With the advent of much computer literacy, long distance relationships (LDR) are easy to start but not easy to maintain. In any of the many chat rooms that can be found on the net, it is so very easy to hook up and chat with someone with the same interests and thoughts that you do but almost every time we find that that person is living on the other side of the continent or in the worst case scenario, the other side of the world.

My first LDR was a man from New Hampshire, U.S.A. We shared the same tastes in almost everything and the twelve hours of real time difference worked out just fine because his office time was my bed time and vice versa. We would chat via telephone while he was on his daily commute to work. Weekends would find us eating together albeit on opposite sides of the computer screen but we were so much into each other that it didn’t seem to matter. Silly games played on screen, funny anecdotes, family and friends were all shared via that vital lifeline, the internet. Although we had shared every waking moment together, we had promised each other that the words I love you’ would not be used until we were absolutely sure.

Plans were laid on meeting, things that we would do and meals that we were going to cook together. As I was self employed and really wanted to see U.S.A., it was decided that I would go there. After I obtained my visa, as the day of departure grew closer, he became more distant. He was an insurance adjustor and he used the series of storms that was hitting the U.S.A. during that year which had resulted in a very busy time for him as an excuse. He still called whenever he had a chance so I thought everything was fine. Before I left for the States, I asked numerous if he was sure that I should visit and the answer was always the same, he was not going to put his life on hold because of the job.

I was happy, I was nervous, I was everything but sure on the morning of my departure. We talked on the phone even as I was at the airport. He was going to drive down to Newark to get me as he wasn’t sure that I would be able to make the connection on the last flight to Manchester the evening that I was landing. I could not relax; I was just tense, nervous and happy at the same time while in flight.

The moment I walked out of the arrival hall, I saw him, craning his neck looking for me. Our eyes met and my first words to him were, You are not as tall as I thought you were’. He laughed and said that I must have shrunk due to anxiety. We hit it off right from there. He was a perfect gentleman.

He took three weeks off work to show me the sights in New England and anything that I showed any interest in he would buy. He was a nice man but there were things that I could never have seen even if I had spent years chatting with him online. At his home, he was a complete neat freak; everything was in its place and had to be returned there accordingly if taken.
As I had visited expected to tour the States, he made sure that I would be able to get in touch with him by buying me a pay as you go phone before I left. He drove me to the airport and that was the last that I saw him. He had asked me to call him on arrival in Florida as he wanted to be sure that I was safe and that was the last that I ever really spoke to him. He declined to answer my emails, my phone calls went to the answering machine and he actually disappeared from my life. That was the end of an LDR which even though started off great would never have worked in real life as we were really two very different persons.

My next LDR was someone I had met online but had never intended to visit but after my first disappeared, I had some changes in my travel plans and decided that I might as well include Canada in my travel seeing that I was already on this side of the world. So after visiting with friends in Florida, Georgia, New Jersey and Washington, I dropped into Winnipeg, Canada.
When I met him, he had a rose carefully wrapped up to protect it from the cold Winnipeg air and looked as lost and forlorn as I was. I guess when they say opposites attract, they also meant that we also seek to see the likeness to ourselves in the other. We were like two peas in a pod, even when we quarreled, each walking off in the other direction, we always returned to centre and sought each other out. We had not really spent that much time chatting before actually meeting but we ended up getting married and have been happily so for nearly a year now.

Even though getting to know each other first is important, I think that no matter how much is said and done online; you can only really get to know one another in person. So before you invest all that time in LDR online, make sure that you meet in real life first to make sure that who you are investing your time in is really who they are