Success in the city: an Auckland love story
When Natalie* first laid eyes on Steven’s profile, she thought to herself ‘’Wow. That’s a really good looking guy.’’ However, it was going to take a lot more than just a handsome face to convince her that this relationship was going to work.
Refusing to settle
Natalie’s story will be familiar to many Kiwi singles. At 42, with a successful career in place and having been married and divorced, she had a clear idea of what she wanted in a relationship. As she puts it ‘’you get to an age where you become quite selective, you are aware of what hasn’t worked.’’
Her dating criteria were based around the idea that she wanted someone able to ‘’make the same life choices’’ as her. That meant searching for someone with a similar level of security, who was ready for a committed relationship and who – hopefully – was good looking to boot! She wasn’t prepared to compromise when it came to love and found that the Auckland singles scene kept coming up short. As Natalie says, ‘’it can be so hit and miss out there.’’
Read more: Auckland dating scene getting you down? Don't wait! Meet great Auckland singles here.
She had initially tried free online dating too, rejecting it as ‘’it can be kind of weird to be a chick online...you can feel like a sitting duck.’’ However, when she came across EliteSingles, she had a feeling it might be different. She ‘’liked the idea of a site that attracts the kind of people who are willing to commit more to find someone ‘’ as she felt that this would act ‘’like a filter,’’ weeding out those who weren’t serious. Her background in psychology also meant she was drawn to the idea of finding someone based on the Five Factor personality test – she saw it as a chance to really refine her criteria and see if any of Auckland’s men could fit the bill!
Online hopes meet real life doubts
As it turned out, quite a few did. Natalie ended being pleasantly surprised by the quality of the men who were contacting her. Not only were their messages polite and interesting, a number of them looked like they took as much care of themselves as she did. Natalie jokes ‘’when you’re a solid nine, you don’t want to be contacted by threes and fours!’’ Among these good looking men was one that really gave her pause: a musician called Steven.
Steven really seemed like a good match and, after some interesting chats, it was only natural that he ask her out. Yet, after saying yes, Natalie was troubled by misgivings. She was done with her ‘’muso’’ phase, she reasoned. Dating is such a performance after all. Can anyone you meet online really be that compatible? Especially with a list as picky as hers? Eventually she allowed her doubts to win out and she bowed out of their date, citing an emergency case of the flu.
Read more: Overcome with the dating nerves? Read our 10 tips for better first date conversations!
Sometime later she was at an Auckland bar with friends. As she was leaving she saw a man nearby give a start of recognition and then flash her a big smile. She thought to herself ‘’that is a gorgeous guy’’ but left it at that. It wasn’t until she got home to find a message in her inbox that she realised that the gorgeous guy was Steven. He’d recognised her straight away and gone right to a computer to ask her out again. He was convinced they could have something special.
Taking the plunge
To her own surprise, Natalie was prepared to hear him out. She found herself looking back over his profile and messages and it wasn’t long until she came to an amazing revelation – Steven ‘’had everything [she] had asked for.’’ They were incredibly compatible: from family situations to shared values and culture, they just fit. She had been so caught up in ‘’a fixed idea of what [she] was looking for’’ that she nearly let little things like his being in a band blind her to the fact that ‘’everything he had done was perfect.’’ With this new knowledge, she agreed to the rearranged date. And this time around there was no sign of that pesky flu.
A few months after they first met on EliteSingles, Natalie looks at the ring Steven bought her and smiles. It is clearly treasured, a beautiful symbol of the fact that, from now on their ‘’future involves each other.’’ Proof, then, that she’s come a long way from those initial misgivings. ’’The website got it right and I didn’t’’ she admits. You’d be hard pressed to find someone more happy to be wrong.
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*names have been changed and a stock photo chosen to protect the couple’s privacy.