Condemned Love

By: Wome

My situation, my decision, has been condemned since the offset. Granted, it is a difficult situation for one to understand, for even I find it difficult to comprehend on occasion. Perhaps the reason why so many people have condemned my decision to put myself in this situation is that they do not understand the reasoning behind it.

To many people, meeting new people on the internet is very much a taboo. Despite the fact that the internet is a new concept, brought about by the recent revolutions in digital technology, it seems that people have adopted a somewhat old-fashioned view of it. The standard assumption is that people online are somehow ‘evil’ or seek only to take advantage of you. I can assure you that this is not the case â€" Yes, there are people online who seek to take advantage of others, but the majority of internet users use it for completely legitimate reasons. The advent of the internet has made it possible for people from across the globe to meet and chat in real-time. 50 years ago the idea of a global information exchange allowing nearly anybody, on any continent to communicate with any person, anywhere on the globe would have been ludicrous, yet now it is a reality. There are many thriving online communities, which mirror many of the qualities of communities in real life. There are people who serve these communities, leaders, inhabitants, and, like in real life, people who seek to take advantage of others.

Now, in order to be able to consider my predicament, you must understand the concept of an online chatroom â€" this is a place where people, often part of one of these online communities can meet and talk in a communal fashion using text, and, in some cases, voice messages. It is surprising how close people can become, simply through typing messages to one another. In the summer of last year, I stumbled upon an online writer’s community, where writers could upload their own work and have it commented on. I joined this community and discovered that the community had it’s own chatroom, which I decided to join. Joining any group of people is a difficult task â€" it involves attaining the respect of your fellows, something which is particularly difficult when your fellows can neither see nor hear you. The only image that people in a chatroom form of you, is the image you create with your own typing â€" You need to be able to portray yourself with words.

I joined this chatroom on the day before I was due to leave for a two week holiday. Somehow, I managed to end up showing my writing with another writer in the chatroom. At this point, she seemed to just be another of the ‘regular’ members of the chatroom â€" one of those who had attained the respect of others and thus was heard out. We spoke privately for a while, and it soon became clear that we shared more than just writing in common â€" we were both the same age and both had the same interests. Infact, by the end of the evening I had already confessed to liking this person in more than just a casual manner, but we both knew that this was of no consequence considering that she lived in America, and I lived in England. And so, over the next few months, we talked to each other, confessed problems, shared secrets and generally became friends. In my heart, I knew that this person was special, but I suppressed this feeling. What could I do? She lived over 4000 miles away, across and ocean and on an entirely different continent.

In October things changed. This girl admitted to me that she felt in much the same way about me that I felt about her. We came to realise that for the past few months we had been denying our true feelings, under the impression that love could never occur down a phone line, or on a computer screen. How strange sounds - Being in love with someone who you have never met, nor seen with your own eyes. But isn’t love something beyond the physical? Love is like the wind, intangible, yet you can feel it, and if you’re not careful, it will carry you away. We loved each other. As strange as this might sound, when the only communication between us had been, simply, noughts and ones sent down metal wires, we had fallen in love.

Still, love and a relationship are two different things. Neither of us would believe that a relationship could ever be possible over a distance of over 4000 miles, so, although we confessed our love for one another, we refused to allow ourselves to have a romantic relationship, after all, that would be impossible, right?

Months passed, we talked, we spoke more and more of the love between us, until the feeling became unbearable. Now, even though it seemed that a relationship could not work.. We knew it had to work. In January, we became a couple. And since that date, the 26th of January, 3 months ago, we have been a couple. It is difficult for someone to understand the agony of people in a long distance relationship, but, I shall attempt to explain it. When the first thing you think of when you wake up and the last thing you see when you go to sleep is the person you are in love with, you know you are truly in love, and yet, in a long distance relationship, there is no person, no physical presence to direct your affections towards. How can you be in love with someone you have never met before? This is the question people ask me, the question to which I don’t have an answer. I know only that I do, not how.

So, you see, this is not simply a call for attention, or a silly escapade. This is more than that. I had the same doubts that many of the people who have condemned our relationship, our decision to become a couple initially. Why would I deliberately put myself through such an ordeal if I did not believe that the result would be worth it?

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