Online Dating Actually Worked

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As printed in the 8/25/15 Edition of the Cincinnati Enquirer
http://www.cincinnati.com/story/opinion/contributors/2015/08/25/opinion-online-dating-actually-worked/32332747/

When I wrote about the challenges of online dating several months back in The Enquirer, I didn’t expect all the emotions and backlash that would come along with it.

I received support and encouragement from those who could “feel my pain,” and name calling and mean-spirited comments from others. I received several Facebook friend requests and date propositions. That was definitely not the purpose of voicing my frustrations with online dating.

However, I also never expected to be where I am right now.

I had been on and off several different dating websites over the last few years. I was on the free ones, the paid ones, the popular ones, the obscure ones. And while I met some great guys and have gained friendships from my experiences, nothing really panned out romantically, and I was getting frustrated.

Maya Angelou once said, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” Truer words have never been spoken. My attitude toward online dating was that there were no good guys out there (“Where are good guys? Not on dating sites” Feb. 24). After two years of trying and failing, I was ready to give up.

But I didn’t give up. Instead, I changed my tune. And not only did I change my tune, I changed my approach. Instead of taking a passive approach to searching for love online, I became proactive and stepped out on the limb I was scared of the most. I didn’t wait idly by, hoping that someone would approach me first. I put aside my longstanding fears of rejection and made the first move and messaged a guy online.

All the proverbial dating advice I was getting from seemingly everyone I came into contact with was starting to come to fruition. Timing is everything, and when I least expected it, I took the plunge, and I met him.

I’m so thankful for this man who has come into my life. He’s not perfect, and we already know that I’m far from perfect. But he’s just what I needed. He keeps me grounded and lets me vent when I need to. He has helped me see a different perspective on life, and for that I’m thankful. He keeps me laughing, and he tries to keep me from taking everything too seriously. Hey, it’s a work in progress!

Together we have survived a family vacation where he met around 40 members of my extended and immediate family in a span of five days. He’s met my children – a first in my two years of being single – and they adore him and have a blast together. I’ve met some of his family, and we have all hit it off. Imagine that! Online dating worked for me.

We may not know what the future holds, but I’m thankful for each day that we have together. I’m excited to see where the road of life takes us and as long as he’s by my side, I’m more content and happy than I could have imagined.

Now, while I still believe that online dating is a crap shoot and sometimes it’s just the luck of the draw, I now believe that sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone and risk being rejected and hurt. I’ve been rejected and hurt several times over the last several years, and it’s a horrible feeling. But, sometimes you have to take big risks.

This one paid off for me.

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