When Nerds Collide: An Online-Dating Success Story

There’s something in my spam e-mail almost every day from one online dating site or another. I have no interest in or need for dating sites at this point in my life…but there was a time when I did, about seven years ago. Spam doesn’t work for me, but online dating–via eHarmony–did.

It was nearly three years after my divorce from my first husband before I was ready to try dating again. Those three years had given me ample opportunity to think about what I wanted to find in a partner and what mattered in a relationship.

There were the big things, of course: compatible worldviews and values, intelligence, compassion, and, for me, sense of humor. But then there were any number of smaller things I felt would make day-to-day relating more enjoyable, such as similar frames of pop-culture reference and tastes in entertainment.

In order for those attributes to mesh well, a guy would have to be…well, a geek. But how would I find that geeky guy? The odds were good he might be online, and eHarmony’s approach to online dating intrigued me. I wasn’t interested in randomly skimming photos and sketchy profiles; eHarmony promised a method more like that of a matchmaker, making introductions based on analyzing the detailed personality profiles each member submitted and identifying compatibilities. I liked the idea of someone doing that screening for me.

Within a couple of days of joining eHarmony–I signed up for a year, because who knew how long this would take?–I was introduced to several men. Some didn’t follow up, but a few moved forward into the next stages of eHarmony’s “guided communication” process; by the time I entered the “open communication” stage with one of them, I felt like we were clicking, at least in writing. Less than two weeks after we were introduced, we met in person for a weekend lunch date.

Paul described himself as a “dork,” but other things I knew about him didn’t really jibe with my experience of dorks. He was creative–a trained artist/illustrator and aspiring photographer, working as a graphic designer–as opposed to scientific, he was into cars and motorcycles, and with his beard and earring, he definitely didn’t look the part. He didn’t even need glasses, due to having recently had LASIK surgery on his eyes. I questioned his nerd bona-fides, but looked forward to meeting him in person just the same.

Our Sunday lunch date lasted all afternoon, and we talked about all sorts of things, catching each other’s references right and left. After a few more dates, I knew for sure–the guy’s nerd credibility was established. He wasn’t a techie, but he loved his technology, especially if it was made by Apple; he knew his way around a comic-book store; his music and movie libraries were both extensive, and we knew and liked many of the same things in both of those spheres; our senses of humor were warped in the same direction. He may not have looked the part, but he not only affirmed his nerdiness, he fully embraced it. On my second date with Paul, I told him I was “a geek’s dream girl” during a conversation about how many seasons’ worth of The Simpsons each of us owned on DVD (I had him beat).

Just a few weeks later, I was pretty sure he was my geeky dream guy, too, and told eHarmony there was no need to send me any more matches. I don’t believe in soulmates, but if I did, I’d have thought I’d found mine.

Fortunately, he felt the same way, and almost ten months after that five-hour-long first date, he proposed. We got married on October 21, 2006–a second marriage for us both, and a wedding ceremony that included our respective children in forging a new family. We hit it off so easily, and so well, that it feels like we’ve known each other all our lives and sometimes I forget that we met online not quite seven years ago.

But even though we lived in neighboring towns at the time, chances are that without eHarmony Paul and I wouldn’t have met at all. In fact, he’d only joined for three months initially, and had extended his membership just a week or two before I signed up; if the timing had been wrong, we might not have met even with eHarmony! I never expected to meet someone so right for me, and especially not so soon; I barely got a month’s worth of matches out of that year’s membership in eHarmony. But it was worth every penny, and getting to share every day with my geeky dream guy is priceless.

Shared perspectives with my partner–not just regarding the nerdy–matter to me, but what about you? You could win a $100 Visa gift card with your answer to this question:

What is the most important character trait your partner must have, and why? Leave your response in the comments to be entered for a chance to win!

Here are the giveaway rules:
No duplicate comments. 
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods: 
a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post 
b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post 
c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post 
d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry. 
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected. The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 2/14/2012 – 3/15/2012.

Visit the BlogHer.com eHarmony page to check out more blogger success stories and for more chances to win!

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