This is part of CNET's "It's Complicated" series about the role technology plays in our relationships.
By the time I'd met my husband in 2010, I had been dating online for nearly a decade. I had profiles on all the big sites: Match.com, eHarmony, Chemistry.com and, later, OkCupid. I was even selected by ABC's "20/20" for a TV special testing the matchmaking theories of biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, who claims people fall into one of four personality types, each drawn to a specific personality. Her research helped create online matchmaking site Chemistry.com.
For several dates, "20/20" followed me and someone I'd met at a staged Chemistry.com mixer. To cut to the chase, Fisher's theory didn't work for me. I knew by the end of my first date, which ended in an awkward kiss filmed by the camera crew, that we were anything but a perfect match.
Still, my years of online dating in the trenches of the New York City singles scene offered up some terrific stories to tell my married friends. There were the five "Johns" I dated at once. (Seriously, I was juggling dates with five guys all named John. I felt like I was in an episode of "Three's Company" or "The Brady Bunch.") There was Frankie Donuts, who claimed to have invented low-fat donuts. (I could tell we weren't compatible from his profile, but I had to hear the low-fat donut story.) And there was the Presbyterian minister who broke my heart after we'd dated for a few months.
I was 37, single and about to give up hope when a friend suggested -- no demanded -- I set up a profile on OkCupid, the only major online dating site I still hadn't tried. Her advice, "Make sure your profile is funny. Only people with funny profiles get attention."
So somewhere in my profile I called myself "the Carrie Bradshaw of tech journalism," a roundabout reference to my Ask Maggie advice column on CNET. This "Sex in the City" allusion offered enough of a clue to my identity for my future-husband to Google me before we met.
Like me, Mark was 37 and had been online dating for years. He'd never married, lived in New Jersey and worked in Manhattan. But he had sworn off dating New York women, saying such dates were always expensive and never led to anything meaningful.
Then he got an OkCupid message from me -- tech's Carrie Bradshaw. While he thought my profile pics were cute and my "about me" section witty, he didn't decide to go out with me until he'd tracked down a CNET video of me.
In that video, I am standing on a sweltering NYC street in late June 2010 interviewing people standing in line for the iPhone 4. One woman had flown to New York from Chicago, just to say she was getting that phone at the Apple "Cube" in Manhattan. There was the guy lamenting about Apple's troublesome online ordering.
And then the money shot: A bankerish/lawyerly looking guy in a suit who -- when asked why he was standing in 95 degree heat and 100 percent humidity at 7 a.m., said he was there because the new iPhone would be "4G."
Now to refresh your memory, the iPhone then was only available on AT&T, which had yet to roll out 4G LTE service. In the entire world, only a handful of smartphones supported 4G cellular networks, and the iPhone 4 was not one of them.
I then said, "You do realize that the iPhone 4 is not 4G. It's just the fourth-generation iPhone."
"Oh. (pause) I still think it's a good phone."
And there you have it. My husband tells me this exchange sealed the deal for him. He was impressed that I put this New Yorker cliche in his place. I guess you can say the rest is history.
Married less than two years after our first date, we now have two adorable toddlers and live in the suburbs far, far away from New York City. We'll celebrate our fifth anniversary later this year.
Thanks, OkCupid and Apple's legion of fans. Without you, I'd probably be sitting on a beanbag chair surrounded by eight cats in the closet I called my Manhattan apartment, swiping through Tinder.
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