Internet Dating: An Open Apology to Manti Teo because it happened to me (sort of)!
Dating in the AGE of technology
This is the strangest thing that that has ever happened to me!!
Editors note: Some of the names, the times and or dates, have been changed in this piece to protect innocent people, but it’s true.
On Tuesday morning at 7:30 a.m., I get to meet someone I have been talking too since before Christmas but have never have seen outside of a computer, iPad, or iPhone screen. So, to you sir, I offer a sincere apology. You see, when the story broke that your girlfriend was made up by some wacko out in the Valley, I laughed and scoffed at you. Well, I still do a little because seeing is believing. Anyway, about a month before that I was on an internet dating site and got a look or wink from a woman in Hamburg, Germany. I love talking to people, so (I still think she’s lying) I sent her a message. We first spoke over e-mail through the dating service and then I got a message from her about Skype.
Well, it wasn’t long, through the magic of technology, that I was face-to-face with this person whom I found myself really curious about. However, I was very conscious of the 5,652.8 miles that separated us. However, the conversations were very interesting and we chatted everyday, several times a day, never thinking that we would ever meet until…
One day, she said, “I like you to much (Austrian).”
My response, of course was, “Well, you should come visit.”
That began a series of conversations on how we would see each other. At the time, I was really broke, and she was thinking of coming here on holiday. However, we started talking about ways for her to come here that would allow her to stay for awhile, and see the country. She speaks several languages, so she thought that maybe her company could use her here.
Well, it was a one in a million possibility, with a few bumps in the road, that only the heavens could have sorted out. The gist of the story is that her COMPANY agreed and found her a job in San Diego. However, when she applied for her visa, she was denied. That was the bump in the road.
Then, the conversations kept going. I would call her at 9:00 pm and wake her up in the morning. She would come out of bed like a Jack-in-the-box and we would talk about the day past and ahead. At 5:00 pm, her time, she would call me to and see me off to work. When she had a day off, we had long conversations and discussed the entire gamut of our lives. It was strange, actually talking to someone and building a relationship and not having the physical complications. It became very revealing, and not just because we usually saw each other as we were rolling out of bed. The conversations made us want to see each other even more.
I know immigration, so I offered some pointers of what she might try if she wanted to do it again and sure enough, she got a visa. (If you want my advice about immigration, I charge $75 an hour.) Everything is completely legitimate because her services as a language specialist are sorely needed here in the US. I was so embarrassed that I couldn’t tell anyone. I tried to mention it to a couple of people, but I ended up telling them that we actually met, briefly. I thought that they would think I was crazy. Now, it doesn’t matter. I’m excited about the opportunity to make a new friend.
So, we have our first date on Tuesday and then I go off on vacation for three weeks. It will give us a chance to get to know each other and her a chance to explore her new environment without the added baggage of thinking about a relationship. We are always afraid of what's new and I know people will criticize my decision, but we've both been out with others and the rule from the beginning is that there are no strings. It's just that fate brings us to this time where we actually get to meet.
Funny, how life teaches us lessons about how we should treat people. I remember saying, “Nothing like that would ever happen to me,” when I heard your story. You really should never ever say never.
Anyway, I’ll keep you posted Manti. I hope you accept my sincere apology and wish me luck.