Maybe you’ve heard this one. This chick has recently split with her husband, and in an effort to move on, she creates a profile on Match.com. She is twenty-seven years old (at least for another couple of weeks) and has never “played the field.” She figures she has a good shot at making some new friends if nothing else. Her expectations are low… This is just a way of “putting herself out there.”
She scrolls through a short list of men that the site tells her are good matches. Compatibility is determined through a questionnaire each has filled out. The average percentage she has in common with them is about 46%. Disappointing. But then there is one who has a compatibility of 79%. Hmm. Worth a look.
The man in question does indeed seem to have much in common with the girl. He, too has been married before. He has just got out of a long term engagement, and he is looking to meet people “for friendship or maybe more.” What really grabs her attention is that he, too, is a fish out of water. An American in the UK with no family or friends who didn’t also belong to his ex. And only twenty miles away.
The girl sees that she can send one free message on the site, so she decides that it will be to him. She introduces herself, and she sits back to wait.
Almost immediately he responds, and she goes to read what he has said. Frustratingly, though, the “one free message” means just that. She can’t read his response unless she buys a paid account. She debates internally. After all, the other results had such low compatibility that she has no idea if it would be worth paying. So she does something different. She creates a second account, going through the long process of answering questions again, and she sends the guy another free message. She explains that she can’t read his response and that she’d quite like to converse. She gives him her email address. She adds her mobile number for good measure.
It’s not long before he is messaging her. He is interested. Score!
They exchange photos, and after she is relieved that he is good looking, she starts to panic that he won’t think she is. She waits for his response, and her heart drops when he writes, “just so you know, I am looking for friends – not necessarily a girlfriend.”
Her heart drops. Oh my god he doesn’t fancy me she thinks. She plays off her disappointment. Even though she is not looking for a relationship either, she can’t help but feel deflated.
They come up with a plan to meet at a pub in her town at the weekend. She keeps her expectations low.
When the day arrives, she is so nervous that she starts chain smoking. She is a few minutes early, and when she walks in, she looks quickly around and doesn’t see him. She walks purposefully toward the toilets, where she goes and has a minor panic attack. It is clear to her that she’s been stood up. She will pull herself together and then walk out with her head held high.
A moment later she is striding toward the front entrance, eyes straight ahead. As if in slow motion, a figure appears somewhere to her left, and her sight falters. She was afraid she wouldn’t recognize him, but he looks just like his pictures.
She stops. She turns. She smiles. And the whole world falls away.
They lunch. They take a walk. They talk. They laugh. They take a drive. They end up back at his place and he introduces her to some friends. They go to dinner. He tells her he wants to marry her. Her mouth hurts from smiling so much.
Their first date is nine hours long.
A girl walks into a bar… And she walks out with the love of her life.
Eight years ago today, I met my husband. We have been through so much together, and we are still going strong. A few years ago, he kept his promise to marry me. We have four beautiful children. We have one beautiful life.
I could never do justice to just how much I love that man. Suffice to say he is my perfect partner and the love of my life.
Happy Anniversary, Mark. You truly complete me.
This post was originally shared in January 2014, and it has been updated to reflect each year gone by.