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After almost a year of searching and scouring every Website in Los Angeles for the perfect match, I had — I thought — finally found her: the One for Me. What's the harm in doing a little casual "people watching," right? And who doesn't wonder every now and then if maybe they could do a little better than their current mate? On the Internet, I had an actual catalog of available women, listed with their quirks, characteristics, and measurements.
That meant two full minutes until she came out — two full minutes for me to grab my computer, check my online dating profile, and — inevitably, guiltily — slam my laptop shut just as she snuggled up next to me on the sofa. Just days earlier I had been ready, even eager, to take my profile down for good.
While my husband spent most evenings catching up on the horse racing he'd recorded over the weekend, I began perusing chatrooms – not in pursuit of cybersex necessarily, but initially more for harmless flirtation, a little virtual attention.
OFM had it all: intelligence with a streak of creativity, the ability not just to hear but to listen, a searing sense of humor with a tang of sarcasm, and a really great rack. Finding someone better was no longer innocent curiosity; it was easy — and it became an obsession.
We started seeing each other regularly — quickly moving from making out in my car to doing much more in my bedroom — and talked on the phone every day. Except for this: I still checked my profile once, twice, three times a day. Yes, OFM listened, but what if someone else listened better?
I got to know – or as much as possible online – a couple of regular men, with whom I conducted tentative conversations that were thoughtful and sweet, and that only developed into something more suggestive after much respective vetting and, on my part, several glasses of red wine. That initial separation, I later learned, all but ensured I would never be able to successfully bond with her.
I'm in my mid-40s now, and our relationship remains every bit as complicated today.
I met all sorts of people, from all over the world, older and younger, and each seemingly as desperate for a true connection as I. Should I be blaming my mother, or my – mostly absent – father for feeling that something was eternally missing? I was born to a woman that didn't much want children, and who fell foul to postnatal depression a good couple of decades before the term was even coined.