Their world was turned upside down as she went from a full household to living with just her mom and seeing her dad a couple of times a week.
Eventually, though, the family started to heal, they all fell into a routine that worked for them, and my friend’s parents started thinking about dating again.
How narrow was my own existence, I thought then, and how it continued to narrow by the day.
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Meeting someone “IRL” — as, it turns out, they say — seemed unlikely at best. I haven’t met anyone I’ve liked enough, or who liked me enough, to cancel my accounts.
And so it was that, some four months into singledom, I gathered the courage to join Ok Cupid and head to a wine bar with Pete, a musician-turned-accountant whom I chose for his spectacularly anodyne profile. But I am nevertheless here to offer a defense of online dating, not necessarily as a tool for finding a partner — I have no idea if the internet will ever yield me true love — but rather as a world-enlarging enterprise, and a means of rebuilding one’s self in the wake of separation.
Now, over three years and seven dating apps later, I’ve gone out with 86 men and counting; I know because I keep a list that reads like free verse (“David the orphan … Yes, online dating can be deeply demoralizing, a parade of indignities that throws into relief not just our self-absorption and banality, but our nihilism too.
If I stumble upon one more man who seeks a “partner in crime,” one more “sapiosexual” or “entrepreneur,” I fear I will stomp on my phone.
And as for those ghosters, they have their purpose too.
For it wasn’t long after reading Cendrars in bed beside my sleeping spouse that I began to realize that I was slowly losing track of who I was and who I wasn’t, of what I believed and what I didn’t.
I hadn’t been single in nearly a decade; I didn’t even have Facebook, let alone a stockpile of profile pictures or an irrepressible texting game.