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An Internet Romance Brought to Life

(A True Story)
by Patricia Fason

Whoever says love can't happen on the internet is wrong. Sure it doesn't happen a lot, but it does happen. I'm living proof and this is my story.

Almost six years ago, I separated from my husband. It was tough, as anyone who has been through it can tell you. I won't bore you with the 'whys' and 'how comes', Just suffice it to say that I thought I was done with men. Come on ladies, all of us have felt that at one time or another, and I would imagine the vice-versa is true of men too. In the beginning, I dated a lot, not taking anyone seriously and always warning them that I didn't want any kind of commitment. I ended up getting involved with a man for about a year, but only because I knew I wouldn't get too attached and it was obvious that he needed me. When he became terribly ill and went to live with his family, I just didn't have it in me to go out and start dating again. Out of loneliness, I turned to the internet for companionship.

I can hear some of you saying, 'Oh my gosh, I'd never be that desperate.' and others going 'Yes, I do that, I know what she is saying' or maybe it's 'Isn't that dangerous?' Believe me, I've heard them all. As to the danger, yes, it can be dangerous if you meet them in person. At this point, however, I had no intentions of that. I saw it as some light-hearted flirting and a way to pass the time. I wandered from chat room to chat room until I found one I really liked and became a 'regular'. To my surprise, I found myself becoming attached to the people in there. I was interested in what was going on in their life and they seemed to feel the same about me. Still, I was sure, I had no intentions of getting seriously involved with anyone, let alone anyone on the computer. Then, it happened....

It was October 6, 2001, I was sitting there talking to my friends, when one of the regulars came in. I hadn't talked to him much and decided that maybe it was time to get to know him. I sent him a private message and he responded. We found that we shared many interests. Our values were similar and I realized I was really enjoying myself. We spent the whole night talking. Six hours had passed in what seemed like a short amount of time. With the sun coming up, we decided to log off and meet again the next night. This continued for about a week. At that point, it seemed just typing to each other wasn't enough. He encouraged me to get a web cam so we could hold actual conversations. By the end of the second week, I was at the store, picking one out. After that, we spent every moment we possibly could together.

Months went by and both of us had reached the point where we couldn't bear to be apart any longer. He asked me to move in with him. At first, I thought it was impossible. I had a job I liked, I lived close to all my family, and it just didn't seem like a sensible thing to do. My family flipped out when I mentioned it. Mumblings of 'he's probably an ax murderer' could be heard. Followed by, 'I always thought you were so sensible.' Of course they were right. I wasn't being sensible.

I weighed the options I had. One, I could play it safe, break up with him and continue my life as I had been. Two, I could play it safe still, but not break up with him and just put him off until I figured out what I should do. Lastly, I could take a chance and hope it worked out. I alternated between these options for a few days, but realized I was falling more deeply in love with him each passing day. As I sat on my end of the computer, but seeing him right there on the screen, watching his reaction to every thing that was said, hearing his voice assure me that he loved me, it occurred to me that this wasn't much different than dating. In fact, the only difference was the fact that we couldn't touch each other. It was then that I made my decision.

I began packing all my things, put in my two weeks notice at work and bought a plane ticket. Nervous doesn't begin to describe how I felt as I walked down the stairs in the airport to the place where we were to meet. However, he walked up to me, put his arms around me and in that moment, I knew everything would be alright. I won't say that it has been smooth sailing. All relationships have bumps, but I haven't ever regretted my decision. I'm glad I took the chance, but mostly, I'm glad that I believe in love again and have found someone to share my life with.

I know this isn't for everyone. I also realize my choices could be seen as foolhardy and in some cases, that might even be true. However, sometimes life is about taking chances as long as you don't put yourself in physical danger (i.e. Wait until you know the person very well before meeting them in person but basically take the same precautions you would on a date with someone you don't know well). I tried to remember, even if it doesn't work, I won't go through life wondering 'what if'. So keep an open mind, love has no rules and can happen anywhere.

ęPatricia Fason

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