The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #125014   Message #3164797
Posted By: YorkshireYankee
03-Jun-11 - 02:43 PM
Thread Name: BS: Cyber Relationships. are there a lot?
Subject: RE: BS: Cyber Relationships. are there a lot?
I got the idea to write a song about online relationships back in ~1993, and did.
It's called e-mail He-male (and, as it happens, will be on the upcoming Mudcat Sampler set of CDs).

Strangely enough, a few years later I met -- online -- the man who is now my husband. Our first contact was actually mistaken identity; I posted a response to something someone else had written, and mistakenly attributed it to him (i.e. I "said", "Iain wrote" when it was actually Ian (without an i) what wrote it).

After a year or two of (friendly, not romantic) correspondence, he managed a trip to the US -- on a shoestring budget -- staying with people he knew from online.
I said, "If you make it to the Detroit area, you're welcome to crash here." He took me up on the offer, but (to my great dismay!) my housemate felt it unwise to allow a man I had never actually met to sleep in the house with us two single women (no other men present). I remember that when I complained to my Mom about my housemate's refusal to allow him to crash with us, she (my Mom) said, "Thank God at least one of you has some sense!" I thought it highly unlikely (though, I admit, not entirely impossible) that an axe-murderer would have the patience -- as well as the ability -- to maintain a correspondence for so long without that aspect of his personality surfacing at some point(s).

Fortunately, a buddy of mine had a spare room and was kind enough to let Iain stay with him.

I fell for him straight away, but he was head over heels with a woman he had met a few days earlier (in San Francisco). It took a while, but after she turned out to be a twit, and another online buddy (without my knowledge) e-mailed him to let him know I really fancied him (if he had asked my permission, I would have said NO!), we ended up getting married in 1999 (just celebrated our 12th anniversary a couple of weeks ago), and that is how I ended up in Sheffield.

I think it worked in our case, because we didn't start off with any big expectations (we weren't looking for partners) and got to know each other as people first.

The other big thing was that both of us were pretty similar in our writing to what we were in person. That is, neither of us gave an impression of ourselves in writing that was a lot different from what we were in person. For example, I knew a another guy who (in his correspondence) was literally Laugh-Out-Loud, side-splittingly funny. It turned out he had spent hours and hours writing, re-writing, revising and polishing the messages he sent, and although he was a perfectly nice fellow, it was simply impossible for him to measure up to the alter-ego he had created. There was no intent to deceive; he just wanted to make what he wrote as entertaining as possible -- but what he wrote was not all that accurate a reflection of what he was like in person.

I suppose it's a bit like dating can be; people want to give a good impression, so (often) they are not really themselves (especially at first), for fear of scaring off the other person. I suspect that's why it often happens that love comes "when you are not expecting it" and/or when you have "given up" on it.

Hmmm, I wonder if my hubbie & I are the "transAtlantic relationship" Folkiedave mentioned (in the original post)...