Arts & Culture / Mosaic / February 23, 2011


For weeks past I’ve been writing this series of online dating articles under the name “Anonymous” because I was afraid of the reactions of people. It was safer to be anonymous. But this has been a time of confessions, in more ways than one. After finding someone I had so much in common with and actually liked on that dating site, we’ve started talking on the phone. I smiled when I first heard his voice. But I knew it was time to tell him I was writing about him. I was worried about how he’d react. Would he hate me for this?

Although we already knew we had so much in common, I had realized a startling coincidence. Last week we were IMing each other when I told him I realized that a music instructor of mine also works at his college. He told me he thought this was funny, that he knew we were all actors on a stage, but our roles seemed to be connected. I couldn’t describe just how glad I was to hear this from him.

Soon we began talking on the phone on Sunday. Hearing each others’ voices for the first time was an exciting experience. It didn’t take long to get comfortable with each other. We talked about school and joked around. I mentioned how, at dinner, I once ate a pickle dipped in a bowl of raspberry frozen yogurt partly to freak my friend out and partly because I was naturally curious about the result. He responded that he felt the need to try that combination now. I laughed.

In a few moments during our hour long conversation, I thought about telling him I was writing about him. From a previous conversation, he already knew I was a journalist but I didn’t tell him about my online dating articles. We ended our conversation without me telling him—but keeping this from him was killing me.

The next day we talked on the phone again. He suggested we interchange asking questions. After a few questions we found out that we both like the former TV show “Invader Zim,” have the same temperament, favorite color and animal. Joking, I asked, “What don’t we have in common?” He asked if I was a cat or dog person. I said I was a dog person. He said he was a cat person. We are doomed. (Just kidding…)

I knew this was the time to tell him. Near the end of our conversation, I was biting my lip, nervous about telling him—but I knew I had to do it. “He’s going to hate me,” I thought. I told him I wrote two articles about my experience online dating before I met him and that I wrote about him for the latest article but didn’t mention specific details. He said it was okay that I was writing about him because I was writing about my experience. I was absolutely shocked. I added that I had not mentioned his name in the articles, and he said it was okay, that I could mention his name. I continue to be surprised by him. Thanks, Aaron.

Sheena Leano

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