By Mireillee Lamourt
Just when I was ready to unplug and give up on love, I couldn’t avoid it. Let me back track.
Earlier this year, I connected with someone through a dating app. I had tried dating apps before. I even met a few people and they all turned out to be duds, or it was a complete mis-match made online. I was discouraged to say the least.
I had been getting to know the girl I “matched with” through messages, but we had never met. I was getting ready to relocate for the summer and so, I eventually stopped messaging. But suddenly, I was working my last shift at my restaurant job before going back home for the summer. I had been working a double that day and was just about ready to leave when my last table of the night sat down. And there she was.
The girl I had been messaging for weeks, and gave up on, was locking nervous eyes with me. I couldn’t do anything except avert her gaze and ask what her friends wanted to drink. I was sure she knew who I was from photos, the same way I knew it was her. My heart was racing. By the end of their meal, my nerves subsided and I wished her and her friends a good night.
That night we reconnected, and we continued to keep in touch throughout the summer, even though we were hundreds of miles apart. Honestly, keeping in touch from a distance has never really been something I’ve been good at. Sometimes it takes me days to reply to a text. But there were a few things that her and I did to keep in touch without getting discouraged or side tracked.
First, we were honest with each other. We chose to make our intentions with one another clear from the very beginning. And if either of us did or said something that the other didn’t like, we talked about it.
We also video chatted through FaceTime. You don’t realize how much a conversation can change just by seeing someone’s facial expressions when you ask how their day was. We didn’t do this too often, but when we were able to take 20 minutes out of our evening to catch up with one another, it was nice to see a smile.
But most importantly, we made time to see one another. We like to stay productive and we each keep a full schedule. By setting aside dates to drive and visit one another, it became clear that we were making each other a priority. And seeing a smiling emoticon, or sending a heart through texts can only get you so far before you need a face-to-face connection.
In this very connected age it can be surprisingly hard to meet people. The more you swipe left, the worse you start to feel. I was ready to quit on dating all together. But if there is anything that online dating has taught me, it’s that no matter how many people you “match with” and no matter how hard you look for love, it’s supposed to find you.