“I’ve always been a commitment phobe,” says Mary Marino, 55, a vivacious brunette who publishes a fashion website. “I’d had meaningful relationships, but I traveled a lot, and I tended not to get too involved.” That’s why Mary was still cruising solo when she hit the big five-o. But not anymore. Four years ago, Mary went online, and she clicked on a winner. This past September, she said yes to Larry Slous, 63, the man she’d met on the dating giant Match.com.
In the spring of 2006, Mary was running on empty. As the head of design for a retailer in Winnipeg, Canada, she was enduring a hellish commute from Brooklyn and a string of 60-hour-plus weeks. “I didn’t even know what day it was,” she recalls. Exhausted and fed up, she quit—and gave herself a gift. “I’d always been able to get jobs,” she says, “so I decided to take the summer off.” Encouraged by a neighbor who was meeting men galore on Match, she started surfing the site.