|Not love at first sight|
Tracey Myers of Brazil, Ind., had an unlikely dating coach-her dad. He urged her to try FarmersOnly.com (www.farmersonly.com).
"I told my dad, 'I'm not a farmer. And how do you know about this online dating site? You've been married for 50 years!'" laughs Tracey. He had seen an advertisement for FarmersOnly.com and thought it might be worth a try.
Tracey, 47, had divorced in November, 2009, after 25 years of marriage. She was ready to start dating a few months later.
"I had a strong, positive feeling that there was someone out there for me," she says.
Tracey had tested another online dating site, but didn't feel comfortable with the profiles and messages she received. FarmersOnly.com was a better match for her values: honesty, being true to yourself, and commitment to family.
"After looking through the site, the people seemed to be more down to earth, more real," Tracey says. She took dad's advice and set up a profile on FarmersOnly.com as "MsHappy."
She started cautiously, only doing anonymous searches on the site. Within just a few weeks, she received a "flirt" from "Cavalier," Bill Dunn of Franklin, Ind. Their similar profile names were the first indication of a possible match. Bill, 47, lived only 70 miles away from Tracy's hometown. He had recently divorced after 24 years of marriage and had been raised on a farm.
"I thought, 'Do I send something back? Well, why not?' " So, they exchanged messages for several weeks, talking about their families, their kids, their jobs, and their values.
They arranged a dinner date in early March. It turned out Bill's sister works across the street from Tracey, a connection that made their meeting more comfortable.
"It wasn't love at first sight, for either of us," says Tracey. Instead, Tracey was so nervous that she could hardly speak. "I just kept saying the same things over and over, talking about anything."
Bill was driving to the restaurant and Tracey was navigating.
"I made a joke about women always having to give directions to men and we laughed and the conversation seemed a little easier after that."
Tracey says the date was nice, but she didn't leave thinking she had found her match.
"I had planned to keep looking and keep my options open since I was still new to dating again. However, we kept talking online, texting and talking by phone and it led to another date and another. We had fun no matter what we we were doing," says Tracey. "We just fell in love over time." In May of 2010, they introduced each other to their parents. In June, they met each other's grown kids. Everything changed on Oct. 10, 2010, the day Bill proposed.
Bill arranged a dinner with her parents and children at Tracey's house. One daughter was out of state, so Bill called and put her on speaker phone so she could listen in.
"Then, he just walked up to me bent down and opened a ring box and said 'Tracey, will you marry me?' I was shocked, and said, 'Can I think about it?' Everyone laughed and then I said, 'Yes!' "
Cavalier and MsHappy became Mr. and Mrs. Bill and Tracey Dunn on Jan. 15, 2011. They married in Bill's home church.
"I love him more today than I did the day I married him," Tracey says. "I realized I met the love of my life on FarmersOnly.com."
Happy anniversary, Bill and Tracey, from FarmersOnly.com.