Woman to Women
Ménage a Tech
Put the tech tools in sleep mode so the romance doesn’t crash
Dating used to be so simple and straightforward. And, yes, romantic! You’d be at a party and spot someone across the room. Your eyes would meet. You’d glide toward each other, exchange repartee and, after dancing the night away, head back to your place for a good old-fashioned kiss good night.
After a few dates, you’d get involved, become an item, and then move in together. It was just the two of you. The happy couple. Alone. Together.
No more. The world has changed, and so has dating. Today, when you date someone, it’s no longer just the two of you. Now, it’s a threesome… you, him and that all-intrusive technology. It’s a Ménage a Tech.
The Ménage a Tech is prevalent in every stage of dating. First, you try online dating. After perusing a gigabyte of singles, then e-mailing and IM-ing for weeks, you actually find someone you’d like to meet … and you arrange a date. Ah, romance is on the way!
You meet at Starbucks. Your eyes scan the people on their laptops until you spot a familiar face. It’s your virtual date waiting for you. And in reality, he even looks like his photo! Smiling, you walk to the table, remove your earbuds and exchange hellos. You like each other and make a date for Saturday night.
That’s when your Ménage a Tech escalates. Your date takes you to a romantic, candlelit restaurant. During dinner, his hand slips under the table. You shiver just thinking about him tenderly brushing your thigh. But alas, the touch never arrives. No. He’s texting! And checking e-mail on his BlackBerry!
Still, he’s such a hottie. So when he invites you back to his place, you accept. But once there, he doesn’t cuddle with you on the couch or snuggle in front of the fireplace – he plops you down in front of his computer to show you his favorite YouTube videos and his MySpace friends, and to check his eBay auctions.
After an hour of cyberplay, he finally gets romantic. Mmmm, it’s heaven. So you keep dating. There are more dinners, movies and picnics … always accompanied by his trove of technology tools. Your Ménage a Tech is in full swing.
Then, on your one-month anniversary, he surprises you with a beautifully wrapped gift – his and her iPods. Terrific! Now you can listen to music together – separately!
Next, you move in together – but evenings, instead of sharing a bottle of wine, reading poetry or taking an amorous bubble bath – you go to your individual computers. He has to back up some files, burn some CDs and download some upgrades. You have to upload some photos, publish your blog and post your podcast!
You’re living together, but you spend your nights facing the back of each other’s computer screens. Your romance is at an all-time high – lots of memorable evenings with Dell and Mac. Instead of love letters, there are e-cards; instead of moonlight walks, there are tours on Google Earth; and instead of passionate lovemaking, it’s Berry-interruptus!
As the relationship continues, you spend more and more time on your computers – and soon, you’re surreptitiously surfing Internet dating sites again! One night, you unwittingly “wink” at each other. Oops! You break up, and the cycle starts again.
Stop … please … don’t! Technology is wonderful, but it’s killing romance.
Here’s my recommendation: In addition to the hands-free law for cell phones while driving, I suggest a tech-free law for couples while dating. Turn off your phones, close your laptops and reboot your love life. And the next time someone answers the call of technology when you’re on a date – mute his ring tone, log him out and delete his hard drive.
Marilyn Anderson is the author of Never Kiss a Frog: A Girl’s Guide to Creatures from the Dating Swamp. Click here for her website.