Finding ‘the one’: Couples recount their online dating experiences

January 2018 Posted in Community, People

By Melissa WagonerChloe DeVito and husband Keegan McGarva who met online. (5)

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, love is in the air – or on the computer screen – as more couples find each other online.

“I think generally it is becoming more popular,” Chloe DeVito, who met her husband Keegan McGarva on the site OkCupid, said. “Possibly because people’s friends have had success or are trying it out and they want to as well.”

Meeting “the one” can be difficult for anyone but DeVito found it especially difficult in her hometown of Silverton.

“I think for me it was a small town and, you know, kind of meeting the same people,” she said.

DeVito discovered that widening her search was helpful and it only took four months of internet dating before she
met McGarva.

“He just seemed more personable and genuine than anyone else,” she remembered.

“I actually reached out to him.”

DeVito and McGarva are a part of an increasing number of couples using dating sites that allow them to filter potential mates with criteria such as hobbies, political leanings and religion. During the initial filtering the site provides potential couples with a match percentage, which essentially lets them know if the relationship is likely to succeed even before it has begun. It can be very reassuring to someone who likes to know the numbers.

Although this all sounds a bit like shopping for a car, DeVito said a lot is still left to chance.

“It’s still exciting because they could say one thing and it could be baloney, just like in real life,” she explained. “They can put up a facade.”

That facade is often difficult to detect during online encounters, which is one of the tricky aspects of using a dating site. Sometimes weeks are spent emailing and talking on the phone prior to a first meeting, making that initial in-person get-together a real test.

Sarah Kaser Weitzman, who met her husband Andrew online, described the failure of many of those meetings as “talking on the phone with a potential date and then meeting and realizing there was no connection or chemistry
in person.”

Or, as Carol Williams, who met her husband Michael online in 1997, colorfully described, “wading through a bunch of frogs before I found my prince.”

Williams said that although far from foolproof, in the end the process still held some charm.

“It definitely did not take out any of the romance for us,” she said. “Meeting online and actually communicating, getting to know each other before we had the opportunity to meet in person was very helpful, in my opinion.
We found out a lot about each other – likes, dislikes, view of life, relationships that had gone sour, core values, etc.”

DeVito agrees that having some of the big questions answered before meeting can be helpful, but she cautions that computer calculations do not necessarily mean the relationship will work out.

“I think it would help as far as matching,” she explained. “But I think it’s really about making sure you really want to be with that person.”

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