I'm "Deb," the woman Toby mentioned in a previous post who was swimming in the really deep end of the dating pool thirteen years ago. That's when Matchmaker.com led me to my soulmate--and husband. Yes, potential partners really are "out there."
Dating for over a decade after my divorce, I'd tried everything (or so I thought): church, alumni groups, personal ads (remember them?), blind dates, intros by friends, volunteer work, and flirtatious encounters in the light bulb aisle at Home Depot (but no light bulbs came on; not even any sparks).
I'd pretty much accepted that if it happened, it would happen, and if it didn't, it wouldn't, and I'd be just fine either way. What other choice did I have? When I'd tell the men I dated that my elderly father lived with me and we were a package deal--take us or leave us, that my teenagers were in the middle of adolescent angst and associated crises, and that my dog was having extensive, expensive dental issues("You mean the German Shepherd that wouldn't let me in your house?"--YES, that one)my dates often left visible skid marks taking off! Like they didn't have any "challenges?" Sure.Then, one day, while reading a weekly newspaper published by my faith tradition, I saw this: "Christians seeking other Christians---try------.com" What the heck, I thought. Although the site delivered what it promised, the men were all over the country (together with some not yet "over” their marriages), and my budget simply didn't allow for a "quick bite to eat" with an interesting orthodontist in Ohio. BUT... on that site, other links popped up. I clicked on Matchmaker.com, and it was really at the deep end of the pool in 1999--not mainstream at all. I jumped in, and it changed my life.
Fearing my friends and family would think I'd lost my mind, I told nobody of my online adventure. I could hardly believe it myself. I screened many postings, and answered only five. Out of those five, one stood out, and was the only one I met. He not only stood out, but a year later stood with me at the altar. But, as he tells it, it almost didn't happen.After three months of emailing, sending romantic cards, and pen-palling, he asked a really crazy question: "Do you think we could talk on the phone sometime, or maybe even meet?" OMG, I thought, the moment of truth! Could I really do this? I wasn't so sure. Why ruin a perfectly fine online romance?
He was patient, however, and assured me that (in addition to the many things that we seemed to have in common) he had a high level security clearance, and that if we met in a public place like a restaurant, I could protect myself by having a cell phone handy, a knife and fork for defense, and I could disguise myself before entering to "check him out." If I didn't like what I saw, or simply changed my mind, I could leave and he'd understand completely. He did make me laugh (very important), but was this man for REAL???
Yes, he was. Real and wonderful.Given the lives we were leading at the time, there would have been NO way we would have met without either of us taking that leap of faith into the "deep end of the dating pool," and trusting our online "Yente."
OK, so it wasn't reminiscent of "Fiddler on the Roof," but it worked. He is a "good man." "A fine man." A man I never thought I'd meet let alone marry, but did. I am blessed.Matchmaker, matchmaker made me an electronic match.
Try risking that dive into the deep end. Life is short, and love is grand.Deb
Thanks, Deb. Readers, we'd love to hear your stories of dating adventures, misadventures or strategies for making the most of dating sites. Just post a comment or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We derive knowledge (and courage) from experience--our own and what we learn from someone else's life lessons. So let's share our strengths!