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It was now July, a few weeks since my date with Jim, the weed smoker who refused to split our dinner bill.I knew matching algorithms weren’t perfect, but I kept dating and decided not to cancel my memberships with e Harmony, Match.com, and JDate.I was intrigued enough to click through and read the rest of his profile. Mench Tastic would likely order a drink once he got here, and since I actually liked him I didn’t want to get accidentally drunk at the very beginning of the date.In his About Me section, Mench Tastic wrote, “I’m a journalist, which sometimes means long hours at work but always means I have fantastic stories to tell.” Looking at his profile, I thought that I might know his byline. I rifled through the piles of paper on my own desk looking for my mobile phone. Since it could happen so quickly, I usually didn’t realize I was drunk until something bad had already happened.In another shot, he was sitting at his desk at work, surrounded by stacks of newspapers, file folders, and paper. By now, the waitstaff and bartenders knew me by name.On his desk were a coffee mug and a pile of reporter’s notebooks along with two giant computer monitors. For the past few months, I’d been having drinks at Longshots with different men at least twice a week.Even so, we shared enough similarities in our personal and professional lives that it felt as if, even as strangers, we’d been a part of each other’s social circles for many years. It could take just one strong drink for accidentally drunk and unwittingly aggressive Amy to rear her ugly head, and the bartenders at Longshots were too unpredictable to entrust with this very important first meeting.I moused over his photo gallery and started clicking through. Drink in hand, I commandeered my usual position at Longshots: the overstuffed leather sofa in the back corner.
Even in the dim lighting, I could see that his olive skin had a healthy glow, as if he’d just been to the beach. Jay removed the messenger bag from his shoulder in one smooth movement and put it, along with his coat, next to my gigantic bag on the couch. He’d been on a deadline that day, working on a story about how a city councilwoman may have misappropriated campaign money for her own personal expenses.We weren’t quite finishing each other’s sentences, but I mirrored his enthusiasm and found myself thinking faster and grinning more. I can serve it with a few twists of orange peel to bring out the citrus notes.” What a shockingly different experience from my ill-fated date with Mr Jim1971, who wanted to be the know-it-all expert on food and wine during our insanely expensive meal.I’d moved in closer to him and hadn’t once thought about my laptop or email rating system. The waiter came by and asked if Jay wanted to order a drink. He wasn’t interested in taking recommendations or even in asking my opinion.After some trial and error and a lot of research and reverse-engineering, not only did Webb become the most “popular person online” but she also met her "Prince Charming," whom she eventually married and had a child with.She went on write about her experience with online dating in Data: A Love Story, which you can catch a humorous excerpt from on Slate.Thanks to TED Talks, you can learn about pretty much anything, from fashion to robots to every imaginable subject in between.You can even learn how to hack online dating websites in order to find your perfect match.While her family complained she was being “too picky”, Webb was busy crunching numbers and applying them to the algorithms used by online dating sites.Determined to find a “Jew-ish” man interested in visiting exotic places (among many a laundry list of other “must haves” and “deal breakers”), Webb was on a mission.He’d been using a digital camera to take photos but thought the scanner was a much smarter idea.As we talked, I noticed our voices overlapping and moving in cadence together. For that, I’d recommend double espresso, without any sugar if you’re able.