Online Dating Story: “She doesn’t have an ounce of bad in her body.”

Online daters: Ryan and Sharon

Ryan, 34: I was an airline pilot living in Las Vegas, and could basically commute anywhere, so I was looking at Yahoo! Personals profiles mostly on the West Coast. I’d been married before, and was looking for more of a friendship, I wasn’t looking to speed-date or anything like that. I saw Sharon’s profile, emailed her, and got a response pretty quickly.
This was soon after 9/11, so it was a crazy time for the airline industry. We started talking about our jobs, and she told me she’d been laid off. A week later, I lost my job. Going over our misery in the workplace, we had a lot more in common at that point. So we built a little connection there.
What stood out the most about Sharon — and I’m not trying to be superficial — was this photo of her where she had super-blond hair, a super tan, and her profile said “Slender blond seeking tall man.” I also saw one that looked like she was in Italy, and I thought, “Wow, this could be fun.” There were some things in her profile that were important to me, and that’s what prompted me to move forward.
We started emailing in early October, and right before Thanksgiving, I went on a cruise to South America with my parents. I called her before I left, and I emailed her the whole way down, on the ship, and at about every port of call. After I got back to the States, I was really looking forward to meeting her.
Not long afterward, I moved to Santa Rosa. I was working for a small wine sales company. We started talking on the phone. One night in February, I said “Do you want me to come down right now?” I showed up at her door at 9:15 p.m. on a Sunday night! My pitch to her was “I’d like to show you my photos of South America. I’ve got some great penguin shots to show you.” I knocked on the door, she opened it up and my first impression was, “You look younger than you are.”

“Sharon and I built a foundation of trust and friendship”

Sharon and I built a foundation of trust and friendship — we didn’t meet for four months. It wasn’t about meeting and immediately having lust. She’s a great person, super kind, and she doesn’t have an ounce of bad in her body. I saw these qualities and knew she’d be a great mother. But being that I’d only dated different kind of women than Sharon, it took me a while to learn to appreciate Sharon’s qualities; they’re qualities you look for a spouse.

I proposed to her on Dec. 22, 2006.

Sharon’s Story

Sharon, 36: I had just been laid off from work, so I had a lot of spare time and was bored. I bought a new computer and placed an ad on Yahoo! Personals. I had a professionally taken photo — I’m a graphic designer, so I had a good one made. Then, I listed all the specifics of what I was looking for: height range, preferred a college education, good manners — I don’t remember everything, but I had quite a few on there.
I got a ton of responses, but it almost seemed like they didn’t read my ad. And when Ryan responded, I wasn’t necessarily interested or attracted, but he seemed nice and the most normal and friendly. He was in Las Vegas and had a new job when he emailed me, but then he got laid off,

“so there we were, two laid-off people”

so there we were, two laid-off people. Eventually, he moved to Santa Rosa, and I was living in Napa. So we emailed each other more, and then we met.

Our first meeting wasn’t in public. He just came over, but I just felt comfortable with it. He brought all these pictures of a trip he’d gone on. A week later, we had dinner at Bouchon in Yountville, where he proposed four years later!
We were married in July 2007, and in September, we’re having a “Yahoo!” baby!

Online Dating Tips from Ryan and Sharon

  • Have a positive tone to your ad, instead of sounding like you have an axe to grind. No “Tired of playing games?”
  • Include as much information as you’re comfortable with and be specific — things like favorite movies, favorite foods, etc. Not things like “Walks on the beach.”
  • Take it slow, there’s no need to meet right away. But not too slow!
  • It’s OK to be picky.
  • Just be yourself, don’t try to be someone you’re not. If you’re not yourself, you’re going to attract the wrong kind of person.
  • Don’t be in a rush, and don’t be rude. Treat people like you’d want to be treated.
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    ~ by Rithy Pheath on 11/25/2009.

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