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"Love: Digital Style" Contestants #1...Joel and Maria

About us:
Joel and I met online in July 2010 through OKCupid.  Neither of us were looking to get into a serious relationship because our lives were in transition.  However, what started as a search for a consistent activity partner, ended up being the sweetest, most mature relationship I've had the pleasure of being in.  We made it "official" on August 3, 2010 when he asked me to be his girlfriend while on a roadtrip from NY to DC so I could scout out apartments.  Sicne then, I started a new job, moved to a new city, and changed my hairstyle about 4 times.  He has moved from NY to Texas and most recently undergone two brain surgeries.  We've overcome the difficulties of a long distance relationship and differences in religion.  We're in this thing for the long haul, frequently talking about marriage and our future together.  There was nothing about my life that would have led me to Joel in person.  Had it not been for OKCupid, I would not be as happy and grateful as I am today.  I love Joel with all my heart, and I thank God everyday for the opportunity to share my life with him.
  • What made you use an on-line dating service?
I used on-line dating services because they work to my advantage.  I have no problem meeting people off line, but I am a more compelling and attractive option to most men when they can see a good picture and read about me first.  Most men I've been in relationships share with me that they fell for my humor, wit, character and personality.  You don't always see that about someone passing them by in the street or on the subway, so on-line dating allows me to present my best and true self for the optimum first impression.
  • What made the site you used attractive to you? (Price, number of members, etc.)
I used OKCupid most recently because a guy I had a crush on for four years met his girlfriend through the site, and it wasn't as if I was encouraged by his success.  I was more shocked than anything that he even used a site.  He didn't have any other online presence.  So I figured there had to be something about the site that was good.  It was free.  And I do believe the quizzes and questions weed out less desirable candidates for me.  OKCupid is a really smart site with really smart people.  Their blog is insightful too.
  • Was this your first time using on-line dating or were you a "pro" at it?
OKCupid was not the first on-line dating service I'd used.  I had used and too.  I also had a profile on  I was considering a profile on jdate and even cruised and posted on craigslist personals, too.  Does all that make me a "pro?"  I don't know.  I had admitted that I was never looking for anything serious, but if I weren't in a healthy relationship by 30 and desired one that I'd join eHarmony.
  • What attracted you (or your mate) to your profile? Who contacted whom first?
After finding him on page 8 of my OKCupid matches, I thought Joel's smile was so inviting, warm and sweet.  Looking at his picture made me want to just let my hair down and get comfortable.  Then when I read his responses to the OKCupid prompt questions, I found him to be honest and self-aware.  I sent him an instant message and we chatted for about 40 minutes.
How long did you communicate before meeting in person?
We sent OKCupid messages, emailed and spoke on the phone for about four or five days before meeting in person.
  • When and where was your first date?
Dinner and a movie is a horrible first date.  So I like to think of that first in-person meeting as just that - a meeting.  It's far more romantic to think of the next time we met as our first date.  We met in midtown Manhattan.  He greeted me with a single rose, and we walked the streets together talking, window-shopping, holding hands and then grabbing a bite to eat (I think).  I remember the walking and talking most of all.  It was really comfortable and natural.
  • How did you know this would be more than just an "online" date and something more?
I knew I wanted to meet him after that very first instant message exchange.  I knew then that chatting whenever we were both online and on the site would not be enough.  We exchanged personal emails and phone numbers that night.  I knew this would be more than one of my infamous summer flings after our first meeting.  The goodbye was much more physically intense than I had expected it to be, and I asked that it stop because I didn't want to go down a road I'd travelled before.  Even though I knew we would only have a short time together (He was planning to start medical school in a few days, and I was relocating to DC shortly there after.), I didn't want a cheap thrill.  I didn't want the bad after taste of remorse and shame in my mouth from this experience.
  • Would you recommend on-line dating to others?
What is "online dating?"  How do you date someone online?  I don't know.  I think meeting people from online dating sites is pefectly fine.  Some people find the perfect pair of pumps or jeans by trolling the malls of America all day.  Others are pick-and-click folks.  I would definitely recommend OKCupid to anyone, and I have.  Both friends I have pushed to use it are dating guys from the site.


  1. OMG... this couple is SO amazing! 2 brain surgeries?? This woman's a keeper!


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