Friday, March 7, 2014

The Cute Meet is an Urban Myth

Do you like sweet, often sappy romantic movies filled with cute meets? What’s a cute meet, you may ask?  It’s an unlikely meeting under ordinary circumstances.  You’re running for a plane when you bump into him, scattering luggage. After he helps you gather the contents of your bag, you apologize and rush for the plane. Surprise! The two of you are on the same flight. He convinces your seatmate to switch seats.  The flight passes quickly as you discover how much you have in common, and then it segues into a movie-worthy romance and a beach wedding.

There are other settings where the cute meet happens, from the grocery store to standing in line at the local Starbucks where you get each other’s coffee by mistakes. This cute meet ends up being retold endlessly to jealous friends. It’s the start of a great romance.  

It’s nice in theory. Women are warned to constantly be dressed in their best clothes and full makeup because they might meet the perfect man while pumping gas or in the line at the post office.  I am guilty of doing this without any results. At first, I wondered what I was doing wrong. One online dating advisor told women to have coffee date cards with only their first name and a cell phone number for a disposable phone, just in case the number might need to be ditched if the guy turned out to be weird.

At the time, I wondered if I would want to go out with someone who required a ‘fake’ phone number. Withholding my last name because I was afraid of being stalked in the future seemed like a lot of work. So far, it didn’t sound like that great of a plan. Still, I persevered, smiling shyly at possible available men in the post office or at the bank as I waited in line. A few of them did carry on conversations with me, but none resulted in dates.

What was I doing wrong? It was winter and they were wearing gloves. I rationalized that they could have been wearing a hidden wedding ring since I was desperate to believe in the cute meet. The cute meet is an urban myth perpetuated by popular media via movies, songs, television shows and even commercials. It is one we like so we get more of it. Even people who talk about meeting a great guy at the grocery store may fudge a bit about how they met or how great the guy is.

It reminds me of the Sandra Bullock movie All About Steve, where she is set up on a blind date by her parents with a local weatherman. Her character obsesses on Steve, the Weather Guy, even to the point of following him around to initiate chance meetings. She has no real life, which allows her all this free time to plan these chance encounters. Steve isn’t as wonderful a guy as she thinks he is and her behavior is plain weird.

Are you going to hang out in public places in hopes of contriving a casual collision? I hope not, it never ends up like the movies.  This sells because people want to believe in the cute meet. Unfortunately, the cute meet desire may keep you from seeking out realistic ways of meeting people.

What are realistic ways?  Realistic ways are being part of clubs that meet on a regular basis, allowing your friends to fix you up, and engaging in online dating. It is certainly better than hanging out in the wine department of your local grocery hoping someone with possibilities might appear.


  1. In my experience, and in the experience of family members and friends, cute meets are a rarity indeed. I met my husband while we were working at Burger King together - and trust me, there is nothing cute about visors, hair nets, and oil-filled fryers. ;)


  2. Really interesting. I never thought about the whole disposable phone and only using your first name before. Doesn't seem like a bad idea.

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