The COVID19 Pandemic has brought a whole new challenge to the online dating scene. While usually, people want to meet after a couple of chat messages, Now we have to wait, and if we do not have to wait because we are not on lockdown, we have to wear facemasks and/or keep a certain distance. Most people postpone their meeting, until after the lockdown and after the pandemic.
I searched the archives of my website because I was sure I had written an article about falling in love online before. But I have not. Not as the main topic, maybe I scratched the surface in one of the many Filipino dating-tips on the website, since many men meet their new love online, but I never dedicated a whole article to the subject.
Time to do this and to confess that although I though falling online was not possible, it now happened to me, so I have to confess that I am a converted advisor on that topic now. But!
There is always a but. Let me share my story.
Dating in Mexico
I have been using Facebook dating for a little over a year now to find my prince charming. I found many charming men, Mexicans know how to flirt and make you feel good, it was never my prince, most were princes in disguise. Very much married looking for a second wife or just interested in a one-way ticket out of Mexico I had my share of attention. And to be honest, my interest was more and more becoming a selfish interest, to practise my Spanish and not to meet up. After a few dates went sour, I did not feel safe to date anymore.
I just used the contacts to chat on WhatsApp, and I swiped more men to the left than right. For all sorts of reasons: too short, too much beer photo’s or half nudes, too fat, too big a moustache (sorry guys!) too many children….plenty of excuses to not want to talk to them. The biggest reason to swipe left is: No selfie, but a random picture. That is a definite no for me. I want to see whom I am talking to.
Until……he liked me, his profile was some Tigger look-alike tiger. It looked kind of cute. But it was the text that caught my attention, he wanted friendship first. And somehow int hat profile it sounded sincere. Don’t ask me to explain that, for I cannot. So I broke my own rule. I swept right.
And here I am, writing to you accompanied by a whole bunch of butterflies that make me smile and giggle like a teenager in love.
I told him straight up I wanted a photo, for I like to see whom I am talking to. And he agreed, gave me his phone number to add him to WhatsApp, so I could see a photo if I needed more photos I simply had to ask. And fluent English…..Wow……. Most men don’t speak two words English.
So I added him to WhatsApp and there he was. Nice to look at, bit grumpy expression, but hey, we can’t all run around laughing all the time. he looked self-confident not too macho and his eyes were kind.
Let’s call him Jorge.
We started talking, and from the first moment, our conversations were vibrant and alive. With one year of experience in dating in Mexico where conversations usually go like:
hola como estas? Muy bien y tu, bien gracias, are you single? No boyfriend? No, and you? Good, let’s chat (avoiding to answer your question about his relationship status) And then you hear nothing for days, only to be expected to jump in the conversation whenever he pleases.
It was a pleasure to talk to him. Really. And with conversations going so smooth and so open, it is easy to forget you don’t know this person at all and you are talking to a stranger. It was friendship from day 1.
And it became attachment pretty fast.
For the right reasons? I kept questioning myself, for I had never met him and I would not for a while since we both were on lockdown. And how about the lonely feelings and disconnected feelings you experience in lockdown, do they cloud my mind and feelings? Do I like him because of a suppressed need?
I could sense he felt the same, his eagerness to meet me grew, and so did mine. I was holding back because I knew I would make him all fictional in my head and he could never pass the reality check after that. How extraordinary these circumstances are, we had to keep our heads clear. he seemed pretty sure about his path with “us” I was reluctant. I told him: I need to see you in real life. I need to hear you, see how your body moves, your gestures, I need to see your eyes and smell you before I can go any further in this opening up that my emotions urge me to do.
And he was okay with that.
I discover a better me, buried deep down inside under past experiences and she rises like a Fenix from the ashes.
I was very wounded. Once I dated a narcissist who totally destroyed that what was left of me after a very abusive relationship of that lasted 20 years. You see where I come from. I have a habit of choosing men that are bad for me.
But my contact with Jorge transfers me into a better version of me. I discover my old self, buried deep under the ashes of the past. And I grow. Through text and video chat, he makes me want to rekindle with that undamaged version of myself., and he makes me do that by making me feel good about myself. He makes me smile, grows my self-confidence and shows me how unconditionally love can be.
The fictional figure needs to be banned as soon as possible
Jorge works, he is one of the lucky ones that did not lose his job over this pandemic. And we both realized that that was a priority, to keep working But one day he told me that he was being transferred. And that we could meet. Well, that story you can read here.
It is my strong belief that when an opportunity to meet happens you should do that before that fictional person in your head becomes alive and your date has lost all his/her chances of passing the reality check.
I saw him, I saw his eyes and I knew what I felt online would pass the reality check. My god I really really liked him. And by the look of it: that feeling is mutual. His face when he saw me. Long time since a man looked at me like that.
Short after that meeting, we had a huge argument, something happened that made us fall out. It broke my heart. My luck, always….really, when I open my heart shit happens. I told him I did not want to continue. Better end it now than get burned later on. he was upset. Angry.
My scars are acting up
We tried to talk, but language barriers and emotions got in the way. I told myself it was for the best. Better now than later on.
But god it hurt! So bad as if I broke up with a guy I dated for ages. It was like I broke up a relationship that had lasted for years. It was by then I realized I was in love. Deep, intense and full.
And I could no longer ignore my heart, and I had to silence my head with all the logic that falling in love over the internet was not possible.
But it was also my past experience that drove me up this hill of prejudice and hurt. This could not be true, if something sounds and feels too good to be true, it usually is. So I acted on my response to flee away from happiness before it could really scar me.
After 48 hours of agony, talking to a friend and really pulling my hairs out, going back and forth over all the pro’s and cons and the stupidity and idiocracy of it all I contacted him. The pain was too much and I missed him like a limb was cut off. I had fallen for this man, I could no longer deny that.
Find out if I was willing to take the risk of falling in love online and maybe get hurt all over again on the next page!
Jeanette, a Dutch female nomad, started to travel the world at the age of 17. Walker of beaches, shell searcher and iPhone photographer. Writer and owner of two websites
Currently, she lives in Mexico.
She is an emigration coach and works online.