Mixed Couples

Melanie & Tom -
Orlando, Florida, United States

Engaged May 2015

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Like Peas and Carrots

When “SweetCurlz” met “BostonGuy78” on our site, the sparks were flyin’! They saw each other in person, and it was magic. In this case, it wasn’t a question of when Tom would propose to Melanie… The only question was, would he ever stop asking? “He proposed from the time we first talked,” she laughs. “He’s left me notes in hotel rooms asking me to marry him. He’s almost always asking me to marry him or spend my life with him. I’m not kidding.”

But if we rewind a little bit, Melanie and Tom were just like many other members on our site — still looking.

“This was my first time with online dating,” Melanie says to begin their story. “I wasn’t confident, but I was pretty sure that I had a higher chance of finding someone online whom I had real commonality with than I would randomly running into them at the grocery store.”

Being super-busy was another reason Melanie decided to post a profile on our site. “As a single mother juggling my family, friends and career, I didn’t have a lot of time to waste figuring out if someone was looking for the same thing I was,” she explains. “Online dating was a good way to broaden the range of who I could connect with, and to only connect with people looking for the same quality of relationship as me, with the same values. I wanted to avoid the nonsense of trying to meet someone at a bar or a club. I wanted to be more selective in who I was looking for.”

“This wasn’t my first experience with online dating,” Tom tells us. “I wasn’t really confident, but I was hoping to meet someone who would be a good match. I’d tried one other site before, and I wasn’t happy with it.”

Tom was with us for about three months when Melanie — just a couple of weeks into her membership — reached out to him. “I had seen his profile a couple of times and put him in my list to ‘check this guy out later’ but honestly, I didn’t like his profile pic. I still don’t!” she laughs. “Finally I sat down and said, ‘Okay, I’m gonna do this’ and started to look for the guy who was looking for me.”

So what was it about Tom that helped her overcome her aversion to his profile pic? “When I read Tom’s profile, I saw something incredible: I saw the man I had dreamed of when I was just a teenage girl. He had all the qualities and quirks I was looking for: sensitive but rugged, educated but prefers to work with his hands, honest, straightforward, dedicated... And he loves to be outdoors, like me!”

She didn’t even have to send him a personalized email to spark a conversation. “I sent him a Flirt and the rest was history,” Melanie reveals. “He responded right away and we started texting each other. We got each other’s sense of humor. The first time we talked on the phone, his first words were, jokingly, ‘Will you marry me?’ And I joked back ‘Yes. When?’ We’ve been laughing together ever since.”

What Melanie really liked about Tom, right from the start, is “his sincerity. He had ALL of the qualities I listed in my profile that I was looking for, from his love of being a parent —we’re passionate parents together — to his love of nature and being outdoors, to really wanting to build a future together. He meant it. I could tell. And his other profile pics clued me in on how handsome he was!”

We’ve heard a lot from Melanie, but what about Tom’s take on it? What was it about her profile that interested him? “Besides the fact that I thought she was effin’ gorgeous, I was really attracted to her use of words,” he explains. “She sounded smart! It seemed like we had a lot in common.”

After some fantastic conversations their connection was clearly a strong one, but their path to ever actually being together was more of an uphill climb. You see, they were separated by quite a few miles… “Our relationship started long distance. I was in New York State and he was in Florida,” Melanie elaborates. “It sounds crazy, but we knew we wanted to be together after talking for hours, over only a few days. The connection we had was palpable! It was hard for us to believe at first, but the other person was a great fit, and for all the right reasons.”

With both singles so certain it should happen, they made arrangements to meet. “When we arranged the plane tickets, it was because we couldn’t wait to see each other in person,” says Melanie. “We’d met by Skype and by phone and text, but it took us three weeks to be standing in each other’s presence.”

Tom may never forget the moments of anticipation before Melanie arrived. “It was like a dream when I was sitting in the airport in upstate New York, waiting for her to pick me up,” he recalls. “Every time we talked, it was like a dream. It was so good I kept waiting for someone to tell me it had all been a joke. I couldn’t wait to see her! I was ready. And then she showed up at the airport and she was everything I had expected, and more.”

Melanie remembers the rush of thoughts and emotions she experienced. “I felt complete. I had put on a bold face to hide how nervous I was about meeting him face to face, for the first time. We had spent hours on Skype and FaceTime, but it’s not totally the same. When I arrived at the airport, he saw me before I saw him and then when I saw him stand up, my heart began to pound recklessly in my chest. My thoughts blurred together. This sounds hilarious, but I almost ran!”

Fortunately, Melanie stood firm and faced her fears. When in person she laid eyes on Tom for the first time, Melanie felt like she was in a movie. “He was larger than life,” she recalls. “Handsome and quiet, and unbelievably sexy in his jeans and cowboy boots. He strode across the room, gently took me in his arms and kissed me. And I remember thinking ‘Wow, his eyes are so green! I want to look at them forever...and I CAN!” She punctuates the thought with a girlish squeal of delight.

Tom was just as thunderstruck. “When I saw her face and her smile, she made me so happy,” he declares. “She just lit me up. She told me she was six-feet tall and that she had big hair, and that was the truth. I honestly thought, ‘This is the woman I’m going to spend the rest of my life with.’ I felt completely at ease. I finally felt complete.”

Even with all that, it surprised Tom how quickly two people could become a unit. “How much we did, and how well we got along” caught him off guard, he says. “We just went with the flow, and we’re two people that just go with each other — like peas and carrots. It surprised me how much we had in common.”

“We were honestly enthusiastic about each other’s ideas,” adds Melanie. “We were together for five days and we’d make plans on the fly, and then we’d make them happen. We just fell together as a team. I couldn’t believe how easy it was. Oh, and my family LOVED him, and they didn’t hesitate to say it!”

Based on the rave reviews date No. 1 received, it should come as no surprise to hear that these two immediately wanted to go out again. “I think I was about 1342% sure [we would go out again],” laughs Melanie. “Is that a number? They say this in movies, that ‘you just know’ and I’ve always thought that was fishy... And then it happened to me!”

Tom was totally sure they’d see each other again. “It wasn’t a matter of ‘if’, it was a matter of ‘how fast can we save enough money to get me back up there?’ or ‘how fast can I find a transfer to move up there?’”

They made it work. Now that this relationship is movin’ right along, Melanie and Tom only appreciate each other more. “I didn’t think I got what an amazing cook she is,” Tom says of the woman he loves. “Or exactly how supportive she is. She wakes up every morning and makes me breakfast before I go to work.”

“He’s incredibly patient and he’s got an amazing ability to express that he’s on my side when we have conflicts or problems,” says Melanie. “He’s one-hundred-and-10 percent in this relationship, and sets goals for it.”

It sure sounds like they both found exactly what they were looking for all along. True? “I thought Tom was a great fit,” Melanie says of how he compared to her “type.” But that’s been an evolving concept for her. “My type has changed many times in my life,” she says. “When I met Tom... This lid blew open in my heart. When I was 13 I remember dreaming up the perfect guy... And I never believed I would ever have him. And then here he was.”

“I didn’t even know her type existed,” marvels Tom. “Her profile was right on physically and I thought she was perfect. But then when I met her, she was even more.”

“It has changed everything,” says Melanie of the impact her relationship has had. “I go more for my dreams than I ever have. I was a strong person before Tom, but I feel stronger — like I have support, and I feel free to be soft, to need a hug, or to be encouraged. I can’t describe the feeling of wholeness that I always sort of suspected finding true love would give, but, yeah... Whole. Beautifully whole. And overflowing. We’re on so many adventures together.”

Tom nods. “I suddenly feel like every sunrise is brighter, every day is happier, the sugar is sweeter, the sex more meaningful — everything about life is better.”

With such a successful pairing, surely these two have learned something they’d like to share with everyone looking for something similar? “Know yourself. Know what you’re looking for and be honest with yourself about what you want,” says Melanie. “If you’re not looking for a casual relationship, don’t invest in ‘converting’ someone who is to a long-term relationship. Just go for the gold. Don’t give up. Keep talking to people. Look for the connection.”

Melanie warns singles against suffering the effects of online dating burnout. “Don’t get cynical about the process,” she urges our members. “It will limit you. Someone is out there on the other end looking for YOU, but if you get cynical or stop trying, you may just let them down. If something doesn’t work out, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and be thankful that you now know that wasn’t the right person. The right one will be there. Don’t give up.”

Given his own experience, Tom doesn’t want people to think far from home means out of bounds. “Don’t limit yourself to local relationships,” he advises. “Don’t discount a long-distance relationship. Also, don’t just focus on looks — look for exactly what you want in a person and if someone doesn’t have those qualities, move on. Don’t do the ‘square peg, round hole’ thing. Be true to yourself, and be honest. Something might happen!”

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