“Nice photo. You’ll do well on Match.com. Pity you don’t live nearer to Toronto. Watch out for the jerks.”
That’s what he wrote when he was just a handle on Match.com called AnonH from Toronto. I had a handle of a sparkier nature. I can’t even remember how I came across Match.com. I do remember that when I posted my photo and profile, I wasn’t seriously thinking that I’d meet the love of my life through it. To me, it was just another way of meeting people, but not to pin one’s hopes on and I was game to give it a try. I was proved wrong. I did meet the love of my life and today we are celebrating our third wedding anniversary.
What was amazing about how we met wasn’t just the fact that it was via the Internet on Match.com. It was the fact that if I’d not been curious we wouldn’t be together today. I had said in my profile that I wasn’t interested in any relationships further than a few km away from me. I lived in Surrey England. But when AnonH from Toronto as I will call him, said watch out for the jerks, I was curious as to what he meant. So I e-mailed him back and asked him. He told me about the stories that some of the women he had met and dated on Match.com had told him. Those women had certainly met some real jerks in their previous dates. For example men who would spot their “date” from a distance because of where they had arranged to meet and then turn and walk away. And the women would know. Awful. Horrible. Jerks.
His response began our e-mailing each other and then our ICQing and then phoning. We didn’t even use Match.com for long. When he found out that in the UK we pay by the minute for phone calls, he was astounded – and promptly said he would phone me. He phoned me every day (give or take a couple and when he came to visit me and stay in England) for two years until we were together.
Came the time that we needed to meet to see if this on-line relationship was destined to stand the test of a face to face encounter. We had to see if we could be in the same space together. But how to do it? I had already travelled fairly extensively that year, had another trip planned and my budget wasn’t going to stretch to a trip to Canada. Besides, bold though I might be, and nice though he sounded, I didn’t want to go to a country I’d never been to meet a man I’d never met. I also wanted to meet somewhere neutral Then, as if by magic – the solution came!
I was (and still am) a rollerblader. That December (99), I and a group of like-minded rollerblading Brits had planned to go skating for a week in South Beach Miami. So, I suggested would AnonH be able to come out there? He was. and he did.
And the rest is history, except to say that before I arrived in South Beach with my friends, with the help of the hotel receptionist, he had filled my room with the most beautiful South Beach blooms and orchids. It was amazing. But we didn’t actually meet then. No, much to his dismay my friends and I were slated to go out on a skate along Ocean Boulevard, so we could catch the best of the day. So, Anon had to wait , and we arranged to meet for dinner that evening. I still remember seeing him for the first time as I came down the stairs to the restaurant. I think we both knew we were going to get on very well. We talked and held hands all evening and haven’t stopped doing either since. In fact, it was just like continuing the conversations we had on the phone before we’d met. So, we spent a wonderful week in South Beach skating and getting to know each other as people rather than distance phone conversationalists. That was the beginning of our visits back and forth between Toronto and London, an expensive transatlantic affair, since he came over at least four times in two years.
Long story short, in 2001 we decided to take a big step and take our relationship into the realms of potential permanency. After much discussion I decided I’d move to Toronto on a trial basis, on my own terms to see if we were meant to be long term – if things didn’t work out, then I was prepared to move back to England at least knowing that we had tried. I didn’t want to have to ask myself “what if?” Better to have tried and failed than not to try at all was my approach. How easy is it to immigrate to another country and completely new life? It isn’t. And that may be a subject for another post down the line. Suffice it to say that Canada has been very good to me, in that it is an easier country than most to start a new life… this country is pretty amazing.
And so here we are today my love and I, six years on. It continues to be fun and wonderful. We got married on May 31st 2003, in London, England near the beautiful Hyde Park. Fantastic day, but boy, it was HOT!! It was one of the hottest days on record.
There is of course a lot I have left out. Like any couple we’ve had highs and lows, however surprisingly few lows and nothing that we can’t handle. I know we are an Internet success story and we are fortunate to have found each other. I also know that we made it work. Long distance relationships whether by Internet, or telephone are definitely not for the faint-hearted. Trust, give and take are high on the list of must-haves. Subject for another post perhaps?
For us though, it seems like no time since a guy in Toronto and a girl in England first exchanged e-mails and then phone calls and on our anniversary, as we thank friends and family for their good wishes and continue to enjoy our marriage, sometimes I think how amazing it is that we even met at all.
Have you had a long distance relationship involving the internet? Know others that have? What was your experience?