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Each new season brings an opportunity for change and growth. The transition from winter to spring reminds us that there is light at the end of a bleak season. With summer just around the corner, you may be interested in making new friends or finding a significant other who can share in the summer memories. Online dating is an effective way to build new relationships and find others with similar interests. By reading online dating success stories, you can find renewed hope and motivation to start online dating again — or for the first time. Each circumstance and relationship is different. Some people find a partner quickly and others must try numerous online dating sites before finding the perfect match. Even during the pandemic, online dating offers hope for meeting singles in your area. In a recent online dating success example, Tracie Hitz said it best, “Try online dating no matter your age and believe you can get married during COVID. Love is not canceled.” We’ve compiled a list of 14 inspiring online dating success stories to help singles around the world recognize the good that comes to those who wait and put forth the effort. Check out these stories from top online dating sites: OkCupid Tinder Bumble Match.com Plenty of Fish 1. The Effortless Path to Love Lilah’s first encounter with Cody’s OkCupid profile left her hopeful. Although it may have seemed like a small detail, Lilah appreciated the time and effort Cody put into answering the profile prompts. She could quickly tell that their values and goals aligned. Cody initiated the connection in June of 2016 and the two began a conversation that would continue for years to come. After two months of online messaging, Cody and Lilah met at a restaurant halfway between the two cities for their first date. The two chattered late into the evening and realized quickly that they had started down the effortless path to love. “We eventually moved in together after a few years of driving back and forth to see each other and began going on many hiking trips together. He proposed at Rocky Mountain National Park in front of both our families, and we were married eight months later. We are so happy and can’t imagine how life would have been at this point without each other, and even though it took a few bad dates to find each other, we are so thankful for our online dating experience.” 2. Taking a Chance on Love Michael met his wife while living in the San Francisco Bay Area through the online dating app, OkCupid. He was instantly captivated by her short profile description that said: In the last 3 years, I have become a mother, medical student, and a widow. Tired of non-commital dating, Michael decided that he would reach out to this girl. The thought entered his mind that “she's either amazing or crazy,” and he was ready to find out. “I knew she was different. I had enough experience to kind of hold back my hopes, but I think a small part of me really hoped we'd have a relationship. My (now) wife admitted to me on our second date that she was thinking of texting me that she was wondering if we'd get married. I thought that was so incredibly vulnerable to admit. Then I sheepishly told her I was thinking the same thing.” Michael has been with his wife for six years now, and they have two beautiful children. They still experience the ups and downs of a relationship, but they are grateful for the opportunity to choose their love every day. 3. A Texas Hold'em in Action John moved to Texas for an economic opportunity. Little did he know that the economy wouldn’t be the only factor holding him captive in Texas. John tells of his first encounter with Caitlyn on OkCupid. “Obviously I found her very attractive, but I wasn’t just looking for someone pretty. I was 26 years old and wanted to get married and have kids. Okcupid’s optional questions give you a pretty good read of someone’s beliefs and what they were looking for. Our answers matched up really well, so I knew that talking to her would be pretty easy. Neither of us were looking for a hookup or to hang out and we were pretty clear about it in our profiles.” After one month of their first meeting, John knew they would eventually build a life together. “In a few months, we will have been married for four years. We have a 15-month-old daughter who is incredible. We most likely never would have met each other had it not been for online dating.” 4. A Pandemic Tinder Match Snezhina had almost given up hope in the online dating world. However, when she came across Alexander’s profile on Tinder, she thought to herself, “If there is someone I am willing to give a last shot at, it would be this guy.” Snezhina’s last-ditch efforts to match with Alexander was a pivotal moment in her love life. Everything happened so suddenly. “Alexander charmed me out of nowhere. We flirted online back and forth for a while and finally decided to go to the recently opened museum of illusions. He seemed very shy, but I didn’t mind that, since as an extreme extrovert I enjoy when the spotlight is on me. The date went okay, we met three or four more times and decided to make it official. We have been together for six months now. What is surprising is that even though there is nowhere to go and nothing to do because of the pandemic, we still have the best time together, cooking, reading, and giving each other facials. Recently we picked up playing Pokemon Go together, which has been plenty of fun, as we engage in an activity together, as well as take very long daily walks, a major stress-reliever in the current worldwide situation.” When all hope seemed lost, Snezhina’s ideal match came along. Even after many attempts to find the perfect match, you must hold onto the hope that the right person will eventually make it into your life. 5. On the Road Again (Fueled by Love) Tracie could have been considered an online dating pro. She had tried numerous apps including Match.com and eHarmony. But as her 40th birthday rolled around, she decided she wanted to be all-in on finding love — even if that meant trying out Tinder. She promised herself one full year of active searching. Just days before her 41st birthday she went on a date with Greg — the man who would become her husband. “If I hadn't set that goal and deadline, I probably would've skipped the date because I was tired from the weekend. I picked an arcade bar to meet just in case he was boring, but as soon as I saw him, I knew that there was something special about him. We had the most amazing date and even shut down the bar on a Tuesday night. The next day, I texted my best friend and told her that I thought I found my person. She said, "when's the wedding?" She told that story as my maid of honor in September.” In September 2020, the couple organized a “Wedding on Wheels” to create a memorable celebration despite COVID setbacks. They split the wedding between two cities in Indy and Nashville. This would be the first of many adventures Tracie and Greg would take to fuel and celebrate their love. 6. A "Cheesy" Love Story The Tinder swipe life proved effective for Carrie and Kurt. Carrie recalls receiving a simple “Hi there :-)” message from Kurt after matching. Carrie didn’t respond right away but after one more introduction message of “Good Morning,” from Kurt, the two began an engaging and natural conversation. The rest was history. “We talked like we’d been friends for years. Things moved quickly, it only took one day before he gave me his number! We started texting. About a week later we met in person, and we've been together ever since! In February of 2015, he quit his job to be closer to me and we moved in together. On December 6, 2015, he proposed! We ended up eloping, then bought our first home. We started our own business (a food truck - Pretty Great Cheesecake) two years ago.” The couple had their first child on June 3, 2020. Carrie and Kurt are forever grateful to have found their perfect match with the help of Tinder. 7. A Global Love Story Toby didn’t have much substance to his profile, but a handsome profile picture seemed to be enough to capture Alyssa’s attention. Thanks to a friendly competition, Toby focused on matching with as many girls as possible within a 24-hour period. Luckily, one of those girls happened to be Alyssa. Alyssa unfolds the beginning moments of their love story. “When I saw that we matched on Bumble, I instantly messaged him. We started talking every day for nearly two months. At the time, I was a waitress in Knoxville, Tennessee and he was working at a summer camp nearby. We FaceTimed, texted, and called each other daily until one day we decided to meet in person. August 4th, 2018 I drove to North Carolina to pick up this total stranger and go on a two-week vacation with him. After two weeks together, Toby had to return to England. We were unsure if this would continue to work but we visited each other several times over the next two years as we communicated long distance. February 2020, Toby proposed to me and exactly two years and one day from the day we met in person, we got married. On August the 5th, 2020, we said our I dos.” As two strangers separated by land and sea, Toby and Alyssa finally found each other despite outside circumstances. The sacrifice of time and distance brought its reward as Alyssa and Toby met the person they “would be with forever.” 8. Late to the Date, On Time to Forever As a seasoned online dating user, Bobbie was used to awkward first encounters. When she reached out to Peyton on Bumble, she was ready for another typical online dating experience: meet, have a few drinks, and part ways. Bobbie was intrigued by Peyton’s dapper photo and hard-to-get attitude. Bobbie was the first to reach out and it took a few conversations for Peyton to finally commit to meeting up in person. “When we met he was going through law school at the University of Oklahoma, so he had to meet me after he left his internship. I was selling real estate and had an appointment run late, not knowing he had arrived early to our first date at a local restaurant. When I finally made it, I found him at the bar making fast friends with the bartender and ordering a Game of Thrones-style drink. I could tell he had had a few drinks while he had been waiting and that he was annoyed I arrived late Neither of us thought the date was going anywhere (we spoke about it later) until we started discussing movies and John Carpenter’s The Thing. From there the conversation flew. We hung out the rest of the night and started seeing each other frequently following that.” Bobbie and Peyton continued to build a strong friendship and relationship. After six months of dating, they decided to move in together. They weathered the pandemic together with daily laughs and regular movie marathons. 9. Hitting a HomeRun Ashton and Matt met on Bumble in October 2017. Their love story started with a message from Ashton asking Matt if he had any big plans for the weekend. Turns out his biggest plan that weekend would be meeting the love of his life. The couple wasted no time getting to know each other. Ashton describes her experience meeting Matt for the first time. “We met for dinner at a cute patio restaurant in the Heights, in Houston, Texas. When I arrived, he gave me a big bear hug and I was instantly attracted to him. The conversation was incredibly easy and hours later, a free beer or two from our waitress (felt like she was encouraging us to stay longer), and we closed the place down. Matt wasted no time in planning our second and third dates. Again, so refreshing to find someone that wasn't afraid to show his interest in me but also took it slow enough to make me comfortable. He let me know he liked me by his effort and actions, and that was huge! He took me to a World Series game which was a bucket list item for me. I couldn't believe he wanted to use that ticket on me, but I am so glad he did!” In February 2020, Matt proposed to Ashton and the couple is happily engaged and anxiously awaiting a final wedding date amid COVID complications. Ashton concludes by saying, “I will forever be grateful to Bumble for the connection and for empowering me as a woman to take control of my dating life. Now I get to spend my years traveling the world with my best friend, loving on our mini-farm of animals (3 dogs, 11 chickens, 2 horses) and always having someone to help me pick what show to binge-watch next." 10. Spilling the Tea at Starbucks Meru met Brian through Match.com. She had just signed up for a three-month package but ended up only needing the premium account for two days. She may have paid for extra months, but it was all worth it if it meant meeting Brian. Meru reached out to Brian first in hopes of making a connection. “We agreed to meet for coffee at Starbucks because I needed a quick exit if he happened to be creepy. We ended up talking till the store had to close and we basically nicely got kicked out. He always loved hearing my stories. But in all honesty, I either tell good stories or he likes my sexy accent. I am originally from Kazakhstan. He said I am his first cheap date because green tea costs less than dinner. This February will be five years since we met. Year four was a hard time in our relationship as we continued to grow but we made it. Now we continue to grow and flourish. Online dating is not really too much fun but love stories come out of it. Thankfully, I found him two days after signing up that particular time.” 11. A 95% Match Turns Out to Be True Love Kari had a long history of dating frontmen and guitar players in bar bands. As of 2010, she had yet to find the musician that matched her rhythm. Kari has always considered herself a creative in music and the arts. She sought a partner equally passionate about his own creative pursuits. As she scrolled match.com, Kari stubbled upon Chris’ profile featuring a picture of himself conducting a large orchestral ensemble. She was intrigued. Nervous to come off as too forward, Kari sent a “wink” to Chris in the fall of 2010. Chris responded back and the two began conversing. After a few weeks, they decided to go on an official first date to a local diner. Kari recounts the story. “We had so much in common, and the conversation was really interesting and really just flowed! We actually ended up closing the diner, and when the staff finally kicked us out, we moved to another local restaurant that was still open. What I didn’t tell him at the time was that the restaurant we went to was actually owned by my family, so I spent the entire rest of the evening pretending that I didn’t know anyone. We talked until the restaurant closed too, and then for another two hours in the parking lot, only calling it a night because it was after three in the morning and we both had work the next day.” Chris proposed to Kari a year after their first date. Kari and Chris have been together for ten years now, married for seven, and have three wonderful children. In this case, the match.com algorithm turned out to be correct — Kari and Chris were a perfect match. 12. A Lifetime of Co-Creation Separated by thousands of miles, Jennifer and Derek’s love story began on match.com. “As a vocalist, my dating profile name was ChickSinger and his was Mannishboy, named after a love for Blues music and playing guitar. We immediately connected over the music but found we had much in common. On January 1, 2006, Derek took a one-way flight to Nashville, and we drove a U-haul truck across the country together and moved me to the SF Bay Area. Fifteen years later we are happily married with two amazing kids.” Not only did Jennifer meet her future husband, but she also met her future business partner, band member, and best friend. A passion for music and expression would drive their lives to come together in the most beautiful harmony, all because of one simple dating app. Jennifer remarked, “So we literally 'make beautiful music together' (and great coffee) every day. We’ve loved weaving a life of family, love, and creativity and have Match.com to thank.” The couple now lives in Napa, California, and runs a rock 'n’ roll coffee business together. If you are in the area, check out their coffee shop, Ohm Coffee Roaster. 13. A Classic Match In 2003, Sue matched with the man who she would love for decades to follow. Sue was immediately drawn to Paul’s profile despite his lack of profile photos. She could tell he was thoughtful and genuine in his responses. After reading his profile on match.com, she instantly knew that they would bond over their aversion to tattoos and body piercings. “He also lived not too far away which was a bonus too. After a couple of weeks of emailing we found out that we loved the same musician. He was astounded that a woman would like that person, and we both had a penchant for the same Beaujolais Cru wine Fleury and we arranged a phone call. That call lasted over two hours, there was never a moment of awkward silence, conversation flowed with ease. We probably could have gone on for longer, but we both had children who needed attention. So we arranged a date the next weekend at a pub halfway between our locations, enjoyed a meal together and got on really well. I definitely was attracted to him and assuming he did too as we had a kiss as we went back to our respective cars and arranged to see each other the next evening.” Sue and Paul have been together for 18 years and married for nearly 15. This classic match found early success when online dating sites were growing in popularity. Their story is proof of the long-lasting blessings of finding a compatible match. 14. From a Small Cafe to a Wonderful Life Together As a single mother of two children, Cecile wondered how she would ever get back into the dating scene. Balancing her own social life with her family time required deliberate planning. Resolved to find a new life partner, Cecile joined Plenty of Fish. Cecile met Frank a few weeks after joining and spent late nights messaging after the kids had gone to bed. Their love connection grew quickly. They planned to meet at a local coffee. On the way to the first date, Cecile was involved in a car accident. Thankfully, Cecile walked away unharmed but the same couldn’t be said for her car. Her dad came to the rescue by driving her to meet Frank. Cecile retells her first date with Frank. “We hit it off right away. I consider myself incredibly lucky as I know not all meetings off an online dating site end up as being the love of your life. This coming Monday will mark our seven years together and almost three years married. We were both from the same city in Canada. We have lived in a blended family of six since 2015. I had two sons from my previous marriage and Frank had two sons also.” Get Started with the Best Online Dating App Feeling inspired? Ready to start a quest for your own happy ending? BestCompany.com has over 1,000 customer reviews for more than 100 online dating apps. With so many options, you can select the best online dating site for your demographics, dating goals, budget, and time constraints. Best Online Dating Companies Learn more about online dating sites by looking at top-rated companies and their offerings. Take the Next Step to Love
A good first date may lead to a second date, third date, and potentially a long-lasting relationship. A bad first date will end up being told at Christmas work parties, family events, and your quirky traits will be the fuel for countless jokes. A successful date doesn't always mean you’ll click right away and spend the rest of your life together. Sometimes it just means both parties involved simply had a positive and pleasant experience.While you can’t — and shouldn’t try to — force chemistry, there are a few things you can do to make your dates more successful. Even if at the end of the date you aren’t magically in love, your date will appreciate the time you spent planning out a thoughtful and considerate date. Try to remember these three concepts when planning a first date: Location is key Activities should be low-pressure but engaging Focus on the journey of the conversation, not the destination Location is key The location sets the tone for the entire date. First dates are more likely to be successful with a neutral location, whereas later dates can be chosen based on specific activities that you and your date will enjoy. First dates should be focused on getting to know your date and figuring out if there is a connection. Picking somewhere neutral is a great way to remove the pressure of dressing fancy or purchasing an expensive meal. The ideal location should allow face-to-face conversation, ample background noise, and be memorable. Consider taking your date to one of the following locations: Novelty coffee shop: Preferably chose a coffee shop that you haven’t been to before or a novelty shop. This will allow both people to step out of their comfort zone and create a conversation topic. Concert in the park: Sit far enough away that you and your date will be able to chat, but not so far you can’t hear the music. This will provide plenty of background noise to neutralize awkward silences. Mom and pop diner: Much like the coffee shop, a mom and pop diner allows both people to sit across from each other and talk. These unique shops have more character and history behind the business than big chain restaurants, which can be another conversation starter. Museum: A museum is full of potential conversation topics. While discussing art and theories can be interesting to some, however, that isn’t everyone's cup of tea. Ask your date what kind of museum they would be interested in visiting. There are plenty of planetariums, natural history, or sports museums to choose from. Avoid the following locations: Movie theaters: Movies are a relatively easy and straightforward date idea. However, they don't allow for much conversation, and they can come across as a lazy and last minute date idea. Save this idea for when you know your date a little better. Friend’s house: Although this might seem like a relaxed environment, inviting someone you just met to a friend’s house for an activity or just a hang out can be incredibly nerve-wracking. Most of the time you’ll end up telling stories that happened between you and your friends, making your date feel like the odd man out. Activities should be low-pressure but engaging Planning a first, second or third date can be tricky. The activity should be engaging, allow a discussion, but still be considerate of your date. So don’t plan a six-hour long date when you know your date has to work early in the morning. Also, consider how long the activity will take. It is recommended that the first few dates should be around an hour. That way, if it’s not going well you didn’t spend too much of your time on something that was never going to be. However, if the date is going well, you can add on dessert or a short activity to make it last a little longer. Here are a few easygoing date ideas: Cooking class: A cooking class is a simple enough activity that you can still talk while working but not have to worry about staring at each other when an awkward silence comes along. Plus you can discuss the experience over your freshly cooked meal. Glass blowing: Most people appreciate art, but very few have actually had the chance to make it themselves. Glassblowing is a unique date idea that allows both parties to express their artistic side. Maybe your date will create a simple vase for flowers, or create an avant-garde candy dish. At the end of the date, you’ll have a new topic of discussion and a new piece of art to display in your home. Pottery class: You don’t have to be Grayson Perry to try out a pottery class. Like glass blowing, pottery is something most people haven’t tried. However, unlike glass blowing, pottery can get messy, so make sure your date isn’t wearing a favorite $200 pair of jeans. Paint and sip: Enjoy your night out with a glass or two of wine and a creative outlet. For most people, first dates cause stress and anxiety. Fortunately, both painting and wine are a great way to reduce stress. Show off your artistic, sensitive side or laugh as your date tries to guess what your painting is supposed to be. Sample foods at a food festival: Try going to an annual food festival. You might find out that both you and your date hate cooked broccoli but love fried onions. It will also give you an insight into how adventurous your date is. Visit the beach: Whether you walk along the pier, dip your toes in, or jump in, if you live near a beach use it to your advantage. Take a wine tasting tour: Some wine shops and bars offer wine tasting events. This is a calm environment where it’s easy to keep a conversation going. Even if the date is a bust, you got to spend the evening tasting delicious wine. Visit a farmers market: There should be plenty of conversation starters at the farmers market. Plus, you can get a little shopping in while you’re there. Avoid these ideas for the first few dates: Ice skating/rollerblading: Until you know whether your date is comfortable or not gliding around in a freezing cold arena or happy to skate around a sweltering indoor rink, maybe skip this idea. Most of the time, it ends up with one person scooching along the sidelines while the other is spends time doing laps, alone. Trampoline park: This was a great first date idea when you were in high school. As you get older, the idea of jumping and bouncing for hours at a time seems less appealing. Check out a neighborhood you’ve never been to: This idea sounds exciting and has potential to be interesting. However, if you end up getting lost and not being able to find where you parked the car, your date might not appreciate spending the night wandering around. Focus on the journey of the conversation, not the destination A common problem for many daters is creating a natural conversation. More often than not we are so focused on finding out whether or not this person is the one that we forget that they’re just another human being. We treat first dates as marriage interviews. We often feel the need to evaluate, judge, and conclude whether this person is right for us all within the first few minutes of the date. If they don’t fit the bill, then we eliminate them from the line-up. The point of the first few dates is to talk to the person and get to know them. Maybe they don’t watch all the same shows as you do and they don’t love running half marathons, but you both enjoy going out to dinner or the weekend. Even if the date is less-than-ideal or there is just no chemistry at all, you are under no obligation to agree to another date. Politely decline and if they get upset, know you dodged a bullet. If keeping a conversation is something you struggle with, try asking questions that need explanation or context. It’s a great way to get your date talking and you can get some ideas for the next conversation topic. If the conversation has died down, keep some of these suggestions in your repertoire: What are some hobbies you have? Are you an indoor or outdoor person? What do you like to do? What was the last movie you saw in theaters? Did you like it? What books are you reading? Where would you go if you could travel anywhere in the world? Why? Where have you traveled? Are you more of an early bird or night owl? What show could you re-watch over and over? What kind of music are you into? Where would you like to live? What is your favorite city? What chores do you like doing? Which are the worst? What’s something you’re interested in that you’d like to know more about? Are you a team player or do you prefer to work alone? What were you like in high school? What does your ideal morning look like? What’s something that’s expensive but totally worth it? How/when did you meet your best friend? What do you like to do in the summer? Besides home and work, where do you spend most of your time? Avoid questions that can be responded with a yes or no answer, come across as shallow, or put your date in an uncomfortable situation. Some topics that will come up naturally over time, but some will have to wait until the other person is comfortable enough to bring them up. Whatever the case, steer clear of these types of questions: Why are you still single? How many people have you dated/been with? What happened with your ex? How much (money) do you make? How much did you pay for your car/house? What (race) are you? What would you wear if we went to the beach/club/etc.? What insecurities do you have? Are you going on dates with anybody else? Do you see us together in the future? How soon do you want to get married? It seems that just about everyone agrees: dating — especially nowadays — is hard. The plethora of dating apps has given men and women so many choices that it’s easy to become addicted to finding greener pastures. He’s too short.Swipe.She’s not skinny enough.Swipe.There’s nothing inherently wrong with dating apps or sites. As a matter of fact, they’ve been helping people all over the world find love. The issue is how much effort we’re putting into our dates. We’ve become accustomed to a minimal effort style, and it’s not doing us any favors. A good date doesn’t need to have two “perfect” people who are meant to be. You can still have a good time with engaging activities and a pleasant conversation. Even if you’re not a perfect match, taking the time to plan a composed and considerable evening will leave a good impression on your date.The truth is, no one is perfect. And it takes time, patience, and work to make a relationship last. It’s time that we go back to attempting to make a good first impression. It’s time we show each other respect. It’s time to stop treating first dates like a job interview. It’s time that we go back to giving people a chance before determining that there is something better just a swipe away.