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Love at first
site: Will Sowers

Love at first
site: Will Sowers

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We asked Advocate readers to share their true stories of Internet dating and found out that going online was a great way to meet the love of your life. That is, if he or she wasn't lying to you.

Will Sowers, 23 (pictured at right) Residence: Charlottesville, Va. Relationship status: partnered, with Jake Smith

On the night of June 11, 2005, both of us logged on to Manhunt.net to check out the local scene. Neither of us knew exactly what we were looking for that night--maybe a date, maybe a friend, maybe a hookup. I was a police officer who was out to only a few friends and had just started dating after a short relationship. Jake was a closeted cadet in Air Force ROTC and had recently been in a short relationship with another guy.

Jake sent me a message, but only after I had stepped away from the computer. When I came back a couple of hours later and found the message, I instantly e-mailed him back with my screen name. (Jake had posted a hot shirtless photo.) Soon after, I received an instant message from him, beginning a five-hour conversation that lasted almost until sunrise. The next day Jake and I met up for lunch and then went on a hike.

We recently celebrated our one-year anniversary. Jake opted to leave the Air Force because of its discriminatory policies; we did not want to have to hide our relationship. I still work for the police department, and Jake works for a medical products firm. Jake and I have moved in together, have gotten a dog, and hope to get married. We are out to everyone and hope to work together this fall to defeat Virginia's bigoted marriage amendment.

We both comment constantly on the irony that we met on Manhunt, a site known for hookups and sex rather than committed relationships. But without Manhunt, neither Jake nor I would have found the happiness that we know today.

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