I spent my days alone, fixing Web sites. I spent my nights wondering how escape from loneliness.
I joined the online dating community, during a free eHarmony weekend.
My eHarmony match knew all about horses. She worked nights, sleeping near pregnant horses, waiting for them to give birth. I enjoyed our second date, at the Woodland Arts Fair. I doubt that she agreed, because she did not show up for our third date. Her absence made me realize that we shared very few common interests. I decided that someone else answered my match’s eHarmony questions.
Are You Literate and Motivated?
I decided that common interests were less important than literacy and motivation. I wanted to meet a literate and motivated woman. We should be able to adapt to each other’s interests.
If you want diverse responses, advertise on Craig’s List. Too many prostitutes responded to my first advertisement. I received some tantalizing photos, but no valid responses. I received more relevant responses on my second advertisement, by specifying “ for outdoor activities.”
My weirdest response came from a married woman who claimed that she despised her husband. She included a link to her blog, and a fictional article about a woman who despises her husband. This married woman wanted to take me to bars, and introduce me to women who would want to sleep with me. I used my literacy and motivation to find her photo on a Facebook profile, which included many texts praising her husband.
My favorite response:
I don’t read much. But I like to write poetry while I watch TV.
Nevertheless, a woman in New York wanted to meet me. She even read my book. She was unperturbed when I told her that I wanted to move to Tampa. She said:
Leave now. Spend three days with me here. If we get along, we can live anywhere.
OK Cupid was the most interesting service. Literacy and motivation were required to answer and rate personality questions. I was able to read someone’s responses before sending her an invitation. My favorite match and I spoke a few times, but she was 300 miles away.
Dating apps are easier to use and abuse on an iPhone. I installed a few apps and created a few profiles to receive “Want to meet me?” notifications.
Plenty of Fish
I started with POF.com before switching to the app. Users upload a short message, and one or more photos. Sadly, there were few recent photos in my age group. Worse, some users included photos that were clearly from the previous century. Some women seemed to be anywhere from 25-70.
I searched for women who claimed to be 54 to 61 years old, and located within ten miles.
I found an awesome profile after I raised my age limit to 63. She was the woman who would never date me in college, forty years later. Her photos seemed genuine. I spent an hour writing a lengthy response. She replied:
I would love to meet you. But I want you to know that I might appear to be much older in person.
I lowered my age limit, and met Karen from my first search. Karen is literate and motivated. We are in love, married, and moving to Tampa with her teenaged daughter.