In 1996 I was looking for an on-line pen pal. I thought it would be kind of fun to have a friend to write to. I was on the Prodigy service and back then you could go to these message boards and read about other people looking for pen pals.I responded to this guy who had the same interest in music as I do—that 70s stuff. I quickly learned that he lived in Minnesota. I thought that was great to have a pen pal so far away (I’m in New York). It lessened the chances that I’d ever meet this guy. I really wasn’t looking for a romantic connection.
We started out exchanging letters every couple of weeks or so. After awhile the letters became more frequent—approximately once a week. We both were single parents of boys who happened to be the same age so we exchanged lots of stories about the trials and tribulations of raising pre-teens.
Before too long we had graduated to phone calls. Oh boy!!! Our phone bills were outrageous. Then we decided we wanted to meet each other. I made plans to go out to Minnesota—–so much for never meeting the guy. In Feb of 97 my son and I went out and spent a week with him and his son. We had a wonderful time but then we had to leave to come home. All four of us were in tears as we said goodbye.
We went back to e-mails and phone calls but it just wasn’t enough. In May of 97 he and his son came out to visit us for a week. Then in August of 97—2 days before my birthday—they moved out here permanently.
Long distance relationships are tough. We knew that we had the odds stacked against us. So many on-line relationships just don’t work. And we met on-line long before it became the “thing to do” to meet someone. The one thing that was in our favor was that we got to know everything about each other before we actually met face to face. There’s something to be said for getting to know someone for who they are and to not be “blinded” by good looks, lust, or money. We missed out on the dating aspect of a normal relationship but we became best friends before our relationship started to grow romantically.
We celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary this past June and we are as happy as if we got married yesterday. We’ve had our ups and downs but our commitment to each other is very strong. I wouldn’t change anything about our long-distance relationship. It was definitely worth the wait.
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