Hey everyone! Kellie here. Remember me? See that title up there? The one about meeting a husband on a free online dating site? That’s me. And this is my story. I met my husband on a free dating website (OkCupid if you’re wondering about specifics). Now let me be completely and utterly honest with you, that before I decided this guy was going to be the one I would spend the rest of my life with (which happened rather quickly after meeting), I was faaaaa-reaked out by the whole idea of online dating. And even more so by the stigma surrounding meeting your significant other via the interwebs. Catfish, anyone?
Lucky for me, my story ended with a very happy ending- after a year and a half of dating, J proposed and we were married 8 months later on a perfect fall day. We are now quickly approaching 3 years of being together and I wouldn’t have it any other way. This guy is my best friend, my confidant, my better half, my rock, my laughing partner in crime, and my forever love. Now I’m sure not everyone out there has a success story like ours and could probably name more negative experiences from online dating than positive ones (heck, even I have a few from before I met J), but I want to share with all you current, former, and potential cyber daters some of the perks that came from meeting online for us, and let you know that there is hope!
1. You get to choose from a virtual menu of potential suitors- and weed out the “duds”. Think about when you go to a restaurant and you’re handed a menu. What’s the first thing you do? You scan through the descriptions and pictures and decide which meal looks the most appealing to you. You don’t head back into the kitchen and start taking chicken strips out of the chef’s hands to take a bite and see if you like it before moving down the line to the chef holding a piece of steak in his hand. You have the chance to preview everything the restaurant has to offer without wasting your time “testing the waters” on all of those foods that miiiiiiight be good but you just aren’t sure and you won’t know until you try them. The world of online dating is just like a menu, but better. YOU are in control of scanning through the pictures and descriptions and only poking/sending kisses/favoriting/messaging/stalking the ones that YOU are interested in. There’s none of that wondering if you have something in common or will be physically attracted to the person before you meet—you can pick and choose before you even meet!
2. Having a first interaction without the awkwardness of not knowing what to say or wondering if the other person is even sober enough to remember what you’re talking about. When you “meet” someone online, there’s a guaranteed pre-meet before the actual physical meeting. One of you will message the other person to start a conversation, and you can usually immediately tell if there is a connection on some level from this interaction. If you get along well (and the potential suitor has good grammar- a biggie for me) then phone numbers are exchanged, and maybe some further texting or phone conversation ensues before actually deciding to meet up in person. You are automatically given an extra opportunity to weed out anyone you feel isn’t up to your standards—before having to politely excuse yourself to the bathroom in the middle of a date only to never return.
3. For the most part, you know what to expect when you finally decide to meet (and just in case, you’re prepared with an escape plan). Because of #2 above, you’ve already had the chance to decide if potential suitor was worthy of meeting you. If you go ahead and take that leap into meeting for a first date, at least you have at least some idea of what to expect. He already told you that he’s a gentleman, so you are fully expecting him to pay for dinner. And when he doesn’t, you have a free pass to call him out on his bullsh*t without having to feel bad. You have somewhat of an idea what he is going to look like, you know you can carry on a casual conversation, and you’ve already prepared some topics that you know you both have in common. You’re pretty much golden and in charge of how your evening is going to go. And again, that emergency bathroom break you need to take in the middle of the meal in case things go further south than expected is always a viable option.
4. If things DO work out and you end up in a committed relationship, you have documented memories of your first interactions. Shortly after meeting J, I had a feeling that he would be the one. We both removed our profiles from the online dating site around the same time, but not before we each took a few screen shots of our first conversation (I’ll spare you the details of our flirtatious banter, but will share that he did win me over with his pickup line of “I see you’re a fan of reading, what’s the last book that you read?”—we were meant to be from the start haha). I also saved some of our initial texting conversations (which included him giving me his mother’s name and phone number prior to our first date because I told him I was concerned that he may not be who he told me he was) and compiled a scrapbook of these memories. Now it’s so cool to have something to look back at to remember those initial interactions and the excitement we felt getting to know each other in the initial stages of dating. Had we met drunkenly one night at a bar, we wouldn’t have these same memories, and I thank online dating for giving us something to look back on as we grow old together.
5. You just might meet your husband/wife, and to me, the chance of that happening is worth it. Like I said, I was always skeptical about online dating. I was extremely lucky and thankfully have a success story out of my experience—I met my husband! J and I always talk about how if it weren’t for technology and both of us giving it a try, we would have never even knew each other existed. This is crazy to think about too, considering we lived only a half hour away from each other almost our entire lives. Think about what you could be missing by not putting yourself out there. So you end up going on a few awkward, story-worthy dates. You’re probably already experiencing the same thing trying to date in the “real world.” Why not give it a try. You just might find “the one”, and if you do, you could be sitting here like me a few years down the road telling other people your story and encouraging them to do the same.
Do you have any online dating stories, experiences, or tips you’d like to share with me? Comment below, I’d love to hear! Until next time….
Want a little more insight into my husband and my's relationship post-online dating? Head on over to my blog to watch our engagement video where we both talk about how we met!"
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