Three years ago, if you asked me whether I thought it was a good idea to leave my first steady job to move an hour south for a man, chances are I’d say no. After all, I had just graduated from college and experienced a bad breakup.
To be honest, I didn’t want anything to do with relationships, and quite frankly, I was comfortable in my career. I also wanted to live near my family in the event I might need them.
A mere 22 years old, I had no idea what my future held.
Since that time, I’ve had a few short-term relationships, including one with a man I’d known in high school. A few others I met at a bar or through mutual friends.
But the relationships only seemed to last a few months, partly due to age difference. It’s also safe to say there was simply no connection with those guys. Or maybe it’s that I forgot how to be a girlfriend.
Long story short, my heart had just been torn into a million pieces by my so-called “high school sweetheart” who I spent more than a solid five years with. I will spare you the gut-wrenching, heart-rending details, but that breakup essentially ruined me. Any thought of getting into a serious relationship made my stomach turn.
That was where my head (and heart) were until 2013 – the year I decided to try online dating. I set up a “dater card profile” through a mobile app called “Let’s Date” that is basically like the newest fad, Tinder. By logging in with Facebook, it automatically pulled any relevant data needed to get me started.
It was then up to me to decide what else I’d include on my dater card, which asks users basic questions, such as their hobbies, whether they have tattoos, and on a scale of 1 to 10, how much alcohol they drink.
Though I’d never imagined myself online dating, I figured, what did I have to lose?
It only took about three minutes to create. The way it works is that date-seekers receive a notification that someone clicked “Let’s Date” on their dater card, but it remains anonymous. The dater card is then moved to the front of the other person’s feed. If that person also clicks “Let’s Date” on the dater card, it’s a match.
And that’s how I met my current boyfriend.
Yes, folks, I met the love of my life on a superficial, super-judgmental dating phone application that markets to 20- and 30-somethings looking for a casual hookup. But for Dan and I, it meant much more than that.
In January, we began chatting through email, and a little by phone, of course, only revealing minimal information (since there was no real proof that he wasn’t a stalker). A few weeks later, however, we met in person, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Let me tell you about our first date.
Dan insisted on driving to Poland, where I lived at the time, to take me out to dinner. My favorite part was when Dan, well dressed and well groomed, got out of his car to greet me.
He handed me a single red rose and gave me great big bear hug I will always remember. Though some would argue that the hug was too soon, he was a perfect gentleman, and luckily, was the same man I’d met through the online dating service.
By the time the date ended, it felt like we had known each other for years.
But it wasn’t just any first date. It was the best – and probably the last – first date of my life. After dinner, both my stomach and my heart were full. Not only was Dan charming, but also funny, thoughtful and respectful.
Fast-forward about five months when Dan and I became roommates. We officially began dating that February and moved in together that June.
Some two years later, we are still living together, and just like any couple, we’ve had our fair share of ups and downs. But what’s special is that I’ve never once doubted my love for Dan.
I am thankful for my failed relationships through the years, since each one has taught me a valuable lesson and has led me to where I am today.
Little did I know that I’d meet the man of my dreams through a dating app I’d never even heard of.
That said – my advice for other women is to follow their heart and to take a leap of faith even if they are unsure of the outcome.
You never know who you might meet, or how that person will make you feel. I am a firm believer that when you stop trying to find love, it finds you.
Thanks to Dan, and the experiences we’ve shared, I now know what I want. Who knows, maybe in a year or two we will be married with our first child on the way.
After all, everything happens for a reason.
And it happens when you least expect it.