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I thanked him for the fun time and mumbled something about getting another match.

Curiously, there seemed to be a lot of women in the older age brackets (35 to 45 and 45-plus) and a lot of men in the youngest one.(Numbers from preregistration show that 45 percent of the participants were in the 35-to-45 bracket, while 35 percent were in my 18-to-35 bracket.) The crowd was buzzing with nervous excitement. Lift Date Number One* was a late-20s software engineer. We shared easy conversation about skiing and mountain towns, and eventually I asked him what type of climbing he did.Still, he was a good bit younger, only skied downhill at resorts, and was pretty religious (all cons in my book).At the end of a long ski run, I would have kept riding with him, but there was still the possibility of meeting someone even better.The man from Luvbyrd was pairing whoever seemed to be in his immediate line of sight within the same age group. ” When I said no, he looked at a tall guy standing three feet from me and asked, “Wanna go with her? As we headed to the lift, I explained that I’m not a skier who climbs—instead, I’m looking for a climber who skis, just like me. “Oh, mostly top roping and some bouldering,” he said. Much as I hate to admit it, I want a partner who climbs and skis better than I do—someone I have to keep up with.

I said this throughout the day, partly to be honest about what I was looking for, and partly to put a disclaimer out there about my mediocre skiing abilities. “I don’t go outside much because I don’t really have the gear.” Dammit. I rate my abilities in both pursuits as average, so I don’t think this is asking too much. Even though he seemed like a great guy, it was early in the day, and meeting someone more compatible seemed probable.Later, when I almost went down on a run but saved it at the last minute, he yelled across the slope, “Nice job, Alabama!” Not only had he remembered my home state, he already had a nickname for me—now I was the one grinning.Not to mention, in the aftermath of splitting from the person I thought I’d spend the rest of my life with at the age of 30, the very concept of dating seemed absurd.The closest I’d gotten to another living being in the past few months was spooning my dog every night.If I was going to get through a whirlwind day of dating on the chairlift, I’d need to stay faithful to at least a few nonnegotiables.