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Want to Find True Love Online?

Be open and authentic from the start.

My clever cubical-mate Greg and I were perusing a dating site at lunch, one of our favorite pastimes. He suggested I try simply looking at the gallery of photos of eligible gay women and choose a face that spoke to me. He pointed out that my current routine of pouring over the carefully edited profiles in search of perfectly crafted answers had proven futile. I was no closer to finding “my person.”

Following Greg’s youthful but sage advice, I proceeded to select a wide-smiled blond with bright hazel eyes and cavernous cheekbones. I “liked” her photo, knowing nothing else about her. She, in response, sent me the kindest, most personal note, I had ever received from someone whose first name I didn’t even know.

That warm September night, huddled close to our iphones, BJOY18 and JEANSANDPERFUME silently texted 233 times. BJOY made me laugh and intrigued me. She was charming and flirty and didn’t miss a beat. I sensed compassion and artistry. It was so exciting! But then, somewhere around text 124, something very, very scary happened. BJOY texted me the most frightening 4 words that I had ever seen strung together. She actually wrote, “WHAT ARE YOUR DREAMS?”

I went nuts. Seriously? How could she ask me that? That was private information, highly personal, sacrosanct. Besides, I had absolutely no idea what my dreams were. I certainly wasn’t in touch with the answer to that heavy question. I was so busy and raising a daughter. The highlight of my then current dream probably centered around having clean underwear for work the next morning! I knew that wasn’t the answer I wanted to share with this seemingly passionate and interesting woman. I was so guarded. I told her that I couldn’t share something as personal as my dreams over text, especially before we had even met. But BJOY was eager to talk about the real stuff before we even met.

I felt so intimidated by her direct pointed question that my heart closed up shop, and I aimed to keep the rest of the conversation “light.” The next day I emailed and told that I clearly wasn’t deep enough for her. I said I didn’t have answers to the serious questions she seemed prone to ask. I suggested we could be friends (I really was still curious about her!)  We arranged to talk on the phone the next evening.

The moment I heard her smooth, loving voice, I melted. She did have all of the attributes I had gleaned in her writing. BJOY completely came to life in person. She clarified that getting to hear about my dreams was like opening a wrapped present. And like a kid on Christmas morning, she couldn’t wait. What I immediately understood was that all through my search for love, I thought I was looking for the person with all the right answers. But what my heart really needed was the person who would ask me the right, and real questions. Someone who wanted to know me and would encourage me to reach for everything I wanted in life. I knew I was ready to share myself with this woman.  When someone asks you what your dreams are, don’t be afraid to answer- put it all out there. They just may be your person.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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