I didn’t see it coming.
At the start of 2020, I was single. No dating prospects. Not actively seeking to date. Just single.
This was yet another area of my life that I finally realized was better left to God—as opposed to me trying to make relationships happen. So, I waited on God for a guy. And while I waited, I traveled.
In my three years of singleness, I took seven solo international trips; and honestly, I needed the freedom of those trips to rediscover my true self. The real me. Yes, I wanted to one day travel with that guy—my Mr. TBD. I even left a love lock for him on a trip to Paris. But, instead of sulking about it, I seized opportunities to make my travel dreams happen for three-plus years.
Then came January 3, 2020. I was working on Facebook—because social media was literally my job—and saw a notification about Facebook Dating. Ummm… there’s dating for Facebook?? Though I’d sworn off dating apps thanks to fails with Plenty of Fish, I was intrigued. And, since Facebook Dating is free, minutes later I had an active profile.
Now, let me emphasize here that I had zero expectations for romance. This was a matter of 99.99% curiosity about how it worked, and 0.01% hope. Even as notifications started popping up when my profile had new likes, I had no plans to reciprocate unless there was maybe one guy who stood out from the rest. Unfortunately, this proved a frustrating strategy because Facebook Dating is structured like Tinder. (Disclaimer: I’ve never used Tinder, but it’s basically impossible not to know about the whole swipe left/swipe right thing.) Instead of simply being able to view all the guys who liked my profile, I was forced to make a yes/no decision on one guy at a time before I could see the next one. Ugh. I really did not want to commit to liking anyone back, so it was a whole lotta no, no, no, no, NO, no, NOOOOOOOO, no, no, HECK NO! And then a few hmmm… uhhhh… mayyybeee… eh, no. I just couldn’t, not even with the maybe guys, because I didn’t want to start a conversation that would likely lead to a no anyway.
A few hours into my no, no, no fest, I got a profile like from a guy named John. His genuine smile drew me right in, and his photos of hiking and kayaking with his dog gave me a sense of his adventure spirit. As with the other maybes, I was torn—but even more so with John. I can’t tell you how many times I looked through his photos, read his profile, and sat there contemplating what should’ve been a simple yes or no. Finally, something inside me just said yes. Like this guy back and go on with your day. So, I did.
Then, more no, no, no, no, NOOOOO, no, no… until I reached a level of annoyance that had me done with Facebook Dating, less than 24 hours in. I clicked the option to turn off my profile and that was that.
What I didn’t realize was that my profile was still visible to any guy I’d liked back—which meant it was literally only visible to John. A day later, he sent me a message. Something like, “It’s refreshing to see someone serious about their faith on here. Where have you traveled?”
You see, I’d put in my profile that I was only interested in a guy who loves Jesus. And, of course, I emphasized that I love to travel. John kept it simple by acknowledging our shared faith, and engaged me with a question I always love to answer. So, I did.
After several days of messaging and then texting, we set up a date. Dinner at Tupelo Honey in downtown Knoxville. Leading up to the date, I wasn’t too nervous. Those three years of singleness taught me that being nervous is pointless. If a guy doesn’t like the real me, he isn’t my guy.
I arrived at the restaurant early and waited inside by the door, feeling anxious but still not nervous. Then, John walked in, smiled, greeted me, and the nerves suddenly swooped in. He had this Old Hollywood charm about him that made me a little tongue tied. Thankfully, I recovered, and the conversation flowed smoothly after that—so smoothly that we wound up taking a four-mile walk around downtown Knoxville after dinner.
As we reached my car in the parking garage, John asked if I’d like to see him again the following week. Without hesitation, I said yes. While cautious to guard my heart and not give John any false hope, I knew I wanted to get to know him better.
Date two was an evening walk at Lakeshore Park, where John often walked his dog, Gus. And, with my okay, Gus was also present as the third wheel. That night, we walked over seven miles around the park, and by the time we reached our vehicles, I was 100% smitten with John. I’m pretty sure the feeling was mutual.
In that first month we dated, we had more deep, honest conversations than I think I’ve had with most friends and family over my lifetime. At the core of it all was our shared faith in God and how it shaped who we are and what we desired in a spouse.
On January 25, John asked me to be his girlfriend. Easy yes! On February 2, he said “I love you.” I already loved him, too! On April 10, he asked me to be his wife. Happiest yes of my life! And, on June 27, 2020 we both said “I do.”
So that’s how this solo adventure girl became single no more. Every day, I thank God for this man He brought into my life. John is beyond the best life partner I ever imagined and dared to hope for. And to think that it all started on Facebook Dating.
Or did it?
I rather think it’s humorous that God used Facebook Dating to help us find each other. I really didn’t see that coming.