Online dating wasn’t a new concept to me, but surprisingly, or even resignedly, I somehow found myself back on the meat-market of online dating in 2010. Since I’d been disgusted with previous online dating attempts and had some recently flopped relationships, I was fed up with being continually disappointed with not-quite-right “men.” Equally fed up with being alone, I began to think deeply about how life could be better with the “right” guy. I curled up on bed with my laptop one evening to delve into the big question of “what would make me happy in a relationship?” What resulted was the online dating profile that found my husband.

I decided to give a dating website another go… online I went to explore the single delicacies and other not-so-appetizing options on the internet dating menu.

Step 1 – Create A Profile

What to say? How would I limit the “hey babe, you’re hot,” “cool pic, wanna hang tonight?” and other generic, or worse yet, explicit messages? How would I portray that I was serious and genuine in my intentions?

Be specific. Love myself. Be bold, honest, proud, and unwavering. Set the bar. Defining yourself is just as hard, if not harder, than defining who you want to be with.

Men don’t always take subtle hints, so after much soul-searching and courage, I decided to lay it all out on my online dating profile that eventually led to finding my husband:

“You Can’t Hurry Love”

(February 21, 2010)

This young lady is educated, intelligent, fit, compassionate, and personable. She has a lot going for her in life and has the potential and drive to accomplish great things. She enjoys an engaging conversation with someone of equal cognitive abilities, a bottle of fine wine, and live entertainment. Her free time is spent on outdoor running excursions, culinary experimentation, literary exploration in a bookstore, artistic expression on canvas with paint, and flexibility exercises with the art of yoga. She appreciates others who are confident, motivated, humorous, outgoing, supportive, active, knowledgeable, and civilized.

Passions: active lifestyles, tasteful fashion, good food, artistic/musical talent, the outdoors, fishing, and anything with motors (four wheels or two, classic or new).

Peeves: poor grammar and spelling, excessive facial hair, low self-esteem, misogynists, and dishonesty.

Relationship Philosophy: For those of you hesitant at the marital status set to “not looking,” let this be clarification. This girl is “not looking” for casual relationships, sexual encounters, or random dates with whoever appears to be interested (which seems to be common goals of individuals on dating sites). “Single” implies that one is actively looking for a partner and may take the first eligible person.

This girl would like a permanent partner eventually, but such a long-term relationship only develops through time spent together, conversation, respect, and a basic principal of attraction that is either there or isn’t. This girl has standards and takes a laid-back approach in believing that the right one will come along when he does, and she isn’t going to bring on undue stress and heartache by forcing superficial relationships with individuals who don’t quite meter her definition of quality.

A relationship doesn’t form after a few dates; start by getting to know each other, explore commonalities, build on something if it’s there, strengthen a beginning friendship and see where things go.

Too many people jump into relationships before they properly know and understand the other person, which leads to misunderstandings, hurt feelings, stress, differences of opinions and expectations. Why put yourself through that? Take the time to get know a person whom is worth the effort and you will be rewarded.

The act of writing out my profile of who I was, what I wanted out of life and a life partner helped clarify the muddied thoughts I had about relationships. It also helped fortify self-love first and foremost. I knew I didn’t want or need to settle for less-than-ideal. I knew what I wanted and I could (hopefully) judge a good guy when I met one… as rare as they seemed to be. I may have sounded a bit bossier than in reality, but as a form of self-preservation I stayed firm in my statement.

Step 2 – Wait For Responses

Within minutes, my inbox began flooding with responses from men – all clearly having NOT read any part of my profile. The messages were full of the same-old crap: cut-and-paste messages, comments on my body, or other unsolicited explicit content. What a waste of time. I didn’t write my heart and soul out for that. I was not about to filter through dozens of awful messages a day in hopes of finding one good one. It was time to change tactics.

Step 3 – Make A Private Profile

A lovely feature on the dating site I’d selected was to make your profile invisible to the general populous of members. The only members that could find and see my profile were ones I’d personally selected and added to my favorites (safe list). This was a game changer as I could be in charge of carefully combing through men’s profiles to find any I thought put in a decent effort and displayed a semblance of normalcy and intelligence. All the while not being bombarded with distracting advances from those I had no interest in. With deep searching, I found a handful of promising profiles that I favorited, thereby passively allowing them access to read about me if they were looking.

Not feeling overly outgoing beyond the day’s efforts, I chose not to begin writing introductory messages to contenders that day, so I shut down my laptop and put it out of my mind for awhile.

Step 4 – Respond To The One That Actually Read My Profile

Some time after I’d set up my online dating profile and entered “hide me from the crazies” mode, I logged on with renewed ambition to take on the dating world. To my surprise, one of the men from my “favorite” list must have stumbled upon my profile in his browsing, unbeknownst to him that I was hidden from most others. He didn’t know he was chosen as an exception, but he still read all the words I had to say, and took the time to send a thoughtful message. I was shocked. And cautiously optimistic.

Step 5 – Get To Know You Better

I was relieved how NORMAL he was. Still, I stuck to my relationship philosophy as I’d laid out in my dating profile “You Can’t Hurry Love.”

We chatted online for several weeks and our conversation was easy, no pressure, just open honesty about what we were about and where we came from.

After a month or so of exchanging life stories, I felt I already knew him. Although you never know how a person can change their personalities in electronic conversations, I still had a good feeling about his perceived genuineness.

We decided to meet in person. I was thankful he was still normal and exactly as I expected. Having spent enough time talking about anything and everything online had created a foundation of familiarity, so much so that we already felt like friends. This was a very good sign.

Step 6 – Can I Take You On A Date?

And so it began, he invited me to dinner, and several more dates beyond that. He was more than I could have imagined… he was exactly what I needed in my life. And it all started with a bold move to assert my relationship philosophy on an online dating website profile. Our blissful beginning was only the beginning…

Step 7 – We Make A Good Pair, Let’s Spend Life Together

When someone makes you feel 100% yourself, encourages you to be all you can be, supports you through the best and worst, you know you have it good. It didn’t take long for me to acknowledge what it was… love. My soul soared in his presence and I finally felt at home… with him. We built each other up the more we spent time together. We flourished and built a life together. In 2013, we chose to commit our lives to each other, and not long after our wedding, our love grew to include the life of our son.

As skeptical as many people are of online dating (myself included), my husband and I are proof that happily-ever-after’s are totally possible from dating websites. With a clear focus on what I was willing (and not willing) to welcome into my life, a specific and genuinely-worded profile, along with a healthy does of selectivity, I found my husband-to-be on an online dating website.

Michelle Thevenot

Mom. Fitness fanatic. Wine enthusiast. Nature lover. Artist. Writer. Michelle approaches daily life as a celebration of things that make living worthwhile, yet she isn’t afraid to acknowledge when life gets hard. A past Art and English teacher, she satisfies her creative soul through her blog, while also managing the family-owned construction company from her home office in Saskatchewan, Canada. Her average day is flexibly full, but mostly involves trying to prevent household destruction by the toddler-dog duo (partners in crime those two). She writes from a life full of share-worthy moments others can relate to… a toast to daily life.