Love Online

…for the horsey set

In the late 1990’s, I was a happy, single 30-something, with a great job in the world of public libraries, wonderful friends and a busy life.  I travelled, owned two horses, spent time with friends and family, and started an equine photography business.  The only thing missing was a boyfriend/partner/husband.

Most of my friends were married or living with someone.  I wasn’t one to go to bars and, really, I was very happy being single.  Then a few co-workers began telling me their success stories of “love online”.  I was intrigued.  I enjoy working on my computer and am fascinated by the wealth of information available at the click of my mouse.  But love?

It took a while for me to warm to the idea but finally, persuaded by the healthy internet love matches surrounding me, I decided to give it a try.  Friends recommended a number of sites, but the extremely popular www.lavalife.com proved the most successful for me.  After less then a year online (and an average of 1 date per 4 to 6 weeks), I met Greg Henning, an animal-lover who enjoys the outdoors, reading and hockey.  Within no time we were dating exclusively, 2 ½ years after our first date, we got married, and 1 year after that he started learning how to ride and bought his first horse. 

However, finding love online is not easy.  It’s a time consuming pursuit requiring organization and, especially for women, a level of caution.  Before meeting my husband, Greg, I had received countless emails from male Ontarians in whom my Lavalife profile had sparked an interest.  I eventually went on approximately 8 dates.  All were decent guys.  None of the men I met were rude, overbearing or aggressive.  There just wasn’t a connection.   With Greg, the connection was instantaneous!

The same happened to Jerry Lee Sewell from Texas.  A lifelong horseman, former career soldier and Vietnam veteran, Jerry Lee decided to try the online dating scene.

“I generally found people online to be truthful, with some notable exceptions.  Some of my email dating experiences were funny and, sadly, some were pathetic.  Overall though, I found it a rewarding and worthwhile experience which allowed me to meet some really nice ladies and the special one who eventually became my bride.”

After four months of online dating, Jerry Lee came across a profile on www.equestriansingles.com  for Catherine, a retired nurse  and horsewoman.  The distance of 400 miles between their homes did not deter Jerry Lee.

“Our first date was at a sushi restaurant that she picked out.  That should have tipped her off right away about how serious I was ‘cause everyone knows real cowboys don’t (often) eat sushi!”

A little over 2 years after meeting online, Jerry Lee and Catherine married.  In fact, their marriage was the one thousandth successful nuptial started on equestriansingles.com.  Coincidentally, Jerry Lee was pictured on the cover of this very magazine several months ago (the March/April 06 issue)! 

Jerry Lee and Catherine now manage The Rock-C Ranch (http://www.rock-c-ranch.com/) in Rosanky, Texas.  Jerry Lee, who left the legal profession to become a full-time cowboy and horseman, also has his own business (www.humanehorsemanship.com).

“I highly recommend internet dating to folks who find themselves “out of the hunt” because of geography or whatever else might be in the way, including imagined terrors like age.” 

Dating Sites for the Horsey Set

www.equestriansingles.com  Over 1,000 of their online matches have married; 1.6 million hits per day; over 11 million page views per month; free sign-up, “Uniting horse enthusiasts around the world.”

www.farmersonly.com  An American-based site but does have listings for Canadian farmers seeking love online. “You don’t have to be a farmer to join FarmersOnly.com, but you do have to have the good old-fashioned traditional values of America’s Heartland.” – Jerry Miller, Founder

http://www.equestriancupid.com/  Free “guest membership” but full memberships involve a charge.  Promoted as a place to “…chat with friends, get news from the equestrian world, and meet up with like-minded singles.”

http://www.cowboydate.com/  American (with some Canadian postings) site.  Free registration.  For people looking for “…love, romance, a dancin’ partner or just a date.”

http://www.horseandcountrysingles.com/  American site for “…lovers of the equestrian lifestyle and countryside community.”  Free membership.

Online Dating Tips

  • Purchase a journal to keep track of responses you receive.  Unfortunately, some people aren’t truthful and this may help do some necessary weeding out.
  • When creating a profile be honest but not too revealing of your identity.
  • Create separate email and IM accounts to handle your online dating venture.
  • Take your time.  Exchange multiple emails, instant messages, phone calls etc. before arranging to meet.
  • Only meet in public places during daylight hours.  Let a friend or family member know of your arrangements.

Recommended Reads

The Rules for Online Dating: capturing the heart of Mr. Right in Cyberspace by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider
The Absolute Beginners Guide to Online Dating by Greg Holden
Online Dating for Dummies by Judith Silverstein
I Can’t Believe I’m Buying This Book: a commonsense guide to successful internet dating by Evan Marc Katz

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