My grandmother once told me, “To make the journey and not fall deeply in love, well you haven’t really lived a life at all. But you have to try, because if you haven’t tried then you haven’t lived.” I never really understood the true meaning of her words until now. Like most women in their twenties, I did my share of “trying.”
In fact, sometimes I think I tried too hard. However, I would cry all of the tears, endure all of the doubt, and suffer all of the heartache, if it meant that I could spend the rest of my life with my fiancé, Bill. For it is precisely my relationship hardships that helped me figure out who I am and who I want to spend the rest of my life with. I decided to join eHarmony in the summer of 2007. I had just broken off a two and half year relationship and my friend, Marie encouraged me to sign-up.
Honestly, I was bit hesitant at first. Some people believe there is a certain stigma attached to online dating, and I wasn’t sure what my family and friends would say. Fortunately, I’m not someone who cares too much about what people think, so I decided to give it a go.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from eHarmony. I was matched with many different guys and I didn’t know where to begin. I went out with a few of them within the first few weeks and for the most part, they were genuinely nice guys. I just didn’t feel a strong connection to any of them. Then I came across Mike’s profile. He was a cute, 27 year-old, who lived in New Jersey. He worked as an environmental engineer and loved spending time outdoors.
Despite my promise to let the guy contact me first, I decided to take a chance. I sent him the first round of questions. We quickly went through the four stages and began e-mailing back and forth. We eventually met up and hit it off. I was totally smitten by him. He was outgoing and loved to party. At that point in my life, I thought that was what I needed. I was wrong.
Mike and I continued hanging out for about six months. We always had fun, but I began to notice that our relationship didn’t have much substance. Other than our attraction to each other and our sociable nature, we didn’t have much in common. I realized that I wanted someone I could laugh with. Someone I could tell my stories to and who would tell me theirs. Someone who would dance with me, even if it’s just in our own living room. I wanted someone who would make me frozen margaritas in December. I wanted someone who would love my family and friends as their own and who isn’t afraid to make a fool of himself in public. I wanted someone who would tell me when I was being too loud or complaining too much while at the same time making me feel better. Someone who would curl up on the couch with me on a Friday night and watch The Notebook. I wanted someone who would love me unconditionally and who I could love in return. I decided to end things with Mike and take some time for myself. For some reason, I feel like you are most reflective after a break-up.
During one of my internal dialogues an image of Bill floated into my mind. I was matched with Bill a few months after I met Mike. We exchanged an e-mail or two, but at that point, things were progressing with Mike and I didn’t want to lead Bill on. So I told him I was seeing someone else. I never forgot him though. His picture was absolutely adorable and his profile stood out. He was 28, dark-haired, and majored in communications.
On the day after Christmas 2007 I decided to rejoin eHarmony and contact Bill. Of course I did wonder if he was even still a member of eHarmony or if he had another girlfriend by now. I mean he is incredibly handsome! But being the determined, independent woman that I am, I decided to follow my convictions. A few days later, I received a reply. “Yes, I remember you,” the e-mail said. “It is good to hear from you again.” That was all I needed to hear. Bill and I exchanged many long-winded e-mails and had several hour-long phone conversations.
We eventually met up in mid January and as cliché as it may sound, I knew he was “the one.” Our first date was at an Indian restaurant (He knew I was a vegetarian.). Then, per my request, we went to see The Bucket List. I offered to pay for the movie tickets but he had already pre-paid for the tickets. Bonus points! Bill and I scheduled our next date for a few weeks later, but all we could think about was seeing each other again. So a few days later he came over to help me grade some students’ papers. This just reaffirmed my feeling that he was “a keeper.”
Our relationship progressed extremely quickly, despite my efforts to take things slowly. We just couldn’t get enough of each other. We had great conversations, had so much fun together, and felt a deep inner connection. After about six months we decided to take a big step and move in together. Believe me, if one of my friends had told me she was moving in with a guy after dating him for six months I would have told her she was absolutely crazy.
But everything felt so right. I guess sometimes you just need to think with your heart ignore your head. Bill and I are still going strong. We got engaged on December 13 and can’t wait to spend the rest of our lives together. I guess my grandma was right. When you fall deeply in love your life journey will never be the same. Thank you eHarmony!