Meeting Strangers Online

Growing up, I’m sure a lot of us were warned not to meet strangers we met online. That people weren’t who they seemed, and that the 14 year old cute MySpace boy was actually a 50 year old fat naked pervert. Never give them your numbers, and definitely never go out and meet them!

Who actually listened to that though?

I think the first time I met someone online in person was grade 8. I grew up in a big city with a ton of high schools in a short bus ride distance, so there were a ton of kids around whenever you would go to the mall, or anywhere really. MySpace was huge back then, and so was the whole emo/scene trend, and what did us emo kids do? We looked for new emo friends, obviously. So I had been talking to this boy online who was my age, and he lived in the area. I’m pretty sure it was Boxing Day, and I was at the mall with a friend, and we called him and invited him to come, which he did. He was real, we hung out, I don’t remember how but my mom found out and flipped, gave me the whole you shouldn’t do that speech, and we went on in life. Over the next few years I would meet a ton of new friends online, usually a friend of a friend or someone who went to a local high school different than mine.

There have been 3 different times where I’ve though I had actually fallen for someone online. A lot of people don’t understand that, how can you love someone you’ve never met? You can fall in love with the connection you have with someone, the conversations they have, the personality you think they have, and of course if you find them attractive that helps too. It’s a strange feeling. I’ve personally never been in a “online relationship” but I have let the feelings I had for someone stop me from pursuing something with someone in person. A show that really covers this topic is MTV’s Catfish (which I’ve even written to) which follows the stories of people who think they’ve fallen in love online with someone they’ve never met, however 90% of the time the person they’ve been talking to isn’t who they say. Luckily for me, that’s never happened. They’ve always been the person, it was the feelings and actions that didn’t match up.

Here are my 3 stories of meeting people I thought I had fallen for online. Enjoy & don’t make the same mistakes I did. 😉

London

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The first time I met someone online who I thought I had totally fallen for, was in Toronto but ended in London. I was 19 at the time. He was a friend of a friend who I had known about for around a year, because my friend used to say how he wanted to hook us up at one point, but I had a boyfriend. When that relationship ended, which was also right before I moved to Cambridge, I decided to add this person on Facebook, because why the heck not? So I did, and we ended up talking on there, which eventually lead to texting. I talked to this person for 6 months before going to meet them. In that time we had a lot of deep, personal conversations that I had never really had with anyone before, and I thought we had a pretty good connection. I’m the type who throws around “love you” a lot to my friends, girl or guy, especially if they’re feeling down and needing support. But over time I found myself wondering if I actually did love this person. I had only felt that feeling once before, which sadly will be my next story haha.

So one day I was on my way to Mississauga when this person texted me that they were going to be in Toronto for like an hour due to a train layover. I had time to kill, so I offered to come keep them company so we could finally meet. So I went, and we met and walked around the station together. I was supposed to be going to a party in Mississauga, but he was throwing one at his place in London that night and told me I should go with him. I did say no at first, because I had only been to London once before and it was a god awful experience, plus I had only really known him for half an hour, but I was into him and next thing you know he’s buying me a train ticket to London. So I went, ended up kissing on the train, went to his place/party where I knew absolutely no one, but actually had a really fun night meeting new people. I ended up staying there the entire weekend, but the whole time my mom thought I was in Mississauga (if you’re reading this now – sorry mom! 😇) so when Sunday came I had NO idea how to get home. Zero. None. Thankfully a girl I was close with at the time offered to come pick me up and give me a ride home and saved my ass. I thought everything was great with this guy, until he barely talked to me that whole week.

The next weekend I figured out the bus and bused up there, got him, and then bused back to mine with him. I wanted us to have some alone time together to get to know each other, so I brought him to my house. Again I thought things went well but after we left, we weren’t talking like we used to. I was so confused why this was happening, but there was nothing I could do. I actually became really good friends with a lot of his friends in London and started going up there pretty regularly to hangout and party, so I would sometimes see him around but we were only ever “friends”, and half the time I’d get hella wasted and end up confessing my love for him, awkward. We had a pretty strange “friendship” after everything for a few months, although now when we look back on it, we just laugh at how we both acted. It sucked at the time for me, but I got over it all eventually, and have no hard feelings.

Sudbury

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I started talking to this boy when we were 13 years old. We met when we were 20. In case you can’t do the math, that’s 7 years.

Started out as a random Facebook add how did we end up like this, it was only an add, it was only an add! Sometimes that’s all it takes to start something – a Facebook friend request. He was an online friend of a friend, who I believe added me after we commented on the same picture. It’s so weird to think about being 13 and how I was at the time, so young, so innocent, had absolutely no idea the 7 years of bullshit I was going to go through. But hey, what have we learned from this post? When a cute emo boy adds you, you accept him, obviously.

Now there’s really no way for me to remember how exactly it all started – at the time I’m writing this, it was 9 years ago. I know we started talking and eventually admitted to liking/loving each other, but we were SO damn young at the time. He lived on an island – yes, an island – about 6 hours away, so its not like we could just meet up at the mall. I remember getting excited to get home from school and talk to him on msn, and sending Facebook messages via text so we could still talk even when I wasn’t on the computer. I don’t know how my mom found out who he was, but she definitely wasn’t a fan at first. She would get annoyed about me spending all my time talking to him and not “real” boys, and when he uploaded a video with my name written on his chest she made me tell him to delete it. There was also a time when he visited his cousin in Kitchener, which is pretty much where I live now, and she wouldn’t let me go meet him. At the time, who the hell knew that 7 years later, I finally would.

So as I stated earlier, I’ve never been in an online relationship, so while we always talked we also always dated other people. Of course when I was younger it really upset me to find out he was dating “real” girls, since I wasn’t really dating anyone until I was 16, but as I grew up it didn’t bother me anymore. We never met, we had weird strong feelings for each other, but dated other people. We would go through periods of time where we wouldn’t talk, sometimes up to a year, but in the end always found ourselves talking wondering what it would all be like if we had met, or were able to.

Throughout the years while I dated a bunch of different people, he always dated the same girl, who knew about me and did not like me one bit (and to be honest, I don’t fucking like her either, but let’s not get into that), so he had to keep me blocked most of the time. I always knew when things weren’t going well, because he’d always either send a friend request or a message. They had a kid together, and there was a period of time where they must have either been broken up or she just wasn’t around as much, because we started skyping – something we had never done before. We would skype pretty often, but never like, romantic/sexual or anything. Just talking about our day and lives, shootin the shit, my mom even came in and talked with him once. Eventually one day I would realize it had been a few days since I had heard from him, or would go on Facebook to realize I had been blocked, and figure out that they were back together and just go on with life. But time after time he would contact me again and we’d be in the same situation again. It got extremely frustrating at times, having him come and go as it fit for him. I even sent MTV’s Catfish a letter when they first started, asking for help meeting, although we weren’t talking at the time, because I didn’t think it would ever happen. They never replied though, bitches.

Fast forward to 2013. They just had their second kid together, and once again he’s contacted me, sometime in the spring. Always the same sort of conversation; I wonder what it would be like if we lived close and met, I wonder if you’re who I’m actually supposed to be with, etc. This time around they stayed broken up for a longer period of time, and eventually we got to thinking… why the fuck don’t I just go up there and visit? I was an adult, no one could stop me. It wasn’t even meant to be as like a “oh I’m going to go up there and live happily ever after” type of thing, just more of a “we’ve wondered for 7 years what it would be like to meet, let’s fucking meet already.” My mom was surprisingly understanding and didn’t even try to talk me out of it, although I think she also knew that she wouldn’t be able to. Everyone at work thought I was fucking insane, but it was something that needed to be done. I couldn’t keep living as a “possibility” or a “what if.”

So on July 15th, 2013, exactly one year and one month after London boy up there (I only remember this because I still have my bus/train tickets on my bulletin board), I set off to Sudbury. It took me 10 fucking hours to bus there, however the bus ride was surprisingly really nice, and I had a really nice girl sitting next to me. I told her all about my situation and she thought I was a little crazy too, although she was also excited for me and once we were almost there, she seemed more excited than I was. My nerves set in and I started wondering if this was going to be a horrible idea. But as soon as I got off that bus and saw him in person, all the negative thoughts went away. It was funny, because we always imaged how when we met we’d have this perfect, romantic moment and instead it was an awkward hug and awkward bus ride back to his place. God bless vodka for helping get that awkwardness out of the way.

I stayed there for about a week, and in that week we definitely got along and had a lot of fun together. It also happened to be the hottest fucking week in existence, which sucked. People who sweat together, stay together, right? Wrong. I waited 7 years to meet this person who at times I thought was my soulmate, the person I was always supposed to be with, the person I would eventually end up with and be happy with. 7 years. It took him, like, 2 days to get back together with his at the time ex. I found out cause she posted a photo of herself with hickies all over her neck. Keepin it classy.

7 years of waiting and 2 days to completely fucking ruin everything that was there and anything that could have been there. 7 years of “I’d rather her over you” well clearly not. I mean okay I get it – you have kids together, you have history, you live close. But SEVEN. YEARS. Yeah, that fucking stung when I found that out. Pretty much ruined me for quite a bit. I didn’t even want guys looking at me after that, let alone talk to me or touch me in any way. I wanted nothing to do with anyone. We still talked on and off for the next 6 or 7 months, usually just me bitching or him “apologizing” but in time I decided this is fucking enough and stopped replying to any message he would send me. That was in January 2014. He’s tried to add me countless times since then, most of them being in early 2014, although he did try to add me once this past summer. Never again, my “love”.

America

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January 2014 was a pretty strange month for me, because while I was still dealing with the bullshit from Sudbury boy, I had no idea that I was about to start taking on the bullshit from another boy, who lived in the fucking states. I’m STILL not ready from all the crap before to be dealing with all of this stuff, but I guess that’s what happens when you decide to give people a chance, which is exactly what I did.

I mean it obviously wasn’t all bad at first, we actually have no idea how we got on each others Facebook friends to begin with, but accord to FB it was a year before we started talking. I posted a video of a hamburger on a windshield in the rain with “on this perfeeeccttt daaayyy….” playing in the background. It’s classic, okay? He commented on it and I thought he was a kid I hated in high school,  so I went to his page to delete him, but saw that he was some random from America and he was good looking, so I decided to keep him. A few days later we started talking in messenger, and we got along pretty well. He was fun to talk to because obviously living in different countries, we had a lot of different stories to tell. But as much fun as it was I was NOT looking to start something with anyone, in any sort of way, not anytime soon. So when he started talking about wanting to meet a few weeks into talking, and then went and got his enhanced license so he could come visit, it secretly freaked me the fuck out.

But at the same time, he did seem really nice, he was pretty cute, we had fun talking to each other. I wasn’t really sure if I was into him or not, although because of everything I had just gone through, I knew I didn’t want to be. He seemed really committed to us meeting though, so one night I invited him to a party, not thinking he’d actually come. He came. He drove all the way from Oswego, New York to Mississauga, Ontario. About 5 or 6 hours, and showed up on my friends front porch.

The second I heard the doorbell ring I was terrified, my eyes shot wide open and I begged my friend to answer the door with me. What the fuck was I getting myself into? I knew I wasn’t in a condition where I would be okay with getting hurt again, why was I putting myself at this risk? I was so confused as to what was actually happening, and a little drunk, that when I opened the door the first thing I did was stick my tongue out at him instead of saying hello. He came inside and we hung out in my friends basement for a bit before heading to the party. We drank, talked, and got along really well. As much as I didn’t want to admit it, I was pretty into him, a feeling I thought I wasn’t going to feel for a very long time.

He came down for a visit once more after that, and it went nice as well. We would usually go on a really cool, fun date, since I wanted to take him to so many different places. But distance is hard and especially only being able to talk online, it can get frustrating. We had plans for a while for me to go up for my birthday, since I was turning 21 and that’s the legal drinking age in the statues, so it’s a big deal there. I booked my time off of work, and applied for my passport, which was $200, just sayin. I may be remembering this wrong, but I’m pretty sure it was only two days after I got my passport in the mail, three weeks before I was supposed to go there… he told me not to come. He didn’t think it was a good idea, HE didn’t think he was ready for something like this. Well excuse fucking me because who was the one who was so determined to start this and meet in the first place. If I thought I was a mess before I met him, I was ten times that mess now.

I couldn’t handle it, I couldn’t handle anything. I had tried so hard to try and pick myself up from the last situation just to fall back down harder. I wasn’t in a position to have something like that happen again, and I think he knew that, although I may be wrong. We talked for a month or two afterwards, mostly me begging for explanation and him basically saying “it’s not you, it’s me” kind of bullshit. I never found out the real reasoning. We eventually stopped talking one night we were both at a party, we ended with something along the lines of “feel free to drunk text me or if you need anything” and just never messaged each other again. It wasn’t meant or planned to end like that, it just kind of happened. Until March 2015. You can read about that here. (Long story short – we got back together, and he dumped me after 6 months, the day I was supposed to go visit for Christmas for 2 weeks, for his ex.)

meeting strangers onlne

It’s funny because we now live in a time where there’s so many apps made for people to meet online and fall in love. As for me, I don’t use any of those, and can’t see myself ever using them. After 4 years of nothing working out in my favour, having my feelings and emotions fucked with, and pretty much just holding the clearly wrong people close to my heart, I need some time to just heal and forget. It sucks because I do miss being able to just have fun and flirt with somebody and not think twice about it. Now when a guy tries to flirt with me I get awkward and usually just don’t really reply. In time I won’t feel like this anymore and will be back to my old self, hopefully at least. And hopefully most people have more luck than I do, because I wouldn’t wish this shit on anyone.

Kind of sad how this post didn’t start out so negative, huh.

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1 Comment

  1. <3 Hoping you feel better soon, 'cause these boys were jerks! I've never fallen for someone I met online, but I have met my share of weirdos. It is kind of funny how we were all taught to use fake names, and never tell anyone about ourselves, and yet we all did anyway! And now everyone shares everything online. So much for internet safety.

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