Persistence pays off in online dating
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I'm not sure why I decided to start online dating. It could have been that I had met a few international friends through an art website and cultivated lifelong friendships. Or it could have had something to do with my social anxiety and shyness.
Whatever it was, I joined NZDating nearly 10 years ago with a feeling of mixed trepidation and hope.
The first thing I want to mention is that I didn't sign up and find my true love the next day. There were a number of meetings that were, how shall I say it, less than spectacular.
Looking back, although I took what I thought were pretty savvy safety measures, I was lucky I didn't get what is now called catfished - where someone sets up a fake profile to trick people online. But persistence paid off.
It is incredibly cliched, but from the beginning I knew there was something special about Nathan, even if I can't claim to have known definitively that he was the one.
Online dating can lead to any amount of flowery compliments about your photos and how you're the most beautiful girl in the world etc, but my husband-to-be made the perfect move by commenting on, and asking about, the couple of photos I had uploaded of my artwork.
With all my connections made through the internet, I made sure to talk for long enough to make sure they were interested enough to get to know me first.
With my husband-to-be we talked for over three months before events conspired to bring about our first meeting. I feel humbled by how he supported me through a rough time in my life before he even met me.
Then Valentine's Day rocked around. I had, over the past couple of years, become a little disillusioned with that particular holiday and I may or may not have spent some time grousing to my online friend about how much it sucked to be single on Valentine's Day. So he asked me out. Dinner and a movie, all written in a message that read like it had a smile in it.
He was undeniably interested, as was evidenced by the fact that he drove an hour to pick me up, drove us an hour into town for dinner, a game of pool and the movie and then drove me back home afterwards.
For two rather socially awkward people we had an amazingly relaxed and entertaining time (I still have the movie stubs). It was an auspicious start for what was to become "us".
We were married on Valentine's Day on the fourth anniversary of our first date, and have now been married for 4 wonderful years on top of that.
I remember our first months of courtship with fondness - the beautiful words that were unclouded by the pressures of putting on the face-to-face mask that can so often hide our true selves. And just as fondly, I remember the long months he drove from so far away just to come and see me.
The fun we had, and still have now, brought so close by the bond we took the time to establish right from the start.
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