Fly dove, sing sparrow, give me Cupid’s famous arrow

I read a wide variety of genres, but there’s at least one thing you can count on: If someone writes a memoir that touches on a life experience that intrigues me, I’ll read it. So when I heard about Amy Webb’s “Data, A Love Story,” I quickly requested it from my local library.

I’ll confess, I’ve read way too many dating books. When I was in college, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye,” “I Gave Dating a Chance,” “Lady in Waiting,” “When God Writes Your Love Story” and other such titles were the topic of the day. I read them all (and then some!), and I was left confused by their advice. Perhaps as an indirect result, I didn’t date much in college, even though those were prime years for meeting and getting to know lots of different people.

Other books I’ve read out of curiosity; often, if a book hits the zeitgeist, I’ll pick it up so I know what everyone is talking about. (No, I haven’t read “Twilight” or “50 Shades of Grey.”) So 2005 found me breezing through “He’s Just Not That Into You” and frequenting the often-pink-adorned 306 aisle in the library. That year also introduced Dr. Henry Cloud’s “How to Get a Date Worth Keeping,” and as I read it, I realized I needed to take some drastic steps to shake up my dating patterns (or lack thereof!).

So I signed up for

I used online dating sites on and off from 2005 to 2012, when I met my boyfriend on I never really thought I’d meet someone special on the Internet, even though “You’ve Got Mail” left me half-expecting an email from Mr. Right to show up at any minute.

I wrote an essay about the experience for Birmingham magazine, which ran in the February issue. I also finished reading “Data, A Love Story” this week, and as I closed the book, I fought the urge to get out of bed to email the author. I don’t think there’s a one-size-fits-all formula for finding a relationship, but online dating was good to me (and to Webb, also–from the early pages of her book, readers know she ultimately found her husband online. Her specific journey to that point is compelling, if at times intense. And heck, I can relate to being intense! She’s just math-focused, and I’m more of a liberal arts gal.).

Like Webb, I got to share my particular success story with readers. It’s probably the most personal piece I’ve ever seen in print, but the response I’ve received so far has been great. If you’re contemplating online dating or merely curious about it, I hope you find this useful.

As for me, I’ll spend Valentine’s Day counting my blessings with the man who I met through Internet.

I told a friend last week that I met my boyfriend on, and her reaction caught me by surprise: “It seems like that’s how everyone meets these days.”
Maybe I shouldn’t have been taken off guard; my boyfriend and I are one of three couples in our social circle who met through that online dating site. Murray and Shayne met in 2011, became engaged 10 months later and were married in May 2013. (You can read their story in the winter/spring issue of Birmingham Weddings and Celebrations.) Holly and Brad met in 2012, rented a house together in 2013 and became engaged six months later. And Put and I have been going strong since our first date on Sept. 3, 2012. –Read more “I Gave a Chance” at
Today’s subject line comes from “Gimme Gimme,” one of my favorite songs from the musical “Thoroughly Modern Millie.”


Filed under Autobiography, Love letters

4 Responses to Fly dove, sing sparrow, give me Cupid’s famous arrow

  1. Our stories are so similar, CJ! Just about every book you listed I’ve also read. I’ve got a similar track record with romance. didn’t fare as well for me, but I still tell people to at least give it a try. Also, have you watched Amy Webb’s TedTalk? It’s really interesting to hear story in her voice. I haven’t read her book yet, but I will definitely have to add it to the short list. Thanks for sharing your story and I am so happy was such a success for you!

    • I think you’d enjoy it! It’s a great book–very funny, but also incredibly informative. There are moments when I was like, “Whoa girl, chill.” But I get that intensity! I’ll definitely listen to her Ted talk. And thanks. I’m happy too. 🙂

  2. I’m so happy this worked for you. It was an absolute bust for me, but I started online dating back when it was still a bit “taboo”. Now everyone seems to be doing it!

    • Oh, it was definitely taboo when I started. (I even have friends who waited to tell family how they really met until after their wedding!) Please note that I first registered for in 2005 (before eHarmony even existed!), and I met Put in 2012. 🙂 I wasn’t on the site that entire time, but I definitely dabbled through the years.

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