By Lisa Becker

You’ve heard of the movie Four Wedding and a Funeral?  Well, the story of how I met my husband online is Four Dates and a Wedding.  Those online dates yielded some valuable lessons, which I’m happy to share in order to help other online love seekers:

Date 1:  Justin

When I dipped my toe into the online dating pool, I was reeling from a bad breakup.  Too modest and emotionally-bruised to write glowing things about myself in my profile, I instead wrote what other people would say about me, such as my family and co-workers.  For example, I wrote, “My friends would say I’m fun, easy going and incredibly loyal, and my nephew would say I’m incredibly silly but sing a mean rendition of I’ve Been Working on the Railroad.”  I received dozens of generic emails reading, “You sound interesting and I think we would have a lot in common.”  It felt as though these men were carpet bombing the online dating site in the hopes of getting someone to respond.  Justin emailed me one simple line that captured my attention and heart: “I would say adorable.”  I was hooked!  While it didn’t work out in the long run, he was as sweet, charming and sincere as I had imagined he would be.

Lesson:  If it doesn’t sound as if he’s read your profile, he might not have.

Related: 3 Benefits of Meeting People Online

Date 2:  Pete

From his profile and our brief email exchanges, Pete sounded like fun.  He had three photos posted, and all of them seemed to be taken in a party setting where he was enjoying a cocktail. On our one and only dinner date, Pete’s true colors rang through.  Every story seemed to begin with, “My buddies and I were out drinking one night.”  I knew right away that he wasn’t the man for me.

Lesson:  Pay attention to the little details, as they can often be quite telling.

Related: How to Find Love Online with Non-Traditional Dating Sites

Date 3:  Eric

After receiving an email from someone and deciding I wanted to start an online conversation, I sent a series of questions to see if we would be compatible, such as the last book he read or the favorite part of his job.  I’m a huge fan of pop culture so I also asked questions to see if we would have fun bantering about various topics.  Eric and I seemed to be twins separated at birth.  We had so much in common that I was convinced he was perfect for me.   Unfortunately for me, after our lunch date, it became quite apparent that Eric was gay.  And to toss out a Seinfeld pop culture reference here: “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”  As lovely as he was and as much fun as we had together, I was convinced that once he came out of the closet, we would both be competing for the same man.

Lesson:  If he sounds too good to be true, he probably is.

Date 4:  Todd

Typically, I would avoid anyone who didn’t post a photo online because I heard that men who were married or in committed relationships would secretly troll the dating sites looking for hook ups.  Todd didn’t have a photo posted with his profile, but he was so charming via email that I decided to meet him anyway.  We planned to meet at a local restaurant.  Since I didn’t have a picture to reference, he gave me a description of himself.  It could not have been farther from the truth.  Fortunately, he knew what I looked like, so he was able to spot me in the crowded restaurant.  I don’t know if he was delusional or trying to be deceptive, but either way, it was a turn off.

Lesson:  If there’s no photo, proceed with caution.

Wedding:  Steve

Not long after my date with Todd, I had my first date with Steve, which turned out to be my last first date ever.  We’ve been happily married for 10 years, which in Los Angeles is apparently no small feat.  So, if it happened for me, there’s hope for anyone!

Lisa Becker had endured her share of hilarious and heinous cyber dates, many of which inspired Click: An Online Love Story and Double Click.  She is now happily married to a wonderful man she met online and lives in Manhattan Beach with him and their two daughters.