People are looking for life-long relationships in the most peculiar places. There's the favourite haunt - the hotel. Here, the optimists imagine they're going to meet a partner who never drinks or swears, apparently having accidentally stumbled into the hotel while seeking directions to the nearest church.
Then there's the personal column in the newspaper where highly attractive, talented and desirable people who have tired of the attention and adulation they get from people who know them, are seeking to bring sunshine into the lives of the people who don't.
And, of course, the latest meeting place is the Internet. It seems that while unable to connect with the people who see them every day, the internet enthusiasts are convinced they can connect with those they can't.
Mind you, it's a lot easier to impress when your revelation of character is by writing only. All those irritating habits like scratching intimate body parts, loudly honking while blowing your nose, counting out five dollars' worth of coins at the grocery check out, and fighting with the waiter over the doneness of your meal, are all yet to be discovered.
Marriage in this age of the Internet, is a far cry from its original establishment. Once upon a time everyone knew his or her place in the society and accepted it. The parlour maid married the butler and the farmer married his neighbour's daughter. The marriage not only united the two people, but embraced a family and a way of life which was as well-known to them as their own.
There was no going on the "Oprah" or "Dr Dwyer" show crying, "I didn't know he was a drunk! Honest to God! Before we were married not a sip passed his lips. Then on our wedding day he took one drink, then another, then another, and six months later he's still sipping."
This sort of thing couldn't happen in the past. You could go back to your intended's great, great, great-grandfather. If there had been any proclivity to sipping, be it ever so slight, you'd know about it.
Did this make for a happier marriage?
Well, we all know whether we're happy or not has very little to do with out partner. Even in those days gone by, you could still covet your neighbour's wife or husband. You simply didn't have the excuse that you didn't know what you were getting when you married your own.
Vlady, an Australian Civil Marriage Celebrant, is an author of "The Complete Book of Australian Weddings", "The Small Organsiation Handbook" and an ebook "Honeymoon! A Sizzle or a Fizzle?" which you can see on her website http://www.vlady-celebrant.com
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