This is the story of how two hearts, in two different places, connected.
For the sake of the story, I’m going to keep his identity private. So we will refer to him as James.
Growing up, my dad kept us in the house a lot and so as most sheltered kids did, I turned to the internet for entertainment. I spent most of my spare time on Runescape and Audition, gaming with both my real life friends and my online friends I had made. I also had a Gaiaonline, Asiantown, and an A-Unity profile. For those of you that don’t know what these are, just think of them as kind of like MySpace. Kind of. These platforms helped me with the majority of my social life. And, because I’m naturally shy, it was a lot easier to make friends online than in real life. I got to know a lot of really cool people, and to this day, I’m still friends with some of them!
Through my time online, I had also clicked with a few different guys on a romantic level. Keep in mind that back then, talking to people online was “weird” because it was not the norm and Tinder was not a thing yet. Only my friends who gamed online with me would know about these occurrences. They understood that it was possible to connect with another person solely on communication. Because of that factor, these online relationships felt genuine and pure but they were not easy.
I first saw his picture on Asiantown. If you used Asiantown back in the day, you know that there were the “popular” people. These were the people that everyone found attractive, had mastered the art of taking a selfie back in 2009, had thousands of kudos, and an overflowing guestbook with people just hoping that they would notice them and be their friend. I just admired his profile and his photos from afar. I wasn’t going to put myself out there like everyone else was. But then, I got a notification that someone had written in my guestbook.
It was James.
I’m not going to lie. I fangirled, a lot. Here was one of the most idolized individuals in the online Asian community taking the time to say hello to me. I played it cool, of course. Just kidding, I’m pretty sure I admitted to him that I was just on his profile. He then explained that he saw my name on his visitors list and so he reached out. I could have died just there. Can you imagine if you could see who STALKS your Facebook profile every day? Yeah, no thank you.
However, I will forever be grateful that he said hi first. James and I built a pretty stable friendship after that, having conversations almost daily about anything and everything. Of course, I never told him about any growing feelings that I had for him. He was wanted by so many – what made me any more special? Eventually, life got in the way, and we got busy with things like school and having our own relationships in the real world so we drifted apart.
One day, we re-connected on Skype. We started catching each other up on our lives and started talking more consistently again. One late night (you know it’s over when you start having late night conversations), we started reminiscing about the past. James then admitted that he used to have a crush on me and I stopped dead in my tracks. I admitted to him that I too had a crush on him back then. We were in disbelief and disappointed in ourselves that we had missed an opportunity. But something about the confessions re-lit an old flame. These feelings that I thought had died with the past, came back.
James and I were talking any chance we could. We began to webcam more often rather than just messaging and we were not shy with flirtation. I remember feeling serene when I saw his face on the screen and how has voice (and accent) would put all the butterflies in the world be in my stomach. I felt like we understood each other on a whole new level and I grew fonder for him everyday.
However, I knew we could never take it to the next level. I lived here in America, while he was living in Denmark. There was a 7 hour time difference. One of us would have to sacrifice sleep to talk to the other. Long-distance relationships within the States was already hard enough for me and so being on different continents was not realistic. James told me that he’s visited the States before and would visit me, but I needed more than one visit a year. I needed to have someone physically here to hold me and take me to the school dances. I grew envious of couples around me that held hands while all I could do was hold my phone.
I was the one that ended things. I made him delete everything. Any sweet messages or flirtatious conversations needed to be gone. I didn’t want anything to remind us that he and I had something. I had finally found someone that I had connected better with than any other guy at the time but were kept apart by an ocean. I’m not saying that long-distance relationships are impossible. I just knew that it wouldn’t work out for me and so I didn’t want to try. It would have been a different story had we started a relationship in person and one of us had to move away. I would have been more willing to try after we had already built something. We never met. We never held each other. My heart was heavy.
Sometimes people can connect on every level but can never be together due to circumstances such as time, or in my case, distance.
Today, James and I are still friends! Upon reflection of our history, we’ve agreed that we’re glad we never tried to have a real relationship. We were young and had gone through so many personal changes these past 8 years that something would have eventually broke us up. We would have lost a friendship in the process. Things really do or do not happen for a reason. Thank you, James, for having an impact in my life, 4273 miles away.
Have you ever connected with someone miles away or tried a long-distance relationship? Leave it in the comments below! I would love to read about it. 🙂