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L.A. Affairs

What’s a nice girl like me doing in a place like this?

“I bet I like most of the same things you do. Except maybe petting tigers and jumping out of planes.”

I’m back on Bumble for the umpteenth time, and that’s the start of my profile.

For the uninitiated (like my parents, who I hope stop reading this when I get to the good stuff), many men post pictures alongside tigers or of skydiving, and I’ve heard most women (not me) include a sampling of duck faces and yoga poses.

It also seems that Los Angeles singles, in their entirety, have been to Machu Picchu. Congrats, everyone. With all the yoga and travel and parachutes, it’s a wonder any of us have time to date.

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To be fair, arranging a time to meet can be a true challenge. Thankfully, Tinder and Bumble and Match and OKCupid are stocked with single men and women (or those who claim to be), and you can usually find someone whose schedule complements your own.

Finding this common ground, even in blocks of time, is part of what makes online dating so attractive: It’s the verbal foreplay and virtual courtship that often precede anything face-to-face.

So here we are. We’ve both swiped right, and one of us has taken the leap and initiated conversation.

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Since women must be the first to reach out on Bumble, I have included the following in my Tinder profile: “I’ll write first on Bumble if you write first on Tinder. Deal?”

It’s worked with varying success, but let me say this of men who take the initiative and launch into correspondence: Los Angeles men know how to compliment a woman. They are charming. And funny. And I’ve received some amazing openings.

One of the best, by far, was just a link to the final few minutes of John Hughes’ “Sixteen Candles,” when Molly Ringwald’s character is left standing in front of the church and Jake Ryan is waiting for her across the street. “Me?” she mouths. “Yeah, you…” Cue Thompson Twins“If You Were Here.” Wow.

This guy really knew his thirtysomething audience. (And sorry Mark, or Mike, from Redondo. I hope all the men reading this find their own romantic and nostalgic YouTube link and don’t just copy yours. But it was that good.)

The rush from those initial texts with a handsome stranger is all too real and, if you’re like me, often ends with a letdown. It usually goes something like this:

James, 46

Los Angeles

(Bio includes something cute and quippy)

Right swipe, right swipe

Hey! You’re gorgeous :)

Thanks! Your pics are super cute :)

And we’re off! While I wait for James to pick up the reins and text something funny and clever, I begin planning our wedding.

Yes, James and I are getting married! I know it seems quick but it just feels right. He’s 46 and has an 8-year-old son. This couldn’t be more perfect. Our boys will be best friends! James and I will coordinate our schedules so we have the same kid-free weekends.

Those days will be spent exploring DTLA or visiting the Broad, followed by leisurely dinners at tucked-away restaurants. We’ll sleep in and start our lazy days with sex and mimosas. Heaven.

Kid weekends will revolve around baseball and soccer and birthday parties and, although hectic, we’ll be in it together and high-five each other, grateful we’ve found one another.

The wedding will be small, outside in our backyard with twinkle lights and the glow of a perfect L.A. sunset, with just our boys standing beside us and a few close friends cheering us on.

He’ll wear that khaki Brooks Brothers blazer from his third profile picture and I’ll be in that simple white dress I picked up last summer. … Hmmm. I can’t really wear a bra with that dress. I wonder if I should be in something a bit fancier? I guess it doesn’t really matter; James loves me for me, foibles and all. He won’t care what I’m wearing.

Ping!

James has sent you a message.

Hey! You’re so incredibly sexy. You looking for some fun? I can’t wait to see you naked.

And, letdown. But only sort of.

The best, and worst, part of online dating is the revolving door of potential relationships. It softens the blow when things go wrong but also hinders all of us from really working to make things go right.

In my case, James was looking for something fun and I was looking for something more, but I happen to know that there are at least a 100 single men between the ages of 42 and 54 within 12 miles of West Hollywood. And I know one of them is looking for something more too. In fact, I’m going out with one of them tonight.

The author is a writer living in Los Angeles, on Twitter @TypeA_Gypsy

L.A. Affairs chronicles the current dating scene in and around Los Angeles. If you have comments or a true story to tell, email us at LAAffairs@latimes.com.

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