B.C. dentist Dr. Sandy Crocker has taken the phrase "follow your heart" to a whole new level.
The 34-year-old, originally from Prince Edward Island, has given himself four weeks to try to find a young Irish woman he bumped into at a café in the Irish countryside while on vacation last year.
“[She] was one of those people that I felt just wore their inside on the outside. When you looked at them you instantaneously knew that they were a good person without question,” the Kelowna dentist told “Good Morning America” Saturday morning from Belfast, Ireland, ABC
But there's a small problem: He doesn’t know her name or where she lives.
Crocker was in "An Teach Bia" café in the tiny west coast town of Ennistymon, County Clare on July 9, 2011, when he made brief eye contact with a "striking" woman in her mid to late twenties with reddish brown hair and freckles sitting a few tables away from where he and his brother sat.
At the time, he was too afraid to ask for her phone number.
It's understandable, under the circumstances. His "breath was taken away to the point of near suffocation" when he first laid his eyes on her, according to the National Post
But he did find a way to speak to her.
“We were on our way to the Cliffs of Moher that morning," he said. "She was eating and I didn’t want to interrupt her meal so I waited until I noticed her leaving and spoke to her. I asked her for directions to the Cliffs of Moher,” Crocker told Ireland's Clare People
It was only after this 5-foot-6 beauty wearing a sweater with blue jeans left his sight that he realized too late, that he might have just met the love of his life.
Moments later I realized "what a mistake I had made by not admitting my feelings."
"So we paid our bill quickly and myself and my brother started looking for her. We searched the town for an hour or two and couldn’t find her, so we went to the Cliffs but later that evening we came back and looked for her again for another two hours. But there was no trace of her.”
Instead, she left a trace, somewhere else.
"Later that night I pined my way though a High Kings concert thinking about the girl. After returning home to Canada and dealing with the passing of my grandfather and helping another ailing family member a year has passed but the vision of the girl has never left me," he wrote on his online dating profile at PlentyofFish.com (titled “Missing Person Please Help”).
“I went back to work and my life — but there was always a joke here or there from my brother about the Irish girl in Ennistymon," the Clare People news reported.
Crocker, who graduated from Dalhousie University in 2005, has practiced dentistry
in Cuba, Costa Rice and in aboriginal communities of Canada’s North. He currently works at Creekside Dental Clinic in Kelowna, where he also plays for the Kelowna Crows rugby team.
So he decided a few weeks ago to return to Ireland and spend a month trying to track her down. “She never left my mind, so I decided why not go back and try to find her?” he told the Irish Sun
this week. “Maybe it’s a shot in the dark, but if it is meant to be, if it’s fate, then I might bump into her walking down the street or in a shop somewhere.”
Contrary to what people may think, he insists he doesn’t fall in love easily. "I have never before been one to believe in love at first sight," he wrote online.
Now, when I met this lady I imagined proposing by a lake with rolling green hills in the back drop and getting married in some old castle."
"I hold out great hope that indeed I will find this angel."
If you have any suggestions as to how best to conduct such a search please help.
Sincerely, Lost Love
Have you seen her?
If you have any suggestions as to how best to conduct such a search please help
A little media attention never hurts. This story has garnered attention from media outlets not just in Canada, but in the United States, Africa, and the United Kingdom.
In addition to Irish radio stations and newspapers telling his story, Celtic bookies are even taking bets on Crocker's chances, The Toronto Star
“I think everybody’s quite shocked by it,” said Ciara Cummins, an account executive with Ladbrokes, a U.K. bookmaker, the Post reported. On Wednesday, Ladbrokes placed his odds of marrying the gal at 50 to 1, with a 4 to 5 chance she is already married.
“If she’s in her mid- to late-20s, and she’s a relatively attractive girl, she’s likely to be taken,” said Hayley O’Connor, a Ladbrokes spokesperson.
Crocker told the Clare People that if he discovers she’s married, he's prepared to deal with it.
“If I meet her again and it turns out she is married to a nice fella — the kind of guy who gives her a hug if she is crying before he asks her what’s wrong — then I don’t think I would have a problem with that.," he said.
Mixed reactions: Is it stalking?
Many in the world of social media are pulling for Crocker in his quest for love, especially those who have been there themselves.
"Why not go for it?" asked one commenter
. He goes on to share his story about how he met a girl at a party, lost her phone number and was depressed until he bumped into her weeks later.
"Married 28 years this Christmas season. She still thinks I'm nuts. I still think she's beautiful. We're both right," he wrote.
While there are a lot of hopeless romantics, others have described Crocker as a “stalker.”
"There must be a name for this behavior," one commenter said... oh yeah, "stalking".
“He’s not technically a stalker unless she wants no part of him — obsessive to be sure,” said Don Dutton, a domestic violence researcher at the University of British Columbia, according to the National Post
However, Irish women aren’t used to being aggressively pursued, which could score Crocker points.
“In Ireland, men, if they like you, they sort of tease you. They wouldn’t flatter you,” O’Connor said.
Kathryn Guthrie, an Ottawa marriage and family therapist agrees. "She might feel flattered and important to have had such an impact on someone,” she told the Post.
Did he find his angel?
Asked on “Good Morning America” what he would say if she happened to be watching the program
, Crocker said he’d tell her to “read all the nice words I wrote about her.”
“Forget about the media and whatever everybody else is trying to make it be,” he said. “What if I had said this tomorrow, yesterday a year ago? How would it make you feel? And if you think you want to contact me, I’d love to hear from you.”
As of Saturday, Crocker’s Plenty of Fish online
dating profile — (titled “Missing Person Please Help”) under the username “Travel-bug-4u” — had been taken down.
Did he find his angel? Stay tuned...
What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below!