Blinded by science in the online dating game

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He swept me into his arms in the biggest bear hug ever afforded a stranger and swung me around like a tiny rag doll.

Tall, with ruffled silver hair, he had a casual elegance about him in sharp contrast to his gum chewing.

This year we celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary. It also required being braver than I had been before in my (younger) dating life.

Those blind dates were a valuable training ground, a sort of university for dating, and I was grateful for them. I asked questions I shied from previously, such as: Are you looking for a girlfriend or are you just looking for fun?

He was a homebody and would call and invite me to come over and watch a movie. Sometimes watching a movie at home was as close to feeling married as a divorced person can get.

Once, when I felt ill and had to cancel plans, he was furious. I understood why he was angry; Sundays are the hardest for the newly divorced.

I learned what clues to listen for — did he want to talk about his ex all night? I didn’t cross my fingers and keep quiet because I was afraid of seeming needy. When I looked at the date as an opportunity to learn something it made the experience much richer, even when it was clear we weren’t a match. Affairs chronicles the current dating scene in and around Los Angeles.

But most of all, those rehearsals helped me recognize a great match when I finally saw one. A.-based freelance writer and has published a novel, “Synchronized Breathing.” Her work has appeared in the Washington Post and Harpers If you have comments or a true story to tell, email us at [email protected]

He had been looking at his phone when he glanced up. By the end of the evening he was asking when he could see me again.

After my marriage ended I felt too raw to consider jumping into online dating.

At first I said no when friends offered to set me up, but when I found myself feeling lost on my child-free evenings, I started saying yes.

He gave me a mischievous wink as he closed my car door. Great lurches and sudden stops peppered the drive to the Little Door, which luckily was just a few blocks away. I was wondering what would become of the gum, which was still enjoying high rotation in his mouth as he sipped on Chardonnay.

Moments later a busboy presented us with a bread basket.

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