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“My friends advised me to go online and try to find someone to share my life with,” she says via Skype.Firefly spent a lot of time on her profile, thinking she needed to be entirely honest and open if she hoped to really connect with someone.She decided to do a little research online and discovered that, yes, cholera is a problem in Ghana, and yes, treating it can be expensive — except that Ghana actually has a free cholera treatment program.“In that moment, something was not sounding right to me,” Firefly says. But she also realized something else: There were probably a lot of people, just like her, being victimized on dating sites, and Firefly was determined to do something about it.But soon after, she learned that the son had had an accident at school and needed help paying hospital bills — urgently.“Of course I was sending money again to Western Union,” Firefly says.Five years ago, an Austrian woman decided to give online dating a try.(She asked that I only use her internet handle, Firefly, for reasons that will soon become clear.) It had been about a year since Firefly got divorced.
But she had revealed to her new online beau how much she wanted children, and soon his 14-year-old son was emailing her.
It had been over two years since the death of her husband of 20 years; four, since she had lost her mother.
She filled out a questionnaire and carefully crafted her profile.
A short message sent on a Thursday evening in early December 2013, under the subject line: Match? She signed up for a six-month subscription to Match.com, the largest and one of the oldest dating services on the Web.
Now she was all by herself in a house secluded at the end of a long gravel driveway. At first, she just tiptoed around the many dating sites, window-shopping in this peculiar new marketplace. It wasn't until the fall that Amy was ready to dive in.
One day, scrolling through an online forum, she met Wayne Mays (not his real name) from the UK.