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I would hardly suggest I lead a life to rival Cendrars’ own (my two cats have seen to that), but I had adventures.And as for those ghosters, they have their purpose too.I could introduce you to men who believe in God and men who live in their cars; men who have slept with their sisters and others who have followed the Dead.And I could tell you so many stories, stories of poverty and privilege, of divorce and infidelity, of fatherhood, forgiveness and the foolhardiness of studying philosophy when you are the great-great-nephew of the great Ludwig Wittgenstein.If I stumble upon one more man who seeks a “partner in crime,” one more “sapiosexual” or “entrepreneur,” I fear I will stomp on my phone.Worse still are the car selfies and nephew pics; the weird proliferation of taco and pizza emojis; the men who take it upon themselves to tell you who You’d think that I’d be used to it by now, for I’ve been ghosted again and again, first by Marc after a spontaneous road trip to Montreal; then by Alex after what I thought was a fruitful 12th date; then by Chris after I had nursed him through an LSD trip; then by Ben after he had introduced me to his 10-year-old son.And so it was that, some four months into singledom, I gathered the courage to join Ok Cupid and head to a wine bar with Pete, a musician-turned-accountant whom I chose for his spectacularly anodyne profile. But I am nevertheless here to offer a defense of online dating, not necessarily as a tool for finding a partner — I have no idea if the internet will ever yield me true love — but rather as a world-enlarging enterprise, and a means of rebuilding one’s self in the wake of separation.Now, over three years and seven dating apps later, I’ve gone out with 86 men and counting; I know because I keep a list that reads like free verse (“David the orphan … Yes, online dating can be deeply demoralizing, a parade of indignities that throws into relief not just our self-absorption and banality, but our nihilism too.

That spectral ex-spouse of mine used to complain of what he called our “heteronormative” lifestyle, a term that made me roll my eyes though I knew just what he meant: Our lives had lost their capacity to surprise.But as much as I loved being married, I see now that dilution might provide a better metaphor.I think of old organic processes, of oceans tempered by rain, of mountains rent by wind and snow, when I think of my creeping disorientation as a wife, of how the self in wedlock can be worn away.But I was also a writer who worked from home, one whose closest friends were married with children.Meeting someone “IRL” — as, it turns out, they say — seemed unlikely at best. I haven’t met anyone I’ve liked enough, or who liked me enough, to cancel my accounts.

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