The moment I knew: ‘After months of emailing every thought we ever had back and forth, we met for a walk’

On a Saturday shift, looking for something to do, Jasper Peach signed up for a dating site. That led to a free-flowing conversation that started and never stopped

It sounds like a lie to say I wasn’t looking for a partner when I joined a dating and friendship site called Pink Sofa. This was in the pre-swipe era of 2010, when you wrote a whole profile and uploaded the text with a picture of yourself, stating if you were looking for friends, hook-ups or a relationship (or all three). I joined up during a Saturday shift at my desk job for something to do.

The profile writing came easily. I’d had enough of most things in my life and had no cares left to give. I was direct and honest. I just wished there was a box to tick for wanting to replace the dead energy of love as I knew it with new people, ideas, places – all of it. Three weeks later I met the truest love I’ve ever known. She lived three blocks and one Melways page away from me.

She hadn’t ever dated anyone who wasn’t a man before but that didn’t seem to impact our delightfully waffly correspondence. We’d send several long emails back and forth each day. We talked about bodies and death, music and food. We mused in minute detail about whatever was happening in our days, work lives, social times and creative dreams. We waxed lyrical about whatever was growing in our gardens. Nothing was dull when talking with her. That’s what the emails felt like: a conversation that started and never stopped.

We could not believe the luck of all this simpatico. It was the only spell of online correspondence I’d look forward to each day. After a few months of sending every thought we ever had back and forth, we agreed to meet for a walk. Between us we had four dogs. I suggested we take a chaotic stroll with our pack along the Yarra River in Melbourne’s north.

When I saw her across the footy field, my mind went quiet. Ordinarily I don’t have an internal monologue so much as several hundred internal radio stations not-quite tuned in; a brass band and a troupe of monkeys throwing bananas. (Yes, I have received an ADHD diagnosis.) With people, the head-noise usually came in the form of questions. What do they think of me? Will I be able to convince them I am good enough to be loved? But the simple act of laying eyes on her muted everything else.

She was small and far away. As I got closer, putting her in sharper focus, the quiet remained. Just a whisper telling me that no matter what happened now, all would be well.

Jasper and their partner now
‘We now have two kids, a dog and a cat’ Photograph: Jasper Peach

For our first wedding anniversary, I printed the emails we sent before we met. The book was as thick as a thesis.

It has been 11 years since we met. We now have two kids, a dog and a cat. But I still feel that peace when I look at her. It’s a feeling of home as a person, and as the life we’re building together.

  • Do you have a romantic realisation you would like to share? Email with “The moment I knew” in the subject line to be considered for future columns


Jasper Peach

The GuardianTramp

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