On May 13, 2010, I saw that a guy had checked out my OKCupid profile, but he hadn’t messaged me or winked. Why not? We seemed compatible. He was a writer, too, and one of his favorite movies was the 2003 film How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.
He sounded like an amazing guy, so I took a chance, not really sure whether or not he’d respond, and sent him a message. I was a month away from turning 19 and he was 23. He responded, telling me about the novel he was working on and asking me about mine. We went back and forth before he said he was tired of sitting at his computer and here was his phone number, I should text him.
We texted for a while and then Chris, who had introduced himself by that point, asked if I wanted to go out. A little nervous, I told him I had to ask my dad. Dad encouraged me and, butterflies all a rage in my stomach, I said, yes, I’d love to go out.
When Chris took those first steps up to my father’s house, I got worried. He wore a fitted cap; something I, as the result of having two male cousins who purposefully bent their brims and adjusted size of the hat with Velcro strips, considered odd and possibly a sign that the wearer considered himself gangsta.
But I reminded myself of his mastery of words as displayed in those OKCupid messages and texts. This was a guy worth taking a closer look at.
That night, after we sat on my front stoop talking for a while, we went to dinner at Applebee’s and followed dinner with a trip to Dunkin’ Donuts. I was due home by midnight (my father’s rule for my first night out while living under his roof) and we spent every second we could together. That night, as we sat in his car making out feverishly, Chris asked, “Do you wanna be my gurl?”
So, within hours, I had a new beau. And boy, did I have a lot of people demanding details when I changed my relationship status on Facebook. It seemed every one of my friends thought they should have been the first to know.
That quickly, I had gone from no real romantic possibilities to having a cute guy text me first thing in the morning just to start my day off on the right foot. I was in disbelief.
But I was happy. Chris was older and mature. He held doors and smothered me in playful kisses. I loved the way his hand hovered at my back as we walked together and how he sent me less-than-3 hearts over AIM. And I could wear high heels without towering over him!
Early on, I knew he was someone who wanted to make time for me and I felt really comfortable in his presence. And, two years and four months later, these things remain true and I can’t imagine my life without him.
I think a crucial part of our success is that we didn’t spend too much time talking online before we actually met in the flesh. And while we spent the first few nights chatting on AIM, we put a higher premium on spending time together in person.
We have some other habits we’ve adopted that I think help keep our relationship strong. We really try hard not to bring the outside world into our home; sure, we may talk about our days but we never take out a bad day on the other. We don’t yell at each other. The few disagreements we’ve had we worked out in our normal voices. We usually go to bed together and cuddle before going to sleep. And we say, “I love you,” a lot in addition to showing it through little gestures every day.
“I have a friend who met her boyfriend online and they’ve been together for two years!” my friend Michele is recounting a conversation she recently had with someone about online dating. Michele hasn’t had much luck in finding love online, but she has proof that it does happen. That proof is me and my live-in beau, Christopher.
It’s exciting to me that we’ve been together this long, and really, it does feel like a long time if only because we’re so comfortable with each other that it feels as if we’ve always been this twosome that our friends admire.
I can’t even tell you how happy I am that I decided to wade through the really awful bachelors I saw on OKCupid. Online dating is like thrift store shopping; you may spend an eternity sorting through a lot of junk but you just might get really lucky and find the male equivalent of a vintage Hermes Birkin bag: A good ol’ keeper.
Rosella is the editor in chief of Most Likely to Succeed Magazine.