My fiancée, Sean and I met online in January 2011. I had been skeptical about online dating, but became curious about it after two of my friends met their current spouses on a popular site. Initially, it was rough. I received a number of salacious inbox messages from strangers who inquired about my measurements without ever asking my name. I did get some respectful messages, and while they were sweet, they came from men old enough to be my father. Disheartened, I was just about to close my account, when I saw a profile that made me reconsider.
Honestly, I do not remember much of what Sean’s profile said, but I do remember his smile. There was warmth and an excitement in it that made me want to know more about him. Uncharacteristic of me, I messaged him and told him so. Soon after, he replied to return the compliment. From that point on, there has not been a day that we have not been in contact. Soon our messages on the site moved to lengthy emails (which we still send each other every day) and naturally, phone calls. The first time I heard Sean’s voice, I was working on my graduate school applications. I was nervous about them and Sean was full of encouragement. By the time we finally met for our first date, I was completely smitten but still very cautious.
As I waited for him in the lobby of the museum where we had planned to meet, I called my best friend and told her to be on alert. If for any reason he seemed different than he presented himself to be, I would text her so that she could call me and feign an emergency so I would have an excuse to leave. Thankfully, there was no need for that. When Sean walked through the door, he was even more handsome than he had appeared in his pictures. Mere moments into our date, sensing how nervous I was, Sean took my hand in his in an effort to calm me. This simple gesture disarmed me and allowed me to relax and be as comfortable with him in the flesh as I had been on the phone and in our virtual correspondence. After that date, which lasted for most of the day, we have been inseparable emotionally, but not geographically. Shortly, after we began dating exclusively, I was accepted to seminary in another state. Yet through our daily emails, weekly FaceTime dates and monthly (as much as we can swing it) visits and a whole lot of prayer, we have been able to maintain our relationship, despite the distance.