Today at work I checked my phone during a break and this was the text message I received:
“Good Morning Beautiful! Just wanted to wish you happy anniversary! For we have been communicating nearly each of the past 365 days. Crazy eh? Miss you and hope you have a great day.”
September 15, 2014 was the first day that David sent me questions on eharmony. For those of you that know my story, David is Mr. Knows Just What To Say. I figured it was time for me to introduce his first name because honestly it feels weird referring to him as Mr. KJWTS these days.
For those of you new to my story, it all started with a crazy idea of going on 30 dates in a 6 month span before my 30th birthday. If you are new to this blog post, scroll down to the first post and you will get a better understanding of what I’m talking about. I was new to this “dating scene.” I don’t remember going on more than three or four dates with the same individual since my college years (and even in college I never really knew if they were dates or just two friends hanging out) and never in my life had I referred to someone as my boyfriend – never. So this whole “anniversary” thing is new to me to say the least. New to us both really, as David has shared with me that he didn’t often date women longer than three months and his longest relationship was around 7 or 8 months.
We hung out with some of his best friends this past weekend and one of his friends said, “I still think it is odd that a woman is sitting here in your house and she hasn’t gotten up to leave yet!” We certainly make quite a pair as I think my friends and family are also still in shock a bit that I am dating someone.
Getting that text today brought a smile to my face and immediately made me a bit nostalgic thinking back to what all transpired a year ago today. September 15th last year was on a Monday and I had just recently joined eharmony a few days prior on Saturday to see if this crazy idea in my head could turn into a reality. Looking back on it now, I still sit in awe of the whole adventure and know without a doubt that God had His Mighty Hand in it all.
Dating websites don’t work for everyone, I know that. In fact, I had tried it several years prior to last year and I failed miserably at it. But with a new perspective and a new adventurous spirit, this time it worked. I have been an advocate for eharmony lately because of my experience, but I understand that God’s plan for me will not necessarily be the same for someone else. I do know that each person will have a different experience with it. But as I travel down memory lane today, I thought I would let you in on some details with my experience with the man that I have now known for an entire year.
Eharmony starts off with one person initiating the communication by sending 5 multiple choice questions and then after a few rounds back and forth you can ask each other some open ended questions.
Here was an example of a question that David asked me: List 3 general pet peeves that really irritate you and 3 immediate turnoffs that make even an extremely handsome guy completely unattractive.
I remember thinking at the time that he must be a thoughtful and smart man. It may seem silly, but none of the other questions that guys seemed to ask sparked my interest as much as this one. I wanted to reply right away, while many other questions seemed general and original and my responses to the others became generic and mundane.
Here was my response in case you were interested. Ha.
Oh, that is a great question! This took some thought. 3 pet peeves: (1) when someone leaves their blinker on but they are not really going to turn (2) when someone asks me a question, but then doesn’t really pay attention to me when I am answering (they are usually looking past me, seeing who else they should talk to next). (3) When people are more than 15 minutes late and they do not let me know or they don’t really have a good reason. Now for the turnoffs. (1) When guys curse. (2) When guys say racially offensive comments. (3) When a guy is so insecure that it comes across as he is trying to overcompensate and then he just sounds like he is bragging (I am not sure this one will make sense to you – but it is hard to explain).
On these open ended questions, you have a space limit, so you have to type something that catches the other person’s attention in less than 150 words. I can’t quite remember the limit, but I know there was one.
On one question I asked him to tell me a joke because I couldn’t think of something so original as his above question to me. His response to me was shortened as much as he could before he ran out of space.
Here was his response to my joke inquiry.
So a priest, a rabbi, and a blonde woman walk into a bar. Just kidding! Here’s a story that isn’t my original story but rather some advice my favorite college professor shared with us: “I’ve been married over 40 years now, & I gotta tell u that I have learned the secret to a successful & happy marriage. You men should write this down for when u get married one day. See my wife & I have just one rule which is quite simple yet alleviates any drama or fighting. The rule is: She takes care of all the small decisions & I take care of the big decisions. So that means that she makes decisions on all the small stuff that doesn’t really matter like where to go on vacation, how our kids should act, what to spend our money on, who gets to drive what car, where we should buy a house, what furniture to buy, etc. And she let’s me make all the big decisions like should the USA go to war with Afghanistan, who should we vote for President, & whether or not taxes are fair. See it’s a great compromise!
From the beginning, I knew this was a man that I wanted to get to know. Soon after these limited open ended questions, eharmony unleashes you into what they call ehmail. And during this time there is no space or character limits. But don’t worry, I kept my messages under 1000 words. Just kidding – I kept them short but still long enough to show interest, thank you very much.
He emailed me first and made a bachelorette reference since it was written in my profile about the 30 dates idea. So here is an excerpt of my first message back to him.
First off, you are my favorite so far. I am a little overwhelmed by it all. But so far, you are setting yourself apart. I am not the “bachelor show” type quality material either. I would have been kicked off the first week. I just figured that by doing these 30 dates, it would get me into the dating scene a bit. I put so much pressure on myself during the first date, that this was a good way to take it off. I didn’t really love first dates and therefore would just stay home on my couch and eat ice cream and watch the Bachelorette 🙂 I figured that by telling myself I have 30 dates to go on from the beginning, I can be more open to saying yes and then not feel ridiculously horrible about myself when there isn’t a 2nd date. The people that really know me, cannot believe that I am doing this, since it is so unlike me. However, I have had a lot of good support from my friends and family. And when I first proposed the idea, they all said, “Do it!” Okay, so what do I want to know about you?! Do you like bacon?
I thought that I might as well get an important question out of the way from the beginning in my reference to asking him about eating bacon. He said yes by the way.
So now that we were on the same page about our breakfast foods, who wouldn’t feel comfortable with meeting this guy? His next email to me brought up that very topic. Which I have come to really appreciate by the way. We were only a couple of messages in, but what were we both waiting for? Might as well meet and see if the chemistry existed beyond a computer screen.
Here is how he asked about the next step.
Here is my question for you: How would you like to proceed? Would you like to continue emailing for awhile? Or move to a phone conversation? Or skip ahead to just meeting in person? I have justifications for each of the above approaches. Sometimes if both parties are comfortable meeting, sooner is better that later, for if there is no chemistry in person then there is no reason to drag it out. But on the other hand it may take time for both parties to become comfortable with each other before meeting. I know my mere words carry little weight on here, but as a man, I would never ask you to compromise your sense of security in any way. Thus, you’re in complete control … I’m just seeking a rose. =] If you ever feel like sending me a text my number is below. And I think your first text should be you simply telling me what your favorite month is. But if you want to stick to email, I completely understand and will continue to look forward to hearing from you! =] David
That message was on September 17th. The next day we sent over 30 emails back and forth to one another. And the reason I have all of this documented is because after you report to eharmony that you experienced success, they send you a pdf of your whole communication on the site. Pretty cool, huh?! It is very fun to go back and read those messages. We began texting that night and I really think we have sent at least one text every single day since then. So like David said in my text from earlier today – it is crazy, crazy indeed!
Looking back on this past year, I can’t tell you that finally gaining a boyfriend after almost 30 years on this earth has turned all of life’s sadness, pain and frustrations in my life into sunshine and butterflies. A boyfriend won’t do that. A boyfriend can’t do that. A husband can’t either. Being single for so many years, I actually learned that. I learned to not rely on another person to complete me. I was already complete before I even knew David existed. But I will admit that getting to know this man these past 365 days has brought me many smiles, and yes, even some butterflies in the pit of my stomach. It has brought me many wonderful memories that I will forever cherish. I don’t know what the future has for us. But I do know that if for some reason God calls us apart, I will not be incomplete without him. You can be sure that I will be sad and that many tears will be in store for me, but I will not become a broken person. Understanding who Jesus is at an early age and understanding that I am a child of God has allowed me to find completion in my Savior and my Savior alone. So while I feel that I have actually finally given a little piece of my heart to David because of him being my first real boyfriend and my first kiss, I still know that the future is up to God alone. So when I sometimes face a bit of anxiety knowing that details are unclear in my eyes and that I really don’t know how long we will be in each other’s lives for, I remember that being in God’s hands is the safest place I can be.
And as David and I prayed last Sunday, we want our lives to glorify Jesus, so if we can do that in a relationship together then maybe I will be posting yearly blog updates for years to come. But if God calls us to something else, I will forever be blessed to share this story.
I started writing this evening with the intention of giving you an update on our relationship, but so far all I have done is re-live the past. I guess it is because my life with David is still pretty normal. We both go to work each day, text each other in the evenings, which ends in a good night message and then do it all again the next day. We see each other most weekends, which always ends with both of us dreading the goodbye and an immediate feeling of missing one another the second we drive away.
At the beginning of summer, we both traveled to my hometown and spent 12+ hours in a car with one another followed by another five or so days at my parents’ cottage in Michigan. I remember thinking that this would be a bit of a test for us. Being an only child, I usually like my space. But that didn’t happen with David. Not once did I wish for our time together to be over. At the end of the week, he flew home to get back to work and I stayed with my parents for another week. On the way to the airport, he admitted to me that he felt a bit uneasy. He said, “I am not sure if it is because I am getting ready to leave you or because I am getting ready to get on a plane.” He isn’t the biggest fan of flying. I laughed and thought that was adorable. I told him it was probably because he was about to fly, but secretly hoping that it was because he was going to miss me instead.
When people ask us how long we have been dating, I usually just look at David and wait for an answer. Do we consider our one year dating anniversary to be our first date even though I went on several dates with other guys after that? Do we consider it to be in January since that was when I decided that my last half of the 30 dates were going to be with him? Or do we consider it to be the end of March, when my 30 date adventure was officially over and we declared our exclusivity? I still do not have an answer to that question actually.
But I will admit, reading “Happy Anniversay” this morning felt pretty darn cool.
So Happy Anniversary back to you, Mr. Knows Just What To Say. I am so glad God has brought you into my life. It feels so great to have someone “get me.” Thank you for making dating actually seem easy. You are one of the most servant-hearted people that I know and I feel blessed that you choose to serve me each day that I am with you.