[Ed. note: Not everyone will meet their spouse on their first online date. But some people have, and will. This is the story of one of them.]
I met the woman I will marry in 4 months on a dating site. She was my first and only online date. I couldn’t be happier, but this outcome was the absolute last thing I wanted when I signed up.
I always thought I was better than online dating. I remember when it hit the mainstream in 2004 — I thought it was for people too shy or too inept to carry on a decent conversation face-to-face. No way would I ever, ever sign up.
Then, about three years ago, I went through an extreme dry spell in the lady department. It was a lonely, bitter summer that extended into a lonelier, even more bitter autumn. The handful of dates of that I miraculously landed all ended in disappointment, and every conversation I managed to strike up would derail tragically. I couldn’t understand what was going on. It drove me mad. Nothing about me had changed. Was I suddenly emitting a pheromone that members of the opposite sex found repellent?
I had to do something drastic, something radical, to come out of this slump. In a manic frenzy, I hit upon a solution: if I wasn’t doing well in the pros, I would get myself back in shape in the minor league. I was striking out talking to girls in bars, so I thought I would clean up on dating sites.
Days later, the man who never thought highly of online dating was eating his words, kosher-style, as the owner of a brand new J-Date account. But still brimming with arrogance (and hints of untargeted vengeance for all the rejections I had recently incurred), I concocted a devious plan. In the past, I’d never been a selfish jerk when it came to dating (though I’m sure with enough investigative research, you could find those who’d argue that point). I always tried to be honest, courteous, and respectful, even to girls I knew I didn’t want to see again. The idea of a one-and-done night, never to return phone calls or texts, seemed downright sociopathic.
But in this time of crises, the constitution behind my gentlemanly principles weakened. With online dating, I would relaunch myself. I would mold myself into one of those inconsiderate dicks women subsequently regretted ever going out with. I would get my mojo back by burning through dating site after site, free of any vestige of empathy. Why shouldn’t I have my time to be a player? It was a rough summer for me! Nice guys finish last!
So I activated my account, got myself set up, and within a day or so, a woman named Rachel and I had both viewed each other’s profiles. We had a web chat that lasted an hour. She was hilarious! And gorgeous! We set up a date for that coming Friday, and had one quick phone call beforehand to hear each other’s voice. She sounded alluring, and I was thrilled. Were all my countless dates going to be as amazing as this first one was shaping up to be?
Friday came, and Rachel and I met. She was sexy as hell and even funnier in person. She surpassed all my expectations. We had a blast. It was one of the best dates I’d ever been on, and immediately, she and I were jonesing for each other.
The next day, I thought to myself “Well, yeah, I had this devious master plan and all, but last night was fun. This woman is amazing. Why the hell wouldn’t I want to see her again?” I spent that weekend texting her so much that I completely forgot to log into my J-Date account and set up all those other dates I’d envisioned.
Tuesday night came, and Rachel and I met up again. And again on Friday. And again on Sunday. And again. And again. And again. At some point in the nonstop stream of “agains,” I fell in love with her. We moved in together. Now we’re engaged. Soon we’ll be married.
We deleted our J-Date accounts three weeks after that first date, but I don’t think I even logged in again after that first date. If I’d paid for the thing, I would have barely gotten my money’s worth.