After enduring exhausting, emotionally draining relationships back to back, I had decided enough was enough. I was 38 and had been doing the L.A. dating thing for eight years after a broken engagement. You name it, I had dated it.
The guy who couldn't make a decision without checking in with mommy.
The guy who woke up drunk and urinated on the bedroom wall and inside the refrigerator, thinking they were the toilet.
The guy who pretended to be a lesbian online.
The lactose-intolerant guy who insisted on having ice cream every night.
The guy whose idea of a great second date was redeeming his coupon for free Baskin-Robbins. (Yes, different guy. What is it with men and ice cream?)
The guy who got really drunk, took off all his clothes and swung from trees.
The guy with a trunk full of porn and a fixation with my booty.
The gem of a guy who took me on a "surprise" date to the Commerce Casino, won $1,000 and then sent me to the ATM to withdraw $20 of my own money so he could teach me to play poker.
The tragic guy who told me on our first date that his father killed his mother and then committed suicide.
The ice-hockey-obsessed guy.
The wacko who left creepy phone messages full of heavy breathing and whispers on my phone. (When I confronted him about these messages, he acted as if he had no clue who left them, even though the voice was clearly his. He assured me that he would find the culprit and wring his neck, but his contrived attempt to be my knight in shining armor just caused more drama and stress — so much so that I ended up running to a doctor.)
Then, of course, there was the controlling, arrogant guy from Israel. The guy with a racist family. The gay guy. The guy who would rather park his car five blocks away than pay $2 for valet. The guy who referred to his car as his "wife."
The guy who loved his shoes (sneakers, specifically) more than he loved me and had a whole room in his house dedicated to them. (Imagine three walls lined with shoe boxes, from floor to ceiling.)
The guy who was born with an anatomical anomaly that is best left undescribed.
The guy who liked that I didn't trust him.
The guy who was part of a messy custody drama and refused to make time for me.
The clingy, needy, insecure guy.
The divorced guy who tried to buy his kids' love.
The guy who couldn't answer a question with a simple yes or no.
The guy with season tickets to the L.A. Kings. (If I wanted to see him, that's where I spent my Saturday nights.)
The paranoid guy.
The guy who made me feel like I was living in a Jerry Springer episode set in "The Twilight Zone."
This was just a sample. So, in December, when I was getting ready to go on what felt like my 300th first date (it very well might have been), I had zero expectations.
And that's when I met him. The male version of me. The man whom I seemed to have more in common with than anyone prior. We found each other on JDate.com, and our first date was at Iwata, a sushi restaurant in Sherman Oaks. He was sweet enough to call ahead and ask if the restaurant had gluten-free soy sauce, and when the answer was no, he brought a bottle for me.
Our date was easy and comfortable. He was sweet and thoughtful, a gentleman. He made me laugh a lot. There was a spark. We discovered that we both had quirks, and this just deepened our connection. I'm the woman who is always in her head, overanalyzing everything (sometimes to the point of obsessing). We learned we had that in common. Luckily, we don't obsess over the same things. I saw no red flags — not even a pink one.
We were so into each other that we didn't even notice Miley Cyrus walking into the restaurant.
After dinner, we went for hot chocolate at Mel's Drive-In and continued talking. We ended the night with a beautiful kiss and have been together ever since. The cynical side of me is saying not to jinx anything, but what the heck. I have a feeling about this one.
Robin Rosenaur is a synagogue facilities coordinator and a freelance writer in Los Angeles.