As it turns out, the guy was extraordinarily good on screen: exceptional job, history of charitable giving, obviously athletic, good-looking. (Yes, I image search. But I draw the line at Google Earth. When you know what his apartment building looks like, you have to cop to stalking.) So, I took a chance and responded with a flirty email, which led to more, flirtier emails and, eventually, brunch. In person, he was just as intelligent, kind-hearted, athletic, and handsome as my research indicated. He was funny, personable, interesting, and ... gay.
The good Google had failed to mention that. I walked away from the restaurant convinced that this was my final, cosmic punishment—what I deserved for taking an illegal shortcut on the road to Mr. Right.
Google is good for finding many things: the winning word for a knock-down, dragout game of Scrabble; the tax break that'll buy you a new couch; perfect shoes. But when it comes to finding The One, no one gets to click a mouse and discover a New Yorker-reading, pastry-baking, compliment-smothering husband. Whether you like it or not, the only way to discover the good stuff—common values, unbelievable chemistry, unstoppable laughter—is to engage in the endless cycle of expectation and disappointment known as dating.
Google may seem all-powerful, but it's simply no match for the oldest search of all.
Marnie Hanel is a former YourTango senior editor.
Do not google her.