But I wanted badly to connect with someone, and the truth is, I shared some of his fears.
Prior to Jamie, I'd dated a string of emotionally unavailable men, and I was terrified of repeating old patterns; the idea of getting to know someone slowly appealed to me. I was raised by a passionate, volatile father who alternated between exploding in anger and begging forgiveness.
She called me later, saying she'd shaken his wedding-ringless hand. "A little surprised to hear that you'd sent me, but otherwise just a nice, normal guy." That night, Jamie and I laughed about my deviousness, and he asked what else I needed him to do to prove he was who he said he was. We shared our deepest, most creative fantasies..of which involved an 18th-century doctor and the invention of the vibrator (let's just say embarrassment was never an issue).
"Nope," I said, "I'm satisfied." Then one night, he asked, "What are you wearing? Within six months, we were saying "I love you." I kept meaning to ask when we were going to meet in person, but I also kept putting it off.
He said he'd joined determined to overcome his intimacy fears but hadn't been moved by any of the women he'd met. I want to hear your voice." He called me that night, and was even smarter and funnier on the phone.
It took a year-and-a-half to turn that lightbulb moment into Friendship DNA.com, which launched in May and follows the same model as many dating sites and relies on psychometrics, or the science behind assessing personality, to match people.
Ilona Jerbabek, a personality-testing expert, devised the questionnaire for the site to determine users’ personality type, traits, communication style and personal values and beliefs.
"Ever since my father died, I've been terrified to get too close to anyone..." The e-mail was long and apologetic, full of searing self-criticism and shamefaced confessions.
The mere sound of Jamie's voice made my heart thump wildly. He said he'd like nothing more than to meet me but admitted he still felt scared. "You might not be attracted to me." In hindsight, I should have cut and run right then.