*picture is unrelated to the story, it’s just cute 💞
For me, a lot of life has been about leaning in and choosing to risk, especially if there’s a possibility to yield an upgrade of some sort to my life. And that approach has included my dating life.
As I shared yesterday, Match.com used to be a source of a lot of joy & self exploration for me between 2004-2012. To have access to such a large selection of men and be able to select specific search criteria was a bizarre experience, but a true gift in getting me to wonder about what I was looking for in a partner.
In the late summer of 2005, after almost a year of exploring online dating, I noticed a Match.com feature that was new to me. The feature allowed me to see who had viewed my profile. It was a fascinating experience to have this new filter, so out of curiosity, I glanced at almost every man who had viewed me. I’d wonder about him, his every day life and wonder what about me made them click on my profile. Some men would look at my profile and wink, some would look and message me, and others would look and do nothing; and I found those men to be the most curious profiles, especially if I also found them attractive.
Yes this was a time consuming activity, but I justified it because I didn’t have much else going on at the time. Summer wasn’t a busy time yet at my day spa in Park City, so other than showing up for massage appointment, seeing friends and hanging out with my dog, I felt that showing up for finding a partner was a valuable use of my time.
I remember the night that I saw Jeremy from Durango, Colorado’s profile for the first time. I upstairs at home and was living in a 3 bedroom 2 story condo at the Canyons ski resort, which had been my dad’s transitional apartment the year before when he unexpectedly left my mom after 32 years of marriage. When I needed a place to live my dad had just moved in with his girlfriend, but agreed to keep this condo to have an office, which luckily gave me a home as well, with minimal rent for Park City. I’d recently shared with my dad that I was living with 5-8 strangers in a 3 bedroom house and had a lock on both the inside and outside of my bedroom, so I think he wanted to help, so hence the decision to move in with his girlfriend and open up his place.
My father had created major ripples in our family and small town when he both left my mom and filed for bankruptcy within 2 weeks of each other January of 2014. This went down just 2 months after I’d opened my spa, and at the time he was dating the manager of the hotel where my spa was first located. So I got to walk past this woman every day knowing her impact on my family and the pain my mother was in because of her. Sure it was a little awkward to share living & working space with my dad, but I was also incredibly grateful to be out of my dorm-like living arrangements. So that’s how I found myself living upstairs at this particular condo and surfing extended zip codes on Match.com for hours. I was welcoming any & all opportunities to launch myself from my current life & romantic circumstances.
When I clicked on who’s viewed me, Jeremy’s picture on his profile was him in a bike racing shirt and helmet, so I immediately felt intrigued and wanted to know more about him. I’d just spent the few months prior touring the country with some pro road bike teams, so bike racers felt oddly near and dear to my heart. But Jeremy didn’t wink or send me a message, he only just looked and took no action. I liked his look and his profile, especially since he was from Louisiana (I had family there) so I instantly reached out, winked and messaged him asking why no message to me? He responded instantly that he liked what he saw but he lived in Durango, and I was in Park City, and he was about to go to the east coast for a race and then Spain for the Fall to train, so there was no point in connecting. Sure, it didn’t make any sense for us to talk any further, but an hour later we were on the phone and talked for 3 hours. And that happened the next night as well.
At the end of our 2 conversations I felt like I’d known Jeremy a lot longer than a few hours, and I found myself feeling bummed that there really was little to no chance for us to meet due to geographic limitations and his racing and training schedule. So I stretched my imagination and wondered out loud to him about the possibility of me flying out to meet him for the first time in Vermont for his bike race. Yes, it was a wild thought, but he loved it. So within an hour I’d booked my plane ticket and a hotel room near the race site and I was about to depart on my first cross country Match.com first date.
More tomorrow, I’m over my time limit & word limit ❤️