Engagement Feature


"Today, August 30, 2014, Marcus proposed to me. Marcus makes me laugh every day, and he tells me all the time how lucky he feels to have met me. Yes, I know it sounds like the end of some blissful romantic fairy tale, but trust me- the journey that led to my engagement felt a lot more like boot camp than a fairy tale most days!

I had spent my 20's moving from place to place pursuing my education and career. Friends were plentiful, and I didn't particularly feel the urge to look for anything more. When I finally settled in Chicago at the age of 30, I felt - like so many women out there - that Prince Charming would simply show up in my life at some point, and that I was supposed to wait patiently for that to happen. Time passed, and I began to realize how false of a concept that was - I needed to be proactive in order to achieve my goals in other aspects of my life, so why hadn't I been putting effort into this one?

I made the decision to take my love life into my own hands and contacted Bela at Smart Dating Academy on January 1, 2012 (as part of my New Year's Resolution!). Bela and I met every month for two and a half years and in that time, the most important thing I learned was that dating was like any other activity - it required time and practice to get good at it, and letting failures and disappointments get in the way of practicing was only going to hold me back. It took a whole year of dating different guys before I started to get asked out on second dates consistently. Even then, when I got embroiled in some family issues, my hard-earned progress screeched to a halt and I stopped getting second dates again. My dating life definitely felt like an uphill battle!

After two years and lots of practice and setbacks, I finally hit my stride. I entered the stage in which I would go on a couple of dates with the same guy, and either he would reject me or I him. One memorable fellow was an incredibly brilliant man, but too erratic and unreliable for me. Another one seemed promising, but he told me he just wasn't feeling the chemistry.

The night before I met Marcus at a meet-up, I had just received a "Dear Jane" email from a man I'd been on three dates with. I almost didn't go to the meet-up because of the disappointment, but luckily I decided getting out there and persevering was a better option than feeling sorry for myself at home. I met Marcus there, and the communication skills I had honed with Bela allowed me to be appropriately flirty and friendly with him. He told me he was interested in getting to know me better...and today, here we are!

People are usually open about sharing the joy of their engagements, but I feel that it is just as fulfilling for me to share my less-than-perfect journey and the struggles I faced along the way. I know many people out there are in the same place I was in, and I want them to know that the dating adventure will be full of chock-full of disappointments, bad dates, and learning experiences - but the effort put in will be well worth it! And most importantly, it is never too late to try."

Love, Mary

Smart Dating Academy client