Angela Williams, 34, a dating journalist and online daters’ advocate
Loneliness can be devastating. Every day we’re surrounded by thousands of people, but we always see through them and can’t find a moment to stop and take a better look. No wonder why classic “we met at a bar” love stories are giving way to “we found each other online” ones – dating websites have never been so popular. And while some find that special someone a few blocks away from home, others take the longer path and look for love in another city, another country, or even another continent. But the hardest quests are usually the most rewarding.
The story of Christian Tailor (39), an IT specialist from Glasgow, UK, and Oksana Rudnick (35), a bank manager from Tula, Russia, may not be that exciting, but it proves that true feelings can stand the test of distance.
A couple of years ago, I was part of a team developing a dating service. The idea was to make a website that would make strangers feel like old friends from the very moment they text each other. For that, we required an advanced search algorithm with a variety of options. This task was on me, so I began studying how similar algorithms work. I hopped from website to website, repeatedly checking the efficiency of their search engines.
We finished the project, but the website flopped. Regardless, I haven’t lost faith in the concept. There’s something thrilling about chatting with people who live in a different world. I have spoken to foreigners before, naturally, but only as a teammate and only when discussing projects I was working on at that time. Dating sites are a completely different thing: at first, you’re just lollygagging around, but then you ask yourself, what if I can really find someone here. In the end, that happened to me and Oksana.
No. It was more like beta testing. I wanted to see how many ladies gloss over the “bio” section in their profiles on Sweetydate. So I began asking normal questions, like “are you really that good at skydiving?” instead of “how many balalaikas have you played today?” Some lie; some don’t. But it’s not hard to beat the liar out of the bushes. Oksana mentioned painting as her hobby, so I asked if she could draw me. She replied that she’d gladly do that but only if I come to pick my portrait personally. Never thought girls could make up pickup lines.
Next, I had to master the art of patience. You see, even though Oksana’s English is much better compared to other ladies I chatted with, it’s still far from perfect. And despite that the time difference between Glasgow and Tula is only three hours (so we weren’t interrupted by our daily schedules), I still had to wait a few minutes until she responds to my message. To my surprise, it was genuinely interesting to learn about the life of a 35-year-old manager from Russia that I met on sweetydate site. She loves traveling, just like me. We’ve been to Rome at the same time! We may have even seen each other. It is indeed a small world.
Then came Skype calls, and I saw that she was a much better writer than a speaker. I’m usually irritated when people can’t express their thoughts properly, but there was something funny and charming in the way she blushed when she forgot the right word. Although she’s younger than me, I felt like she’s 10-20 years ahead of me. Not physically, of course.
I think so. It’s been almost six months since we met, and I’ve learned everything I could about her. I no longer cared about the distance between us or about the language barrier. All I wanted was to see her, not through the screen but in front of me, smiling, blushing. So I reminded her of that portrait she promised to paint. And she asked if I was ready to come and pick it when it’s done. But I wasn’t going to wait until she finishes. I packed my bags, booked the tickets, and ventured into the unknown.
Too bad I did not see her face when I texted her from the Tula airport, but as she told me later, she was literally lost for words. But judging from the glow in her eyes, she was glad to see me. She kept her promise and painted my portrait from a photo I gave her. She said it was a gift, but I still paid for it. With my heart.
Great! But once we deal with all the documents and visas so that Oksana could stay with me, things will get much better. I told my parents about her, and they can’t wait to see the girl who made me the happiest guy ever.
Absolutely! It doesn’t matter how many miles separate you if you’re certain that the person on the other side is your soul mate. Focus on your feelings and never doubt your choice.
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