A millennial twist on a romantic classic

“Love at first sight” can totally include love at first message, right? Because that’s what happened to me. Eddie and I had both been off and on the dating site for years, but we had somehow never viewed each other’s profiles—that is until we ended up online at the same time one evening several years ago. He found my profile, so I got the notification that he had viewed it. I was curious, of course, so I looked at his.

At this point, I was tired of the dating site, tired of messages that go off into black holes of inactive accounts, and tired of guys who weren’t actually ever going to take some initiative and ask to meet in person. So, I skimmed Eddie’s profile quickly and decided that he seemed like a decent fellow, so I would respond to his interview questions, but no more. I was done wasting time crafting the perfect message to a man who would never reply, and, so far, I had zero reason to believe that Eddie would be any different from those other guys.

I answered his interview questions, logged off, and went to bed, promptly forgetting that Eddie even existed. Several days later, I happened to check the site again, to find a message that had been waiting for me since shortly after I had logged off that night. It turned out that, as I had been answering his interview questions, Eddie had been crafting that first message to me. And I was smitten. The man had clearly read my profile—he talked about his experiences traveling and asked about some of my own travels. He commented on my profession as a teacher being worthwhile, how we shared many of the same values, and how he wanted a big family experience like mine for his kids. Who was this guy?

We continued to message, each reply getting longer than the last. Before I knew it, we were discussing our views on relationships and how men and women are meant to complement each other. I was struck by how clear Eddie was, how decided in his views and how willing he was to share them with me, even before we had met in person. I suspected that this was because he had decided that if I wasn’t OK with these views, then it wasn’t worth going further in our messages. From my experience with online dating, I completely agreed—it wasn’t worth spending a long time messaging only to find out about all those carefully-concealed views later on.

I appreciated a man who respected women deeply. He had plenty to say about how he thinks that a man needs to show a woman how much he cares about her by the way he treats her in little ways—like opening the door—and by respecting her and never belittling her. The more we continued to message, the more I suspected that I had found a gem.

After about a week of messaging, Eddie asked if he could take me to dinner. Well done, sir! He even offered to pick me up but gave me an easy out if I wasn’t comfortable with that yet. He was, after all, a man I had met online. Little did he know, but I had done some digging and found a mutual friend who highly recommended him as a good man—so I let him pick me up.

He arrived one evening after we both were off work. I came down the steps of my apartment complex, and he greeted me with a hug that, oddly, felt entirely appropriate. We had messaged online enough to have a good sense for each other and to know that we had a lot of the deeper things in common. After he hugged me (and I fretted that he would realize my hair was still wet from my after-work shower!), he opened the car door for me. He was dressed in a suit, with a charming smile and the cutest dimples I have ever seen. His car was spotless—he had gone out of his way to make a good first impression. He took me to a nice place for dinner that was a favorite of his and swept me off my feet every chance he got. We talked for a long time, trading travel stories, talking about our favorite books and movies, our careers, and so much more. Before I knew it, he was dropping me off at home, asking if he could have my phone number and a second date. We set it up for several days later, and I floated through my front door on cloud nine.

Several days later, he again picked me up, this time for a movie. We spent the afternoon together, and I was falling hard, and fast. As the saying goes, the rest is history.

Ladies, let me just say this. There are good men out there. They may be hard to find, but they are definitely out there. Eddie turned out to be a true gentleman. He treats me with respect, holds doors, pays for dinner, spoils me rotten—and, sometimes, he even gets down on one knee. He proposed last summer, and now we’re planning our wedding.

The character traits that came through in our early messages online turned out to be exactly on target. He does love to travel, he loves his books, he is incredibly committed to his values, and he meant what he said about wanting a large family!

I am so incredibly grateful that both of us waited until we found the right person. We each had opportunities to settle by accepting someone else, someone who didn’t share as many of our values, hopes, and dreams—but we both waited and held out hope for someone with whom we could share so much more, and those hopes were fulfilled.

Eddie commented in his first message that it seemed like we had a lot in common. He was right. Pretty soon, we will have even more in common as I receive the gift of his last name and we build a home together. I am so grateful that we both happened to be on that dating site, and that we gave each other a chance in person. Saying yes to online dating was a good decision, and not giving up when years on the dating site proved fruitless was an even better decision, but saying yes to Eddie, as he knelt on one knee and looked up eagerly at me, was definitely one of the best decisions I have ever made.