Love connection

We’ve already got entries for our short-story contest. There’s still plenty of time to write and send; click here for details.

Happy Valentine’s Day! It made sense to put out a Love Issue when people are in the mood, and this is one of the years when Feb. 14 falls on a Thursday, so here you go.

Since it’s too late to get a date, we figured we’d focus on couples already together—and helping them to stay that way. But if you’re flying solo, we have a bit of inspiration for you, too. Well-known pairs answered the old “How’d you meet?” question, telling some expected stories.

So many love connections are happy accidents—single today, dating tomorrow.

I’ve been told my wife and I “met cute.” Read along and judge for yourself. At the minimum, if you’re looking for love, you’ll figure out that if I can find it …

I was in a roller-coaster relationship off and on for a decade. Valentine’s Day ’04 brought one of our most intense, stupid fights; the make-up was great, but by April we’d broken up for good.

When the holidays came around, I knew I was in a good headspace for dating. But how to start? Riverside isn’t the hippest place for late-30s singles. You can’t just hang out at the museum hoping to meet someone—it’d look like you’re stalking the painting.

My “ah-ha!” moment came when my 50-something cousin—the lifelong bachelor—announced he’d proposed to his girlfriend, whom he met on the Internet. He’d run the gamut of sites:, eHarmony, Adult Friend Finder. He and she were an eHarmony success story, but Match required less paperwork, so I paid for a one-month membership as my new year’s resolution.

I didn’t want a long-distance romance. I’d learned the hard way that the intensity of feeling had better be proportional to the mileage, and that’s a tricky formula. So I set a search radius of 15 miles as I browsed profiles. I went on a date the second weekend, with a high school teacher who’s a foster mom, but we didn’t click.

The same faces kept popping up. “OK, you’re being myopic,” I told myself, and expanded the radius … to 20 miles.

Loma Linda University was 17 miles away, and up popped the profile of a second-year resident in the pediatrics program. We had a lot in common, but what really swayed me (apart from the flattering photos) was a line in Amy’s introduction: “I want someone who loves to love and loves to be loved.”

Now, this may seem sappy, but it’s actually significant. Many people crave power dynamics: dominance, for instance, or codependency. Here was someone who wanted an equal partnership, which is just what I wanted.

Just what I have.

I e-mailed; she e-mailed back. We went on our first date—Japanese dinner and a screening of Sideways—and we soon realized we’d made a match.

It took me all of three weeks. I didn’t bother renewing, and it turns out she wasn’t planning to, either, after her sixth month on the site. Timing is everything.

Be it kismet or coincidence, I made a love connection.

And if I can …