Editor’s note: For this February Valentine edition, longtime staff writer Colleen Slater reached out to several KP News readers who anonymously shared their experiences seeking companionship online.
I had been divorced a year when I decided to look for a friend and companion. Where and how was the big questions, plus figuring out who I was and what I wanted in another person. A couple set me up with a friend who was a great person but had been single for years and was comfortable in her singleness. So much for friends’ matchmaking.
I’m not a church or bar person, so it seemed my best hope for meeting the right person was online dating.
My first site was a free one. Yes, there were lots of choices and I met a few women but soon realized free brought everyone out of the woodwork, which seemed to mean that quality people were not there.
Next came a free trial with eHarmony, which delivered candidates from all over Washington—Long Beach to Bellingham. I was trying to stay within an hour of home. The response to my complaint was, “You can’t put a distance on love.”
Then I tried OurTime, paying about $75 for six months. I met 10 women over breakfast, lunch or coffee.
I wanted someone without a lot of baggage—pets or young children—who was financially secure and cleanly divorced, legally and emotionally. I was looking for compatible insanity, a term I made up to describe how we’re all a little nuts in our own way.
There seemed to be a lot of variation and vagueness in what women were looking for. My profile stated I liked being home, was not religious, did not want to spend my time dressing up and going out. I preferred boating and cooking at home. If they were religious, they expected me to be too. Some wanted marriage and others just wanted to move in.
Then I came across a fantastic woman who understood compatible insanity, was financially secure and didn’t want to marry or live together. We have been seeing each other about four years now. Once we retire, we may build a house and actually live together.
I went through a lot of searching to find her, but couldn’t be happier with the results.
Homeport First Date
David and I both chose to use online dating because neither of us enjoy the bar scene. It was easy to use and convenient. My sister frequently asked if I had met anyone and I said no. She replied, “Well, it’s not like you are really trying.” Believe me, online dating takes trying.
David and I met online in late January 2014 and married in June 2016. We used two different sites, Match.com and OurTime. To show interest in someone, you send a “flirt” note via email and see if they respond. David did not answer my first flirt but when he showed up again as a potential match (members are recycled), I sent another, partly because he lived on Key Peninsula. He thinks I would have kept trying but he’s wrong; my ego can only stand so much rejection.
Initially, we communicated only on the site, then moved to phone calls and finally met for coffee at Lulu’s Homeport in Home. Neither of us realized it then, but it was our Valentine’s Day together.
When you start online dating, you’re cautioned to meet in a public place, always use current pictures and be honest with your portrayal of yourself. Neither of us had any major negative experiences. David met with some dishonesty and I was disappointed when someone I “flirted” with didn’t respond, even though I thought we would have been a great match. A few men were too persistent and needed to be told more than once not to call again.
Don’t be discouraged; keep trying and be kind to yourself about the ones who don’t work out. When you finally find the right one, celebrate and enjoy what you get from “really trying.”
Nice Guy Loves Fireworks
I met Anthony on MySpace in 2005. I was a single mom trying to make it in the real world raising my son, working a full time job and going to school at Olympic College. We lived in Poulsbo.
A girl from school told me about meeting some guys using MySpace. She helped me create a profile and I met a few guys who just didn’t work out. Then I met Anthony. He was cute and polite, one of the only guys whose first question wasn’t, “Hey, you want to hook up?”
His first message: “Hey, did you think the fireworks and parades were all for you when you were growing up?” My birthday is on the Fourth of July. I responded, “You mean they’re not?” Seemed like an odd way to start a conversation until I checked his profile and found he was also a July 4 baby.
Anthony lived in Eatonville and worked in Tacoma. I had one picture of him, but I had a webcam so he knew what I looked like. About a month after we started chatting, I knew I wanted to go on a date with him, even though I thought originally it was crazy because we lived so far from each other.
Our first date was at the Olive Garden in Silverdale. I went to work on Monday and told my friend he was weird—he didn’t try to kiss me, he gave me a hug! She told me that’s what nice guys do and I definitely needed to pursue him.
He is a great nice guy. In October, we celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. I used to make fun of people who meet online, using computers. But we’re proof that it works.