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At the risk of recruiting your ridicule, I’ll confess: I met my boyfriend of the past six months through one of those semi-odious online dating sites. But in my defense, how else would a super-busy person find a partner outside her profession?
Here, too, I must ‘fess up: In spite of its ultimate success, the online dating experience was zero fun. In fact, the process was uncomfortably reminiscent of Benjamin Franklin’s famed quote on genius: “one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.” (Or humiliation, as the case may be.) Make no mistake: Online dating is hard work.
Which got me wondering: How can finding an Internet-sourced mate be so darn challenging compared to finding an animal companion via identical means?
I mean, it’s not as if there aren’t zillions of fish in the burgeoning sea of humanity. Indeed, there are far more men and women looking to pair up than there are pets seeking love in forever homes. So how can it be that online human-animal connection failures happen so infrequently relative to the average human-only experience?
Based on this imponderable notion, I set about to plumb the depths of this mystery — mostly by polling a small group of pet-friendly people who’d engaged in both online animal rescue and online dating. So it’s with a generous heart that I offer you these fine points to ponder as you embark on your own online adventures in love and companionship:
1. In general, humans consider online dating an ugly, inconvenient necessity.
Though all the people I polled admitted to having found long-term relationships online, they almost universally detested the process. “Like making sausage,” one quipped. “You really don’t want to know what it takes to make it, but the results are undeniably delicious.”
Can’t say I’d put it quite like that, but she has a point. I made venison sausage just last week, and it’ll take at least a couple of months before I’ll be able to forget the process long enough to stomach my own cooking. (Good thing it freezes well.)
2. By contrast, choosing a pet online can be fun. Lots of fun.
When selecting a pet, you have your pick of gorgeous winners in all categories. You’re not restricted by age, hair color, income or lifestyle choices. You’re free to choose any one you like before trying him on for size. And when you do meet your prospective companion in person, it’s almost always a magical moment, whether you choose to offer him a forever home... or not.
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