Bec and Marty
Bec: I had originally joined eHarmony in late 2007 as part of a class exercise in researching the methodology of dating sites for a psychology unit. At this point, I gave up halfway through the extensive personality questionnaire, deciding I had researched enough to be able to discuss it in the tutorial. Once the assignment was over, I forgot about it – that is, until March 2009 when I found myself single for almost a year so pulling on my previously prepared research, I subscribed to eHarmony.
Marty: After about eighteen months spent moving on from a previous relationship, I was ready to find a lasting relationship with someone I had a lot in common with. I knew I wasn’t going to find that person in a club or a pub. On New Year’s Eve, I saw an ad on TV for eHarmony and decided to give it a try; signing up for a one-year subscription on New Year’s Day 2010 and putting considerable effort into my profile.
Bec: Marty and I were matched on 13th Jan 2010 and Marty initiated guided communication the day after we were matched.
Marty: Although this process usually takes some time, Bec and I seemed so excited about each other that we finished it within 6 days, with ever increasing speed and interest. At the time, Bec was living in Perth with her family and I was in Melbourne just graduating from my initial employment training in the Navy. I was bound for a posting to Canberra but a call for volunteers to take a posting to Perth came up. I had never been to Perth but I liked where the relationship was heading with Bec and decided to take a chance on her. By the end of the week, I had volunteered for the Perth posting and the guided communication with Bec had finished; now I could finally send her an email within eHarmony! Brimming with curiosity about Bec and tempered by an anxiety of what she would write in a reply, I began drafting an email.
Bec: Caught in a flurry of activities at home, I had completely missed the email. Epic fail on my part!
Marty: My excitement was quickly tempered as the days passed with no response from Bec. Surely, I’d scared her off with my dozens of questions. On the sixth day, I sent Bec a nudge; knowing that sometimes people have other things to attend to but also hoping that she hadn’t forgotten or lost interest in our match.
Bec: Floored by the fact that I had missed the initial email, I quickly responded and apologised profusely. The emails kept good pacing over the week that followed; however, the length of each email began doubling. eHarmony emails could only be 8000 characters – by his fourth email, Marty had to send two emails at a time just to get everything in. As I responded to his behemoth of an email, I too ran out of space. This time, I made the first move and gave him my personal email address.
Marty: I was both relieved and excited by the gesture; the relationship was progressing well. Happily, I responded in kind – sending her an email outside of eHarmony, on Valentine’s Day 2010, no less. There was a moment of surrealism as the relationship began taking shape in the real world. A nervous excitement built up over the next few days as I prepared for my big move to Perth. Once I had settled into my new accommodations in Perth, I was eager to make contact with Bec.
Bec: It was pretty nerve-wrecking now that that relationship was becoming ever more tangible, desperately working its way out of the digital realm. It started with real-time chats on a messenger program. I was terribly excited about the idea that he was finally in the same time zone and possibly within driving distance. But he still hadn’t asked for my number! Undeterred, I convinced him to come for my choir rehearsal the Monday after he had arrived.
Marty: In an effort to scope out the location, I drove to UWA the Saturday before we were to meet face-to-face. But I had lost my bearings somewhere along the way there – Bec helped direct me there through the messenger program.
Bec: Ironically, I had enrolled for a writing seminar that same day at UWA. And if, I hadn’t overslept or forgotten about the class, we would’ve been there at the same time. But since I was still in bed at the time, Marty offered to attend the class for me! He even took notes and an audio recording for me. After the class was over, I asked him how it went (still on the messenger program) and very casually he asked for my number, coolly explaining that it might be easier to convey the things he learnt. Very smooth, I thought.
Marty: What?! It was only logical.
Bec: He came for choir after a full day’s work. So he could only make it half an hour into the rehearsal and even then, I missed him walking in. At the start of the break, despite the urge to bound off merrily to find him, I was caught up by duties as a committee member. Soon enough, I excused myself and found him standing at the bottom of the stairs, smiling at me. I was anxious as ever, but I couldn’t ignore the fact that I already loved the sound of his voice, his black tee and blue jeans. He was unsure in his approach but I knew I had to hug him. I really wanted to so I did – much to his surprise and diffusing most of our anxiety about meeting.
It was odd finally talking to him in person; conversation fell just a little and nervous laughter filled the gaps. Both of us are introverts so we were both a bundles of nerves. Nothing in our online exchanges had seemed the least bit awkward and so the initial impression I had of him told me to ignore my nerves.
It was customary for the choir to go to the pub for a drink after rehearsals to socialize and at the pub, he offered to buy me a drink but I insisted that I didn’t want anything, explaining that it really wasn’t my scene. He smirked and commented that I was a girl out for his heart. The boxes just kept getting ticked for us.
By the end of the night, we had become more comfortable and conversation mimicked the fun, casual banter that we had discovered online.
It was his first day off since we had met but I had dinner plans already with family. As I was convincing Marty of a good bike ride, I was told my dinner plans were cancelled. When I mentioned it to Marty, without missing a beat, he admitted to being inclined for a movie. And so, the second date was moved forward.
It was on our second date that we realised how in sync we actually were. You know how when you and a friend say the same thing at the same time. That was us. We liked the same things, for almost the same reasons. We could be completely ourselves, however geeky or silly, and the other would just get it. The similarities were uncanny and drew us closer together. It was like talking to a best friend even though we had only just met a week ago.
The date was far from over but we knew from then on, it would be a long and wonderful journey together.
And now, on the third anniversary of the day we met, we'll celebrate it by getting married!