Wednesday, January 02, 2013

"...that lead me straight..."

So when I left off with my last post, I was just out of my third semi-serious relationship.  I was 24 years old.  I had been home from my mission for a year and a half.  I was sick of dating.  Now we resume with the best part of the story...

I had two good friends who had met their spouse/soon-to-be-spouse on eHarmony.  I NEVER planned on doing anything like that.  Truth be told, I thought it was kind of crazy.  But I did know they had a "Free Personality Profile" because I got e-mails from them all the time.  One day when I was feeling kind of low about being back in the dating game, I decided to just fill out the personality profile.  I thought it would be good to take a look at myself and to say nice things about me. :)  Humility may not be one of my strong points.  I filled it out, felt better about myself, and was going about my life once again.

The thing is, once you fill out a Free Personality Profile, they start sending you "matches" you're supposedly matched with on 29 levels of compatibility.  Sometimes I would glanced at a few of them, but I never, ever planned to shell out the $40/month to communicate with any of the {socially backward} men I'd been matched with.  I was pretty sure that 99% of the guys on there were super awkward; I thought my two friends had gotten lucky with their husbands.

In September my little sister got married.  My older brother and other little sister had been married for a few years.  I think people were feeling sorry for me, the "old maid" of the family with no prospects on the horizon.  But I wasn't feeling sorry for myself.  I was SO happy for my little sis and I wasn't going to marry just anybody; my perfect match just hadn't come around yet.  I remember standing at the edge of the room during my sister's reception, talking to my Aunt Jan.  She seemed to be approaching me gingerly, but I was quick to reassure her.  In the course of our conversation I said, "I actually feel like I'm going to be married by the end of the year."  Say wha?!  Who says that when it's late September and they aren't even dating someone?  Me, that's who.  Because I was serious.  I just felt it.

Early October - General Conference weekend - brought a mission reunion in Utah.  I wanted to go and see some of my companions, plus it was the first reunion my mission president and mission mom would be to since they had gotten home from their mission that summer. The big bonus was that my best friend, Kelly, and her husband and kids, would also be in Utah that weekend.  I was really excited about the trip.  One afternoon Kelly and I got together with our best friends, Val and Janet, for lunch at the park.  I told them that I felt like my husband was in Utah...but I lived in Las Vegas.  So I wasn't really sure what that meant; I just remember getting butterflies and feeling assurance when it came out of my mouth.

How was this going to go down?  I was going to marry someone by the end of the year and he lived in Utah.  Hmmm.  I thought that maybe I was going a little crazy.

I had the 7 hour drive back to Vegas by myself to think and to pray about life in general and what a great weekend I'd had.  Sometime during that drive I had a very strong, very clear thought, "You need to sign up for eHarmony."  I laughed out loud and responded {out loud} "I am NOT going to sign up for eHarmony."  Again, the thought, strong and loud, "You need to sign up for eHarmony."  I was kind of incredulous and said, "I'm not going to sign up for eHarmony!"  The third time came with so much emphasis and strength, "You need to sign up for eHarmony tonight."  This time my response was much more sober, "Okay."

I pulled into the driveway of my parent's house and didn't even get my bag out of the back.  I went inside, kissed my mom, and went straight to the computer, telling her what I was doing.  We both kind of laughed about it.  I got my debit card and paid the discounted $30/month fee.  Now I was free to peruse the matches I'd already been sent and start the first level of communication with any that looked interesting. There were a handful of guys that looked like they might be my type; some had pictures, with others I was just going off of their info.  Among them was a guy named Tyler that lived in Provo, UT who was a mechanical engineer.  I worked at an engineering firm, so I knew that engineer=nice nerd {usually} but I was interested and so I responded to him, along with a few others.

There are different levels of communication through eHarmony, with pre-selected questions you can choose from, to get to know the other person and decide {based on their answers} if you want to know more.  You can also fill in your own question if you don't like what's offered.  When you get to the fourth or fifth level of communication {it's been a while...I don't totally remember} then you are able to more freely e-mail through the website.  I thought it was a good and safe way of doing things.  With Tyler {and a few other guys} the communication went really quick over the next few days.  I signed up on Sunday night.  I think Tyler asked, in a written-in question, for a picture of me on Monday.  I had JUST signed up and hadn't even had time for that.  I posted a picture {that I had to crop A out of, all of my recent pictures had him in them} and he was pretty quick to respond again...he liked what he saw. :)  The following day, Tuesday, Tyler responded to some of my questions and then wrote "Today is the last day of my membership, so if you want to, write me at {e-mail address}.  I'm interested to know more about you."

I really liked the safety of communicating through eHarmony and wasn't sure that I should go outside of that.  I hardly knew anything about this guy!  But I decided, "Ah, what the heck..."  I was already doing this bizarre internet thing; might as well send the guy an e-mail {this was Wednesday}.  My first question was "What made you try eHarmony?"  I knew that would tell me a lot - can he not get dates on his own, is he painfully shy, is he painfully awkward?  His response was perfect: "I haven't talked about it or told too many people, okay I haven't told anyone, not even my friends, that I was doing this because I'm kind of embarrassed about it for some reason.  Not that I should be, right?  This is a totally legitimate way of dating in this day and age...(isn't it pathetic how I struggle with this?)  It just seems like the only girls I meet in Provo anymore are 18 and 19 year olds and I thought I would try to use the power of the internet to my advantage."  Cue HUGE sigh of relief from me.  He's not a weirdo!  He's kind of embarrassed about this {I was too}!  Then he told me I was the cutest {by far} of any of the girls he'd communicated with on eHarmony.  Scored a few points.

My next e-mail {on Thursday} was pretty lighthearted; I asked him really easy questions like "Have you been in any serious relationships?" "Do you take initiative in relationships or do you wait for the girl to take the lead?" "What are your feelings about missions?" {I 'd met a lot of returned missionaries who were ambivalent about their missions or didn't like sister missionaries which I, obviously, wasn't a fan of} "Do you want to serve when you are older?" "What are your feelings on a wife and mother working outside of the home?" Haha!  I love reading those and thinking about how he felt and what he must have thought when he read that e-mail.  I'm kind of surprised he responded at all.  I just wanted to get some of the big questions I had answered and if we weren't compatible on those, then we could both move on.  He had no idea how I felt about any of those things, so he could have been walking in to a land mine with his responses for all he knew. :)  His response to that e-mail {also on Thursday} was the clincher for me.  I knew that this was a guy I could really, really like.  He was funny, normal, and his answers exactly aligned with my views.  AND he ended his e-mail with some equally personal questions, which I responded to late that same night.  After midnight, he checked his e-mail and saw the one from me and responded to it.  Friday was more of the same...e-mails back and forth, plus we sent more pictures to each other {again, I had to cut A out of the pictures I sent}.

On Saturday morning, he ended a really long e-mail asking for my phone number.  Aaack!  That made me nervous.  E-mails were one thing, but actually talking?  I hesitated for a minute, said a little prayer, felt good about it, and sent it off, along with a really long-winded e-mail.  The next morning, I heard from him and he said that he would be calling me that night.  I remember thinking, just before he was going to call, that this was going to be a really important conversation.  Not because of what we would say, really, but because of what it might start.  We talked for two hours.  It flowed, was easy and fun...I was super excited.  We decided we should probably meet sometime soon to make sure that there was physical chemistry since everything else was so good.  He typed me a really long e-mail after that and then decided to call me again.  We talked for another two hours and during the course of the conversation decided that he would come to Vegas from Provo on Wednesday {he was working on his thesis and didn't have work that day}.  I was on cloud 9.  I really, really, really liked this guy!  His e-mail to me after that {at 4 am because he couldn't sleep} began with "Danalin my darling".

Maybe the whole 'married by the end of the year to a guy who lived in Utah' thing wasn't so crazy after all...

***Okay, final post on meeting my man to follow...I've had four babes with the man that keep me kinda busy***


Em and TJ said...

What a great story!

Natalie said...

Wow! I had no idea. That's a cool story. You are writing the next part right? Haha

Wendy Johns said...

Please hurry and finish! I've never heard this and I can't wait to hear more! I'm loving it. :)

Laura said...

This is so fun to read, Dana! I only wish I'd happened upon it after your final post so I wouldn't be left with this cliffhanger! So glad you waited for the right man so we could be in the same family! Congratulations on eight blissful years!

janet said...

love the details. so fun to have documented!