This e-mail from my wife to a local radio station, after a phone in on the subject of internet relationships, says it all far better than I could:
"I just wanted to give you guys my two cents on the subject of internet romances. I feel somewhat like an expert since that is how I happened to meet my wonderful husband. Let me give you a little background.
"I was in Yahoo talking with a friend of mine who lives in India (it's cheaper than calling!) and he was off for a minute and someone named pesky73 pm'd (private messaged) me. I usually would hit ignore but this time I went ahead and started chatting with him.
"We talked for a while and exchanged yahoo mail addresses. We started to email each other more and more and finally exchanged our personal, non-Yahoo email addresses. It got to the point where we were constantly mailing each other throughout the day. I got a computer at home when I realized the weekends were miserable because I couldn't hear from him, he's from England so it made it a bit tricky.
"I finally asked him for his phone number and called, but we were really already in love.
"I went over to England for 2 weeks last November and he came back here to Oklahoma for a visit and just never left. We were married in January and I have never been so happy in my whole life. I am a vigilant supporter of internet relationships. It beats meeting someone in a bar, and after months of just written correspondence we really knew a lot about each other. Plus, hardly anything in my life has affected me quite like coming out of customs at Gatwick airport in London and seeing the man I loved so much in person for the first time."
I just wanted to, from my side of the story, concur with her entirely. I personally have never been so passionate about anyone or anything as when she and I were clinging to the wires on either side of the Atlantic. The beauty of it was, amongst other things, that we were doing something that hadn't been endlessly charted out over film after film, book after book. We really had no idea what we were doing so we bluffed it and figured it out as we went along.
We got the endless warnings, about how we might not have any physical chemistry, about how one or the other might be an axe murderer, a friend even warned me that she might not like how I smell! Certainly for my part, any suggestion of "love" received blank stares and shaken heads. But our eventual meeting at Gatwick airport on November the fourth 2000 couldn't have been scripted any better by Hollywood's best.
What can I say, it obviously worked, for us. There are always going to be problems in any kind of romance, but just because this way of beginning a loving relationship is relatively new and not well understood yet, please don't reject it out of hand. The numbers of "cyber couples" are growing, and the success of future marriages which are based on initially "meeting" via the internet will be the only test worth paying attention to.
See you in 40 years! We'll be here.