Two years ago, if you would have told me that the love of my life was on the other side of the world, and to find her, I’d have to sign up for online dating, I would have probably laughed. Although I was mostly open to the concept of online dating, a long-distance relationship with someone on the other side of the world seemed too difficult and complicated to be worth it. How could anyone make something like that work?
Sure, I’d heard stories of international couples who had met online. But even though they were happily married, they felt like the exception. After all, we’d be on different time-zones, come from different cultures, and maybe even speak different languages. Where would we live if we wanted to get married? Where would we build our future? How would we deal with immigration issues?
These were all things I said to my Canadian uncle and Brazilian aunt, a couple who’d met online and have been happily married for almost two decades. But after I shared all my doubts, my auntie looked at me with profound seriousness and said, “Why would you limit what God could do in your life?”
It was a question that echoed in my mind and ultimately led me to agree to give long-distance, online dating a shot. I signed up for E-Harmony, created a profile, and set my filter to anywhere in the world. I thought, if nothing else, I’d maybe meet some cool people and possibly garner some interest in my novels. After all, putting “author” as my career was bound to get some questions.
Little did I know that I would not be on E-Harmony for long. It only took about two weeks before I met Teejay, the woman I’d one day marry. From our first Skype call, I knew she was different. She and I connected immediately in a way I’d never experienced before. Though I’d only planned to give the first call an hour, we ended up talking for over three.
Yes, it was difficult dating someone from the other side of the world. She is a Filipino who was living in Australia. I am a Canadian/American living in Canada. Our cultures and experiences were quite different, but we didn’t let that stop us. We knew we had made a profound connection and neither one of us was willing to let it slip away.
We chose to go online and make ourselves available to anyone in the world. We chose to trust God with the complexities and the unknown. Those choices led us to find each other. There were a million reasons why we could have given up on the relationship over the next year. But we didn’t.
As we prepare to enter 2019, and I look back on our first six months of marriage, I can say with absolute certainty that taking a risk on the unknown was the best decision I ever made.