A kiss isn’t an emoticon: The myth of digital love

I had two long distant relationships this year, one in DC, one in Hannover, Germany. I work in the digital space for a living so it was no problem for me to seamlessly shift from IRL (in real life) to digital life. I do it all day long. My German boyfriend was barely past opening email when I met him but managed, in the space of a short time, to direct message on Twitter, open a Dropbox account, begin skyping at all hours, and even made videos and opened a YouTube account. We hacked the tools to make them work for us and our time distance. Sometimes I’d wake to a dozen love tweets just as he might be going to bed. There was a kind of pause effect that I liked about digital love; it gave me time to think, to process words as a reader. I loved the idea that someone was sending small blips of poetry to me across an ocean as I slept. I adored waking to them, as though each day greeted me with possibility and sweetness, albeit in the glowing light of an iPhone in the early morning dark.

But the problem with digital relationships is that you effortlessly enter a world of fiction.

Even as I write this, there are thousands of calls being made between people full of hope, commitment, and a steely determination that their digital connection is as good as their connection in real life.

It isn’t.

Don’t kid yourself. While our cross-media relationships hold incredible power–they do communicate our powerful emotions in words, photographs, and video but the subtleties get lost in cyber space: The small twitch of a finger, anxiously drumming a leg, a poker-like tell of inner conflict that is entirely missed as the face smiles in a pixelated mess of I love you’s, no really, I do’s.

There are no soft shoulders, no forgiving spaces to lean into on a couch, no hesitant moments in a kitchen before a meal where love can heal and eat in peace together. Instead, words can slam into you at 140 characters like a semi doing 90 miles an hour straight into a brick wall. Direct messages are direct alright.

It is also easier to lie and obfuscate in digital communications. One can get carried away with the fictionalized world of the social objects created to imagine a storyworld between you and your loved one. Pictures, video links, mp3 files, Dropbox playlists, Pins, and memos, even couriered packages all begin to shape and form the world you share. Connection, that is, wi-fi, takes on a life or death dependency. And it seems real, it seems like the best possible world, it is never boring or tedious; it is in fact often better than the real thing. No breath is exchanged however, not a single touch is explored truthfully.

Doubt is easily buried in emoticons.

As our globe shrinks to a :):):):):):) and a lmao or a bleakly typed ‘are you there?’, we should not confuse digital love with IRL love. In fact, I think dating sites should really come with a warning, like a pack of cigarettes: “Nothing you see, hear, feel, or read is real. Proceed with caution into this fictionalized world.”

Don’t get me wrong, I love rabbit holes, I really do love escaping into imaginary worlds. And that is the danger. I’m so easily drawn into fiction over reality that the slippery slope ends up in a lot of digital debris and very little to show for my journey. Good fiction should transform you, take you on a journey, and leave you having learned from the storyworld something that you could not have learned had you not entered it. But digital relationships aren’t always authored by a good writer and entering into any old story world is a risk.

Smell and taste and laughter and tactile moments cannot be replaced by digital communications no matter how advanced we are; the smell of just washed hair, the texture of hands holding one another, the visceral experience of sitting across from another person and feeling their truth without having to say a word, without, in fact, a single electrical outlet around for a 1000 miles.

Ironically, the more digital I make my life, the more I savour my IRL experiences. The exquisite pleasure of sitting with my old friends, my iPhone off, wine in hand, hearing familiar laughter, clinking of steak knives on plates, the smell of coals below a dripping grill, late afternoon sun warming my back, the lightness of just being in one place, analog style, with only my five senses to record the experience.

Be wary if you think you can port your relationship into and across digital media: There needs to be a time when the circus puts pegs down into the earth, the tent is raised, and real stories get told and real people sit with one another and share them. For me, without the IRL component, no relationship can be truly alive and experienced. Besides, I am pretty sure a kiss still wants to be a kiss and not an emoticon…


Filed under Non-fiction, Relationships

139 responses to “A kiss isn’t an emoticon: The myth of digital love

  1. I love this Mags. You name the potent essence that makes life on this planet worth living: human connection with our senses, not machines and illusory emoticons. Hurray IRL!

  2. Digital life practice make IRL situations perfect. lol
    enjoyed that, thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  3. No email, tweet, Skype chat, or text can compare to having the real thing right next to you on the sofa, in the car, in the bed, or sitting across from you at dinner. Though if having a digital relationship is all you can have at the moment, maybe it’s okay.

  4. Yes to all of this: yes to not being able to say you really know who the person you love is, yes to emoticons not being an adequate replacement for the subtleties of body language and physical affection, yes to the need for us to be aware of the pitfalls of online relationships and of the caution needed in approaching relationships that form online. Yes to all of this but I do have something I strongly disagree with – and I don’t know if your post is limited solely to relationships that start as a result of two people looking for love on a dating site – but as someone who was in a long distance relationship with a man I met while blogging, as someone who only met that love 9 months after our relationship began, as someone who spent less than a month together with that man before I moved to another country to be with him after 2 and a half years of a long distance Skype dominated relationship, I have to say that yes, there are pitfalls, it is difficult and can be sacrificial – and what relationships aren’t? – but it is possible.

    I’m aware that it’s not everyone’s experience but being in this position I’ve become aware of so many other relationships that began the way ours did, and are still working today. It’s not just all ‘ether’. My partner and I fell in love with one another’s minds long before we even considered taking the crazy step of traveling half way across the world to see what we could make of it.
    I’m glad I did it.

  5. I love your post.

    It just is so true, it is very easy to fall for someone sweet and unreal in cyber. I know people in cyber who I really like, and I always have to remind myself that they are only shadows -in a way..

  6. Really, you think that a digital connection is not as good as a real life one? But ah the butterflies in the stomach are the same! And the ‘being in love’ feeling is no less than having met the object of one’s affection IRL or after having copulated, even – as it is all in the mind, isn’t?

    So I beg to differ, having experienced a range of long distance/digital loves as well as RL ones. Both digitally and IRL there can be wake-up moments, those that leave you reeling because your loved one isn’t who you thought he/she was. In the beginning, people almost always portray themselves better than what they really are, whether it’s on the net or IRL. It’s just easier to open up to people on the net, even if you fancy them, but finding lasting love is tough, either way.

    Nah, not really all that different.

    • Yes! My mother and father have been married for 25 years and she still mentions how she find out new things about him all the time that make her think “Who is this guy?!” All relationships come with risks, and distance has no bearing on whether someone is genuine or faithful in itself, though I think that being in an online relationship requires a shared understanding of what each person wants. I do think that long distance online relationships need to translate into RL if they’re going to have a chance to grow for all the reasons the author speaks of, but my partner is the same person I spoke with everyday online before we started living together.

    • Thanks, not that one is better than the other, only if there is an imbalance–too much digital, not enough IRL–things get lost in translation. Thanks for reading, and insightful comments.

  7. This is a beautiful post — and so absolutely true!

    I actually met my fiance online, and I would recommend that as a screening mechanism to anyone…As a writer by profession, I can’t tell you how much I appreciated knowing that he could use the proper “they’re,” “their” or “there” in a sentence, and his written romantic side was an important first step along our path. But yes, these skills definitely had to translate from the digital world of IM and text and email to IRL.

    And almost four years later, I can attest that he is every bit as wonderful IRL as he was online! I’m blessed.

    But I can’t imagine a relationship that could possibly thrive in a digital vaccuum. Nuance is lost, and so is the potential for a deep connection that transcends 140 characters.

    Great post! πŸ™‚

    • Thank you SO much, very kind words. I really hear you on using their and there correctly!! If you are a writer, then I would say it’s even more exciting to communicate through digital tools. Really glad to hear he turned out to be a good egg.

  8. Miss Y

    This post has really struck a chord with me because it is so true. You cannot base a real relationship on one you may be having digitally. Real relationships need to occur in real life. Unfortunately I had to learn this lesson the hard way but knowing it now I’d never do it again.

  9. hekissedusboth

    I think that’s a really great article! I know how it is to have a digital relationship and I think u mentioned everthing emportant.

  10. Thank you for sharing. So true… my best relationships are digital… I wondered why…? And touch, so important and really irreplaceable

  11. Fantastic thought provoking piece. Digital relationships although easy to star lack that shared experience. Having someone make you coffee, while you make their tea. Computers, laptops, smartphones just don’t accept or return hugs the way your love can in real life. Also as so much of what we say is nonverbal, digital can’t quite convey the full message either.

  12. Gorgeous post. Thanks for the reminder to savor IRL experiences.

  13. Very well stated. πŸ™‚ I agree, nothing beats flesh and bone relationships. I enjoyed your post. πŸ™‚

  14. I enjoyed many of your turns of phrases…a pleasure to read…JUST another BC’er!

  15. Chels

    Good post, IRL all the way, I prefer to have someone I can touch

  16. league89

    Thank you for sharing! This is so beautifully written and I appreciate your vulnerability and honesty.
    Congratulations on being “FRESHLY PRESSED”!

  17. Very good post. A fling over the wire may start off as a something fun, but beware, it can turn into a very ugly beast. And I do agree, IRL can never be replaced.

  18. Faith, honesty and in person touch cannot be duplicated online. However, infidelity has happened in-person relationships long before computers existed…

    What is really lost in email or Skype is the ability to respond to a loved one at ANY time. Whereas with Skype you must arrange a time/ensure the person is there to communicate in front of the webcam, etc.

    And email exchange cannot at all duplicate discussion on complicated matters. Some people just are too lazy write it out and some issues are just too complicated to write down in words vs. explaining it verbally in person.

  19. thank-you so much for this post… I could not agree more with you…I just broke off a 1 1/2 yr long digital relationship. It was very hard to accept the fact that I was being strung along by some-one who had no intention of making it IRL… even though the promises kept coming… I want someone here in the real world, in the now, who can wrap their arms around me in the silence… actions truly speak louder than words (especially typed ones)…

  20. Molly

    Very well written post, great blog to end my day with! Congrats on FP!

  21. The constant connectivity between family, friends and lovers has resulted in a complete disaster. I’m not saying it’s bad to be connected, but to be constantly connected, that’s a different thing entirely. It had a negative effect on my last relationship, and I’d wager it doesn’t help with a lot of others. All the tweets, all the texts, expecting me to be able to answer a message during work when I really, really can’t – it drives me insane.

    Then again, it just might be my bitter pessimistic self talking. I have to admit, I’m pretty hard to live with.

  22. Call old fashioned but I still want to hold hands, sit and watch the sun set and eat tons of pizza with the one I love. These small things may seem trivial to others but you just cen’t get this online.

  23. Leah

    Ironically, the more digital I make my life, the more I savour my IRL experiences. The exquisite pleasure of sitting with my old friends, my iPhone off, wine in hand, hearing familiar laughter, clinking of steak knives on plates, the smell of coals below a dripping grill, late afternoon sun warming my back, the lightness of just being in one place, analog style, with only my five senses to record the experience.

    Exactly! I love the internet and digital life, but I have the most fun at restaurants and traveling and just being outdoors. Having an LDR is much easier with Skype and email, but there’s always a sense of something missing. It can be done, but it’s very hard. Congrats on being freshly pressed.

  24. Halo Halo Designs

    Beautifully written, and I couldn’t agree more with you. Makes me want to just grab all the people I love and give em a big hug and kiss :-* congratulations on being freshly pressed!

  25. It is easy to confuse the excitement of a digital relationship to the real thing. It’s also tempting because you can make the other person into the who you want them to be instead of who they are.

  26. I agree with you. This advice also applies to digital friendships as well.

  27. William Lee

    I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you (and all the other commenters here), but the generalization made by this article is just that, a generalization.

    Having been online since the early 1990s I’ve had my fair share of online romances, and most of them didn’t work out. I’ve had my share of IRL romances as well, and guess what? Most of those don’t work out either. I think that can be said for anyone.

    I can see your point, and I agree that an emoticon is not a kiss, but I met my partner online, and after 6 months of intense virtual romance we finally met IRL. We decided immediately to move in together and four years later we’re still going strong, neither of us regret a thing!

    You make many valid points about the downsides of virtual romance, but think of all the upsides as well. Not all IRL relationships work out just because a kiss is really a kiss. Often the fact of someone’s physicality can be just as misleading.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts, and I wish you the best of luck!

  28. I’m glad I decided to peruse the Freshly Pressed….what a brilliant way of describing what so many forget in this digital age. I’m a new fan!

  29. The funny thing with social networking sites, eg Facebook, is that one attains many friends (far more than in real life)of who you dont really know who they are etc etc. Yet of one of them deletes you as a friend – one is nearly as emotionally demolished as in real life.

    Why ?

  30. Sometimes, the only way to connect is to disconnect. A walk in the park, a bike ride down a country road, listening to crickets under the stars, the silence of snowy city streets — all, hopefully, without the sound of an arriving text. Great post!

  31. Oh yes, this is so true…I’m currently in a long-distance relationship with a guy I met at college. We started dating near the end of last semester, so the majority of our relationship has been spent apart since we each live about 400 miles away from each other. Skype, facebook, email, and texting aren’t cutting it. Thank goodness we were able to visit each other for a few weekends this summer. Internet communication is useful, but it will never be as fulfilling as having him with me in the same room where we can talk face to face. Not to mention that cuddling is impossible over the web…

  32. wholeheartedly agree with this!

  33. Jungo

    I agree with many points you’ve made in this piece – I should tell you it was a pleasure reading this – however, I think there’s a benefit of long distance relationship. It allows both parties to explore eachother’s soul and fall in love with the mind. In “real life” people seem to fall in love with the look of people. People should not get involved in “digital love” if they have no intentions in making the relationship real. Looking forward to more of your writings.

  34. Jungo

    Reblogged this on From Ink with Love and commented:
    I agree with many points made in this piece; however, I think there’s benefits of long distance relationships. It allows both parties to explore eachother’s soul and fall in love with the mind. In “real life” people seem to fall in love with the look of people. People should not get involved in “digital love” if they have no intentions in making the relationship real.

  35. Poignant. Especially to one who had convinced herself that a digital, long distance (across the ocean) relationship could work. There’s something about waking up to those love tweets that makes it all seem possible.

    • Yeah, love tweets…man they’re addictive little things…:)

      • One the one hand, it seems great because all you can do IS talk – whether through skyping, emailing, phone – which forces you to share. that level of communication is amazing. But when its not combined with IRL, then there is always something missing. Of course, hindsight is a beautiful/wretched thing!

  36. I agree with this post. I’ve had long distant relationships as well as relationships where we talked more on social on networks (because we were both busy) and they never ended up working out. There’s trust, emotional and physical issues that come along with online dating. And you’re right an emoticon does not replace a kiss.

    However strangely enough my non-romantic relationships with people (such as friends I’ve met over twitter), have actually worked out and I met some wonderful people!

  37. This is a phenomenal post. I know too many people who’ve been hurt by online relationships that don’t quite pan out because the online part is simply not the full story.

  38. Such a wonderful post. I think one of the most tragic things about the ever expanding world of technology is the way people genuinely lose touch with one another, that is, literally. We are far more aware of what everyone else is doing and “liking” and “instagraming,” but far less invested on a corporeal or emotional level. I have a good friend who can’t talk about anything serious or meaningful if it’s not over messenger or through email. I find it so tragic. Technology is a great thing. But it is a tool, not a substitute for IRL, as you so appropriately put it.
    Great post!

  39. Blood-Ink-Diary

    Beautifully manifested, each sentence weaves the entire tapestry. Keep penning, you have a true talent for the ink. Cheers.

  40. Thank you, Margaret for a well-written and interesting article. This phenomenon is not restricted to lovers.
    As one who has emigrated far from immediate family and close friends I can vouch for the exquisite pleasure of the tactile 3-D experience IRL!
    When I finally managed to convince my parents to use Skype, and my partner and I had a conversation with them both after three years of not seeing a moving image of them, my father – who really knows nothing about computers – exclaimed to us, “Oh, you’re still the same!”.
    We have not Skyped often since, as I had though we might. Your article has made me realise that perhaps my parents are “all or nothing” folk, and find the digital substitute far from satisfactory simply because hugs are impossible. Because I spend a large part of my life online, I suppose I accept “the illusion” much more readily.

    • Karen B

      You bring up a good point in the value of digital in other close relationships. I too, am far away from family and use Skype and social media to stay in touch. It has allowed me to be part of my daughter and grandson’s life and I don’t think I would have quite the same connection without it. When I grew up, my only contact with relatives was letters or phone calls with so much time in between, it was mostly a catch up on what was going on in your life. Very little intimacy, which I have been able to get using digital sources.

    • Old folks and Skype, always interesting. Thanks for a great comment and insight.

  41. pseudomonaz

    really thoughtful..the real experience is always better then the digital one..but there are certain things which work out better digitally..for me i wouldn’t have known my guy this much if it hadn’t been our chats or msgs.
    those endless phone conversations changed our relationship from being friends to lovers.. a relationship is not based on whether u r meeting regularly or not..its based on feelings..do u want to meet or not? many real relationships dont work out..many of my friends are heartbroken now..its about feelings not distance!! if u want it to work out..it’ll no matter what!

  42. ijlml

    This is great, so true!

  43. This is a wonderful essay. I developed a raging on line crush, really bad, on the boyfriend of an IRL/On line friend. I knew her in real life but him only through his blog and I was so obsessed. there are just so many new boundaries to be measured and tested. I met him, eventually, in IRL but only when he was with her. No disappointment. Now they have broken up and I am wondering – how do I escalate the relationship – online, as fun, or IRL with all the real life icky issues?

  44. Matt

    I love this, it’s so true. A large part of my youth was spent in desperately safe cyber relationships. It lacked the “NOWness” of simply being with somebody, every little time delay without explanation (are they thinking? Have they walked off? Where are they?) left me reeling at the time, now I see it was all a fiction, a “best light” portrayal of the real thing. πŸ™‚

  45. I really enjoyed this post. I think that any rational person over a certain age would agree wholeheartedly with you in the matter. But do you have any thoughts on how we can teach today’s youth – who have been raised on these sorts of digital relationships, and will only come to embrace them even more as technology continues to advance – about the values of offline relationships?

    • I think digital natives will have to find their own way in terms of face to face experiences…they are really hard-wired for digital relationships but I see hope there in them young-ins!

  46. chandani

    Wow. i love this post. The Rabbit role phrase is very clever. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

  47. chandani

    Sorry the Rabbit Hole

  48. Musal

    great article. love it

  49. sheevi

    so true..kiss wants to be remain a kiss, it hates being just an emoticon!
    kudos πŸ™‚

  50. Nice thoughts πŸ™‚ I’ve had my taste of this experience and it didn’t turn out well. Guess everyone should really go out there and not just stay in front of all those digital stuffs.

  51. free penny press

    Very insightful post and I could not agree more. Also, congrats on being FP! πŸ™‚

  52. J DoubleU

    Poignant and honest!

    Having been in 2 digital/LD relationships, what’s kept me hopeful is that my love language is words of affirmation. I don’t need to always be in my S.O’s presence to know and feel that our love is real. The downside is if hers is physical touch or quality time, we might encounter some major hurdles. But w/ any relationship, your effort is really what will sustain the connection

  53. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to mention that I have really loved surfing around your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing in your feed and I hope you write again soon!

  54. Cynthia

    When the balance is needed, it’s time to buy a plane ticket. That’s what I did a few years ago, 4,000 miles across the Atlantic, and now I’m married, as he finally came over to live with me. Digital relationships are real, and the feelings are real. But eventually you need to get on a plane!

  55. rockingcloset

    amazing post! I always felt that long distance relationships are doomes and have an expiry date. But they do seem very romantic at the beginning. At least the hope that it will last, seems so..

  56. I really enjoyed your post and the way the digital aspects that make us feel so close and are delivered so conveniently, surface as anxiety IRL. Looking forward to your next entries!

  57. Real life love can never be replaced by digital devices. Me and my husband have to live apart for a while because of his job, even if we skype everyday still don’t feel the same. Waking up next to him every morning is without doubt much better than waking up with him on skype. There is no substitute for real life. Love the post and totally feel it.

  58. Reblogged this on Forever Young and commented:
    Very well written article. digital communication can never replace the actual human contact. Waking up with my husband on skype is never the same with waking up right next to him every single day

  59. juliamarisa9

    A post I wrote some time ago might tickle the content of this post’s fancy:


    Great post!

  60. My husband and I first met and got engaged in college. We broke up but found each other 25 years later and had a long distance relationship for many months before we were finally able to live in the same city. We absolutely lived for those rare weekends where we could actually see each other in person, but were very thankful for all of the technology that was able to make the times apart easier to bear–no substitute for the real thing, of course, but what we had and still have was very real. The technology merely helped us communicate. I can’t imagine carrying on a relationship of a romantic nature with someone that I wasn’t crazy for IRL as you so perfectly put it.

  61. interesting thoughts!! in a different sense though…my long term boyfriend recently moved to a different city, so it’s this digital love (skype, text, facebook, phone calls, emails, soundcloud) that keeps our connection so strong. it’s things like emoticons that help ensure that miscommunicated tone doesn’t start a fight. it’s silly but it’s true.

    i do agree with you though! i know a couple people who get super worked up over digital relationships that just arent’ the same in real life because it’s so easy to hide behind technology and create a facade or a photoshopped version of yourself.

  62. shteo89

    i hate what you said because i’m in a long distance relationship, but you said it beautifully and absolutely right. nice read πŸ™‚

  63. Pingback: A kiss isn’t an emoticon: The myth of digital love | Margaret Doyle « From Ink I Rise

  64. “There are no soft shoulders, no forgiving spaces to lean into on a couch, no hesitant moments in a kitchen before a meal where love can heal and eat in peace together.”…. This what we can’t get from digital long distance relationship. There’s nothing can replace the feeling of being touched on skins and looking each other in the eyes with love and honesty. This is why I don’t want to have a long distance relationship. Ever.

  65. In the Age of CyberSpace, It is our opinion that We have become brainwashed into different set of values and belief’s regarding Love and Emotion.

  66. Great take on love in the digital age. Thanksfor reminding me to stay grounded IRL.

  67. blackfootbette

    I haven’t had a true digital relationship but please, hear me out on Digital Relationship Fiction specifically those of LOVE w/exemplory banter.

    By example, if you will.

    You’ve broken up with IRL lover for it was ultimately a hideously toxic relationship, some time has passed and you find yourself occasionally slipping into poetics in the digital space. Such flattery writes with your most fantastic intentions and before you know it you are beating yourself up for breaking up with Prince/Princess Charming.

    It’s absolutely not true, is it? Perhaps we’re all much better Authors than we think

    Thank you forthe inspiration to comment this morning+

  68. Moving. I’m glad I found you.

  69. great post! …nothing like a real life relationship to keep you warm at night (literally and figuratively)…

    but, im all about online dating sites to meet a potential match in the beginning

    online/ mobile/ techy anything should just be used as a tool to get to the good real life stuff :o)

  70. PQ

    i couldn’t agree more..
    although this can be fun at times.heheehe

  71. Reblogged this on davereadout and commented:
    Interesting read for anyone who has ever had a long distance relationship, has thought of having one, or for those who despise the idea of them. A follow up post of my own will come soon. Great read, great writing, great perspective.

  72. Pingback: A kiss isn’t an emoticon: The myth of digital love « nica0103

  73. Great post! Emoticons can never replace hugs, kisses and laughter. It’s easier on our egos to say, “I love you!” in a text message. Try looking your partner in the eye and say those three words, without stammering your words.

  74. I was in a long distance for nearly 2 years, and what started out as heaven suddenly transformed into something close to hell….
    My entire belief in love was destroyed when things broke off, but fortunately I found my ‘The One’, and hopefully he’s here to stay πŸ™‚
    Great read, and congratulations on freshly pressed!

    Check mine too?

  75. blogceanawards

    Well Done! You have been awarded a Grade 5 BlOgcean Award from us! Your one of a group of the first ever to get this award, so we would be grateful if you could spread the word about us and help us start up! If you want to know more about us and your award go to: http://blogceanawards.wordpress.com/
    Keep posting on your great blog! And go on our Blog to nominate someone else’s blog too if you feel like it!

  76. This is great, well done!=) I had but one long-distance-digital-relationship with a guy in Hamburg, Germany (these Germans) and although in the beginning I was fooled by the digital love, I came to realize after 4 months that this cannot be it. Every evening I was all *yay* to talk to him or read his messages, but I was missing what you just described above: nothing can replace an IRL-kiss or IRL-holding hands etc. No skype calls, no emails, no nothing. Although there was somebody 793km away who had developed some sort of feelings for me, I was still alone every single day and that was my major problem. I definitely prefer IRL-love or IRL-things in general =) (although this is a digital comment…oh the irony ;))

  77. Karen B

    Great article…so much truth!

    I had my one and only digital relationship in 2007. Within three months of daily contact we both felt it was the right match but knew that the ultimate test would be actually meeting each other, he traveled 3000 miles to do so.

    There was an initial moment of hesitation at the airport that disappeared with the first hug and we spent a glorious 10 days together. It was like we were meeting each other for the first time, exploring the real person. Any quirks there may be will show up and it is either right or it’s not. We were both willing to experience an expensive first date. The hardest part was saying goodbye at the airport after realizing the real life relationship was better than the digital.

    After the short time together we continued our digital love, certain that it was right and waiting until the next visit, two months away. As the date got closer, I felt somewhat anxious because I really liked this guy in real life and knew I couldn’t continue sporadic real life contact. The thought of going back to digital was just unbearable.

    A week before my flight I told him how I felt and suggested that he come back with me at the end of my trip. We had a whirlwind trip which included touring St Augustine, meeting my family, touring DC and coming back home along route 66, arriving in Santa Cruz just in time to celebrate my daughter’s birthday. It was the best trip I ever had…so much activity and never feeling a moment of stress, the time just flew. That was five years ago and we haven’t been apart since then. Last year we got married and we are still as crazy about each other today as we were when we first started emailing each other.

  78. All I feel reading this, is guilt. I met this guy online, I see him in real life. Online the exchange of words is unstoppable. Offline, he wont even say hi to me, when we have alot of common friends. Thus, this does not make sense to me. I decided it was all bullshit. But sadly, of all guys that I liked he’s like teh one who got away.

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