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Love and the Internet

Updated on June 26, 2011

Many years ago if someone told me they had fallen in love with someone they met on the internet I would have laughed. The concept at that time would have seemed ludicrous and absolutely impossible to me. There was no way a person could have those kinds of feelings towards someone they had never met. And then I was introduced to the virtual world via a WebTV by a neighbor who was selling them. That’s when they were a brand new novelty.

I bought one not knowing about the world of chat rooms, how you could become addicted to them and the type of people you could meet. But I soon found out. There were chats with every class of people you could imagine from gay to religious.

I didn’t start out in chat rooms, but was captivated by the games and instant information available online. But eventually I checked one out. It seemed harmless enough. I had landed in one with a comparatively mild relaxed atmosphere. It was called forty something, where people of my age group congregated. Before long, I was addicted to it and would stay up all hours of the night chatting.

There are many reasons why people might find a life in virtual reality. However, I’m not a psychiatrist so I’m not going to delve into that subject. That is, other than to say perhaps a person isn’t happy with their present marriage or home life. That was me in a nutshell.

I had spent 21 years in a marriage with a wife who nagged and micromanaged every nook, cranny and facet of my life. It had come to the point I avoided conversation with her. In fact, I hated coming home in the evening from work since I knew there would be no rest for me there. The internet became my safe haven from the outside world.

I knew it wouldn’t be long before I would be pushed over the edge and leave. The straw that broke the camels’ back was while I was on the phone with a coworker and my wife came in and demanded to know who I was talking to. I told her, at which point she said I couldn’t talk to him…she didn’t like him. That was when I realized how far things had gone in my house. Now she was dictating who I could or couldn’t talk to. I silently hung up the phone not caring for yet another confrontation. I no longer had the strength for it.

So, I went to my room and sought solace in my chat room. I had been getting more and more involved with a lady there for several months and she knew my situation. We had exchanged photos and had even had secret phone conversations. Her predicament was similar to mine. In fact, we had become very close…so close we had even discussed getting together if we ever separated from our current spouses.

I had decided to leave the following day anyway, against the warnings others in the chat room had given me. But I didn’t listen. I then discovered she had just tossed her abusive husband out on his ear the day before. At the time I had decided to leave I had no plans on where I was going, but anyplace was better than where I was. That’s when she suggested I come and stay with her and then decide what to do.

To illustrate how badly I wanted to escape from my present situation this is what I did. I quit my job and closed out my banking account giving my wife half and paying a months’ rent in advance. I took the car, since she couldn’t drive anyway, and left everything else for her. I should mention we didn’t have any children. In addition, I was living in Tacoma, WA and she was close to Tulsa, OK. That was a 2,100 mile drive! And so I left.

I realize everybody must think I’m squirrel bait by now. But hold on there’s more. I arrived in Oklahoma and found her place. She greeted me with open arms. Everything was going to be alright.

I should’ve realized things couldn’t be that simple and they weren’t. The rent was past due. So was the electric and phone bills. Groceries were running short. Although I had just arrived and hadn’t started a job yet, I paid the bills and got groceries. She also smoked like a chimney and her cigarettes were costing me a fortune. Then, there was the matter of her grown son who got laid off and ended up with us in her one bedroom apartment.

Now here’s the icing on the cake. She asked for $20 to go play bingo because she needed a little time alone. Later that evening her son, who had grown a little fond of me, told me she was out with her husband. I left the following morning about the time she came home.

I don’t go to chat rooms anymore.

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    • JY3502 profile imageAUTHOR

      John Young 

      8 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      I have met folks on line as well and a few even helped me out in times of trouble. There was a guy who loaned me $100. And then there was a couple in VA who gave me a place to stay when I moved there looking for work.

    • bayoulady profile image

      bayoulady 

      8 years ago from Northern Louisiana,USA

      Hi FRIEND! I enjoyed this hub !I have never had a romance since I have been single, but I have internet friends both men and women. I can see it could happen for some, but not me. but I have REAL internet met friends.They are truly my friends, just as though I had actually met them. I am close enough to some of them that we email each other , and update on our lives from time to time.

      Two teacher friends of mine I met on a teacher site about a decade ago, and we have corresponded ever since. My aussie teacher friend and I talk on the phone on special occasions or just when she gets a mood to calland email often. The Canandian teacher friend sends the latest pictures of her neice and nephew, and big snows. (I hate to talk on the phone!)I consider a lot of you hubbers my friends already. Take ,for instance RNMSN. I consider her a good friend now.WE email and catch up from time to time.If ever she and her husband want to mosey down to New Orleans or the gulf beaches, they could sure stay with me, instead of renting a hotel!(Though I am 4 hours away...hum...maybe a pit stop and lunch....then get them on their way to NOLA!)

      Hi ya friend!lol!

    • JY3502 profile imageAUTHOR

      John Young 

      8 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      Thanks for sharing Lucky Cats. Appreciate the kudos.

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 

      8 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Great story! I wrote a story "Chat Room Romance" in 1999. I had gone into chat rooms very much as you describe here. In no time, I was chatting with "SFMike. I was "California Kathy." Long story short, after months of chatting, then phone calls...we met. It was great but...he was MARRIED!! So, we remained friends. I met others, and also tried "Match.com." Met several nice men there but nothing that sparked any great interest. So, many years later, it's back to the "old fashioned way," which I prefer. But, there is something to be said for the excitement and thrill of the unknown and looking forward to opening that email or chat. Now, I understand, it's so high tech., there's no mystery.

    • JY3502 profile imageAUTHOR

      John Young 

      8 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      Yes, that really messed me up for quite a while. But I'm over all that mess now. Hey...wanna date sometime? LOL

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      8 years ago from South Africa

      What horrible experiences! In many ways quite familiar. So sad we never listen to others, we just have to make our own mistakes in order to become wiser. The problem on the Internet – we get attached to ‘replicas’ of our own selves. Our friends in cyber are what we THINK/WISH they are. Not seeing them in real life, we can but only see them through our own interpretations of real people, which are based on movies we saw, books we read, and real people we knew/know. I know what I’m talking about. I, too, have learned the hard way. Finally I can truly enjoy and appreciate my solitariness. I will never again believe that there is a better life than the one I have. Me too: no chats, no private e-mails! Done that, learned, graduated. I’m looking forward to your next hub!

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