A product of online dating, I am very proud of my relationship’s roots, and love to tell our story. I understand this article could be rather vomit-inducing for those who are down on their luck in the love department. I encourage you to continue your adventure. Technology is quite amazing and is helping people connect in so many ways. 

The year was 2013. It might not seem that long ago, but for me, this seems like such a long look back into my 20s. I was 23 and had just gone through one of the most painful breakups of my life (he kept the dog). This breakup caused me to have to uproot my life in Denver, Colorado and move 45 minutes north to live with my parents while I got back on my feet.
giphyA single girlfriend of mine told me about this new app called Tinder that allowed you to match with guys in your area and suggested I try it out as an attempt to mend my heart. Considering I was living in my hometown with my parents, it sounded like a better idea than sitting at home heartbroken. In downloading the app, I was instantly connected to the small dating pool in my hometown in 2013.  Unfortunately, the pool was so small that one of my matches ended up knowing my sister who was 4 years older than me. The Tinder app was short-lived, and I tabled using it until the beginning of 2014 when I was back in Denver living on my own.

Cut to countless breakups later, and Tinder had become the new normal for me. As soon as something insignificant would end, I like many of my peers, would download the app and continue to search for my soulmate. Ultimately I would lose hope that I would ever find anything of substance, but there was still a glimmer of feeling like I deserved a fairytale.

What it’s like to date online.

To achieve that fairytale ending, I didn’t just use Tinder anymore. No, technology had evolved and so had I! I had it all: Bumble, Coffee Meets Bagel, Tinder, and OKCupid. The cross-pollination was an attempt to cast a wide net that JUST MAYBE would catch the person I was supposed to be with. Unfortunately, instead of finding the right person it just showed the same people over and over again that I would constantly match with on every single app, which always felt like a cold lead in a sea of possibilities.

So, that’s why when I found him, it almost didn’t happen. I’ve seen everything when it comes to online dating, so like a hardened war veteran I was abrasive and cold by the end of 2016. It was to the point that getting a match wasn’t even thrilling, and I was drowning in a sea of meaningless bullshit, overwhelmed by every single advance from a potential suitor. Even Bumble, where I was meant to initiate with my matches felt like a chore, and I let countless interactions slip away into a void of not giving a shit. I was ready to delete every single app and swear until I was blue in the face that I would never use them again.

So, that’s why when we matched, I almost blew it. We exchanged a few messages, and I gave him my phone number. He mentioned he had just moved to Denver, which undeservingly threw up my first red flag. He was ecstatic to have signed a lease downtown, which jolted my second red flag. Having lived in Denver for 7 years, I resented going downtown and hated playing tour guide for new transplants. Finally, he invited me to meet him at the Viewhouse — The death wish of all red flags for me. It is without a doubt one of my least favorite establishments in Denver, and unfairly I assumed he had poor taste. I declined to meet him. We stopped texting.  After this brush-off of unfairness, we both dated other people. Those meaningless relationships ended after about a week, and we both fired up our dating apps once again.

Never understood why OKCupid turned out to be a deep sexual deviance admission portal.

I was morbidly curious after my most recent foil in dating, but I was also ready to be done with the song and dance of putting myself out there. I logged into my OKCupid account purely to delete my profile, but I noticed I had some messages. Most of the time I received messages on OKCupid it wasn’t anything of merit. 90% of my messages came from polyamorous men, or other sexual fetishes it had never occurred to me someone would be interested in, yet somehow this was the kind of attention being a woman on OKCupid attracted. That being said, I still read almost all of my messages out of morbid curiosity, even if they made me lose faith in humanity and the prospect of love.

So, as I was logging in to close one more avenue of dating failure I noticed my inbox had a few messages in it. What was the harm in reading them? The least that would happen was that I would roll my eyes. I am glad I decided to read my messages one last time, because among a majority of the kind of messages I am used to seeing was the most genuine message I had ever received. A man had read the entirety of my profile and thoughtfully responded to each individual section. He had taken the time to read my entire profile which was set up like a booby-trapped labyrinth to deter potential suitors to message me. I wanted to see who this person was, so I clicked his profile. I recognized the first image as the guy I had matched with on Tinder and declined to meet at the Viewhouse. I responded immediately saying, “You have my phone number.”

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The newest photo I had set to my profile picture on OKCupid.

To his credit, I had different pictures on my profile than when we previously had matched. He didn’t even realize I was the same person who declined to meet him at the Viewhouse. I had just been to Chicago and did you really even go anywhere if you can’t get 4-5 new profile pictures from it? His message rekindled our text message thread, which after leaving a previous job had deleted all of my most recent contacts, so I was not quite sure who anyone was when they texted me anymore. Most of my online dating prospects that got my phone number were saved in a system of emoji that transcribed them into their respective match platform such as Name – 🔥 for Tinder, or Name – 🐝 Bumble, but with my contacts coming undone I had no idea who was contacting me. Besides, most of the phone numbers I got never led to a date and I wouldn’t be able to figure out the backstory behind who people were. My phone became a purgatory where the numbers in it were mostly ghosts, and no one had a pulse.

A firm believer in fate, I felt like it was pretty awesome that we were able to reconnect; however, I was skeptical about if it would turn into anything. The typical pattern for most is that we exchange numbers and then never meet up, but Scott wasn’t willing to let this go a second time. When I tried to decline to go on our first date because I was in between jobs, and also had a bought of laryngitis, he wouldn’t hear of it. A few hours later, he was there to pick me up for a date that lasted for 72 hours. I felt magic at every hour, but it wasn’t until our time together was coming to an end that I realized nothing had ever felt this way for me before.

Fortunately, we were on the same page, and both ready to take the leap of faith into what each one of us had been looking for our entire lives.

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Probably the happiest day of my life.

A month after our first date, I moved downtown into his apartment with my dog Murphy. A month after that, I introduced him to my parents (something that I never do). A month after that, I met his family in Southern California (something he never does). In June, I picked out my engagement ring without realizing it. In September, he asked my dad for permission, and later on, asked me to spend forever with him. On the anniversary of our first date, we will be celebrating our union in Las Vegas, with Elvis performing my dream ceremony in a Pink Cadillac. At no point of this have I ever felt any regret or doubt, and neither has he.

So many times in my life I have had to try and convince myself that the person I was with was right for me. That being deeply unhappy and having to change aspects of who I was to appease another individual was normal. It wasn’t until I met Scott that I realized that the value of finding someone who values who you are as an individual but also empowers you to be the best version of yourself is so rare and beautiful. I have been looking my whole life for this kind of love story and will be the first to admit I never thought it would happen to me. This time around, it felt final.

I just knew.

People often ask me what our match percentage on OKCupid was when they hear our story, and it was 65%. Proof that an algorithm cannot tell you who you are meant to be with.

When you know, you know. You just do. There’s no question. It’s absolutely what everyone told me it would be. I leaned in and embraced my good fortune. Another wives tale that I was told constantly is that love finds you when you stop looking, or when you least expect it. I can concur that those are also true points of advice.

If I could give anyone struggling with online dating any advice, it would be to keep trying, go into every relationship expecting nothing, and keep your heart open.

And to think, it almost didn’t happen because he invited me to the Viewhouse.