When I noticed, in July 2012, that I had 5,000 Facebook "friends," I decided some paring down was in order. "I'm cleaning house," I told my real friend Lisa. As I began wildly unfriending, a request popped up from someone I thought I knew. Okay, I thought. But you're the last one.

Two weeks later, Lisa wrote: "Who is this Kent guy in your feed? He's handsome. Look at all that floppy hair!"

"That's my former student," I said. "He's married to a man, I think."

"I don't think so," Lisa said. "He wrote 'Be still my heart' under that picture of you in a corset." Oh.

I clicked on Kent's page. Handsome was an understatement. He had big eyes and hands; long, strong legs; a fully fantastic head of hair. I wrote to him asking how we knew each other. "We don't," he said. He'd friended me because he had read an article I'd written. We had lunch. Then a very chaste date, at a Jimmy Cliff concert full of New Mexico hippies. Then a not-so-chaste date that ended at a campground.

The odds of us connecting outside social media were slim. There was the 20-year age difference and our geographic distance (I lived in Santa Fe; he in Madrid, New Mexico, a tiny town several miles south that, lifestyle-wise, was about as far from my city as you can imagine). But by the following July we were expecting our daughter, and when she was 9 months old, we got married. I didn't think happy endings existed, especially not those engineered by the Internet. Yet here I am, married to my soul mate, the truest, biggest, best love of my life. Thanks, Facebook.


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