The old “I’ve wrestled with my demons and won” line? How about a simple, “I’m a pretty hot colossal f**k up”?It’s always a little awkward when a potential date wants to “meet you for a drink.” Telling them you’re sober feels like confessing to some horrible chronic STD. In the morning when I arrived at my bank job, I would call him right away. to 6 p.m., and our conversations were a welcome respite from my monotonous routine. I'm not looking for a relationship; I was just trying to have some e-mail fun.""E-mail fun? But his e-mail felt emotionally honest, and despite his obvious issues, I liked him. Within weeks, we were talking every day; that quickly developed into an obsessive six to eight hours a day.When I found myself reverting to old behaviors, like flirting with strangers on dating sites, I stopped.
Then he'd found me—a woman he might want to have a real relationship with. "Please," he begged, "give me another chance." I hesitated. I'd planned to merely dip my toe in the water, but instead, I cannonballed right in.Being treated as my father's intellectual and emotional equal was heady stuff, and I'm guessing it was then that I developed a taste for the whispered intimacy of a forbidden nighttime chat.Over the next few months, my e-mails and calls with Jamie grew increasingly passionate.The mere sound of Jamie's voice made my heart thump wildly. He said he'd like nothing more than to meet me but admitted he still felt scared. "You might not be attracted to me." In hindsight, I should have cut and run right then.But I wanted badly to connect with someone, and the truth is, I shared some of his fears.I remember the first e-mail I received from Jamie; it wasn't exactly poetic. Looking back, it's hard to believe what that simple line would lead to. At the time, I was nearing 30 and working as a secretary at a big investment bank in New York City—not exactly the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. So I checked out his profile immediately, but wrote him off just as fast—he lived in the Midwest and, more importantly, hadn't posted a photo. He persisted and e-mailed a few snapshots, along with a note. But it was at night that our talks really picked up steam. Paul's reaction mirrored that of my friends, sisters, and parents, so I clammed up. I was working in a dead-end job, watching my friends get married one by one, and kissing my 20s good-bye, having apparently missed the "Saturn Return," that astrologically significant period that occurs between the ages of 28 and 30 and is supposed to be marked by accomplishment, power, and prestige.