It is still hard for me to believe that I am one of the millions of couples that can call themselves an “online dating success story,” but it is true. Mike and I met on one of the best online dating sites almost nine years ago. Recently I had a chance to team up with that dating site – Plenty of Fish - to tell our story and encourage others who are looking for love to do the same. This may be one of my favorite blog posts I have ever written.
The Story of Us… A Plenty of Fish Success Story
After going through a nasty divorce that spanned from mid-2007 into early 2008, I had all but given up on love. I was a nearly 30-year-old single mom unsure of where my life was headed. I had heard of online dating, but it had come around while I was married so I never gave it a second thought. Nearly a year after my divorce – unsure of how to even “put myself out there” as my girlfriends suggested – I began researching. My cousin had met some people from a site called Plenty of Fish, so I decided to give it a try.
I created a profile, surfed around reading others profiles, and almost immediately began receiving messages. Since I am a firm believer that the best relationships are born out of friendships, my goal was to start making friends first, and if a relationship blossomed from it – that was fantastic. I began conversations – some of which went on for hours – and eventually starting making plans to meet in person.
For the next few months I had an absolute blast “online dating.” I went on some of the neatest dates, met some of the neatest people, and learned so much about myself and the things I did and did not want in my life. I even learned about careers that I never knew existed!
One date that I had an absolute blast on we called a “progressive date” – we met first for a drink at one location, then went to another location to order a salad, then left and went to another location to order an appetizer, etc. – with the joke that at ANY time we could say we didn’t want to go on to the “next course.” It was completely pressure free and we had so many laughs and ended up staying together all the way through after dessert drinks and dancing. I highly recommend everyone going on a progressive date!
While perusing the Plenty of Fish site one day, I saw a profile that looked interesting and I sent him a message. Hey, it was 2008 – women can make the first move, right? I sent a message to “My Fellow Leo” and said he seemed like someone I would have a lot in common with. We began chatting which eventually led to trying to make plans… but our schedules just did not match up. He actually thought I was blowing him off! The conversation kind of dropped, with just an occasional hello here and there.
A few weeks later I woke up to my credit card terminal on the fritz. I had a credit card that I needed to run for products I had already delivered, and I was getting antsy. In a desperate attempt to get it fixed I logged into Plenty of Fish and posted a message asking for help. I jumped in the shower and got ready for work - praying for a miracle.
A while later I got a message from Mike – my “Fellow Leo” I had messaged a few weeks before - offering to help. He said he had a similar terminal in his office, and I could use his to input the card and he would give me the cash back. Simple. I thanked him for his offer and told him I would come by after I got off work around noon.
After work, I called him to see where his office was. Turns out... he worked from home. I got the address and headed to his house. I pulled into his driveway and called my friend Megan to tell her I was at this address - and if she didn’t hear from me in 15 minutes to call the police. Yes, I watch too many crime shows.
I met Mike for the first time “IRL” and he ran my card - literally three minutes later and I was done. But... wait...
I said, "Can I at least take you to lunch to thank you for your help?"
He said sure and we went up the street to Applebee's for lunch where we sat talking and laughing… for nearly five hours. The waitress came back and asked us if we wanted to see the menu again for dinner. We said no, I paid our tab, and we both left.
Two days later he texted me and asked me out. There was a Mardi Gras parade on the beach that he and some friends were going to, and he wanted to see if I wanted to go along. Of course, I did. Six months later we moved in together.
Five years later – as we were leaving that same Applebee's - having ironically ordered the exact same meal that we did on that first impromptu “date”- I turned around to see him on one knee holding a beautiful black diamond ring.
In the last eight years, we have gone through every up and down you could possibly imagine. From sicknesses to legal battles, life altering surgeries to cross country job opportunities, amazing vacations to huge wins in the poker room... and whether we were up - or down - he has been the best friend I have ever had.
In October I will marry my best friend.
Never in a million years did I think I would be an “online dating success story” – but here we are – happier than I ever thought I would be in my life, and I 100% tell people it is because of Plenty of Fish. What makes this story even wilder is that Mike and I have been “one degree of separation” from each other our entire lives – yet we never met. We have some of the same friends, have been to some of the same parties – yet it took both of us taking a leap of faith and signing up for Plenty of Fish to bring us together. It just proves that you have to “put yourself out there” in order to find your fate.
If you are considering online dating, or even just searching for the love of your life, you have to check out Plenty of Fish. Plenty of Fish, or POF for short, has more than 150 million registered users looking to connect. Now you can have POF right on your mobile device with their smart phone app – those did not exist back when Mike and I started talking! Ha!
Their new app has made it even easier to find love with the inclusion of Spark, which makes it even easier for you to initiate that first conversation. By picking up and dragging the conversation icon over any aspect of another user’s profile, you can instantly quote and comment on what interests you about them – like photos or even their interests. You can see how Spark works by watching this video. You can download the Plenty of Fish App from iTunes or Google Play or sign up online.
I am so thankful that my friends convinced me to try online dating, and that I signed up for Plenty of Fish. I truly do not think Mike and I ever would have met without it. We are both incredibly proud to be a success story for Plenty of Fish.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Plenty of Fish.