Long-distance love. Nomadic relationships. Online dating. Marriage in the time of Facebook. Today, love can be complex in new ways. What is love in this digital age? Weekly Writing Challenge
I’ve had one digital tryst, so of course that makes me an expert. Because three failed (serious) relationships (too a-plenty of failed not-serious relationships as well, but whose counting) and one divorce don’t.
You see, I met a man almost seven months ago, and, quietly, we explored our mutual attraction. While I sat here and insisted that I had no interest in dating, I thought I could be wrong in continuing that insistence. I was.
It began benign, with just a comment here and there.
Him: You’re funny.
Me: You’re funny.
Him: You’re funny.
Me: Hahahaha! We’re so funny.
Then we started to talk some more, and really had fun in our little chats. He said something, and I said something, and he said something back and I didn’t die.
Him: Something witty.
Me: Something witty.
Him: You’re so funny.
Me: It feels good to laugh.
We chatted and then chatted some more. We spent entire weekends from wake to sleep chatting. I revealing myself and him revealing himself (not like that; cameras come later). Feelings formed.
Him: You’re great.
Me: No, you’re great.
Him: Will you just take the compliment.
Inflection entered the conversation and IMs turned into phone calls. We talked and then talked some more. I could hear him laugh at my jokes and he could hear me laugh at his. Feelings grew.
Him: It’s nice to hear your voice.
Me: Yes. You have a nice voice.
Him: So, what should we talk about?
Faces joined the voices: phone calls turned into Skypes (told you cameras came later). We talked and smiled. I could see him laugh at my jokes and he could see me laugh at his. Feelings happened.
Me: It’s nice to see you talk.
Him: Yes. You have a beautiful smile.
Me: So, what should we talk about?
I had started to want to meet him, to be in the same room with him. I had started to want the words, the voice, and the face all together. Greedy little me. So, so I said something, and he wanted it too.
Me: But what if we could?
Him: What if we could.
Me: What if?
Him: We could.
But then I almost cancelled my trip. I tried and tried to find a valid, actual reason to not have to meet him in person. For 400 miles I tried. We met. I could feel his reaction, and he could feel mine.
Him: Want a beer?
We played Wii bowling. I totally kicked his ass. No, I didn’t. He won. Wiped the floor with me. I lost at Wii golf too. Didn’t do baseball. That one I would have won. We laughed, and then I left.
Him: Drive safe.
Me: I will.
Him: Let me know when you’re home.
Me: I will.
We went right back to talking. We talked and remembered, and laughed. We talked and talked some more. And then we Talked.
Him: I think we could.
Him: I really think we could.
Me: I don’t.
Separated by miles and life. I rejected his suggestion for a long-distance digital relationship because that’s all it would ever be. In our lives, there is no closing the gap.
Him: Are you sure?
You see, I met a man almost seven months ago, and then began the life and death of a chance encounter, internet style.
Me: The end?
Him: The end.