Danny and Laura
Laura and Danny’s Story:
“Mom and Dad, how did you first meet each other?” This question festered in both our minds as we explored the possibilities of pursing an eHarmony romance. Before we knew each other existed, Laura and I separately hesitated at pursuing this new-fangled on-line relationship service. Sure, it was the 21st century. But this was so . . . untraditional . . . different . . . new. Was this really what we needed? How would our friends and family react to us? How could we explain it to our future children? An internet service does not quite match up with the romantic tales of bumping into each other at the local Laundromat or matching eyes across a college classroom. But such Hollywood romances are rare and mostly scripted. Laura and I had to write our own script.
Our love story began when we both decided to step forward. Two solitary decisions paved the way. The unknown stood before us, with our roads merging in the unseen future. But it did not happen without our initial doubts. "Okay, I’ll try this thing. Who knows? Maybe it might work. If nothing else, at least I get to practice communicating with other singles. I don’t even have to leave my own home. Not yet, anyway. And the Personality Profile is insightful, too." The profile is what first got each of us hooked. Laura and I both found ourselves truly reflected in those pages. And it wasn’t full of fuzzy generalizations like those Zodiac summaries on Chinese restaurant placemats. We didn’t see just descriptions that were like us. Individually, we saw ourselves. The words were precise, accurate, and eye-opening. The profile was the hook, and the communication process kept us coming back.
Laura and I did not match until months after enrollment (years for me). Even so, we both found the guided conversations with matches to be engaging, enlightening, and encouraging. The process was a safe place to mingle, learning about others and—more importantly—learning about ourselves. Wading through hundreds of matches, Laura and I individually discovered empowering wisdom. Each match that advanced to deeper communication developed deeper understandings of relationships and beliefs. Matches that closed—whether by our choice or the match’s—were always cordial and ultimately educational. Some endings were more disappointing than others, but we both pressed on. Laura and I knew we were out there for each other. We just didn’t know it, yet. We did experience some tangible success, too. During our searching, Laura and I had each met two separate matches in person. Excitement! Actually meeting someone face-to-face. But none of these personal encounters hit it off for either of us. We could see the match potential, but not the mate potential. We had to look farther and longer.
We persevered. And we eventually found each other. July of 2006. Laura had the most beautiful photo I had ever seen on an eHarmony match. And even better, she had already initiated the communication. (I had been out of town for a month at a summer class.) She was interested! And so was I. The photos helped, but the real connections developed through our dialogue. From the very first introductory information, we found links between ourselves. And each guided step reaffirmed our appreciation and amazement of each other. We truly did match on so many levels—spirituality, integrity, humor, intelligence, interests, desires. And love. After nearly two months of eHarmony conversation, we agreed to meet in person at Laura’s hometown—300 miles away from mine. My sister lived a few hours away from Laura, so I used a family road trip as a reason to “pass through” Laura’s town and visit. We planned for ice cream and a quick chat. Just a few minutes or so, like Dr. Warren suggests. Two hours later, Laura and I had shared frozen desserts, warm laughter, touching stories and poetry. (Laura had the courage to show me some of her creative writing, a love we shared.) Before I left for the five-and-a-half-hour drive home, Laura gave me another gift—a Tupperware full of homemade chocolate chip cookies. My favorite!
Throughout the next year, Laura and I continued to converse on-line, over the phone, and in person—the latter usually every other week. We learned how to share our lives with each other, even from 300 miles apart. Both of us completed additional college degrees during this time. We experienced other achievements such as emergency volunteer efforts, conference presentations, published writings, family events, and more. The most magnificent advancement was the growth in our relationship. Our friendship enhanced both of our lives, accentuating the positives and tempering the negatives. Like on-line matching, a long-distance relationship was new for both Laura and me. We passed Tupperwares of goodies back and forth to whoever had traveled the longest distance. We continue to exchange such treasures and in April of 2007, I handed Laura one that contained a diamond ring.
We were married on July 21, 2007. So how will we answer that question from our future son or daughter about meeting each other? “Well, my child, the internet is truly amazing.”