Shawn and Cheryl
On October 26, 2004, an eHarmony match named Shawn requested communication. I did not know it then, but my life was about to be forever changed. After almost two months as an eHarmony member, I was experiencing some discouragement with the process. When I noticed that this match lived in the same rural Missouri town where I had graduated from college almost eight years earlier, he had my attention immediately. His photo was not revealed initially, but after we had exchanged the first round of questions, I was sure we had met before. We would have only been two years apart on a small campus of about 2,500 students. I dusted off one of my college yearbooks, and quickly scanned through pictures of what I guessed would have been his class. When I came to Shawn’s picture, I knew it must be him. His face was familiar, although we had not known each other well. Several days later, after we exchanged can’t stands/must haves, he revealed his photo and I had been right! I knew this guy! Well, sort of. We had both been resident assistants on campus. I had lived in the same dorm as his younger sister.
Now, more than eight years later, Shawn and I were living over four hours apart and both were searching for a life partner. Each of us was in a situation that presented unique difficulties in finding a potential mate, and had turned to eHarmony for help. The idea of a soul mate sounded nice to me, but I was far too practical and level-headed to believe in such a thing myself! I had been impressed by the eHarmony personality profile test and the communication process. With these tools, I had confidence that eHarmony would do a better job of screening than I would on my own. Shawn had had been urged by his family members to give it a try.
After two weeks of open communication, Shawn was traveling through St. Louis where I lived at the time and we decided to meet for dinner That day, we talked on the phone for the first time. I was captivated by his voice before we even met face to face. Dinner went well, and we returned to my home where we talked until well after midnight. . The magic unfolded slowly, but over the next few weeks and months, it was clear that we were living the stuff of dreams and happy endings. We could not believe all of the people and experiences we had in common. We could not imagine how we had missed out on connecting with one another when our paths had crossed so many times during our years on the same campus.
We met again a few days later when Shawn was again traveling through St. Louis. Shawn had character qualities and personalities traits that I would not have identified as being important in a future partner, but I suddenly found these qualities highly attractive. I was discovering the kind of person my heart had longed for, but I had been unable to find that person using my own sensibilities!
We continued our email communication, and talked each night for hours on the phone. We saw each other as often as we could. Three months later, at the end of January, Shawn decided to relocate to the St. Louis area to live with his best friend. His job required a lot of travel, but it gave him the flexibility to be based anywhere in the Midwest. This gave us a chance to spend more time getting to know each other. By then, we knew that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together and started formal pre-marital counseling.
Many eHarmony couples say they would have never met without eHarmony. We had met, but we had not discovered each other until eHarmony made the match. Our compatibility did not lie in our favorite activities. Shawn loves basketball, and I do not have an athletic bone in my body. Our compatibility did not lie in our geographic locations. I was in the St. Louis metropolitan area sitting in rush hour traffic each morning drinking my vanilla latte. Shawn was living four hours away in Bolivar, Missouri, a quaint little town without so much as one Starbucks! With eHarmony’s help, we were able to peel away these outward differences that served to distract from the deep, internal compatibility that existed between us.
The intangible factors that are essential to any successful relationship were right on target. Traditional dating involves pursuing someone with whom there is chemistry to see if these intangible factors are right. Too often, even if these internal compatibilities are all wrong, it is easy to rationalize that they don’t matter that much as long as the chemistry is strong. eHarmony provided the security of making sure that the internal compatibilities were there, and we were able to enjoy the extraordinary process of falling in love. The amazing chemistry we shared was like a gift we were privileged to unwrap at the conclusion of the eHarmony communication process! We were engaged in March of 2005, and were married on May 21, 2005. As it turns out, soul mates do exist after all!