating site.” Let’s give your families enough credit to assume that they won’t get the vapors about this. And if they are all so traditional, then tradition would dictate they say something like, “We appreciate your telling us the real story. We will now be grateful to those little computer elves for doing such good work!”
What a shame that this couple felt like they had to lie. But then again, I know couples who met in real life but glossed over the details because it was at a seedy bar or through work or something else that could seem questionable. Heck, back when I met Grant via Craigslist in 2006, online dating was still a little weird and Craigslist REALLY raised some eyebrows!
Have any of you guys ever lied about how you met your significant other, when the truth was “online” for you too? What did you say instead?
And I’d be remiss not to point out that “online” and “through friends” can both be true. My buddies over at LikeBright intend to marry those two worlds, so to speak, by using your network of friends to help you meet people. Et voilà !