I have something to admit, something I thought I had to keep a secret and something people talk about as if it’s taboo. I hear it all the time from friends, and family members; “I’m so glad I didn’t have to enter the online dating scene to meet my partner.” Well I did. And I’m not ashamed of it.
I met my other half online nearly two years ago. No, I didn’t swipe right and luck out. I created a profile on OkCupid, answered a bunch of questions, ended up finding his profile, received a message from him and started having a conversation. It wasn’t like A Cinderella Story, but we clicked (ha).
We exchanged numbers, despite me heading out of province for three weeks for the holidays. We texted regularly and were so excited to meet each other when I got back. We met in a Chapters, where, just before, I was talking to my best friend on the phone, seeking reassurance that even if things didn’t work out, I’d probably still have a good time.
We had an amazing dinner with conversation that never seemed to end! His laugh makes me smile and giggle, still. He drove me home, across the city from his place, and we kissed goodnight. I ended up smiling and headed up to my bathroom to get ready for bed. I noticed a peppercorn between my two front teeth and was absolutely mortified that he didn’t tell me, and somehow convinced myself there was going to be no second date. All because of a peppercorn!
The next morning I received a message from him, asking when he was going to see me next. By the end of the month, we were a couple. Over a year and a half later, we live in our first place together, are continuously working towards our own dreams and our dreams together, while encouraging one another along the way. We’re the definition of “team” like you’ve never read it before.
I had Tinder for a brief period of time before I met my match, but I wasn’t a fan of it. There weren’t many editing options on Tinder when I signed up and I didn’t want someone basing whether or not we were going to date by my Facebook profile picture. I also had a profile on Plenty of Fish, but found OkCupid did a better job highlighting different people, personalities.
I also noticed OKCupid had a younger demographic and I received more genuine messages on the site, including comments about information shared in my profile, like interests and accomplishments,, as opposed to a “Sup, babe?”
Of course, the online dating scene did come with your stereotypical hurdles. Not every date was Prince Charming-esque, like the ones with my partner. That date with my partner also wasn’t the first date I had with an online suitor. There was the person who got back together with their ex, the guy who insisted I come to see him at 12:30 in the morning (didn’t happen), the ones who ask for naked pictures before even taking you for a coffee (!), the ones who stop replying for no apparent reason (helloo0o0o0o), and of course, the ones I just didn’t feel a connection with.
I don’t understand why there is still shame that comes with online dating. It’s just dating. The stories I’ve shared in this post are the same ones we told before online dating was a thing.
Now, though, we’re no longer in a time where we fear putting our identities on the Internet – look at your Instagram profile and all the things you post on it. People are worried about being “catfished,” and I’m not going to say these things don’t happen, but dating regardless of the style you choose, is going to have risks.
You need to be willing to be vulnerable (and safe!) when it comes to dating (any type of it), whether you’re going up to the person in the bar and introducing yourself or trusting your friend to set you up with that really cute coworker. For me, it is initially easier to be genuine and truly myself behind a screen, versus passing my number to someone on the train.
Though glad I’ve found my match (and I wouldn’t trade him for the world), I’d go back to online dating if I needed to. The connection that I have with my other half is amazing, indescribable even.
We’re very similar people and we knew this before we ended up on our first date – because we actually read each other’s profiles (of course, wishing the content wasn’t filled with lies).
If you’re single, and wondering if you should take the chance and make a profile on a dating site with which you feel most comfortable, I say yes. You may find all the wrong matches, but you may also find the right one (or even the right now one) – just as you would passing out your number at the bar.
There is no harm in trying. I did and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.