When I was young, I was always told not to talk to strangers. As a teen, I was reminded countless times to be careful when screening potential boyfriends. So when my dating life finally kickstarted, I only considered guys I had personally known or had common friends with. Better be safe than sorry, I thought.
Halfway through college, however, I realized that I actually liked the idea of talking to and hanging out with strangers from the internet. It was risky, of course, but I found the idea of having an instant connection with someone I had just met on some corner of the internet really fascinating. Plus, talking to these people seemed easier since I normally had no inhibitions when meeting up with them. Also, it was so much easier to cut them off whenever things didn’t work out.
I had the same mindset when I met Tim in 2018. I had just moved to Maginhawa in Quezon City, and I was looking for new people to spend time with. So, as usual, I turned to the internet.
Normally, I’d go for Craigslist because I liked how straightforward the platform was (unlike Tinder, where I had met a lot of men pretending to be interested in something serious despite wanting to just hook up). However, Craigslist’s “personals” section had just been shut down. Good thing, though, my friend told me about this subreddit that “kind of” worked like our beloved Craigslist. I thought it was cool, so I posted an ad on it.
Tim was one of the guys who responded to my post. It was funny because when I got his message, I was actually in a hurry, as my sister and I were on our way to watch a film at a nearby indie cinema. So, even though he didn’t say much in his initial message, I just gave him my Telegram username so he could find me there.
We began talking on Telegram after the movie, and for some reason, we really clicked. From the very start, we could already tell that we could talk about a lot of things, ranging from the mundane to the profound.
We were supposed to grab some drinks only a few days later, but since I suddenly got sick, we decided to just move our first meeting, which we consider our first date, to some other time. Because my birthday was coming up, I thought, Why not meet up on that day? He thought it was a brilliant idea.
We met up at Bo’s Coffee UP Town Center after my mini-celebration with two friends at a nearby restaurant. Just a few minutes into our conversation, I could already tell a bright future awaited us because, well, we really had chemistry. Prior to our meeting, I was nervous because I was thinking, What if we were just okay online but not in real life? But, I was so relieved to have confirmed that it wasn’t really the case for us.
Another thing I immediately liked about Tim was how interested he really seemed while talking to me, something that’s hard to fake. And, I could feel he genuinely paid attention to and cared about all the things I said. He had all the right responses, too, which made our conversation even better.
After our coffee date, we watched Crazy Rich Asians. I had been looking forward to seeing that movie, so I was too quiet and focused throughout the screening. According to Tim, he thought at the time that I wasn’t interested in him at all.
When the movie ended, he asked me where I was heading so he could take me there. In response, I said, “Bakit, pauuwiin mo talaga ako?” (Why, will you really let me go home?)
Yes, we spent the night together right away. And the rest is history.
We have been married for more than a month now. Though some may say that it’s too early to tell whether made the right decision or not, I’ll still confidently say that I did.
We’ve been living under the same roof for more than two years now, and I’m telling you, he’s the best lover, friend, and housemate I could ever ask for.
I have always believed that when choosing a spouse, going for someone you love isn’t really enough. That’s because you need to ensure you can be around that person, too, for most of your waking days. No matter how much love you have for a person, if you can’t stand their presence for quite a long time, then you may have a problem.
Your person has to have the non-negotiables you’ve set for yourself as well. If you have certain living standards for yourself, for instance, and you firmly believe you don’t deserve anything less than that, then being with someone who can’t afford the same lifestyle may just result in conflict.
The same thing applies to certain values, characteristics, and other qualifications you specifically look for in a person. It really doesn’t matter what your list of non-negotiables contains, as long as it matches or closely resembles that of the person you are about to marry.
In my case, I had been sure of Tim long before we sealed the deal. We have the same values and want the same things in life. In fact, we almost don’t fight because we believe that as smart people, we should always approach conflicts logically instead of letting our emotions carry us away.
I guess it also proves that it does not really matter where you meet your significant other as long as you two get along and are willing to do your part to make things work.