We chatted online for a couple hours and then exchanged phone numbers and he called right then. He took everything at MY pace and comfort level, always asking me if it was okay and respecting what ever I was comfortable with. Our first phone call was 8 hours long and at the end of it we had set up 3 dates, the first for the following day. After that phone call I texted my girl friend to tell her I believed I had just met my match. We talked the next day on the phone for 4 hours and only got off the phone so we could get ready for our date. He picked me up (something I never allow but knew in my heart was the chivalrous way I wanted our date to happen), he brought me a dozen peach roses, he waited on the sidewalk while I put the roses in some water before we left. He opened my doors (still does), was a complete gentleman (still is), we had dinner at El Toritos and then planned to see a movie. No movies were still showing (it was a Wednesday) so we went to Starbucks to sit and talk. It was closing soon too so after sharing with him my usual concerns and the trust I was bestowing, we decided to go to his home so we could keep talking. I KNOW I broke all the usual rules, that I had NEVER broken for anyone else, but I knew the day before that he was different. We talked (and kissed a little) until midnight at which time he brought me back home and walked me to my door. We both knew this was it and were exclusively dating after our first date. Two months later he moved in with me, and we've been together 2.5 years. We've both been married twice before so marriage is not in our immediate future, but we do talk about it. Right now we are both in the middle of career changes so that is our main priority. We definitely had growing pains and adjustments and it hasn't always been easy, but we are still very much in love and very happy. In fact, it's gotten much easier as time goes on and we are happier now than ever before.
Advice to other members:
Tips to share with your users from my experience....
Don't stay in email too long (I used to, to feel safer, but you should get a good gut feeling fairly soon, enough to at least talk on the phone or chat online). In other words at least interactively talk as soon as possible. Chemistry is much easier to determine with live interaction. Chemistry is undeniable, it's palpable and it's necessary for a passionate loving relationship.
Trust your gut and FOLLOW IT! If there are ANY red flags, listen to them. In the words of Maya Angelou "When people show/tell you who they are, believe them!"
Know what your deal breakers are up front. No matter how attractive a person might be, don't compromise. Those deal breakers WILL be a problem later, so avoid them now. Don't be so concerned with what you are looking for as much as what you clearly don't want. For instance, tall might be preferred, but non-smoker is a must. Determine if deal breakers are present but be open to other things you might have not considered. Love doesn't see height!
Be HONEST about yourself. They will find out soon enough and it's better to know if it will be a problem now, than after you have invested your heart or time into someone. Ladies, post CURRENT pictures and give your REAL age. There is someone looking for every age and every body type. Be real about who you are and know that for the right person, it's good enough. For the right person, it's exactly what they are looking for. There is nothing more uncomfortable than being unpleasantly shocked when you meet someone for the first time. It's much better for them to be more impressed as they meet you in person.