Film director Richard Curtis pretty much defined romantic movies over the past 20 years, with films like Love Actually, Notting Hill, Four Weddings and a Funeral, and About Time. In his world, people usually fall in love in trendy book stores in Notting Hill, or on the streets of affluent, gentrified Shoreditch.
The web is way more interesting than his world.
In Curtis’s world, the guy is typically an excruciatingly middle-class, foppish Englishman. The girl tends to be a naive American, fresh off the boat in London city. The guy will do something awkward and embarrassing, like spill his orange juice on her shirt, and they’ll make eye contact. Sparks will fly, and the guy will sum up the courage to ask the girl out for coffee.
They’ll quickly fall in love, get married, and they’ll live happily ever after, eating crap British food, watching crap British TV, and getting soaked by the crap British weather. The. End.
But life isn’t like that, is it? Although quaint and twee, most relationships aren’t like Charles and Carrie in Four Weddings and a Funeral. People meet in bars, and in clubs. And yes, people meet and fall in love online. Those who do tend to have some amazing stories – stories that can’t really be put to celluloid.
I Was A Cleric; He Was A Paladin
Squeaky-voiced teens, take note: the next person you insult on TeamSpeak might turn out to be the love of your life. For the past four years, WheresTibbers has been separated from her boyfriend by 700 miles, and two states. She first met him on AIKA Online, one of the many free-to-play fantasy MMORPGs.
“I was a cleric, and he was a paladin”, she said. They were different characters, and played in different styles, with her favoring PvP (Player versus Player) action, and him preferring PvE (Player versus Environment).
“a mutual friend invited me on a dungeon run. […] I was TERRIBLE. I was a stand in for a really skilled PvE cleric so the group wanted to kick me. He didn’t though. He told me recently that I was just too cute to kick.”
At the time they met, WheresTibbers was with another guy. But not long after, he moved away. Their relationship was showing some signs of strain, partially due to the stress of adjusting to a long-distance relationship, and partly due to him being (as she put it) a “jerk”.
Although their mutual attraction was obvious, they decided to wait a while, remaining in contact over MSN messenger (which has since been shut down) and through texting. But it was inevitable they would get together, and after a year or so they did.
We instantly became drawn to each other again. The next month he sent me chocolate covered strawberries, a bear, and a balloon for my birthday. The next month after that, he drove thirteen hours to spent time with me on July 4th. I loved it. […]
One night, we went out for a drive. It was a nice night. We shared a comfortable silence. I felt something in my chest. A slow burning, but urgent feeling. I blurted out “I think I love you.” and looked at him sheepishly. He pulled the car right over and kissed me long and hard, and I melted. I didn’t just think I loved him, I knew.
But soon, her boyfriend had to return back home. Soon, the crushing misery of not being with him became too much to bear, and she had to withdraw from her classes due to depression. She had to make a decision about where she wanted to be in life.
I wanted to be with him more than anything. I also wanted to leave the nest, to force myself to take responsibility. I stayed home for the holidays, but right after he took a flight over and helped me pack my car. We did the thirteen hour drive together and I’ve been here since January 4th. It has been the best choice I could have ever made, and I’m still in love with this man. We have known each other for more than 4 years now and I don’t regret any second.
I Met My Boyfriend On A Malware Research And Removal Website
CatOldDirtyCurtis is from San Jose, California. Her boyfriend lives almost 6000 miles away in Novi Sad; The second largest city in Serbia. But that’s not the only unusual thing about their relationship: they met in the most unlikely of places; a ‘small and close knit malware research and removal website’. At that point, CatOldDirtyCurtis didn’t know much about the man who would eventually become her boyfriend, other than he spoke impeccable English, and others on the forum teased him for being a Serb.
Summertime last year, they were talking in a chatroom on the website, and the topic turned to music; something many traditional couples bond over.
We found out we both liked Pink Floyd a lot. We shared links to music in chat, and I thought not much of it. A few days later, he sent me a guitar cover over Skype of a Pink Floyd song he’d recorded for me. We talked a lot that evening, and did the next day, and the next, and the next. He stayed up all hours of the night to talk to me.
They took things slow at first, but eventually their feelings for each other became too strong to deny.
I started to really crush hard on him after about a month of talking, in which I sent him Oreos, and he sent me his personal deluxe copy of Dark Side of the Moon, along with a sweet little note. […]
We fell in love pretty quickly, and just seem to be pretty perfect for each other. We get along like we have with no one else, and have most of the same likes and dislikes. We just…fit.
Since then, they’re looking to close the distance, and are working out who will be the one to immigrate. CatOldDirtyCurtis worries she won’t be able to master Serbian to make the move out there permanently. Her boyfriend, Dejan, speaks perfect English but isn’t too keen to move to the US. He’s not a fan of the culture.
But until then, they’re managing. The distance is hard, but they’ve managed to the spark alive in their relationship.
I honestly would be lying if I said that the distance is horribly difficult. It’s not really. We crave being near each other, but also have incredible patience.
We use Viber to chat and call, and use Skype for video chatting. We watch movies and TV shows together by downloading them and syncing the video. We don’t have Skype sex like I’ve heard a lot of people mention, but we send pictures back and forth. They’re both kind of just PG-13 (or maybe even R) because we both want to wait.
We Met At A Mutual Friend’s House Party
Of course, not all Internet relationships started life in cyberspace. Some were initially formed under much more conventional circumstances, until fate dictated otherwise. SardonicallyStoic is one of those people.
She first met her boyfriend at a house party, but nothing happened because he was “just another face in the crowd” and she was due to leave next week for an internship in another state.
Fast forward a year and I’m back home, but only for 3 months because I was getting ready to leave for my Peace Corps service in Ghana. A month goes by and he randomly messaged me on Facebook asking to hang out. I was so bored being stuck at home that I agreed to a coffee date, at least it’ll get me out of the house.
She said yes to the date. But love at first sight, this certainly wasn’t.
We met on August 8th at 4:00PM at my favorite coffeeshop. He was already sitting at a table and my first thought when I saw him was, “This guy is definitely NOT my type.”
But thankfully, things picked up. The conversation was “flowing and engaging”, and after an hour decided to go to an open-mic night with him.
Who would’ve thunk? I saw him play his guitar and sing the songs he wrote himself and I was downright impressed. He’s goofy and charming at the same time. The chemistry between us was amazing.
There was one problem. In less than two months, she would be on a plane for West Africa, where she’d be working for 27 months. They had to make as much of their time as they possibly could.
We hung out every week. He introduced me to his close friends, I even met his younger brother. We approached the danger zone, we were falling for each other and falling fast.
SatdonicallyStoic has since moved to Africa, but she’s coping.
Now we have 7,000 miles between us. I have very limited internet access but we would write incredibly lengthy Facebook messages whenever we get the chance. We’re very good at updating each other about everything. It also helps a lot that we’re both busy pursuing our careers. The last time we Skyped it was for 5 hours straight, thought it felt like an hour. Due to the 7-hour time difference, I have to stay up from midnight to 5AM just to catch him off work.
It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.
I’m immeasurably grateful to everyone from /r/longdistance for sharing their stories. If you’re in a long distance relationship, as I am, I highly recommend you check this subreddit out. It’ll help you cope, and help you find strategies for keeping your romance alive.
Did you meet your better-half online? Has your romance blossomed, or did it go a bit sour? I want to hear about it. Leave me a comment below, and we’ll chat.