Friday, March 13, 2015

Our Online Dating -- And Marriage Story

FTC disclaimer:  This is a sponsored post from U.S. Cellular.  I am part of their Better Moments Blogger Brigade and I was compensated for this post.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

U.S. Cellular offers a FREE PRINTABLE Parent Child agreement to help you discuss safety of the Internet, cell phone usage, limits, and courtesy with your teen or tween.  You don't even need to be a U.S. Cellular customer to access this, although I have been for 10 years and highly recommend them. 

I remember chatting on the phone for hours with one of my best friends when we were in high school.  These were the stone ages.  It would be common for a pesky brother to pick up the phone and listen in or demand to call his best friend.  For privacy, we'd often take the phone in a closet.   When I think back to those times, I'm so thankful for my iPhone!  If I want privacy, I can just walk to another room -- or take a walk.  I was first on the Internet in 1985 and it was nothing like it was now.  I was at a computer camp and we were able to use a clunky modem to connect to a teacher's bulletin board.  We only got to experience this amazing thing for a couple minutes because of long distance charges.  (Remember those?)  I never would have guessed when I first saw the Internet that I would meet my husband online someday.

Back in 2002 I tried eHarmony, but never really found anyone.  I have friends who have had success there, so that's why I tried them first.  There is now even an eHarmony App but back when I was on it, I was using a clunky desktop computer.  (This was five years prior to the iPhone coming out, and back then when I thought of an app I thought of the nachos supreme at the local casual dining restaurant.)

Then I went to  Of course, it's got an app now, too, at Match.  I even saw a friend of a friend there but I didn't have much luck there either.  I tried a few others. Then I decided to go the more inexpensive route.  Most people love these two services because they try to match you on so many things more than just surface qualities.  I remember finding a man on eHarmony who we communicated a few times, and I was hopeful but it didn't go anywhere.  One that didn't exist at the time was Coffee Meets Bagel where you can meet someone who is friends with at least one person on your Facebook friends list.  That would have been very interesting, but like I said, that didn't exist then.

I use my iPad Air and iPhone for everything, so it was natural I would download the OKCupid app.  Interestingly, this is a location based app where you can search for people in your area, as is Plenty of Fish.  However, I just searched for men on OK Cupid who had a high friendship match.  Some of them seemed a little too chummy.  I can only get so excited discussing football. But there was one man. . .

He and I hit it off as we started exchanging messages.  There were a million and one reasons I knew he wasn't for me me.  Distance (he lived four and a half hours away), age (we can crack a joke and the other one look blank because I'm 10 years older than he is.   I had to go on youtube to show him who Clara Peller was!)  But, we kept chatting with each other because there was nothing better to do.  (We met online on Feb 14, 2013.  That's absolute proof we had nothing better to do! Ha!)  As we kept chatting, we started liking each other more and more, and fell in love as much as you can online.

We continued to chat and use Facetime.  I went to a fitness camp for a week in Texas.  Each time I went to gather my gear after a workout, there was usually a text saying something like "I'm so proud of you.  Keep it up."   One of the ladies there glared at my iPhone and muttered something about how her husband didn't text her anything like that.  (Note to men:  you have a cell phone, use it to charm the woman in your life.  By the end of the week everyone knew about how sweet my "kinda-sorta boyfriend" was.)   Kinda-sorta because we hadn't met yet.  I can remember when meeting someone online was kind of talked about, but now it's pretty normal.  After all, we have cell phones with us all the time, and we're no longer confined to a desktop to meet someone.

We finally met, and it was everything we both hoped it would be.  He visited for a couple days and we were dating by the end of it, but not saying anything much to others because he wanted me to meet his family before we were official.   It was during that visit we went to Blackwater Falls State Park and took this photo.  It's one of my favorites, and our first photo together.  In fact, it's on the cover of our guest book!  Of course, I had my U.S. Cellular iPhone with me, and that's what captured this memory.

The next two months there were more visits.  Then my mother went in the hospital.  I was told if she didn't improve in 24 hours I would have to pull the plug.  I remember the first person I called was Terry -- I was bawling and managed to pull myself together enough to say "I need you".  He was able to arrange to be off from work, and as my mother improved she begged him to move to West Virginia to help with her care.  In November he did so.  That is an amazing man to move quicker than he originally intended because the woman he loves needs help caring for her mother.  My mother passed away a few months later, but she knew he was planning on asking me to marry him.

June 13, 2014 Terry asked me to marry him in a room full of fifty teenagers.  You can read the details of that here.  The amazing thing was that we were at a youth camp, and one of the rules was no cell phone usage until after dinner -- so none of them had their phones with them to capture the big moment.  I tossed mine to a college student at the next table in the dining room and he was able to capture this photo.  I never would have had a camera with me if I hadn't been carrying my iPhone in my pocket.   U.S. Cellular has a great Parent Child Agreement Form that is free to help you talk to your children about proper cell phone usage.  I know if I was in a room with 50 teenagers without a phone, it is possible to convey how important rules, safety, and courtesy are to young people.

Of course, one of the first things I did was snap a photo and post it to Facebook.  There was a joke at the camp because it was so difficult for the group to pick up a signal to use their phones -- but none of them had U.S. Cellular.  With the U.S. Cellular 4G network I didn't even have to go to the one spot that had better reception to post:

I said yes!

Our wedding is a little over two months away at this point.  I've done plenty of wedding planning using my phone.  Everything from texting and calling for addresses to mail invitations to posting updates on Facebook.  I've ordered items for the wedding, and even jotted notes I wanted to remember.   Needless to say I've spent a lot of time on Pinterest getting ideas for the big day -- although I have to say it's going to be the most unique wedding ever.  I booked a plane ticket recently for a friend who is a master illusionist who is going to do a show at the reception.  I have done price comparisons for candy for the candy buffet.  My cell phone has been a great tool to help me get organized!

My fiance and I are far from unusual, as about 35% of marriages start with online dating.  Sixty three percent of mobile phone users go online with their phone -- in fact on Valentine's Day 2015 my fiance couldn't even visit because the weather was so bad.  We spent Valentine's Day the same way we had spent it two years prior -- online.  Facetime might not be the way I dreamed of spending Valentine's Day, but I was glad I was able to spend it with him in some manner.  


  1. That is such a nice story, I'm so happy you found each other. It is hard to go through life without a good partner, you are blessed.

  2. It seems to work for many. It just not my speed.