The couple who met over Facebook's Mafia Wars game offer some good dating advice.
Some enchanted evening, you may see a stranger, you may see a stranger across a crowded ... Facebook newsfeed? Meet John Sweeney and Joanne Doane, who found love while playing Mafia Wars. In a mob-themed ceremony held on September 17, John and Joanne officially became the first husband and wife to meet over Zynga's popular social networking game. While their courtship is a little unconventional, the happy couple shared some surprisingly practical insights on the search for love:
1. Love is open-minded. When they first met, John and Joanne were just two people who enjoyed online role-playing games. To say that neither person expected to find love over Mafia Wars might be a gross understatement, but despite meeting each other by pure chance, Joanne encourages people to consider Mafia Wars as a dating service if they meet a kindred spirit. The difference between meeting someone over Match.com and Mafia Wars is that that the latter lets users connect without the pressure of putting up a dateable front. "Social games and social sites are a better way to meet than a dating site as you have the opportunity to interact more and get to know each other first," she said.
2. Love is rooted in deep friendship. Before becoming romantic, John and Joanne stuck to being internet buddies. Over time, conversations about Mafia Wars grew into conversations about real life, which in turn helped them realize that they had a lot more in common than a preoccupation with the game.
3. Relationships can always benefit from a shared hobby. Fun activities, like biking or beer-tasting, may be a given in any relationship, but John and Joanne have pick up specific projects they can work on together. In between managing their Mafia Wars clan, they host a podcast covering Facebook and Zynga games.
4. Take it easy, online daters. Tell us the truth, online daters: how easy is it to conclude that the guy with an A+, 98 percent compatible-with-yours dating profile is your perfect man? John and Joanne hours playing and talking, but held off on the romance until they had gotten a feel for each other in person. "I knew we were becoming great friends as we played together," John said. "It wasn't until I finally met her and looked into her eyes that I knew she was the one I was looking for to complete my life." Awww.
John and Joanne's how-we-met story is a little weird, but we wish them the best. Now if you'll excuse us, we're going to reactivate our Words With Friends accounts in hope of meeting cute nerds over online Scrabble.