Yesterday was our "First Face Day" anniversary. G. and I met in a chat room through a mutual friend and we got to know each other through long chats on MSN back in the day when that's how you communicated online. Chatrooms and MSN or ICQ. His dial up connection was not good for any video chat. We did try once or twice but it was frustrating to say the least. I really had a time getting my head around the feeling that I was developing feelings for someone I had never met face to face as was he. It was not in our plan, either of us but it happened. I was planning a trip to the UK, first to London and then to Manchester where I had friends anyway and he offered me a place to stay. Hmmm... I was fairly confident he was safe. I had a friend of mind meet him and have a chat, to see what he thought. G. was perfectly happy to do that which was scored points. He always said and did all the right things. I never caught him in a lie or mixing up his stories, which is something you have to watch for when meeting someone new, sight unseen. I had feelings for this man so I decided to take the chance, since I did have friends not far away I could go to if it didn't work out.
I was going to do my few days in London as planned along with a couple of nights with a friend there. I'd hop on a train to Manchester after that and spend three days at G.'s, seeing my mates and hanging out, seeing if this really was what it felt like. Then I was on my way to Ireland for a wedding and I persuaded G. to come with me so that we could spend a few more days together. I had to get a hotel anyway so I bought him a cheap flight. Again, could always cancel if things weren't working.
I missed the train. Really. Not being used to these things, the sign I was watching was for arrivals not departures so I was at the wrong platform when the train to Manchester left. Doh. I had to go back down to the ticket wicket and buy a new one way ticket! Luckily I had bought a mobile phone in London so I could contact him to meet me a bit later. The trains between the two cities are frequent so it wasn't a long wait, just an hour or so. I finally arrived in Manchester Picadilly station.
We had arranged to meet by the Burger King in the station. I went that way and saw him, but he didn't see me because someone had stopped to ask directions. The next thing I know, we're face to face and it felt like the world faded away. I know that sounds corny but that's really how it felt. It felt right. It still does 13 years later.
We finally got married 2 years ago. Yep. 11 years long distance, bi-continent. We moved over to Skype so communication was a lot easier now that we could video-chat rather than type. It took that long because he had an elderly dad to keep an eye on and he really didn't feel comfortable leaving the country. His dad passed away at Easter, 2014 and we started to plan our wedding that summer. He's living in Canada now officially and with all the paperwork.
A happy ending :)