Getting Answers: online dating

Getting Answers: online dating
Updated: Feb. 9, 2023 at 5:55 PM EST
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(WGGB/WSHM) - These days, 22 percent of couples meet online and end up getting engaged, according to a survey by wedding website ‘The Knot,’ and dating experts said building your relationship online can foster deeper connections and lead to stronger marriages.

It’s a love story that all began on Tinder, a mobile app where swiping right on someone’s profile might just change your life forever.

“That might be the prettiest smile I’ve ever seen, is that what it was?” said Timothy Bozak. After that admittedly cheesy pick-up line, Bozak, a Westfield firefighter, and Heather Pollock, a nurse in Connecticut, met halfway for a first date, but with Bozak about to take a new job near Boston, the romance fizzled…or so they thought. “There’s so much coincidence in that one event,” Bozak added.

On his very last shift at Westfield Fire, he was assigned to transfer a patient almost 100 miles away to Bridgeport Hospital. It was fate. “I like looked up at the door and I’m like ‘Oh my gosh, I know this guy’ and it was you,” Pollock added.

“Yep, I must’ve said something charming in those 10 minutes when I was there,” Bozak said.

The chance meeting rekindled their connection, then came an engagement over the summer and big plans for a wedding this April. Cyberdating expert Julie Spira said love at first swipe is possible. The first step is being clear about your dating goals.

“It’s very important to be specific about your dating intentions, now more than ever, and I think the way you’ll get better matches is by being specific about your passions, things you like,” Spira

Spira added that being highly selective will help you find someone whose values align with yours, expand your dating pool, don’t judge based on initial attraction because that can grow, and don’t get put off by height, age, or zip code.

“People are willing to move for love more than ever because so many people are working from home now,” Spira explained.

That was the case for John Parubic. He met Angela Pagliuca on and, after just six months, made the move from Albany to Holyoke.

“He was kind, communicated, funny, and spontaneous, all the things I was looking for in somebody, so I’m like ‘Yeah, I think I found, I might’ve found the one,’” Pagliuca said.

She did. They were engaged in less than a year. It’s what Spira called ‘fast tracking.’

“…Which means you could be chatting in the afternoon and on a date that night and maybe be in a committed relationship in three days,” Spira noted.

Spira said you can build deep relationships faster online. Porubic and Pagliuca started building that foundation from day one.

“We, that day, message on the app, texted, talked on Facetime all that same day and never have gone a day since that we have not seen each other, at least on the phone,” Porubic explained.

After six weeks of getting to know each other virtually, meeting in person was almost a formality. Pagliuca said it all starts with spelling out exactly what you’re looking for.

“It’s important to put a lot of yourself out there in your profile, say what you want, what your intentions are of being on a dating site because it will help weed people out that might not be looking for the same thing as you,” Pagliuca said.

Back in East Longmeadow, Bozak and Pollock are counting down until their big day and encouraging others to take a leap of faith.

“You are going to have bad experiences, so just learn from that, grow from that, and be patient and hopefully, you’ll find your special someone,” Bozak said.

“Definitely don’t get discouraged. Take the leap you never know, even if you think it’s not going to work out, it might,” Pollock added.

If you’re looking for a date for Valentine’s Day, Spira said now the peak season for online dating, with Sunday nights being the most active time for swiping. She suggested writing to five to 10 people a day and respond to messages quickly.