I Met My Boyfriend Online

I think I always had assumed that one day, when the time was right, I would meet someone while walking to class or getting a coffee or buying my textbooks. The universe would plant “The One” in front of me at exactly the right time and we’d be swept up into a picture-perfect whirlwind romance.

But that’s not how the world works, especially when we live in a world as technology reliant as this one. People stay in and binge Netflix shows or play video games far more often than they would walk to a local Starbucks to write poetry and smile at a stranger over a cappuccino.

No one talks about how difficult it can be to meet someone, or how frustrating it is to be unable to meet someone new when you’re ready for a relationship. I’ve spent almost two years being single. Most of that time was dedicated to my friends, family and academics. The rest of it was dedicated to getting to know myself without the influence of a relationship and another person’s expectations. Eventually, I wanted to introduce someone else into that equation, preferably someone tall, dark and handsome.

So, I stepped back and took a realistic look at my life and my obligations and then decided that maybe --just maybe -- it wouldn’t be so bad to try online dating. I signed up for a dating app called “CoffeeMeetsBagel” at one in the morning after spending six hours conquering a mountain of homework. I bypassed Tinder and other apps in favor of an app that focused on providing single women with better choices and more control in their dating experiences. As a self-proclaimed control freak, signing up for “CoffeeMeetsBagel” was an easy choice.

I spent an embarrassing amount of time trying to craft my profile, agonizing over which pictures to include and which details to add or remove about myself before finally giving myself a pep talk and committing.

Each day, I faithfully checked at noon to see who had “expressed interest” in me. I tried to force myself not to be picky, but each time my thumb moved to like someone back, I hesitated. I fiddled with the settings, adjusting ages,heights and locations, wondering if maybe I should just give up on the whole thing, wondering, would it actually work anyways?

Finally, the first week of December, I found somebody that I was excited to go out with. I remember sitting on the futon in my dorm room, reading out his profile to my roommate, grinning the entire time.   

“He’s from San Francisco, he’s reeeeally tall...oh my gosh, he has two pugs!”

As a result of her fearless urging, I liked him back.

An hour later, my phone chimed and suddenly we were chatting.

Our first date rolled around a couple days later at a coffee shop just off campus. Safe to say, I was smitten from the second he introduced himself.

We went out for dinner a couple nights later and my smile just kept growing bigger with each second spent in his company, asking him questions and laughing at his charmingly terrible jokes.

Eight months later and his bad jokes still have me laughing.

Kenny and I have dealt with a lot of stigma that comes with meeting someone online. We both tentatively told our parents about how we met, expecting negative responses to the words, “We met on a dating app.” Each time we encounter a situation where we have to explain how we found each other, we both glance at one another, feeling the familiar hesitation, before explaining that we met on “CoffeeMeetsBagel.”

Even now, almost a year since we’ve been together, some of my friends still express reservations about him, treating our relationship as less valid because we didn’t meet “organically.” They treat my brief and successful venture of online dating as some sort of pathetic act of a girl desperate to be loved by anyone. Often, these sentiments are quickly followed up by, “I’m glad online dating worked for you, but I could never do that,” to which I say, “Why not?” One of the most common reactions I’ve experienced when telling someone how I met Kenny is, “What, you couldn’t meet someone in real life?”

At the end of the day, regardless of the stigma surrounding online dating, it’s a completely viable and respectable choice for anyone struggling to meet a romantic partner. It isn’t wrong to give online dating a chance and it certainly doesn’t make a relationship born from a dating app any less valid, less real, or less loving. Online dating provides a convenient tool to people who need a little push to find that special someone in a way that cuts through a lot of unsuitable matches.

Our relationship didn’t come from an awkward blind date or a chance encounter on campus, but rather from a deliberate effort to find someone who could make both of us happy.

I met my boyfriend online and he is, undoubtedly, one of the best things that’s ever happened to me.