Thursday, September 20, 2007
In three days' time, we will celebrate two years of living in the Swiss Alps. Two years that have been fun which has seen the arrival of my first grandson who has just celebrated his first birthday, my daughter growing up and becoming a Mum in her own right, my son going from being a very good skier to a great one and tomorrow sees the six-month anniversary of meeting the new man in my life.
'Meeting' is not quite the word as we actually 'met' on the internet! From the original exchange of emails and 'phone calls, we actually got together to meet up about two months later. During those two months we exchanged literally hundreds of emails, quite a lot of phone calls and eventually decided to meet somewhere 'neutral' and chose Barcelona as G had work down there. Before going any further, G lives in Brussels, so meeting up doesn't just happen like that! We are 800km apart, so we can't just ring each other and say 'Want to go out for dinner this evening?'
Obviously the Barcelona meet up went well as we are still together - but on the plane from Geneva I admit to getting cold feet and wondering if I was totally mad and whether it would be possible to sneak from arrivals to departures without him seeing me and catch the first plane back to Geneva! And then I thought that after these hundreds of emails swopping life history with each other, there is no reason why we should suddenly not get on, and if the worst came to the worst, we were adult enough to spend a couple of days together in Barcelona without one of us causing a major scene!
In the last six months we have met in Switzerland, in Belgium, in Aix-en-Provence, London and have been on holiday to the south of France and Brittany. G has been scrutinised by quite a few members of my family and next week the same fate is reserved for me in England when I meet his family. It sounds quite fun, all these trips round Europe and it is, but often it is only for a weekend when G comes here - we actually managed a fortnight together this summer, a record! And I am starting to hate goodbyes at airports and train stations.
The family and friends all know we met this way and although I admit to being slightly worried about their reactions, everyone thinks it is great. And to prove my point there was an excellent article in the Financial Times on the 4/5 August by Mrs. Moneypenny extolling the virtues - basically what she said was that she had wasted a lot of time falling for men who were possibly obsessive compulsives, had only read one book in their lives, or liked Wagner - the cyberspace can iron out a lot of the 'don't likes' before actually meeting up. Chatting on the phone is important too, as emails cannot convey the same thing as the voice - especially if you are like G who, if it wasn't for the spell checker, would be sending me emails that could be written in Chinese or Russian!
What both of us have noticed I think is that we have learnt a lot about each other through writing and sometimes I think that there are parts of us that the other knows better than close friends or family. Having established the grounding, meeting for the first time is much easier, as the awkward conversation isn't necessary; we have already moved on from that stage.
So, touch wood, internet dating has been a very positive thing in our lives - I think G even suggests it to his single friends! 2007 has been a good year for me so far (especially as my birthday was on the 07.07.07) - I wonder what 2008 will bring? A move from the Alpes? Who knows? We don't!
PS G sometimes reads my blog ... wonder whether he will catch this one?!