Should I tell you not to search for a possible life partner on social networking sites if I found mine on Friendster?
Some relationship gurus preach that social networking sites such as Facebook isn´t an online dating site, thus not a place to look for a potential date.
But guess what? I actually met my husband on Friendster, the popular social networking site after My Space and before Facebook.
Now I´m not saying that you should start hunting for Mr. Right on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Tumbler. What I´m saying is that you can find Mr. Right anywhere, even in the most awkward situation or the most impossible place, in times when you least expect it or even when you weren´t thinking about getting into another serious relationship (just yet).
You may find this especially interesting if you´re looking for tips for online dating. I would suggest, be creative!
So here´s my story.
Just Looking for a Rebound.
It was the first week of December 2009. I and my short-term German boyfriend had just broken up. He was soon to be married to the woman whom he initially left to pursue me.
I was angry and hurting. I wanted a rebound.
I thought that the best way to keep my mind off him (which was difficult to do since we were colleagues and we often bumped shoulders several times a day) was to find a new love interest.
I was sitting in front of my office computer rushing a deadline when something suddenly hit me! I logged into my Friendster account, went to “search people” and typed in – Location: Germany, Male, Age: 27-32.
I was twenty-five at time so I narrowed my search to ages closer to mine. And since I was looking for a rebound, I thought of looking for another German guy.
Oh please, don´t ever think that I´ve a thing for German hotdogs, nope!
Before my German ex, I was sold to the false stereotype that Germans are bad people. I didn´t want to do anything with Germans because they´re all Nazis, right?
Yeah, I know. It´s lame and very misinformed. And yet the irony!
Finding the Right Guy?
With just a few clicks of the mouse, lots of profiles showed up. I quickly scanned through the thumbnails judging each of them by their looks and age.
Then there was a thumbnail photo that really stood out. The guy was in a basketball court, dribbling a ball for what looked like a professional basketball match. I clicked his profile so I could see more of him. His profile happened to be public.
He appeared to be a Filipino living in Germany. That´s a plus given that I too am a Filipino. There would be a smaller culture gap between us.
Reading through his profile I learned that he grew up in Germany. He´s very good-looking, masculine, and sporty. He´s a basketball player! He just turned thirty. I was interested.
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So I shot him an email right away! This is what I said:
Hi! I´m Glee. I can see you´re a good-looking, well-built man with VERY strong sex appeal. I like that. Let´s be friends.
Now let me tell you this. My message was bold, flirty, and right to the point. I normally wouldn´t introduce myself that way.
If I was serious to get to know a guy, my tone would be serious and classy. I would have said that I´m a high school Maths teacher and debate trainer. I´m this and that, ta-da-ta-da, and that I´m an achiever.
In short, I always tried to sell myself to men by impressing them with my academic and career achievements. Well, this time around, I didn´t plan to impress at all. I was just being my authentic, not trying-hard self
I sent that message and forgot about it the moment I turned off the computer.
The Joke Turned Serious.
I opened my Friendster account the next day and was surprised to receive a response from the Filipino-German guy. Didn´t I say I forgot about the email I sent to him right away? Right!
He thanked me for my message and for my kind comments regarding his physique. He confirmed that he´s a Filipino who moved to Germany when he was eight years old, and that he´s not fluent in English and could no longer speak Filipino.
He also admitted that he hired his mom´s help to write that response message.
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I wasn´t impressed. He hired his mom´s help? He isn´t good in English? Well, sounds like the total opposite of my Mr. Right. I didn´t like a mama´s boy (another wrong impression!) and more importantly, I wasn´t looking to date a guy who couldn´t communicate well in English.
I sent him a “thank you” message for replying to my email and that was it. Even if he still wrote back, I decided to discontinue our communication.
When I Thought It´s Over, It Wasn´t.
It was close to Christmas Holidays. Almost a month ago I contacted a german-filipino guy out of the blue but quickly decided that he wasn´t right for me.
Exams and grades were being wrapped up, but my heart was still bleeding. I was still hurting.
In a week, my ex boyfriend, whose classroom was next to mine, would fly to Germany with his fiancée for their wedding. Have I mentioned that we officially broke up two weeks earlier? Oh, it was a total mess.
Finally, Christmas vacation arrived. I opted to stay in the city. I retreated from humanity by staying in my apartment room the entire holiday.
Then on Christmas day, I logged into my Friendster account and saw this shining message from the Filipino-German guy. He was saying “Hi.” and “Merry Christmas”. He was also wishing me well.
I was like, seriously? This guy would still email me after I didn´t return his email for weeks?
It all started there. We emailed back and forth. Then we started chatting via Yahoo Messenger. It was weird seeing each other over the camera for the first time. And the communication gap was real!
He then proceeded calling me on the phone. And from there, he would call me every night after I came back from work. On weekends we would video chat over Skype.
He took the initiative to study English and to improve his spoken English. To say that his initiative impressed me is an understatement.
I was honest with him. He knew from the very beginning that I was broken-hearted and was still hurting. He knew too that I wasn´t ready for another relationship. But he assured me that he´s ready to wait and that he would help me forget.
He showered me with gifts, chocolates, and flowers. He gave me all the attention and love I would need to recover from my pain. He was patient and didn´t pressure me into having a relationship with him.
Who wouldn´t fall for such a man?
It Was Time.
Six months later he came to visit me in Thailand. Now six months may sound like a long time for virtual dating before meeting up in person, but if you´re flying across the globe, spending thousands of Euros for the trip and having an important job to consider, you would want to make that trip when the timing is right, such as during summer vacation or Christmas vacation.
Personally, I found that six months of getting to know each other over the phone and video chatting on Skype was reasonable given the distance between us. I would instead be turned off if he hopped on the plane right away after meeting me online for that would mean to me that he´s either impractical or impulsive — thankfully he´s none of those.
However, I would feel differently if he lived just an hour away and didn´t take the initiative to see me in person.
During his first visit, he spent three weeks in Bangkok. It gave us enough time to really get to know each other. However, since we were communicating daily for six months prior, it felt like we have known each other so much so that we knew, without hesitation, that we would click once we meet in person. And that exactly was the case.
It was August 2009 when he first visited me. Four months later, he came back with a ring. We became engaged in December 2009.
And the rest was history. This Filipino-German guy eventually became my husband. He visited me in Bangkok, where I worked as a foreign teacher, twice a year for two years. We wed in the Philippines, our home country, exactly two years since we met online on Friendster.
Update: I published this article on this blog in 2013. Now it´s been five years since I hit published so I decided to give it a little makeover. As of this editing, my husband and I are soon to celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary. It´s been 10+ years since we first met, and it´s been 8+ years since we said, “I do.”
With all that being said, am I in the position to tell you not to search for a possible life partner on social networking sites?