So as you may have gathered from my last post, I am in love, in a serious and long-distance intercultural relationship. I am clearly mad after my last attempt to try this. However, we can’t choose when or whom with we fall in love – I’ve always chosen to follow my heart not my head and go with the flow!
After I moved back to England and consequently split up with my (Indian) fiancee, I was pretty happy revelling in my independence and new-found self-confidence which came with my new job and once again being surrounded by my friends and family. It was summer in London and some days I even liked the weather! A friend I had met in India had stayed in touch via whatsapp and had been messaging me to see how I was. Our exchanges were witty and addictive and very fast turned into flirting. The flirting turned into romance and we fell in love through exchanges of words – electronic love letters. He told me to read “Dear Liar” by George Bernard Shaw which I did – by the end of the book I was head over heels with this intelligent and funny man – shame he was on the other side of the world!
How we came to meet was by an electronic case of mistaken identity – he thought I was an ex-pat girl he had met at a party and I thought he was a guy I worked with as had the same name and accepted his Facebook friend request. Then we realised we didn’t know each other at all! We did meet up in real life however to discuss work – he worked in film and TV and me in events and I was considering a change of industry. This was more than a year prior to any kind of romantic entanglement – not for want of him trying (I was at the time a taken woman!) Since succumbing to his advances we have physically met when I have been in India and travelled to Sri-Lanka together but our relationship has been largely online and by phone, with us communicating several times daily.
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how strong our bond is considering it is largely non-physical and how in the long-term this getting to know each other without a big cloud of hormones floating about clouding your judgement may be the way forward for a long-lasting partnership.
It is a common thing these days to fall in love over the net, either through a dating site or social media. It has lost all the ‘geek’ stigma it used to have and I think that it has the potential to enable us to match ourselves more effectively through common interests and attitudes (if you stay away from apps like tinder which focus on appearance!) I would be interested to hear your stories and views of internet love. Also your coping mechanisms for long distance relationships that begin via the internet as this is currently the biggest hurdle my relationship has to cross – while witty banter and conversation (along with lots of silly selfies) is great there is something to be said for hugs after a hard day and physical companionship!