making services a popular trend for romance
The 80s singles bar has been firmly supplanted by online dating as the new venue for aspiring soul-mate seekers and one Rossland couple is living proof that romance in cyberspace can be out of this world.
Dave McVicker and Karen Harper met through Lavalife, an Internet dating service, but it was only after a series of failed dates with other would-be romancers that destiny finally brought them together.
Harper was living in Calgary but after many visits to Red Mountain and the friendly community, she decided to buy a house in Rossland in 2006.
“I wanted to be here (Rossland) so I rented the house in Calgary and decided to put my profile online saying I lived here where before it was Calgary,” she said.
Living in Nelson and busy with renovating his house, McVicker was just about to quit the online dating scene when he came across Harper’s profile.
“It came to a point where I just didn’t have time for this and my experiences with online dating hadn’t been stellar – it was pretty bizarre actually,” explained McVicker.
The social services program manager used a hidden profile, where users couldn’t see his information unless he contacted them. As a last-ditch-effort he introduced himself to Harper’s provocative profile.
She had since returned to Calgary and responded to her growing list of Lavalife inquiries, enduring 15 dates in the week prior to meeting McVicker.
“Breakfast, lunch, dinner – it was power dating but I couldn’t find somebody . . . I decided, I’ll have to go to the Kootenays to meet this man,” said Harper.
She contacted McVicker, they chatted online and on the phone and soon met for their first date.
They chose Rossland’s eclectic Firehall for their first meeting, “broke all the rules for first dates” and the rest they say is history.
The two were engaged in April 2007 and joined in holy “netrimony” September 2008.
A recent poll by Globescan indicates that up to 30 per cent of respondents say the Internet, whether it’s a dating service or a chat room, is a good place to meet a girlfriend or boyfriend.
Slightly more men, 33 per cent, than women, 27 per cent, think so, and while those between the ages of 18 and 24 are the most enthusiastic, 36 per cent, even those over 65, 23 per cent, find it a useful tool when searching for a partner.
While many people exaggerate personal qualities in their profiles, Harper says they are the same people that would probably lie about their age or marital status anywhere.
“You can tell pretty much right a way, when you read a profile and there’s a lot of spelling errors and grammatical errors and they say they have a master’s degree – I don’t think so. . . I don’t think it’s any different than perhaps meeting somebody offline,” she said.
While the medium of technology brought the couple together, it’s their natural chemistry that has cultivated a successful relationship.
“We share a lot of common interests, that was very evident right from the word go,” said McVicker. “We enjoy hiking together, enjoy skiing together, and enjoy just being together – we’re very good company for one another.”
Harper agrees, “He makes me laugh,” and that, as they say, is the best recipe for any marriage.