Dede (not her real name), who lives in Montgomery County, Md., thought she'd found him once. A mother of three, she divorced after 24 years of marriage."It was not my decision," Dede said. Of course, there's one sure-fire way of maximizing exposure to multiple potential partners, and that's by harnessing the power of the Internet.
Still, she said, "it was something that needed to happen."Dede had been out of the dating scene for a while. Dede is not of the age that typically uses online dating.
According to his profile, Mark, 58, was from Killeen, Texas, but currently living in Baltimore."I'm thinking Baltimore's not too far away," Dede said.
It's most prevalent among 25- to 34-year-olds, 22 percent of whom have used online dating sites or apps, according to the Pew Research Center."There's no stigma to it now," Dede said of online dating. She went on a few dates as a result, but found the experience somewhat disappointing."One guy was half an hour late and didn't even apologize," she said.
Others didn't look anything like their profile pictures.
She can imagine him sitting at the computer with a spreadsheet so he could keep the myriad details straight."He was so smooth," Dede said. He had to have gotten money from women before."Dede is glad he didn't get anything from her — and she even got 18 roses and a box of chocolates."He's out that money," she said with a laugh.
"It makes me feel good."Dede thinks online dating services should do more to screen out scammers, but she ignored many of the warnings that has on its site, including to be suspicious of anyone who asks to chat on an outside email or a messaging service, and to not share personal information such as phone numbers and addresses.
He responded, and they fell into a casual online conversation."He was very kind," Dede told me. In one, he was sliding an omelet off a pan into a plate held by a disabled soldier.
On Labor Day, Mark wrote about some of the things he enjoyed doing — swimming, golfing, camping — and lamented that he had to do them alone. He asked something else, too."You really seem like the busy type," Mark wrote. That could save us some time."And so Dede switched to text messaging, communicating back and forth via Yahoo Messenger with a man who increasingly seemed like he might be The One. No one was more excited about this than Dede, who had kept in touch with Mark, at his suggestion, via Yahoo Messenger.
The man in the photos knew that women all over the world were falling in love with him, and he wished he could do something to stop it.
The many imposters Despite being happily married for 13 years, Ray Chandler is one of the world's most eligible bachelors.
Well, give me your address, Mark said, so I can find a hotel near you.
During one of their Yahoo Messenger chats not long before he was due to return, Mark raised something a bit odd.
Dede let her membership lapse and then rejoined last summer.