A few days ago, my husband and I were eating dinner together. I was in the middle of a sentence and he picked up his phone and started tapping away furiously. “Technology ruins relationships!” I exclaimed indignantly. He looked up, coyly smiled and said, “...or makes them happen!”
I couldn't argue with that. See, my husband and I met through text messaging. I know what you’re thinking. Text messaging? Really? How does that even work?
A few years ago, I went to visit one of my old college roommates who was happily married and had just had a baby. As we sat in her kitchen, chatting about the old days, I looked around. She had a beautiful life, love, and a family. The lustre of my single life was quickly growing dim by comparison and - while I had never been in a hurry to tie the knot - I had to admit to myself that I really wanted what she had. Sitting there, gazing at my landscape of unsuccessful dates and short-lived relationships, the prospect of my finding true love looked grim.
"What if I never find the right person and end up living a lonely and miserable life of solitude?"
That thought drifted through my head more and more often. So I told my friend that I thought I was ready to get married and have a family. To my surprise she said, “Great, I have the perfect person for you. His name is Conor. He is handsome, funny, and his family is awesome! You are going to love him."
She gave me his number. I had my doubts, not the least of which was our distance, since I lived in Portland and he in San Diego. Undaunted, I did what any logical single girl desperately seeking true love would do - I sent him a random, mildly flirtatious text message. A minute later, he responded. Well, this was a good start!
I giggled to myself like a little kid. It was exciting. If nothing else, this would at least be entertaining. We continued texting each other for days and weeks, which quickly turned into a month.
We never spoke on the phone or connected on Skype. We did add each other as friends on Facebook, so I knew what he looked like, but I had no idea what his voice sounded like, or if he even laughed at my jokes. But what I did know was that I had stopped going out on dates and started talking about him to my friends and family all the time. We shared more than just details about our days. Sharing our thoughts, dreams, and struggles came naturally too.
One night, I finally decided to call him. I realized I was either crazy or crazy in love, and it was time to find out. Our first phone call was like a scene from a movie where both characters say the exact same thing at the exact same time and it’s really cute and really cheesy. “Hi! Hi! I have to tell you something! Something! You go first! First! No. No. You! Ok, I love love you! WHAT!? I LOVE you!”
Ok, I don’t think we came right out and dropped the L-bomb right away, but we may as well have. We flirted, finished each other’s sentences, and laughed till our tummies hurt. We decided that we should meet in person. Conor would come to Portland first to meet me and my family.
But Conor had a trick up his sleeve. The day before our planned meeting, Conor came to Portland to surprise me. Imagine my reaction when I arrive home from work that night to find him waiting for me on my front doorstep!
Any hope of playing it cool and impressing him with my chill wit and charm went out the window. I went nuts. I didn’t know what to do. I jumped and yelled and shook my hands above my head hysterically. But so did he. We ran into each other’s arms and then clumsily avoided kissing because we were both unsure. We laughed. I think I cried. It was insanely awkward and wildly exciting all at the same time.
Some say technology ruins relationships, that - if we let it - modern communication can actually get in the way of really connecting to one another. But my experience has taught me that - if we let it - technology can also help us connect and find love. Conor and I are now married and have a beautiful baby boy. Yes we had a faulty and unconventional beginning, but we were made for each other and - thanks to technology -we knew it before we ever met.
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