With technology evolving at such a rapid pace, and its large role it plays in our daily lives, it is no surprise to find that it has also changed the way we conduct our relationships. Everyone connects online now. Your great aunt, your brother, and the guy who lives downstairs are all your friends on Facebook. You post tweets about the latest episode of Scandal on twitter, and daily selfies of you and your dog on Snapchat and Instagram all so you can be connected to the people in your life. Technology is our way of making connections now, and that remains true for our romantic relationships too. With sites such a Tinder, Match, eHarmony, and the thousands of other dating platforms out there, technology makes it easy for us to connect with people we might not have otherwise met.
Though there was a time where online dating was looked down upon, things have changed. Once people believed that it was not possible for two people to forge a real and genuine connection with one another through a screen, but I beg to differ. Without the new technology available to us, I never would have met and connected with the love of my life.
Though we met online as many couples do nowadays, our story still was not the most typical for that of the technology aged romances. My fiancé and I did not meet on Tinder or OKCupid. We did not meet on a dating site at all. We met doing something we are both passionate about, writing. We met after signing up and posting our work on the app called Pocket Writers. Completely unaware of the future that lay ahead of us on this site, we uploaded story after story. Receiving comments, reviews, and ratings on our work. I logged on one day to find a new comment on my newest story "Hero." A fiction piece I was working on. I was extremely curious to see what people thought of the unfinished piece. He left a simple and kind comment complimenting the general idea of the prologue and the characters that had been introduced. Out of politeness I went to his profile and glanced over the two short pieces he had posted. I left a comment thanking him for reading my work and also addressing the interesting perspective in his pieces. Those were the comments that started a friendship that would grow into the deepest love. Neither one of us meant to meet someone and begin dating when we started using the app. It is true what they say, "Love finds you when you're not looking for it."
We went back and forth for about a month commenting, reviewing, and speaking of writing on very general terms. All the while keeping personal information very private. He did not even learn my name until after the first month or so because I was going by my username on the app. I was instantly intrigued by his writing style and ideas. Looking back on it now, I can see that I was drawn to him by that alone. I got to know him through his words in his stories. I learned about his thoughts on life, people, religion, and love all through a screen. In turn he was able to do the same with me. Then after the first month, he had worked up the courage to ask me if I was on Facebook. He was very careful not to come across pushy. He explained that he wanted to be able to have a real conversation with me, something more fluent than the comments we were leaving on each other's stories through the app. Nervously debating over how safe this was I almost did not give him my name. Ultimately, I knew my Facebook still did not divulge any really personal information that, so I finally gave him my full name so he could search and send me a friend request. From that point on there was no turning back. We were talking all the time and about everything that crossed our minds. Come to find out that we have similar taste in music and other interests.
Each day we found ourselves growing closer. Getting to know one another more and more. I'll admit that I had already had a crush on the mysterious writing man. Though I realized how crazy it was to have feelings for someone you had never met. He and I were both fully aware that there was a screen between us, and there was still a lot we did not and could not know about one another until we met in person.
Though meeting in person came with its own set of risks. It took us a little over two years to finally work up the nerve to see it through like we had talked about. I was about to graduate from college so I invited him to attend the ceremony. To my great surprise he accepted and flew half way across the country to not only attend the ceremony but to officially meet me. On top of that he met my entire family! Can you say yikes! Who meets the girl's family before the first date? Somehow it did not scare him off. Having finally met in person, we found that everything we built from behind a screen matched what we shared in person. I had anticipated some awkwardness and I feared his opinions of me would change. Nevertheless, he left a few days later asking for a real relationship.
We knew it was not conventional. We would have a long-distance relationship while we continued to test the waters and see where we wanted things to go. Many people were confused by the idea. Many people bashed us for being in a relationship. They claimed that we were not in a real relationship because of the distance that seemed to come between, but what they did not see was all the work he and I put into our relationship. Even after he returned home, we made sure we spoke even more than we had before, we built our trust in one another, a faith in ourselves, all while still sharing and being constantly open with one another.
After just about a year, he proposed. Already sure that he wanted to end the distance and move to where I was living, he got the ring and planned out the entire day to end up on a beautiful bridge where he promised me his heart and asked if I would keep it for the rest of our lives. From the outside, our relationship was not typical. We met in an unusual way online and continued our relationship just so, but when you strip away the technology and the distance, you are left with two people who were trying to connect, relate, grow, and love together just like any other couple.