Jessica and Orlando
Ever since I started dating, I always seemed to have trouble choosing the right guy. Either he wasn't motivated enough in life, or wasn't ready for a commitment, or was too scared to jump into something because of past relationships. I tried another dating site for a while, and that was just as big of a disaster. Over the years, I had seen the eHarmony commercials and thought, "What a crock." But, getting near the end of my rope I thought, "Well, why not. I've already spent money on these other ones, what could be the harm in this one?" So I joined shortly after the new year, and within days Orlando was in my match box. At first, I nearly passed him over. He had posted a not-so-flattering picture of himself, and he was hispanic. Being hispanic, I had mostly dated other hispanics all my life and was tired of their overt machismo. I left him in my matches section for a few days before I decided, "Heck. Why not." I sent out my initial questions. He responded fairly quickly, so I did the same with the first set. I took a few days before responding to his other questions, thinking "Oh, this will never work out."
When we finally started open communication, I was rather surprised at his candid humor, eloquence and overall good nature. Soon, open communication was not something I dreaded from him, but rather something I was in anticipation for. Day after day, I'd sneak a peak at my e-mail from work, hoping he had responded. I was captivated by his words and how well he expressed himself. When he asked me for my number, I couldn't wait for his call. Our first phone conversation was short, and to be honest, it wasn't as great as our e-mails (I was actually a little turned off by one of his most famous phrases: a very nasal 'thank you'... a phrase I laugh at now), probably because we were both tired from our long days at work. We agreed to meet at a coffee shop (which, again, being honest, I thought was rather lame.) When the day of our first meeting rolled around, I had arranged a back-up call to get me out of the date because I just had this feeling he was going to be a total dud. I arrived at the coffee shop first and waited in my car until he arrived... on the phone with my back-up caller. When he arrived, I hung up, stepped out of my car and walked towards the coffee shop. I still remember what he was wearing... glasses, black work boot type shoes, dressy jeans, and a long-sleeved, button-up, stripped shirt with the sleeves rolled up. And I was captivated. Immediately. The first time I looked into his eyes, that was it. I was done for. I knew he was the one. When my back-up call arrived 30 minutes later, I shut my phone off. A quick initial meeting turned into a 4 hours conversation... which only had to be cut short because we both had to work the next day. Before we said our good-byes, we agreed to meet again the next week for an official date. He gave me a kiss good-night. It was a short, sweet, and delicate kiss on the lips... but enough to keep me intrigued and feeling dreamy.
The following week was spent e-mailing back and forth through eHarmony, eagerly waiting for our next date. The date didn't turn out quite as planned. We met for dinner at Buca di Beppo, and then I received a call from a friend of mine. It was his birthday and he wanted to meet up for a movie. I mentioned I was on a date and he said "So bring him." Reluctantly, I asked Orlando if he wanted to come after dinner. To my surprise, he agreed. However, we didn't make it to the location in time. And it turned out even better than if we had. We spent the rest of the night sitting outside in a park-like area just talking... and then we kissed. A deep, trusting, 'I've known you all my life' kiss. It was amazing. I was hooked. We said our good-byes about 7 hours after the date officially started, in the parking lot... and we text messaged each other all the way home, and all the next day as I repainted my bedroom. He cooked dinner for me on our next date, where he confessed he was hooked, too. By the time my birthday rolled around a month after our first meeting, we couldn't deny we were an item... and we couldn't deny our feelings for each other. We knew this was real love. It was passionate, caring, and trusting. We knew this was it. It was as if we had been childhood friends who became sweethearts. We knew what the other was thinking and feeling.
The beginning of July brought us to our first official vacation in Seattle, where he finally proposed; exactly 6 months after our first meeting. When our parents finally met at the engagement dinner we held after our return, our mothers soon discovered the parallels in our lived were uncanny. From being career focused to picky eaters to those silly little accidents in grade school. And even though wedding planning hasn't started out as fun as we hope, we still can't wait to spend the rest of our lives together. Thank you, Dr. Neil Clark Warren