Be proactive, I told myself, the perfect guy isn't going to show up on your doorstep.
So I wore higher heels, darkened my eye liner, and didn’t mind much if the laundry shrunk my clothes a bit. I talked to strangers on the bus, at the post office, and in the laundromat. And, while it's often difficult to dissect religious beliefs over happy hour, I seemed to meet a lot of men while holding a cocktail.
Meredith, meanwhile, had gone on a few "JDates" with limited success: the men were always too short, too old, or too boring. She formed a platonic relationship with John, a fellow online dater with whom there was no romantic connection.
When she offered to set me up with him, it seemed perfect: I could reap the benefits of online dating without doing any of the work. Besides, as a casual dater, I thought it was my duty.
That I knew nothing about John didn't deter me.
We met at a lounge the following week. I had spent the past few days envisioning him (Meredith's mention of "good-looking" didn't conjure up a particular picture, and I didn’t really grill her.) So I was sure a white, Jewish Steve Urkel would walk in at any moment.
Perched at the bar, clutching my half-finished drink, I had my eyes trained on the back door, in case I had to make a quick exit. That’s how I almost missed John's entrance.
In fact, he was standing over me before I got a clear look at his face, and "good-looking" was an understatement: John was tall and gorgeous and smiling at me. By the time we got a table, I was enamored. We laughed into the morning.
He called me two days later, and we made plans for the following weekend. I was worried it had been a one-time attraction, fueled by alcohol and the pressure of living up to Meredith’s expectations of us both. But it wasn't. We had folded into each other before the night ended.
Now together for two years and counting, John and I share an apartment, expenses, and socks (the last by accident). Our single friends and co-workers are charmed by how we met ("The JDate of a JDate? Seriously? I've never even heard of that!").
I had, by accident, cheated the system. And what I learned along the way is that second-hand degree dating can result in first rate-success.