How Online Dating Exceeded All My Expectations

I met Jacob on Tinder, technically. He was the first person to actually ask me out on a real date, but still my expectations were extremely low. Our first awkward conversation was on Tinder, but it went well so we transferred to other means of communication quickly. We went on our first date and I could tell immediately that he was completely different than what I expected in the best possible way. I had found someone who wanted to commit and held all the things dear that I do.

Love, no matter how it is found, shouldnít be discounted. Iíve just now (a year later) gotten it through my thick skull that just because we met using what felt like an unusual medium, doesnít mean that our feelings arenít real. It also doesnít mean that our love wonít last. But these were the kinds of things that I was afraid of hearing from friends and family members when I told them how we met.

So when my boyfriend and I decided to go ďFacebook official,Ē as they say, I was dreading the type of response I would get. Everyone asks what seems like 9 million questions about where you met, what he does, what your plans are and how you two really feel about each other. This got me thinking: This isnít normal. I should be really excited to tell all my friends and family about my new and surprisingly serious relationship.

Getting over the stigma of online dating.

Sitting with my family at my grandmotherís house last Thanksgiving, I felt grossly anxious and sweaty as I was planning to tell them about my (now official) new boyfriend of just 3 weeks. Iíd been single for almost 4 years and my last relationship was less than impressive. More than that, I was terrified to tell my family that I met this person on the internet. Would they be ashamed of me? Would they lecture me endlessly? I decided to skip all of that and lie. I told them I met him ďthrough a friend.Ē I now know that this was a huge mistake.

When my family met him, they knew how good he was for me. They could see my happiness and embraced him as part of the family almost immediately. A good person is a good person no matter where you find them. Looking back, I can see that my family wouldnít care how or why, they just wanted me to find my match. So, introducing my family to an internet boyfriend that I knew wasnít a match was what I really should have been afraid of. After about a month of seeing each other, I knew I had found someone special. I still donít know if this is the ďforeverĒ fairy tale romance, but it sure feels that way to me.

Donít lie to yourself or to potential partners.

Yes, of course, anyone using internet resources to find love should be extremely careful. I suggest meeting in a public place during the day. Be a good judge of character and use common sense. Anyone can go out with the first person that engages them, but if that situation and interaction isnít right for you, then donít do it. The largest mental hurdle I have had to overcome in my own love life is this: finding someone who is right for you isnít the hard part, refusing to settle for someone who isnít right for you is. It’s much easier to be with someone (and give yourself the illusion that you can change someone for the better) than to be alone.

I always assumed because I liked someone that they would change for me. This is a really selfish way to look at the world. Just because you have love in your heart doesnít mean you will be able to love each other forever. Make a list of things you absolutely will not stand for in a partner and then donít bend on those things. If you want a partner that doesnít drink then put yourself out there and let the world know that not drinking is important to youóthe right person will follow.

My rules for internet dating.

The absolute best choice I made when using internet apps for dating was being honest with myself. It’s incredibly easy to fib about yourself or assume that you can, in time, be okay with someone who is different than yourself. Iíve been in enough unstable relationships to know that I donít have time to lie to myself. I didnít go the vague route with my profile in order to attract more suitors. I stated only facts about my interests, my personality and what I wonít stand for. I knew that I was looking for my lifelong partner, so I won’t stand for someone not ready for that level of commitment. I know this feels hokey and dorky at times, but being straightforward, precise and clear with my wants and needs is a trait I highly value in a partner. So this type of candid behavior is what I wanted to exude. And luckily, because of this, I received few messages and only from those who reflected my feelings.

The second best choice was to reach out only to people who genuinely and wholly interested me. I didnít plan on having asinine conversations with folks who didnít seem like a match just to boost my ego. Iíve done some of this in the past and of course it didnít go anywhere promising. If their profile (not just their picture) attracted me in all ways, then I would message them first. Itís not always an easy task, I will say that much. I really had to tell myself that no matter how attractive someone was, if there was even one major issue that I had with their profile then I had to move on. I donít mean that he likes metal music and I donít. I mean significant relationship-enders like ďjust looking to have fun,Ē because that is not what I am personally looking for.

Donít let someone incredible pass you by and donít hold onto someone that you wouldnít describe as incredible. Itís just not fair to you or that person, because they deserve to find ďthe one,Ē too. Iíve made serious relationship errors in the past so Iím definitely not an expert, but my guy is the closest thing Iíve ever found to a life partner. It really feels like we are both in this together and that is something to be cherished. I still, even after the ďhoneymoon phase,Ē enjoy seeing him every single day. We talk things out like adults should. We donít yell at each other because we respect each other too much. Most of the time we just laugh. Yep, we totally met on the internet, and no, we are definitely not dysfunctional.

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65 comments

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Rose Becke
Rose Becke2 years ago

Thanks

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Jim Ven
Jim V2 years ago

thanks for the article.

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Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgen2 years ago

Thank you

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Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgen2 years ago

Thank you

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Eric Lees
Eric Lees2 years ago

Trisha, thanks for sharing with all of us on Care2. I hope you found the one.

I don't think meeting online is a stigma these days. For many it is the best or maybe only option. We are not as connected to community as previous generations so there is less chance to stumble upon your match in real life.

As far as safety, it's no worse than dating someone you meet in a bar or anywhere else. You just need to follow common sense meet in a safe place and be aware of your surroundings. Have an exit plan if the first meet does not feel right.

One of my goals for this winter is to join a dating site. The advice that you will meet someone when you least expect it never happened for me.

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Danuta Watola
Danuta W2 years ago

Thanks for sharing

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Tanya W.
Tanya W2 years ago

Thank you for sharing

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Tanya W.
Tanya W2 years ago

Not for me, I do think people need to be careful though...

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.2 years ago

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