When my mother was in her late teens, her Bronx neighborhood was a close-knit community and they wanted to keep it that way. There was a dating custom called “My Cousin, My Friend.”
It’s pretty self-explanatory: I could introduce my best friend to my cousin, and her cousin could introduce his friend to me. It was a convenient way to keep community ties and help family and friends find a good match.
Of course the world of dating has changed so drastically that the practice has gone in the way of the drive-in movie and the sock hop.
In my nostalgic moments, I mourn its loss. But then a thing occurred to me: online dating has developed in so many ways, is it possible to bring it full circle and make it more of an arranged practice?
A tight community has formed through CatholicMatch message boards, polls, and obviously the blog. People could—and do—get to know each other in much the same way my parents did back in the ’50s.
The women in the Pink Room were often making suggestions about which men seemed well-suited to their friends in the forum. Just like our friends introduce us to someone they think is a good fit.
I had a similar experience through the blog. A very nice young man made an incredibly insightful comment on my post. I contacted him to thank him, and we had a short discussion about my article.
I then thought of a very nice young lady that could possibly be well-suited to him. Since I’d come to know her through the message boards, I already had a good idea of what she was looking for as well.
Their correspondence lasted for quite some time, if I recall, but didn’t end up leading to anything. Still, the effort was well worth it and made all involved feel blessed from the kindness and generosity that is often demonstrated among CatholicMatch members.
I think that as Catholics, in the name of charity and community, we already have a tendency toward connecting people.
Perhaps you noticed someone in the forum, or someone’s comment on a poll or blog post that made you think of another member with whom they might be compatible.
Or maybe you want to put the word out that you’ve accurately described what type of person you’re looking for and would welcome suggestions of potential matches.
It stands to reason that we might not look at the profile of someone the same gender as us, but it’s another way of finding out about one of your online “friends” that you think would be a great catch.
Introducing friends—even online friends—is a great gesture, regardless of the outcome.
If you do get introduced to another member, and it works out, maybe we’ll read about your modern arranged marriage in the member stories!