On a cold early January evening, I had the extraordinary luck to run across a very special profile on JDate. After exchanging a couple of emails in the evening, we engaged in a lengthy IM chat session. We chatted for over five hours about our families, education, career paths and goals, heroes, and even toothpaste of choice. Around 3:00 am, we decided we each needed to get off the computer and get some sleep, so we exchanged phone numbers and good night messages. I had a smile from ear to ear on my face that could not be removed. We then texted each other for another 30 – 45 minutes that evening. The next day, however, would be telling. I am not a big phone call person, so could we hold each other’s interest on a phone call? Guess what? We did. She was just as personable, funny and intelligent on the phone as she was over email. I had a feeling at this point that I was already “in like” with her. A couple of days later, it was time for our first date. On one hand, I was very excited for this first meeting as I felt we already had made a connection and she seemed amazing on the phone and on JDate. On the other hand, I was very nervous as I had already built her up as my soul mate. Could she stand up to my expectations?
It was now date night. I pulled up to the house, walked up to the door, knocked, the door opened, and her little dog greeted me. He was very sweet, charming and cute. We played for a few minutes as I stared up and into my date’s beautiful eyes. She was every bit as beautiful as I imagined and then some. At this point, I thought to myself, “she could be ‘The One,’ I just hope I don’t screw it up.” We had a wonderful dinner and later a great conversation until late into the night. After leaving her house and driving home, I wondered if she felt as though I could also be “The One?” I texted her shortly after leaving and she replied quickly. We texted several more times and I went to sleep that night with a huge grin on my face knowing that I had indeed met “The One.”
Less than one week after this first date, there was a family function at her parents’ house and I was invited. After just one official date, I had the opportunity to meet mom, dad, brother, sister, brother-in-law and several family friends. This is a big step, so what did I do? I chose to attend the event and to my great excitement, her family was incredibly loving and welcoming. I knew that I could not only have a wonderful time with her for the rest of my life, but if the opportunity came, I could happily call these people mom, dad, brother, sister and nephew.
After a few weeks, we decided to go out of town together, despite our allergies and colds. We had a wonderful time and I was convinced that we could spend long periods of time together and never grow bored of each other. Every time I saw her smile, I wanted to tell her how much I loved her; but, I waited until several weeks later to acknowledge those feelings. This was the first time in my life that I ever made that statement to a significant other. I had to be sure that it was the real thing and, by this point, I was 100% convinced that indeed it was. When the words were repeated by her, I was thrilled beyond belief. I had finally met someone who I could spend my life with. I finally connected with my soul mate. I was in love with her and she was in love with me.
Nearly nine months to the day after our first date, we became engaged to be married. The first nine months have been wonderful, spending as much time as possible with my love. The next 13 months as an engaged couple look to be equally as amazing with lots of wedding plans on the horizon. And the rest of our life together as a family will be what life is all about. I hope everyone can be as lucky as I am.
One Friday night last January, I was sitting at home, folding laundry and feeling ambivalent because while I was enjoying my quiet time, I was also missing time with my two-year-old daughter. She was spending the night with her father, my ex-husband. After settling in for the night, I decided to play around on JDate. I had had a rough couple of years — a divorce, settling into life as a single mother and fear of getting back into the swing of dating again as a young single mother. My daughter is the most important part of my life, but I knew there was room in both of our hearts to share our life with someone special. Honestly, I was not expecting too much from JDate — maybe a few dates or some friendships. As I logged in, an IM popped up on the screen and I was not sure about responding. I was so nervous and afraid about going through this whole process again! I hated the whole dating scene but knew I had to get back out there.
When Mike and I first started corresponding through JDate, I was exhausted! We talked for hours every night until we actually met. Our conversations touched on everything from favorite television shows to the more serious topics of marriage and children. Of course, I told Mike about my daughter right away and I knew that he was someone I had to meet because he did not even flinch. He could not stop asking questions about her and asking to see pictures of her! After a couple of days of emails and phone calls, we set up a date. Just to be on the safe side, I had my friends on speed dial in case he was weird or not interesting or even crazy! But fortunately, he was none of the above. We had a great time, laughing and joking and feeling so comfortable. After those first few dates, I knew that he was a person that I could fall in love with and possibly spend the rest of my life with. Soon after we met was my daughter’s birthday and all of my family was in town to help celebrate. I invited Mike to come to the family party; this was a perfect time for the family to grill him and see if he fit in! Yes, it was soon but why waste either of our time? He actually held his own, engaging in conversation with my overprotective family. They were nervous about a new man in the lives of my daughter and I and they had to make sure that he was cut out for the job. I was not so sure he knew ALL of what he was taking on!
After that meeting in January, I knew that Mike could hold his own and that he was a keeper. This last year has been a whirlwind full of trips and family outings– so much fun and excitement with more to come, with the love of my life! On September 16, 2009, Mike (unconventionally) asked me to marry him by getting down on one knee in the driveway when both plan A and plan B fell through! I was so excited, but at the same time said, “You can’t do this here…your pants are going to get dirty!”
My life has changed for the better since January 8, 2009 and I thank this wonderful man for coming in and rescuing us and making us so happy. As a single mom, you question if you will ever be a family again or find someone who wants to take on your “baggage.” I am so lucky that I was able to find the right person and we are so much better for it.
Through the last year, Mike has been an amazing rock in our lives and a fabulous “abba” to my daughter. He thinks of her as his own and loves her so much. My daughter and I are so lucky to have found this remarkable person to add to our family. He completes us and I can’t thank JDate enough for helping us find our one true love. My path over the last couple of years was broken and now it is fixed. We can’t wait to get married in October 2010 and spend the rest of our lives together as a new family.
Alana and Mike
St. Louis, Missouri