06/06/2014 12:49 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

My Online Dating Success Story

Click here to watch the TEDTalk that inspired this post.

Now that I think about it, I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I first signed up for online dating.

It was 2012 and I was single, recently out of the closet, and.. about to move back to my suburban hometown after college graduation. In terms of an ideal setting for meeting other gay women, this was, well, the exact opposite.

I was at the point in my life where I was truly my own best friend. I felt whole on my own, but I knew that I was ready to share my life with someone -- if I met the right someone.

"I live life to a soundtrack in my head." My life changed forever when I read those nine words, only I didn't know it at the time.

Okay.. I kind of knew. Is it crazy to say that? Is it crazy to say that I was so captivated by the opening line of someone's dating profile that I actually had the tiniest inkling my life was about to change?

It is crazy, but what's even crazier is that (unbeknownst to me) that profile was created less than two hours before I came across it.

But let me backtrack a bit. Let me rewind about six months to a night where I found myself bored and curious and.. logging onto

Like I said, I was pretty naïve about the whole online dating thing, and for some reason was under the false impression that offered free trials. (Ha!) I filled out my profile and uploaded some pictures "just to see what's out there," but when it took me to the payment page, I closed the browser and never logged back on. I was still in college, so I wasn't quite ready to pay for a dating site yet.

I didn't even think about deleting the profile I'd made because -- false impression #2 -- I thought that without a payment, nobody would be able to see it.

Fast-forward again to the Spring of 2012, just a few months before I read that life-altering sentence (and a few months after I failed to understand

One of my friends met her girlfriend on OkCupid and was trying to convince me to sign up. Suddenly, it dawned on me: while there were plenty of openly gay women on my college campus, in just a few months, I would no longer be living on that college campus.

Needless to say, I created an OkCupid account shortly thereafter.

I knew what I was looking for in my next relationship, and I didn't feel the need to settle. I didn't expect to meet someone online right away, but I figured it couldn't hurt to go on a few dates. At the very least, I could see what was out there, meet some interesting people, and have some fun.

Over the next few months, I met and dated a few really memorable women. There were the positive moments -- feeling butterflies for the first time in awhile, hilarious conversations after long nights, trips to Pride and gay bars and hanging out with one woman's huge group of gay friends.

But of course, there were the not-so-great moments -- the messages unanswered, the time I got really attached to someone and got hurt, and the time someone got really attached to me and I had to end it because I didn't reciprocate her feelings.

online dating success story

In the end, though, these were all just experiences that made me that much more ready to meet the right someone.

That someone, as it turns out, lives life to a soundtrack in her head -- just like me.

And in an instance of what I can only call serendipity, that someone also happened to have a account six months earlier.

Jessi told me on our third date that when I messaged her on OkCupid, she immediately recognized me as "that bitch that never answered me on"

I guess all those emails with the subject line: "She winked at you!" or "She messaged you!" weren't just ploys to get me to pay for an account, after all -- though that's what I thought when I routinely deleted them without reading.

Speaking of online dating naïveté, Jessi had never heard of OkCupid until the summer of 2012, when she read about it in Cosmo. She had just cancelled her account and sworn off dating until October, after her own series of dating ups and downs. But curiosity got the best of her, and she created an OkCupid account -- honestly believing she would never log on again. (Or at least not until October when her dating cleanse was over.)

The next morning, she woke up to an email -- my message.

Now that I think about it, I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I first signed up for online dating.

But two years later, as I write this from the apartment that Jessi and I call home, I know that trying something I had no idea about turned out to be the best idea I ever had.

We want to know what you think. Join the discussion by posting a comment below or tweeting #TEDWeekends. Interested in blogging for a future edition of TED Weekends? Email us at