Claudia and Dan
First of all we would like to say that our experience with eHarmony was not what was expected. We both had some reservations about any online dating service that required a significant payment in order to use. But our experience was pleasant, exciting and most of all rewarding. I have to admit that I was somewhat overwhelmed with the number of questions but now understand their significance. The user friendly system made things less bothersome and was conducive to a delightful experience. We both had met individuals prior to us meeting and all were very professional and eHarmony definitely has a higher quality of individuals compared to other dating sites. We both met “good people” but did not have that emotional click until we met each other.
When Claudia and I met, I had decided not to renew my eHarmony subscription so our time using the eHarmony system was limited. The general pre-selected questions available were valuable in allowing us to get to know each other quickly. We enjoyed the questions so much that even after our subscription expired we continued to use them on a daily basis to get to know each other better and better.
Claudia and I met on November 24, 2005. I should also mention I was in Denver, Colorado and Claudia was in Caracas, Venezuela. We both continued to learn about each other as we graduated in the phases from Starting Communication to Must Have / Can’t Stands to Second Questions to Open Communication and then to emails. Through the process we both found that our compatibility was unbelievable. We were often finishing each others sentences and sharing similar stories and experiences. We both realized that our similarities were beyond chance and that our values and beliefs were from a similar mold. I hate to sound cliché but we are definitely Soul Mates!! Claudia and I have since had many conversations about how eHarmony allowed us to get to know each other at a personal level before ever “seeing” each other. It is very difficult to explain how one can “feel” chemistry with an individual through a computer but we are both firm believers now.
For Claudia and me, the conversations were limited to the computer because it is very expensive to talk via phone from Denver to Caracas. We spent many hours every day chatting online and finally moving to web-cam. Our first web cam experience was as if we were meeting in person. I was incredibly nervous, she was just as nervous if not more. It was as if it was our first date and actually it was. We had a specific time planned, she was a little late of course (just kidding) she spent a lot of time getting ready and I was sure to be clean shaven, well dressed and of course on my best behavior. I knew when I saw her I was done. My heart stopped and it took everything I had to maintain my composure. Claudia felt very similar, she knew there was something special between us and that this was something good. We spent four hours on the web cam that night talking about anything and everything from family to friends to goals to accomplishments to life in general.
From that day on, we managed to “see” each other every day on the web cam. We could not sleep at night without seeing each other. Soon, as in a matter of months, the web cam could not satisfy our desire to see each other more and more and to ultimately see each other in person. Thus we began to make plans for us to meet in person. Initially, Claudia had plans to come to Florida with friends and I was to meet her in Florida a few days before her friends arrived just so we could meet in person. As time went by we both felt that a few days before her friends arrived in Florida would not be enough. We started discussing other plans in order for us to spend more time together. As a result, Claudia decided to cancel her plans of coming to Florida with her friends and we decided that it would be best if I went to Caracas to visit her, her country and her family. Thus we planned my trip to Caracas, Venezuela for March, 2006.
Our first meeting in person was incredible!! But prior to that was the planning of the trip. We discussed my trip to Caracas in every detail, we are both planners so as you can imagine we discussed everything. Our first task was to decide the length of my trip. Was three days enough, should it be six days? Was that too much? Should it be 8 days? Ten days?? What if we planned a 10 day trip and we didn’t like each other the first day? What then? What if she didn’t like me physically? What if I did not like her physically? What if our physical compatibility did not match our online compatibility? What if we were destined to be chat-mates for life? What if what if what if; so many uncertainties, so many ifs. The only “if” we were absolutely certain of was if I did not go to Caracas we would never know. So we both decided we would schedule my trip to Caracas for ten days and if we did not feel the same as we did online then we would continue to spend the ten days together as friends and enjoy all of the beautiful sites Venezuela has to offer as we had planned. And if that were the case then we would both have a new friend in a different country and happily go our separate ways afterwards. I think we both knew that would not happen but we had to be prepared.
After all the planning came the day for my travel to Venezuela. I think that day was the most nervous I have ever been in my life. As well for Claudia, She arrived at the airport two hours early just to be sure she was there when I arrived. I called her every opportunity I had during the trip. I had to be sure she was going to be there, and we discussed what we both were going to be wearing so we would recognize each other right away. It takes a lot of time to get through Customs when visiting another country so, as you can imagine, I was going crazy after I arrived. And of course my cell phone did not work in Caracas so I could not call her to say “I’m here” so I had to constantly look around for her. In the Caracas airport, residents must wait on the other side of a glass wall while visitors arrive and retrieve their baggage. That was the first time our eyes met!! It was incredible!! My legs were shaking, my hands were sweating and my mouth was dry. I could tell she was nervous as well, she kept pacing around. She kept calling her friends on her cell phone, she had a smile from ear to ear!! Once I passed customs that is when the world stopped turning. I reached out for her, she for me, and we embraced for what seemed like an eternity. We looked at each other with tears in our eyes and we kissed each other as if we knew each other all of our lives and had not seen each other in years. So needless to say, the physical compatibility was there!!! YEAH!!!!
My time in Venezuela was unbelievable!! We had a wonderful time, Claudia was a great host and we seemed like we had known each other forever. Our conversations quickly led to the future. Meeting Claudia’s family was great, they treated me very well and with much respect. I felt completely at home. We announced our engagement and it was received with great pleasure. Leaving Caracas was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, but we knew it was just a matter of time before we would be together again.
Claudia arrived in the U.S on June 13, 2006 and we began right where we left off in Caracas. I had to plan a very unique way to propose to her because of how special she is to me. I came up with an idea to give her 3 roses. 2 real and 1 artificial. The first real rose was to signify our past, as with a real rose it passes and we both agreed to let the past die with it. The 2nd rose was also real and signified the present. As with a real rose the present will pass much quicker than we would like but will definitely pass. The last rose was the artificial one and it signified the future. It was different than the others, more durable, stronger and will last forever just as our relationship will. After I told her this I let an engagement ring fall from a string on the rose and asked her to marry me. We both cried and she happily said yes.
Claudia and I were married on July 21, 2006. In closing, We both would like to thank eHarmony. We were both skeptical but are both now firm believers and will continue to strongly recommend eHarmony to others who are in search of their soul mate.
Dan and Claudia