A few months ago, I shared my personal story about why I initially tried online dating and what the process was like for me. I shared how not making my photo available upfront resulted in frequent rejections early in the process and how I used eHarmony’s guided communication process to my advantage. As a result, 150 matches were reduced to about 10, and then there were two.
Two men: one in my city and one far, far away.
Mr. City was funny, handsome, ambitious, divorced, and still raising two young boys. Mr. Away was engaging, handsome, mysterious, never married, and without children. I should add that he traveled often to the states and was willing to relocate for the “right” person or at least that’s what his profile stated. You know how it is when you initially read someone’s profile? You want to believe the person is being honest, but only time reveals this for sure.
Mr. City communicated with me every day from the time I gave him my personal phone number and email address. In fact, before I knew it, we’d established a standing phone date every night at 9:30pm. This happened without us ever discussing it. He never stood me up and our conversations went longer and longer into the night as we discussed whatever occurred to us.
Mr. Away called every few days or so. It was challenging to figure out the best times to talk with the time difference and our different work schedules, but I didn’t hold this against him. I tried to have reasonable expectations. He began to talk about setting a date to come visit me. I thought it was a bit early for overseas travel to meet each other, but I went along with it. We discovered we both had family in the same state. So I figured it was feasible if we actually decided we wanted to see each other.
I let things proceed naturally, and two became one.
Communication continued with both men by phone and email. I spent less and less time responding and reaching out to other matches on eHarmony. I left my account open because you never know how things will end up, but I didn’t care as much about it. It was only a three month subscription anyway. I eventually found myself enjoying conversations with Mr. City more than Mr. Away. At this point, where they were located wasn’t a factor. We were still in the initial stage of getting to know each other and the plain simple fact was that my conversations with Mr. City became a high point, something I looked forward to everyday. I felt he had a genuine interest in me. If he was faking it, then his ability to keep it up day-after-day as our conversations grew longer, more varied, and more revealing would’ve been most impressive. I chose to believe his interest was real. On the other hand, my conversations with Mr. Away, while initially engaging, lacked the steady progression that I expected from a man who was supposed to be interested in having a relationship with me. Remember, he was all set to travel to the states to meet me. Things just didn’t match up to me. A couple of missed calls and non-replies to emails was all it took for Mr. Away to never contact me again. Luckily, my instincts about Mr. City proved to be correct. We made plans to see each other for the first time.
I’ll never forget the first time we met.
As the day of our first official, face-to-face date approached, I became very anxious. I was ready for it. I mean I felt excited, but I couldn’t calm myself at all. I mentioned my anxiousness during one of our phone dates about a week before the date. He suggested that we break the ice with a short meet and greet. He said it wouldn’t be our first real date. We’d just meet for coffee and chat for a few minutes—just long enough to get over the initial anxiety.
We met in the middle of the day in the middle of a nearby mall at Starbucks. I like to recall that I smiled with ease and that my skin was glowing as I walked towards him, but in reality my mouth was dry, my lips were covered with extra gloss, and my skin was shinny due to sweat. He was already seated and I recognized him right away from his profile picture. He looked exactly the same, which was a relief. He greeted me with a smile and a hug. I was still sweating and a little shaky, but this subsided once we began talking. It was just as easy as it had been over the phone. At some point, he excused himself for a few minutes. I sat waiting for a few minutes. Then, I felt a light touch on my right shoulder. When I turned to see who it was, he leaned in and kissed me. It was short, gentle, and on the lips. I honestly didn’t expect it. Nothing like this had ever happened to me before. It was shocking, but in a good way. Coffee turned into lunch. A couple of hours later, we parted with confirmed plans to have our first official date the following weekend…and as time moved on, our dating grew into a relationship.
It’s been six years since then, and we’re still together.
After a year of dating, we relocated together. A year later, we were married. It’s been a little over three years since our wedding day, and it still feels like we’re experiencing so much for the first time. For me, it’s an adventure with unexpected surprises, great challenges, and ordinary days with an extraordinary man.
Using an online dating service turned out to be just right for me.
What’s your story?