With Valentine’s Day only a week away, relationships and romance are on everyone’s mind, and I’ve been realizing just how lucky I am to be in such a healthy, loving relationship. I’m used to being that girl moaning about February 14th being Singles’ Awareness Day, and wondering why some girls have all the luck. Well now I am that girl with the luck, the one who lives with her handsome, fun, intelligent, adventurous, caring, romantic doctor boyfriend.
And while I consider myself lucky, it’s important to emphasize that it wasn’t luck that brought me to Cliff.
You see, the story of us is a modern romance in every sense: we met online. We met online through Match.com, to be specific.
When people ask how we met, we’re both very upfront about it. I don’t see any reason not to be. The shame and stigma behind meeting a date online is as outdated as, well, the 1990s, when it all began. When people think of online dating, they imagine desperate, awkward, ugly people who cannot get a date otherwise. Or they imagine freaks, sexual deviants, and predators. Cliff and I do not fit into any of those categories. Well okay, I would call myself awkward, especially when it comes to dating. But everyone has quirks, and if you don’t have a story of an embarrassing first date, then I probably don’t want to know you.
Anyway, I signed up for Match.com when a relationship ended right before my 30th birthday, when I realized that I suck at dating. I am more shy than I let on, and the thought of a man approaching me in a public place and asking to take me out honestly freaked me out. When guys hit on me in bars, I was a total spaz. Most of my relationships began as friendships that evolved to friends with benefits that sometimes evolved to more. Going on a date with a stranger seemed weird to me, and as I neared 30, I knew that it was time to stop dating wildly inappropriate dudes. It was time to find someone as smart, successful and fun as myself.
When you create an online dating profile, you probably get more lame pick up lines from losers than you would in an actual bar. The online forum gives that extra courage so that the men who would never even smile at a pretty girl from across a bar would email her with cheesy lines about wanting to treat her like a queen. So yes, you have to wade through a lot of douches when in comes to online dating. But you don’t have to respond to them. In a bar, there’s that awkward moment when you have to find a way to politely decline a drink; in online dating, you just get to ignore the douche.
And what’s better is that you get to filter for what you want; you can look for just those guys who live near you, are athletic, have a certain level of education, pets, interests, whatever. You get to look for the guys who you are actually compatible with, and then pick from a pool of very eligible bachelors who fit your criteria. You can make sure that the person you go out with is someone you are compatible with. I learned from past relationships not to underestimate the importance of being compatible when it comes to beliefs, values, taste, and lifestyle. And after a lot of lame emails from others, I received an email from Cliff. He was everything I was looking for, and so I gave him a chance.
What also worked for Cliff and I is that it allowed us to take our time. We talked for much longer than usual before actually going out. I was perfectly fine with that; I wanted time to focus on myself and time to feel out what this guy was like. Cliff was also studying for his board exams, and we ended up going out the weekend after he completed his exams. And yes, the “chemistry” was there from the first date.
We took things slowly at first, but now over a year later we’re living in sin and making each other laugh every day. I get to count his family as mine, and vice versa.
We are very much in love, and try to make each other feel special as often as possible. When it comes to Valentine’s Day, I am so blessed to have a special someone for the day, but I don’t need the day to remind me of that– I have every day!