How did you connect with your current partner?
Because I met my partner of thirty eight years at work, my experience supports the research that has long claimed a majority of us meet in this way. But recently I began reflecting on the impact the Internet has had on mating rituals. How many contemporary novels have you read - or films have you seen - that address this shift? Does your experience with what popular culture is depicting strike you as proportionate to what seems to be happening? In my wholly unscientific and tiny sample, the number of people who connect with a partner via the Internet has overtaken the meet-at-work model. What does your recent anecdotal experience tell you?
Then, while still musing on this shift, I started reading "Ethan Frome", an Edith Wharton novella written in 1911, one hundred and five years ago. And that confluence propelled me into a mating rituals time machine. In Wharton's era, I'd guess people met their partners primarily in their hometowns or nearby, perhaps via church or introduced by family, friends, neighbors. At work? Less likely - women had not yet entered the workforce in big numbers. As the 20th century evolved and we became more mobile, geographical proximity became less crucial. Also, work came into play. Now the 21st century has brought the Internet into the mix in a big way. Care to join me in the time machine? How will people be connecting with partners one hundred and five years from now?