Danita felt driven to date online, given her circumstances. She says that the “limited options in my area, and not being satisfied with local dates” pushed her to post a profile with us (username: “DoctorDesq”). “I had tried other dating sites,” she adds. “But I had so many negative experiences [elsewhere], I didn’t have much hope.”
Neither did Justin, quite frankly. “I had about 20% confidence in this process,” he declares. “This was my first online dating experience.” His goal was clear and simple. “I was looking for a suitable partner available for a real relationship,” says Justin. Sounds reasonable.
This was actually Danita’s second stint with us. “I had been on [the site] years ago, but revived my membership about a year before our meeting,” she remembers. Says Justin, “I had been a member on and off again for a couple of years before our meeting.”
The couple informs us that Danita sent Justin a Flirt, which he ignored for a while before messaging her back a couple of weeks later. We asked Danita what spoke to her about Justin’s profile (username: “Manglik”), prompting her to be proactive and reach out to this particular guy. “He seemed so honest, intelligent, and straightforward,” she replies after pondering the question for a moment. “No nonsense! But kind, too.”
For Justin, the motivation to respond was immediate. “I liked her emotional vulnerability,” he says. “She had a pretty exposed, tell-all profile. It was a real person. It wasn’t superficial; it was honest.”
We asked the pair what made them decide they were ready to meet for a date. “We really enjoyed video chatting,” answers Danita. “And we knew if it was to be something real, we had to meet.”
Justin points out that ready or not, the in-person date is a must for Internet daters. Until that happens, you don’t really know what you have. “You may like what you see and hear, but you still have to confirm it as reality,” he observes. “You have to meet them and stand before their spirit.”
So arrangements were made and the anticipation built steadily until the big night! “We met at a local coffee shop, then went to an open mic night, and then watched a movie,” recounts Danita. Justin nods with a smile. “I’m a compulsive coffee drinker,” he declares. “Coffee was important!”
Danita’s take on Justin, in their first few moments together? “He’s so incredibly handsome!” He remembers her energy level being endearingly high. “She was cute and insecure, and excited.” He says she was “substantially” similar to what he thought of as his type.
Given her attack of the nerves, Danita was pleasantly surprised by something that night. “It was so natural and easy to be around him, and to talk endlessly,” she laughs. Justin agrees, noting that there was an “ease” to their interactions that night (and now).
With Date No. 1 a resounding success for Danita, she felt the way forward was clear. “I was really sure I wanted to spend more time with him,” she tells us. But for Justin, it wasn’t so cut-and-dried, actually. “I was undecided,” he admits. “But that was more about my own hang-ups that this relationship immediately began to uncover.”
Asked if the pair faced problems to solve in building their relationship, Justin says, “a lot.” Danita lists the obstacles: “Distance, for sure. Insecurities. Different thoughts about money, food, recreation. I also had to acclimate to a religious culture that was very different than my own.”
It was in dealing with these ups and downs that Danita realized she was in this for the long haul. “We had actually separated for a bit and it was so hard, but I just knew I loved him. I knew he had to be part of my life. And then things came together!”
For Justin, moving forward required that he come to grips with what he really wanted in a relationship. “I thought about what I needed out of a relationship, and [reached the conclusion] that this one had the quality and substance I actually needed.”
“He’s actually much more sensitive and caring than he cares to acknowledge,” laughs Danita. “He is really very different than what I envisioned, but he completes me that way. He’s such a partner.”
One night, Justin popped the question “at a very lovely and romantic restaurant which held personal significance for us.” Now that the couple is headed for the altar, they can reflect on how finding love has changed their lives. “He has helped me grow into the person I know I can be,” reflects Danita. “He’s elevated me. He pushes me and supports me, and I will never need for anything.”
Justin feels blessed. “Loving her helps me grow in the love of God,” he says. “I have more stress, but more meaning and fullness [in my life].”
Here are Danita’s suggestions for the online daters of the world. “Don’t settle! Explore outside your comfort zone. Don’t compromise your standards.” Justin reminds everyone that “it gets real after the first date. Meet in person as soon as possible. Talk as much as possible.”
Coffee doesn’t hurt, either.