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Sat, Jan. 25

Finding love can be like swimming with alligators

Personal ads for seeking a partner in the newspaper have gone by the wayside with the birth of online dating. (Adobe Images)

Personal ads for seeking a partner in the newspaper have gone by the wayside with the birth of online dating. (Adobe Images)

I have to say it has been many years since yours truly was "looking for love." Happy to say, I am no longer "out there." I think that with all the places now online that offer men and women from all over the place, the likelihood of finding the perfect partner may not even be possible.

I happen to know someone who has been giving it her best shot for a couple months now. In the old days, you might put an ad in the personal column of your local paper. Thinking perhaps that whomever saw and responded to your ad would probably live in the same area, at least. You might use a post office box to get your responses at, and wait patiently for Mr. or Mrs. Right to send you a letter.

Well, as we all know, finding love online has pretty much exploded these days. Along with it comes more crazy people than you could ever imagined.

If they start out with a photo on your phone of their privates, that could be a red flag. Unless that is what you are looking for.

You may notice that their picture looks at least 20 years younger or even older than they have stated. They may invite you for coffee right away, or take it slow and contact you just a bit each day.

Some will try to explain that they have an accent, and are embarrassed to call you just yet. But they send amazing notes that often appear to be scripted.

If you have watched even a single episode of Dr. Phil, you have probably seen the men and woman who are madly in love with someone they have never met. They may even have sent them thousands of dollars, just to show good faith.

Meeting people through social media can be extremely deceptive. It has become very easy to make up a person or just steal a picture and information that belongs to someone else. Sadly, it is often the most kind and generous people who are the easiest to fool. Often times they are lonely, and the phony will smother them with compliments and words of love they have not heard in a very long time.

So what does one do if they truly are looking for a legitimate relationship? Some folks have found love at their neighborhood bar, but that can often be short lived. Sometimes it is a chance meeting at a grocery store.

I know someone who found love at a meeting for those grieving a loss. Many years ago I met a delightful man at the grocery store near my house. Happens that he was a meat clerk (butcher.) I frequented that particular store on a regular basis. Eventually, he recognized me and followed me to the checkout one day.

I was quite taken back and flattered at the same time. We talked briefly and I ended up giving him my phone number. The next weekend, we made a date to go to a drive-in movie. I can't remember the name of the movie, but it was an evening I will never forget.

About halfway through the show, I happened to glance over to his side of the car. To my shock and disbelief, he had exposed himself! Never said a word, and I sure as heck never heard the sound of a ZIPPER!

But, alas, there it was. I glued my eyes back to the screen in front of us. I did not say a word as I realized how little I really knew this guy. I managed to keep my cool, and finally just had to say, "I don't like this movie much, I think I would like to just go home."

He obliged. I, of course, kept my eyes on the road the entire 20-minute drive. When we arrived at my door, I bolted out of the car. I told him I thought he was a disgusting pig, and he said, "Can I call you again?"

So, in closing, I have to say that there are no guarantees of what or whom you are hooking up with. If perhaps you have a close friend or family member who you trust to introduce you to someone, then that would probably be the best way to go.

If you are seriously looking for a partner to share your life, it may not be an easy task.

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