Location: Hubli, India, Okpo, South Korea
Married: January 14th, 2006
ABOUT HIM Born to American missionaries in Southern Mexico, Richard grew up with a strong work ethic, even stronger morals, and a love for adventure. Whether he was catching snakes, riding mules in his village, or building forts against the backdrop of local mountains, all who knew Richard came to expect the unexpected. His job took him around the world, which also made dating challenging. Just when it looked like he was losing hope, his best friends filled out a profile for Richard on eHarmony. Richard activated his subscription for a few months and then let it lapse, not seeing immediate success and not wholeheartedly invested in the search process. Two and a half years later, his situation was still the same. While Richard was content staying single if need be, there was still a longing in his heart to find a soul mate who could experience the adventure of life with him. Richard went back to eHarmony and was surprised to see his profile still online. While living in South Korea, Richard decided he would give internet dating one last chance. He paid for a three month subscription and determined that if nothing came from his search this time, he would give up on finding his mate altogether
ABOUT HER Amy grew up in Southern California in a household with similar values and ethics. While her own adventures were on a smaller scale, she had the same love for overseas travel and a heart for serving others. While living in Los Angeles, she tried eHarmony for a few months and was matched with over 300 people. Out of those matches, Amy went out on a few dates with four or five different men. All of them appeared to be quality individuals, but none were the right fit. In 2003, Amy decided to put her faith in action and moved to South India to work as a medical missionary. When she moved overseas, Amy figured that was the end of her dating life, at least for a while. After her first year in India, Amy found herself enjoying her work immensely, but wishing that she had a soul mate to share her adventures with. However, if it was a choice between staying home and waiting for Mr. Right or living out her dream as a single overseas, then there was no question which she would choose. While visiting her parents after her first year in India, Amy shared with them her intentions to return overseas for a few more years. In desperation, her mom cried out, “Now you’re NEVER going to get married!!!” In an attempt to remedy this problem, Amy’s parents gave her a one-year subscription to eHarmony for her twenty-ninth birthday. Shortly after, she flew back to India, not too convinced that anything would come of internet dating while living overseas. If one of the largest cities in the United States hadn’t brought about success, surely finding her soul mate while living in an Indian village was out of the question, right? Eight months and over 600 matches later, a miracle happened
ABOUT THEM (from Amy’s view) On April 8, 2005, Richard and I were matched and started down the road of guided communication. From the very start, this match seemed different than all the others. We had so much in common and after I read each of Richard’s emails, I wanted to know more about him and could hardly wait to hear from him again. One month later, after daily emails and a few static-filled international phone calls, we were both feeling hopeful that this person on the other side of the ocean could be the one we had been searching for.But before we got too excited, Richard and I wanted to meet in person to make sure that physical attraction was also present in addition to the apparent compatibility and chemistry we were experiencing in long-distance communication. Finally, after we each did background checks on the other person and got friends and families involved, Richard and I agreed that we were going to have to take a risk to make this meeting happen. Winning points immediately, Richard called my travel agent in India and bought me a round trip ticket from India to Korea. Three weeks later, excited and a little nervous, I was on the plane to meet my match.
(Richard) In June, I picked Amy up at a small airport in South Korea. When she walked out of the airport, for me it truly was love at first sight. Over the next four days of dates, Amy stayed with friends of mine at night as we got to know each other better by day. Whether touring Korean islands by boat, joining my friends for dinner, hiking in the local hills, or talking for hours, the chemistry in person was even better than it had been online. Before we met, we had agreed that if there was no chemistry between us when we had a chance to hang out in person, then we would just enjoy our time as friends. We had also agreed early on to let the first few days go by without pressure and agreed not to talk about how we felt about each other until the third day. On the evening of day three, we presented gifts to each other from our respective countries and had a relationship-defining talk that changed the course of our lives forever. After a long and often times lonely nine years as a bachelor, I knew that I had finally found the woman I had been looking for. Our love for each other was mutual and we were both committed to going forward with this adventure that had so quickly and surprisingly begun in the most unusual of circumstances. By the end of Amy’s short trip, we felt like we had known each other for years.
(Amy) After I left Korea, we communicated again by email and phone calls. In July, our work schedules brought us both to the United States, where we were able to reunite and spend time with friends and family. In August, I returned to Korea with Richard for another two weeks, where his friends were again so supportive and committed to helping us have a healthy dating relationship. At the end of my stay, Richard dropped on one knee and proposed while we were exploring one of South Korea’s small islands. In December, he surprised me even further by showing up on my doorstep in India for one month, volunteering his time to help out in our rehabilitation clinic. I knew that any man who would endure a forty-two hour train ride across the Indian subcontinent on my behalf was the guy for me!
We were married in a beautiful ceremony in Malibu, California on January 14, 2006. In front of our closest friends and family, we vowed to love each other with a love that will not fail. Against all odds, we had found our soul mate who made loving easy. Thank you, eHarmony, for helping to make all of this possible!
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