My name is Ian, and happily married to my wife Anne, whom I met through online dating.
If you had of asked me some five or six years ago about online dating I may have scoffed at the idea and said it was for either sleazy men and desperate old women. However, times have changed and I now believe it to be one of the best ways to meat like minded individuals and some genuinely nice people.
I've never been one for night clubs and pubs, this is mostly due to growing up in one as a child and really being put off by all the drunks and idiots my dad used to deal with. So I could never imagine meeting the person of my dreams in a venue where at the end of the night the majority of attendees can't remember how to urinate without getting most of it on themselves. This was not the place for me.
My online dating career started in the summer of 2012 where I was introduced to an online site by a good friend, and he was in fact at the time dating a fine young lady he had met (I'll take his word on her character as I never had the chance to meet her). When I asked his reason for using online dating he simply stated “I've just moved to a new town and I don't know anyone.”
To me that seemed like a completely legitimate reason for trying, and although I hadn't recently moved, my circle of friends wasn't what it was when at school and being a gamer when I wasn't at work, it didn't leave much time for going out looking.
Now, I'm not going to tell you stories about every person I spoke to, all the ups and downs of online dating I experienced and that the majority of people won't necessarily respond to you, but what I do want to talk about his how I met my soul mate, Anne. Actually, my wife’s full first name is Girlie Anne, she's a nurse and originally from the Philippines.
Being male (beats chest) I don't keep track of dates when it comes to relationships, bar our wedding anniversary, but my first interaction with Anne was in December 2013. I saw her profile picture, and can still vividly remember it seeing a pretty asian lady with long black hair and a very pink jumper. Her profile stated that she loved reading and really wanted to learn to cook as she wasn't very good at it. Being an upstanding English gentleman I sent Anne a message enquiring about what it was strived to learn to cook. Pasta was the response. Wow, I thought this is easy, everyone on the planet can cook pasta, except Anne of cause.
So after a few more messages and conversations back and forth over a period of a few days I decided to offer my services as a chef and teach her to cook, or at the very least meet up so I could offer her a few recipes she could at least try for herself. Unfortunately, Anne didn't fall for my advances and pretty much in the nicest possible way (Anne is very polite... to strangers) declined my other and wanted to chat with me because I was nice and she liked me, but didn't really want to meet. At the time I was a little disheartened, but now know that her reservations were due to a bad experience of meeting someone on the site that was less than a gentleman.
After a few more failed attempts over the next week or so to initiate a meet up in a coffee shop I told Anne that I liked her, but wanted more from online dating than to just make friends, and although sounding like a bit of an arse, it was true. And that was that for nearly a month, we didn't speak and had no communication with each other, I didn't want it to be this way as she seems such a nice person and someone I'd really like to get to know, but you can't force the issue as you're more likely to drive the person away rather than draw them closer.
Four to Six weeks went by and while looking over some of the profiles on the dating site, Anne's profile popped up. Feeling a little rubbish about how things had gone I messaged her on the off chance she may get back to me, sure enough she did that same day. After a little chit-chat back and forth and not wanting to waste time I told her I would be going to Cafe Nero for a coffee on certain day and she'd be welcome to join me, if she wanted to join I'd bring some recipes for her in exchange for her buying me a coffee. She said yes. And with no persuading needed. It just goes to show, if you make an impression on a person but they aren't forth coming, don't get upset and give them a little time, you may be surprised by the results, some people just aren't in the right place in their life at that moment in time.
When I arrived at the coffee shop I had a look around for Anne, but only seeing her profile picture I didn't have a huge amount to go on, especially when online daters aren't always truthful with their pictures and some can be 10 years old. However, I was in luck as Anne was the only Asian in the store. Upon introducing myself Anne put out a ridged hand in an attempt at formalities, which within itself was very cute, but I wasn't having any of it, only a hug will do.
We both spent the next three hours talking about anything and everything, it all felt so comfortable and as if we'd known each other for years. She even bought me a coffee. :-D I also found out she really didn't know how to cook pasta, or turn the oven on at her flat where she lived with friends, I almost thought she was joking until I realised the sincerity in her facial expression. Anyway, suffice to say we really got on well and at the end of the 'date' I felt hopefully we'd be seeing each other again very soon.
Part 2, coming soon :)