By Samantha Shaw
Photos by Smetona Photos
It all started innocently enough. I would try online dating just to prove to myself that I was right — that there really wasn’t anyone out there for me. Sure, three of my friends had tried it and successfully found their significant others. But I figured either they took what was left of the good ones, or online must really be where the good ones are found. I had very little hope in the latter, but I had nothing to lose.
I was not all too impressed at first. With great hesitation, I met Mr. Philosopher, followed by Mr. Talker and, later, Mr. God’s Gift to Women. Though none of them turned out to be my Mr. Right, I am glad I got to experience each date. I was able to meet people I never would have crossed paths with, and I even made a couple new friends. Because I could get to know some facts about them before meeting them, we always had something to talk about, and all my “definite deal-breaker” questions were answered.
“It’s crazy now to look back and think of how I was so worried to try online dating. Worried that I would meet a weirdo; worried about what people would think; worried that I wouldn’t have a “story” about how we met.”
Then there was Chad. I remember when I first saw his picture and read his profile. Everything he said sounded interesting. As far as I could tell, he matched up perfectly to my long list of qualities I wanted in a potential spouse. I decided not to get my hopes up like I had with the others. I turned off my computer that night and told myself I should let him make the first move if he was interested. Three days later, quite to my surprise, he did.
We talked over e-mail for two weeks before I agreed to meet him. Since we were 45 minutes apart, I thought we could meet in the middle somewhere, and it turned out that the only interesting “somewhere” in between us was a roller skating rink. Bad idea. Every question was answered with a “What?!” or an “Oh really?!” when we had no idea what the other had said because the music was so loud. Then he fell and twisted his ankle, and I didn’t even help him up. Later when we went to get our shoes out of the locker, I couldn’t, for the life of me, figure out how to open it because I was too busy thinking about how I had just left him there on the floor. In spite of that, we agreed to finish the date over dinner.
I was amazed at how I kept babbling on and on, and he was so interested in what I had to say. Hours had gone by, and our food had gotten cold. We found out we had similar backgrounds and interests, and that we actually attended the same private university. We could have even passed each other in the hall a time or two. I couldn’t believe how much we had in common and how this cyber person I had just met was really real, and was matching up perfectly to every stipulation I had on my daunting “list.”
Flash forward eight months. We are at the first restaurant where we actually ate a meal together, The Blue Bayou at Disneyland. We had already paid and were just sitting there for a while staring at each other with googly eyes — nothing out of the ordinary. He looked under the table for a second, nudged my foot and weirdly said, “Oh, there’s your foot.” It was crowded that day, and I asked him if he thought we should leave soon. When he said, “Not yet,” that’s when I knew! Right there in the middle of the restaurant, he got down on one knee, picked up the ring that had been next to my foot the entire dinner, and asked me to be his wife.
We will be married on January 21, 2012, the anniversary of our first kiss.
It’s crazy now to look back and think of how I was so worried to try online dating. Worried that I would meet a weirdo; worried about what people would think; worried that I wouldn’t have a “story” about how we met. I don’t believe that online dating is for everyone, but hopefully my story will give someone out there the courage to try it if they have the slightest bit of curiosity or hesitation.
Who knows, maybe you’ll get lucky and meet your Mr. Right.