After watching another episode of "Dating in the Dark" tonight I got to thinking about how we make connections with people. In this case we're looking at (for those that haven't seen the show) three men and three women living in a house for what looks to be a weekend span, in completely separate wings of a large mansion. They all meet for a "group date" to start in the same room which is completely pitch black. They can talk and touch each other but can't see a thing. So they go on to have individual dates with whomever each other picks based on the initial "group date". Then they go on a date with whomever has been calculated to be their most compatible match.
Even though their first impression of each other is in the dark, they already form misconceptions of each other. It's up to the individual dates to help them decide whether or not they'd like to have that person "revealed" in the light. Once they make a choice they get to finally SEE each other. I love watching the reactions as their love interest is shown. Luckily they are each revealed one at a time, so they don't see the other's reaction. Most are positive, even if that other person doesn't fit in to the other's "type", because they've already made that "connection" by getting to know each other on a personal level first and not basing it all on that first look at the outer book cover if you will.
What I find really unfortunate about this whole show is that even if one of the guys/girls makes a real connection with the other, but then his/her appearance isn't that perfect vision they had built up in their mind, they can basically stand them up. It's not as if by showing up for the other person it means you're whisked off to your wedding. All it does is say, "Something about you intrigued me, and I'm interested in finding out more." Isn't that what a second date is all about?
I think the same idea applies to internet romance. Everyday people fall in love with someone they have never met. A lot of other people can't even imagine how that's possible. But when you peel back the curtain of having to physically appeal to the opposite sex FIRST and allow yourself the opportunity to get to know who that person is on a deeper level, so much is possible. The old saying of "You can't judge a book by it's cover" is very true and very wise. Not to mention that even if you don't feel lust at first sight, love is something pure and everlasting . . . looks are NOT. That perfect ideal woman or man in your mind doesn't exist, because I'll bet you never imagine your dream guy or dream woman as a senior citizen grabbing the early bird special down at Denny's. It's what is inside their soul that you should be idealizing, not what they look like. If you're fortunate enough to find that in someone, and you truly and honestly love them for who they are, not what they look like, count yourself very lucky. We all wear masks, but allowing those few people in existence to see beneath it is a rare and precious gift.