Friday, December 26, 2014

Readers Love Stories

submitted by Email

1.)

Hi Kathy,
 
I'm really enjoying your story about your cousin Diane and her online romance.  I can't wait for tomorrow's installment!
 
I've got an online romance story of my own.  Flash back about 6 or 7 years.  I was newly single after a failed marriage.  I was ready to date again, but as I was now a single mom, dating was a whole new world.  Online dating seemed like an okay way to meet someone, since I wasn't exactly thrilled with the idea of hanging out in singles bars.  After some initial hesitation, I signed up on a site and posted a profile.
 
Over the next three years, I went on countless first dates and very few second dates.  The good news (for me, at least), is that nearly all of these dates did ask me for a second date, it was me who was not interested.  I met mostly nice people, a few strange ones, but mainly I just hadn't met someone who I felt I clicked with.  Also throughout this period of three years, I did have one long term relationship- - off and on for two years or so -- with a guy I met while "Speed Dating" (another story altogether!)
 
After all of these online dates, I was getting really tired of it all.  I won't say that I was discouraged, I was just tired.  I'd find myself sitting across the table from a date, my mind wandering about what I was missing on TV that night.  Other times, I found myself thinking "I straightened my hair for this??"  Soon, I was having these thoughts BEFORE the date, which isn't really very fair to the person I was about to meet.  I'd just been disappointed so many times with guys I thought I clicked with through a few e-mails and a phone call or two, only to find a complete lack of chemistry when we actually met.
 
I realize that the last paragraph sounds pretty horrible --- let me just say that I don't feel that I'm particularly picky, and I certainly didn't feel "above" any of these people.  For the most part, they were all nice guys, just somehow not my type.  Finally, in early 2006, I decided that I needed a break from dating for a while.  I'd been e-mailing with two guys who I'd made plans to meet just before I made my decision to stop dating, so I thought I'd go out with each of these guys just once, then be done with dating for a while.  I met the one guy for drinks, and while I had a nice time, it didn't make me want to date him again.  I still had one first date left with the last guy I'd been e-mailing, and after that, I'd take my break.
 
The night of my last date came, and I didn't really feel anything but dread.  This had nothing to do with the guy I was about to meet, it was just that I was tired of going on first dates.  In fact, while driving to this date, I called one of my girlfriends for a pep talk.  I told her that I didn't want to go on this stupid date, and that I couldn't wait to take a break from all of this, and that I never should have agreed to go on this date in the first place, considering that my current mindset wasn't exactly giving this guy a chance.  She told me to relax and enjoy myself and give this guy a chance.
 
We met for drinks at the Manayunk Brew Pub, a spot that was pretty much equidistant from our homes.  He was a few minutes late, and since I was pretty jaded on this whole dating thing, that did not bode well.  Still, once I saw him, I found him adorable.  We had a great, if not short night.  We both had sitters for the evening and couldn't be out too long.  He was recently separated, the father of two little girls who were 3 and 4.  At this time, my daughter was 10.  He told me that this was his first ever online date, and that his cousin had convinced him to give it a try.  I nearly choked on my drink when he asked how many I'd been on.  I told him too many, but that this was a great date, trying to reiterate that to him, as he had nothing to compare it to.  We finally said our goodbyes, promising to get together again soon.  For the first time in what seemed like forever, I actually wanted to go out on a second date.  In fact, I couldn't wait for him to call, even convincing myself that due to karma, he probably wouldn't call me.  However, he did.  We went out again the following week.  Then the following, then twice a week, then it all begins to run together.  After a few months, we met each other's kids, and after two years, we moved in together.  This Sunday, April 19th, marks the third anniversary of that night at the Manayunk Brew Pub.  We are still head over heels in love, and we've created a new family with our three girls, who are now all like sisters.
 
I'm so grateful that his cousin convinced him to place a profile online, and that my girlfriend convinced me to follow through with the date.  Turns out that his first online date and my "last" online date was really the last for both of us.
 
When people ask how we met, I always feel slightly embarrassed to say "we met online", as it's not quite universally accepted as a "real" way to meet people, at least for our age group (I'm 37, he's 39).  It's becoming more legitimate of course, and I think that people slightly younger than us are much more comfortable with the idea, but I still feel like some people we tell may find it a little weird.  I can honestly say that I really don't care what people think about it, as I know that it's the best thing that ever happened to us!
 
Thanks for writing your wonderful story.  I'm sorry if this e-mail turned out to be a novel!
 
I can't wait to find out more about Diane & Ed!
 
Sincerely,

[SC]

 

2.)

I met the love of my adult life on-line.  After being married for 32 years, I had no idea where to meet people.  It took over a year of dating quite a few frogs but when I met CJ it was love at first sight and I knew he was the prince I had always hoped to find.  And if it wasn't for the on-line dating sites, I never would have met him even though we lived 15 minutes from one another.  We've been together for 4 years and I can't imagine my life without him. 

Thanks  [TC]

 

3.)

From Lily Fitz-Gerald – an AOL meeting
 
 
I'd lived in Philly my whole life and, when the children finished college, I decided to stretch my legs and see what life outside Juniata Park and Kensington offered.  I sold the family home when the youngest, twins, were settled in a place of their own and moved to Virginia.  I'd climbed uphill through two disastrous marriages and was through with romance.  I moved in with a friend and started to make a life for myself in a new and interesting area, just outside Washington, DC. 
 
One night I got an email from a Coast Guard officer who'd seen my profile and wanted to know if I was real.  His name was James Fitzgerald.  My maiden name, which I'd recaptured after my second divorce, was also Fitz-Gerald (but with a hyphen).  What was so striking about the email was that just before receiving it I'd been at a very low point, mourning the anniversary of the sudden death of a brother who had AIDS but hadn't known it.  He'd been sick for months, and died alone in his apartment.  He wasn't found for a week.  It was a terrible burden, knowing that I'd talked to him shortly before his death and asked him to come with me so I could help nurse him back to health.  He gratefully declined my offer and I left it at that.  This man's name was also Jimmy Fitz-Gerald.  Opening the email, it was like my brother was sending me a message.  There was no signature, but the screen name was in part JFitz and some numbers.  When I asked the sender if his name was Jimmy, his response was typical of the gentleman I came to know...."James Michael Fitzgerald, at your service Ma'am".  Jim was stationed on a ship in Portsmouth, VA, about 150 miles south of where I lived. 
 
Our conversations were friendly and frequent, but being eleven years older than he and him in the midst of a divorce, all we wanted or expected was for two "cousins" to be there for each other.  Consequently, we told each other everything, even things you might never disclose if you were at the beginning of a romance.  We were just two distantly related people with the same last name who felt comfortable disclosing anything and knowing we wouldn't be judged.
 
After hundreds of emails and several phone calls, I invited my "cousin" to come for a visit so I could show him the historical sites in the capitol.  He arrived at the condo before dawn one morning with wine in hand and the biggest and sweetest smile on his face.  This gentle man who had closeted himself from most other people due to shyness was taking a huge risk putting himself in a strange environment with someone he knew only through emails.  I recall opening the door and thinking, "Boy, am I ever in trouble", but quickly squashed the thought because we were just friends and I was old enough to have been his baby sitter.  It was only after dragging him to Mount Vernon to see Washington's home and to several museums that I learned he'd been stationed in DC several years before and knew his way around quite well.  He hadn't wanted to spoil it for me.  We spent hours just sitting and talking, through the night twice, and at some point during those talks something wonderful happened that took us both by surprise.  We knew, just knew, that we were supposed to be together.  He'd sworn, after a long and miserable marriage, that he'd never get into another relationship.  So had I.  We still can't recall if or when either of us first mentioned marriage, but we knew that was what was ahead.  This was March of 1996.
 
We'd planned a June wedding, but his ship went aground in Boston in April, which changed the whole patrol schedule and he called me from Portsmouth on April 22nd and asked, "How about getting married tomorrow"?  There was a flurry of activity after that call as my best friend and I flew around trying to pull together an acceptable outfit for an impromptu marriage.  Jim wore his service whites and I a white suit I'd happened to find in the back of my closet.  On April 23rd, ten weeks after we started to talk online we stood before a magistrate in Arlington, VA and vowed to be each other's best friends for life.  That's how we feel thirteen years later....like best friends, cousins/family, who are lucky enough to be joined together forever.
 
After the ceremony, Jim insisted on going to Social Security to change his name.  He stood in line with women who were changing their names due to marriage and announced to the clerk that he, too, had gotten married and needed a name change.  He put the hyphen in his name to honor me.
 
Fairytales do happen.
 
Lily Fitz-Gerald
 

4.) 

How I met my Husband

In June of 2007, I joined a chat site to meet people. I was just there to talk and post my poetry in blogs, and  by September I had had enough of childish men and decided to leave the site. I posted a blog telling my friends good bye. On my way out I noticed a comment on that blog so I decided to read it. His comment was so honest and sweet that I decided to send him a message to thank him for his kind words.
Joe and I spent the next several months just chatting away, it was as if we had known each other our whole lives. We talked on the phone and Internet.  I had never felt this comfortable with anyone and neither had he. We knew right away that we were meant to be together.
By December of 2007 we decided that we wanted to be married,  even though we hadn’t yet met in person.
 Joe's mom had become ill and spent Christmas in the hospital. He had found out that his mom had cancer and had not long to live, so we stepped up our wedding plans. We had wanted to get married in England so she could be a part of the wedding, but it is extremely hard for two people who live in different countries to marry.  There is at least a years worth of paper work involved and Joe's mom didn't have a year. So I decided to fly to England to meet his family. Both of our families were a little leery on our meeting, except for my mom who stood behind me all the way.
In March of 2008 I flew for the first time in my life all the way to England to meet the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I flew into Gatwick Airport and took a train from there to Hastings. I ended up stuck at the train station with no way to contact Joe and let him know that I was there. (for all Americans who will ask why didn't I call him, I had no idea how to call him on the UK phones, his number was different there -- the number I had had the country code with a long list of numbers before his actual phone number.) Thankfully I had met another American at the station who just happened to live in Hastings. She was the sweetest person, who had her cell phone and called Joe for me, so he could know where I was. He took a train from Warriors square to Hastings to pick me up. He recognized me immediately. It was like something out of a fairytale. We went to our Hotel to put my things away and then go to the hospice where Joe's mom was. This was the first time I had met Marlene, all though we had spoken on the phone many times.
 She was a wonderful woman who welcomed me into her family with a hug and a kiss on the cheek; even in her weakened state she was just as pleasant as ever.
I spent a week in the UK. Two days before Joe and I were set to fly back to the States his mom Marlene passed away, The whole family was in the room when it happened. She passed knowing that Joe was finally happy and would be married to someone who loved him unconditionally.
We flew back to the States to get married and start the long process of his paperwork, we were married in August of 2008 and have an attorney that is helping us make Joe a citizen. My three children (from a previous marriage) just love Joe and get along with him great. It doesn't matter where you meet your soul mate,  what matters is what you’re willing to do to be together.
 

 

5.)

My name is John Graveley. I am a 29-year old man struggling to get myself back
on my feet  -- with the love and support of a woman I met on line.
 If you asked me the meaning of the word “seizures” eleven years ago I would have shrugged my shoulders, believing it to be an action limited to severe drug addicts. I had graduated Saint Joseph’s Preparatory School “Magma cum Laude”. I was attending Drexel University as an Atmospheric Physical Science Major with the help of an Academic Scholarship and the Advanced Placement Credits gained in three high school honor courses.
But for spring break in 1998, not feeling well, I called my parents for a ride home from my dorm. On I-95, to the shock of my father, I experienced my first grand mal seizure. This was the beginning of my epilepsy, caused by a viral encephalitis. While seizing uncontrollably, my father administered mouth to mouth while rushing me to Hahnemann University Hospital
where I went comatose and given my last rites. After several weeks in a medically induced coma, with pneumonia, my lungs improved and I awoke. After intensive rehab, I slowly regained the memory capability of
myself in my junior year of high-school. My memory abilities are still affected by the medications I take and the seizures that affect me. I am struggling as I attempt to better myself going to Holy Family University  part time, while on Social Security Disability.
 The epilepsy had hindered my social life greatly. Though I have learned to deal with the risk of seizing in public, the physical restrictions that can rise from fatigue and the academic restrictions caused by the short term memory loss are problems which I have had to live
with for the past 11 years. Though all of my previous friends scattered shortly after my encephalitis, I found someone on a neurological “pen pal” web page who has remained with me. We have daily video conversations and hope that someday we will marry.
Erin’s struggle with epilepsy is much different. She was adopted from India, brought to this country from birth by her mother. Her epilepsy has been a problem she has had to deal with since she was two years old. She has recently turned 25 and is on the same progress with her education as I am. She is a part time student at Everett Community College in Washington
State, majoring in Graphic Design. She began our interactions when she sent me our first email on March 22, 2003. I responded to that e-mail promptly. What began as a simple friendship escalated into phone conversation on December 19th of that year. Since then I have visited her
twice, both in week long increments, once with my parents and the second time staying in her house with her family. Thanks to the miracles of modern technology, the video chat system makes it possible for us to simulate her being by my side.
We talk almost every night for three hour increments. I have no interest for the club or bar scene. I rarely spend the night outside my
bedroom, for our conversations can now be described as a scheduled event. What began with a click of the mouse and her sending a simple response to a posting I made on a now non-existing web-page has grown into much much more. One thing is for certain. We both know we are in love with each other.
 

6.)

She was only looking for a “Pen Pal”


I'm significantly younger than Diane, still a student, but I've actually found love on the internet as well. Last spring, 2008, I really wanted to find a pen pal, so I went online and made a few accounts requesting a French or European girl of my age to share our cultures, exchange a few letters, chat, etc.

I ended up getting a message from a guy from Holland and he looked too nice to ignore it. So I responded, and we immediately connected, having almost the same name, birthday, and passions. It quickly escalated into long novels of e-mails, then to instant messaging where the hours would go by as seconds, as well as 'snail mail' letters and packages. I'm a happy person but I was happier than I thought possible whenever we spoke.

Then after months of constant contact, he found the plane fares were very low and he booked a flight from Amsterdam to Newark to come visit me in Philadelphia. It was just last week that we met for the first time and I had single-handedly the best week of my life, showing him everything Philly has to offer as well as Manhattan and DC. I denied it for a while at first, but I realized that I am completely head over heels in love with him, and he felt the same! He went back home unfortunately, but I'm going to the Netherlands over winter break for a few weeks next year (work all summer ugh). It's scary that I won't see him for eight to nine months and we're not in an actual 'relationship' but we are in love and have discussed a future and I think he's the one! It's just too bad we've still got quite a few years of university to go until we can really be together, but until then, I'll keep saving my money for the airfare and weeks that he visits!
So that's my story. I wasn't looking for any sort of relationship whatsoever, just some friends around the world, but I ended up here and it's incredible! I just thought it was really strange to fall in love with a guy I met on the internet, but after reading this article and series, I was really comforted to see that many people are having similar experiences! Thank you so much for that!

Dana

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