I was e-mailing with a tattooed polygamist, a successful author, an Israeli engineer and a professional comedian who sent me unsolicited nude selfies (rear view).
I got to mess around with a hot app developer 20 years my junior (even if I did have to pick him up at the BART station). I uploaded my professional photos and the messages start coming in.
“I originally really watched myself doing this crazy stuff and my partner reacting to me and me reacting to him,” she says.
“I told a friend about it and she about fell on the floor. I started talking about it to the patients here at The Meadows, where I have worked for years, and they [admitted], ‘I do that.’ It was stunning.
In 1970, I met my future husband, George Albert Hansen, at a pool party at his parents' house in Walnut Creek, CA. I was super stressed out by all the classes and exams, but George calmed me down. Like I was watching someone else interacting with these guys, saying clever things, nodding empathetically. But if I couldn’t sleep, I could always swipe right or left on Tinder. I was having adventures and figuring out public transit.
His mother and my father worked together as physicists at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. George was 11 with curly dark hair, brown eyes and a serious manner as he politely showed me his model train set. He’d drive up almost every Wednesday from Santa Clara, where he worked as a software engineer, just to have dinner with me. A gifted test taker, he coached me through the bar exam. We spent all our time together to the exclusion of others. Especially at night, when everybody else was home with their families. My life became a sick experiment in performance art dating. I was “getting out there,” the generic advice foisted upon the bereaved by those who do not want to spend time with them. Last November, I was dating four guys at once: a cowboy, a lawyer, a Tai chi instructor and an architect, plus I was still online.
Love addiction is a condition in which individuals do not fall in love with someone who will return their affection.
I got to enjoy the popularity I missed out on in high school. Since I’m an unemployed slacker with writer’s block, I'd answer them.
But it was all because I couldn’t deal with being alone after the death of my husband. The guys writing to me were also online, so they'd often answer really quickly, until I was having multiple flirty conversations. Since I’d never really dated in my formative years, my dates often seemed surreal. And if I did, I would probably be too sleep-deprived to recognize him.
I answered messages from anyone who seemed interesting and reached out to anyone who had “liked my profile” whose profile I also liked.
I was averaging about two dates a day three or four days a week for several months.