I Met A Great Guy Online, But I Can’t Get Over The Fact that We Met Online

Online dating wasn’t really a big thing the last time I was single, so the whole concept is a little strange to me. Still, I decided to get with the times and make a profile on one of the popular apps. I only went on a couple of dates before meeting someone really great, but for some reason, I can’t seem to get over the fact that we met online.

  1. Everyone seems to be online, which I guess is reassuring. For the most part, I’ve hopped from relationship to relationship over the years so I never got to experience online dating until now, in my late twenties. When I used to talk about this with friends a few years back, there was a stigma to it. Online dating was thought of as something people who weren’t great at meeting people in real life used. Nowadays, I think all of my single friends, male and female, are doing it. My friends are also normal and sociable, so I think this stigma is going away.
  2. I was afraid I wouldn’t recognize him when we met. I’m terrible at face recognition, so when we decided to meet for drinks, I was afraid I’d walk straight past him. He was slightly late and I’d been waiting outside for him in the meantime. I found myself wondering if every guy walking by was the one I was supposed to hang out with. I stared at people uncomfortable. When he finally did show up, the recognition was instant. Our eyes met across the street and then I looked away because I’m not one to keep eye contact.
  3. I was scared he was going to be a serial killer but we had a great first date. The rest was seamless. We grabbed dinner and then went for drinks at another bar. Our date lasted over six hours and we never ran out of things to talk about. His legs touched mine when we sat at the bar. With every passing moment, my fear that he was an toxic person evaporated. This isn’t statistically accurate, but I think the online world is filled with regular people and the odds that they’ll be toxic are the same in real life.
  4. I stutter when people ask how we’ve met. It happens every time I introduce him to someone. “So, how did you guys meet?” they’ll ask. I fumble and I look at him. Eventually, he tells the asker that we met online. To my mortification, I turn beet red and he notices I’m embarrassed. “What else did you want me to say?” he’ll ask.
  5. I don’t want to lie about it but I don’t know what to say. It’s the story of how we met. I don’t want to make up a story just for the sake of making up a story because it would mean that there’s something wrong in how we met. I don’t really think there is, I just can’t fully come to terms with the whole online thing.
  6. Our story isn’t romantic and that kind of upsets me. Perhaps I live in fairytale world, but I always like the idea of meeting someone serendipitously. The last guy I dated, I met at the train station in New York City. It was an act of fate that the trains weren’t running, and so we bonded in our distress. There was something alluring about saying you met due to an act of the universe. It almost serves as validation that something was meant to be.
  7. It’s not fate, it’s choice. Meeting online was a choice. Perhaps it’s not as romantic as being brought together by fate, although you can technically spin it any way you want. My guy and I decided to meet up after chatting on the internet—the whole thing was way more intentional. In a way, isn’t there romance to that? How we met doesn’t take away from the fact that we had a great first date. That’s what I need to remember.
  8. I don’t know how I would introduce him to my family. My family is old-school in their values, and their idea of online dating is that it’s dangerous. I don’t know how to convey the fact that it really isn’t if you’re careful. Meet in daylight, watch your drink, get to know the person better before going back to their place alone, and make sure someone like your BFF knows where you are. I followed some precautions, but I don’t know if it changes their stigma. I think they would also think that I went online as an act of desperation, and I don’t know how to make them see that it’s kind of quite normal.
  9. In the end, is it that different from meeting in real life? It’s the same danger as picking up someone from a bar or meeting a stranger serendipitously. You don’t know them, you decide to get to know them. It’s the same concept.
  10. The more I know him, the less it seems to matter how we met. Sure, it’s not the fantasy I had where I’m at Starbucks and run into the love of my life, who happens to be James Franco. But the more memories we build together, the less weight the memory of how we met seems to hold. I just need to loosen up a bit and get with the times.
Born in Miami, raised in Lima. I currently live in Brooklyn, and have a love-hate relationship with the city.