Internet dating doesn’t have the best reputation – understandably so, given some of the horror stories I have read. I thought it would be a nice change to put a story out there which has a happy ending and better yet, it’s my very own story.
I do still think there’s a bit of a stigma around internet dating, presumably because of the previously mentioned horror stories. Personally, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. I’m not only saying that because I met someone using it. Even before, it seemed a perfectly reasonable way to meet someone. I am horribly shy with no interest and going out to meet people in the usual ways. So, what’s a girl to do? Internet dating gave me an opportunity to find people who I wouldn’t have met otherwise.
In fairness, I have had the odd message which made me uncomfortable. I think it’s important to keep things in perspective. There’s nothing stopping someone saying strange things in person, or sending you them on Facebook or Twitter. As much as I wish it wasn’t an issue, it’s a risk in any place. While it may happen more often on dating sites, it’s not exclusive to them, which is why I don’t think they should be ruled out on that basis.
As I mentioned in this post, I am currently in the happiest, healthiest relationship of my life. Without internet dating, this wouldn’t have been possible. Here’s the story of how I met the love of my life, and it’s all thanks to OkCupid.
After failing to figure things out with an ex-boyfriend, I decided to sign up to OkCupid. I chose this because I had used it in the past and found it had pretty decent guys on there. In general, they were good at holding a conversation and pleasant enough. Even when romance failed to blossom, they were interesting and friendly.
A day after signing up, I received a message. It wasn’t the most exciting message in the world, and I have since tirelessly mocked my current partner for his choice of opening line. I suppose I found it endearing, so I had a nosy at his profile. This guy was 300 miles away in Aberdeen. I had very little interest in a long-distance relationship, but I didn’t want to ignore him. I discovered we did have a few things in common, so I replied to him and we continued talking.
After more cringe-worthy exchanges and feeble attempts at flirting, we exchanged numbers. Still, I didn’t have high hopes, because he was too far away and I was looking for someone who lived nearby. Yet, it was hard not to be drawn to him. He was sweet and could make me laugh. As an avid Catfish watcher, I convinced myself there was probably a catch so I was cautious. He seemed to good to be true. Was this guy married? Did he have kids? What wasn’t he telling me?
The only thing I discovered is that he was living with his mum at the time and hadn’t yet learned to drive. Given that he was nearly 30, I was surprised by these facts. However, he explained he was trying to save money to get his own place and I realised it was actually a sensible decision. So, by now, I was running out of reasons to not give it a shot.
We had a very awkward first FaceTime call so I could see for myself that he was who he said he was. I still questioned if I should pursue it. I explained to him that I had reservations about long-distance relationships and basically said it wasn’t what I was looking for. He said he understood, but asked if we could meet before we ruled out the possibility. He was willing to travel 300 miles for a chance at making it work, which I thought was pretty sweet. By this point, I was already a little smitten and figured I had nothing to lose.
So, a few weeks after the first message, he came to visit. I was incredibly nervous. I remember sending plenty of panicked texts to my best friend during my lunch break. Even though it was great online, I had no idea what to expect in person. At first, it was really awkward. He was ridiculously shy, more so than me, and the conversation wasn’t exactly flowing. I was disappointed.
The next day, we went for a walk in the park and things weren’t much better. It was so bad, in fact, that he offered to head home a day earlier than we had planned. I realised it wasn’t what I wanted, so I told him he just needed to relax and be himself. Let’s just say it’s a good job we had this conversation or we wouldn’t have made it this far! He became calmer and his personality began to come through. From that point, there was no going back.
As travelling makes me anxious, he did most of the work, regularly coming to see me so that the long-distance factor wasn’t much of an issue. I began to realise he was completely different to other guys I had dated. He was patient, loving, thoughtful and everything I had been looking for. We both knew it was right, so we didn’t waste much time. Around 6 months later, I moved to Aberdeen to be with him. We’ve been living together for a year now, and I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone.
I do still struggle with living in Aberdeen because it’s so far from everyone else I know and love, but it was the right decision. It’s great we have a little flat together and we get to hang out every day. I think it means even more when you’ve been in a long-distance relationship. You’ve struggled through those times when you couldn’t see each other for weeks and now you get to spend most of your time together? It’s wonderful!
Now, excuse me for a moment while I brag a little.
Neal is not only the best boyfriend I could wish for, but he’s an all-around brilliant person. He is so thoughtful. He has shown me what unconditional love looks and feels like. There isn’t a day goes by where I don’t think about how fortunate I am. He’s never once given me a reason to doubt how he feels about me. He goes out of his way to make me feel special, from little gestures to bigger ones. Even though we have only been together a year and a half, he has supported me through so much, and I feel safe in the knowledge that he’ll stand by me, no matter what happens. I am certain he is the person I am going to spend my life with, and I’m so glad! There’s no one else I could see myself with now.
I would never have had this incredible person in my life, let alone as my partner, if it wasn’t for internet dating!
So, while I understand it might not seem overly appealing at first, I’d recommend giving it a go. You never know who you might find.
How did you meet your partner? I’d love to hear some stories in the comments! If you’re single, share your internet dating experiences if you have them and, if not, would you ever try it?