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THE EVOLUTION 
Michael Oquendo, 43, Miami

Michael Oquendo started testing the online dating waters two years after exiting a “toxic” long-term relationship.

“I met some jerks online,” he says of the experience. “One moment, they tell you one thing, then another the next. There were some nice dates, but they didn’t work out. I was almost giving up.”

On the fence about whether “love is really out there,” he shifted his focus toward things he could control — such as working on himself.

“I was overweight and not happy with myself,” he says. “Then I started losing weight and really loving myself — and that’s when something really started to evolve. I think you have to be sure of who you are. You have to love yourself before anyone else, including your family.”

It was then, when he wasn’t looking for love to complete him, that he met German Ochoa on zoosk.com.

“It’s really true,” he laughs. “Don’t go looking for it. It will come.”

Michael says that German is the most caring person he’s met. He loves Michael for who he is, and they both support and contribute to each other’s growth. And German’s gentle character allows Michael to relax and be his most authentic self.

“He brings me to a place of serenity,” Michael says. “He’s the ying to my yang. He helps me continue to evolve.”

Family is important to both men and, with the encouragement of friends and family, they married in a small ceremony in New York City this January.

Michael adds: “I’m not saying it’s perfect, but the level of respect between both of us is there. He’s been the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Now I truly believe that there’s more good than bad out there.”