Shared Stories - Part 5

STORY # 49 - "Scared and Excited"

"Mandy" is a 30 yr. old divorced woman who has been online six months. She met a nice man three months ago and they became great friends. Then it seemed that almost overnight she realized she had deep feelings for him and wrote him a long heartfelt email detailing her thoughts. He responded back favorably. They have since fallen in love and are now planning a meeting very soon. She writes; "I'm so scared and nervous and excited all at once, but would say to anyone, you can truly love someone here in cyberspace, and that love will hopefully translate into reality for me and my love."

VIXEN Responds:

I have my fingers crossed for you. Its natural to be nervous about this first meeting, but I'm betting within the first half hour things will settle down and you will feel very much at ease with each other. Talk about your "jitters" up front with each other ahead of time, and when you meet, just be yourselves, the same people you were in your email and phone calls. Good luck!

UPDATE to STORY #48 - "Gail & Jake"

I recently received a note from “Gail” giving me an update on her and Jake. They continued to talk on line and on the phone, and met several more times in person. Jake met her children and her family and she writes that “He and I have grown even closer than before, which we didn’t think was possible!” Recently a decision was reached. Gail and her children will be moving to North Carolina to be with him on Sept. 26th of this year. Everyone is excited and just a little bit nervous, but happy and looking forward to the day they are all together. She says she cannot imagine her life without him. They have discussed the possibility of marriage and Gail says she will write again if they begin hearing wedding bells.

VIXEN Comments:

Thank you for such an uplifting update! This is a big move for you and your children, but it sounds as though you have taken the right steps in continuing to talk and meet in person, introduce your children and family, and continue to grow together. I’m sure things will be hectic at times when you start your new life, but remember, ALL families have ups and downs. Your children may miss the familiarity of their old home and their friends and family while they are adjusting, so don’t get discouraged if there is an occasional bump. Keep the lines of communication open always and you will do just fine!

STORY # 55 - "No Regrets"

"Sandra" is a 37 yr. old divorced female who has been on the Net about 7 months. Her first month online she began chatting with a "nice guy", moved on to phone calls, and fell in love. Unfortunately, he ultimately broke it off and broke her heart. She feels the age difference between them played a part in the breakup, for he was quite a bit younger. However, after hurting for awhile, she decided she was not going to let this experience get the best of her. She began chatting online again and met a man her age. Their online relationship evolved into phone calls and finally a meeting which she says "felt a little strange at first", but then they got past that and realized they loved each other. Today they are living together quite happily. She says she does not regret the first relationship because it opened her up for the second one, and she wouldn't change that for the world.

VIXEN Comments:

Learning from our experiences, both good and bad, is what makes us grow as individuals. I'm glad you were able to keep your perspective and positive attitude despite the hurt of your first online love. My best wishes to you in your current relationship. Thank you for writing.

STORY #54 - "I Have to Know"

"Corinne" is a 30 year old single female who has been on the Net about a year. She writes that she first met her online love in a common-interest chat room where they initially bantered back and forth, exchanged a few email, and eventually began to talk over ICQ a few months later. Things began to take off from that point and they would chat ever night for a few hours, at first with others, and then just the two of them. She found herself drawn to his strength, his principles, and a quality of vulnerability. They shared their real-life problems and grew closer. Photos were exchanged and telephone calls made. She writes that "I was already in love with him anyway and it happened almost without my being aware of it."

He lives halfway around the world and some days she worries that she has allowed an online friendship to get completely out of hand and is acting like a teenager. Other days she thinks this may be just what she has been waiting for. They plan to meet as soon as they can arrange it because the bottom line is, "I have to know. And either way, the meeting will solve that problem for me."

She closes by saying she has felt terribly alone at times with this romance for it is difficult to share with others who do not understand. She says its a relief to know that others have been through this same thing.

VIXEN Responds:

I do indeed wish you luck. I hope you can arrange your meeting very soon and resolve any concerns or misgivings you may have. Meanwhile, your best bet is to continue to talk and learn about each other, and to speak honestly about any fears you may have about meeting (which is natural). Thank you so much for sharing. As you have gathered from reading the stories of others here, you are far from alone. More and more are joining the ranks of cyber romance every day.

STORY # 53 - "I Found The One"

"Cassie" is a 30 yr. old single female who has been on the Net for about nine months. She writes that she was in a Real World relationship for three years that did not work out. As a way to occupy herself while mending her heart, she began chatting in a special topic room online, avoiding the common cybersex scene in other chat rooms, and met someone nice with whom she could easily talk. Within weeks they began talking on ICQ daily and exchanging frequent email. She admits to being a little scared by the strong feelings she was developing toward him, and not wanting to hurt him on a rebound. He was understanding and offered to quit sending messages if she so chose. Instead she chose to give him a chance despite the 2,000 miles between them. Eventually they exchanged pictures and the relationship became deeper. After three months online, he drove from Alaska to Oregon to visit her. She writes that "It was the most spiritual experience of my life to be with him! I have found a mirror to my soul with him!" Now he is back in Alaska but they are making plans for her to join him in the future. They hate being apart, but every time they chat online or the phone, their committment to each other is reconfirmed. She closes by saying, "I knew what I wanted in a relationship, and that I would not settle for less, now or ever. I never would have found him if it were not for the Internet."

VIXEN Responds:

You have my best wishes for your happy future together. I'm pleased your online experience was so positive and evolved into something so special for you. Being from Alaska myself originally, I had to smile a bit. My only suggestion is that you might want to visit Alaska once or twice (in Summer AND Winter) to acclimate yourself to the change in scenery and weather. *G* Alaska is a wonderful state, but is also one of those places you either love or hate, with little in-between. Thanks so much for writing.

STORY #52 - "Meeting at Last"

"Kayla" is a 20 yr old single female who has been on the Net nearly a year and a half. She writes that she never expected to become involved with an online relationship. What began as a fascination with the fact she could chat with anyone from anywhere in the world, evolved into a cyber romance with a single 22 yr. old male in the U.K. Since she lives in the Pacific, they are halfway around the world from each other. They have been chatting, emailing, exchanging photos and phone calls for over a year now, and making plans to meet. One planned meeting for last Christmas fell through due to distance and finances, but they now have plans in just days to meet in California. The past year has had its share of ups and downs and occasional doubts, but finally the day is about to arrive. She is filled with excitement, and anticipation. She writes that she "hopes everything works out, but knows there is only one way to find out for sure...the meeting."

VIXEN Responds:

You closed by asking if I had any words of wisdom. By the time you read this you will already have met and will likely have many answers to some of your questions. My only suggestion would be to try to relax and be the same people in person that you have been to each other online. You have taken over a year to get to know one another. You have experienced the emotional highs and lows, the doubts, and then overcame them to discover you really loved each other. You are right; only by meeting face-to-face will you know whether or not you have a future together. I'm happy for you that you were finally able to bridge the huge geographic distance and make this meeting happen. Please let me know how things went. Thank you for writing.

STORY #51 - "Is this crazy?"

"Faye" is a 34 yr. old woman who has been on the Net about six months. She met a man online two months ago in a chat room and had a nice conversation, but about a month went by before they chatted again. Some email was exchanged and she thought he was okay, just someone nice to talk with, but gradually they chatted more and more until it was a daily thing. Phone numbers were exchanged and now the phone calls are almost every day as well. She says she has feelings for him now that she can't explain, and the days they don't talk she really misses him. Her letter closes by asking, " it possible to fall in love with someone like this...without knowing what he looks like? Sometimes I have to stop myself and ask if this is crazy."

VIXEN Responds:

If you are crazy then a whole lot of other people are too. If you have read the many shared stories here, you know this is happening all over the world where people have online access. It affects young and old, rich and poor, all education levels, and married people as well as single. I've said it before, but it bears repeating; people tend to think they are "safe" behind their anonymous screen with thousands of miles separating them from others. But that very sense of safety allows us to drop our guard and to share far more of our inner selves than we would normally do with someone we had just met in the Real World. Everything seems to be accelerated online, and in a very short period we find we have developed these amazing feelings for our special online friend.

Are the feelings real? For many they are very real and often culminate in a Real World relationship and sometimes marriage. For others it may be more of an infatuation that runs its course. It varies, naturally, with the individuals involved, their situations, how honest they have been with each other, and whether they live up to each other's expectations if they decide to meet in Real Life.

You do not mention your marital status or his, nor whether or not he has feelings for you as well. My bet is that if you feel it, so does he. I would guess you will be talking about these feelings together very soon, if you haven't already. Best of luck to you both whatever direction it leads you.


Brynn has written again to say she told her friend she is married, although unhappily so. He seems to be okay with it, in fact he is pressing for a meeting. She feels she too would like to meet him, but is worried about some of the horror stories she has heard about people meeting on the Net. He sounds great on the phone and online, but she says " never know...what if I get hurt or something? My family thinks I'm nuts for going to meet someone from the net." Brynn closes by asking me what I think about it.

VIXEN Responds:

I'm glad you told him you were married. Obviously you didn't lose him over it. But, this brings up another big question. Since you ARE married, what do you hope to accomplish by this meeting? Are you looking at the possibility of an affair, or have you discussed leaving your husband for him if the meeting goes well? Have the two of you discussed what it is you want from this meeting? If not, you need to.

You are right to be cautious. I would suggest, since you apparently have told some family members about him, that you take somebody trusted along with you initially. If this is not feasible due to distance and cost, then at the very least make sure somebody knows where you are going, his name, and other personal data about him. Plan to call the family member when you arrive to let them know you are safe, and plan to meet your net friend in a public place such as a coffee shop or a public park. These are all cautionary steps until you have a comfort zone in-person with each other. I personally feel your odds of meeting somebody compatible over the Net are as good as meeting them in more conventional places, but it always makes sense to take precautions. Please let me know what happens.

STORY # 50 - "Should I tell him I'm married?"

"Brynn" is a 34 yr. mother of two, married for twelve years. She has been on the Net about four months, but only recently began chatting seriously with someone online for the past three weeks. It began with casual conversation but has taken a different turn including talking on the phone. Now he would like to meet. The problem is he does not know she is married. She writes that she did not mean to be deceitful, but when she first talked to him about three months ago, she had said she was single for fear nobody would talk to her if they knew she was married. Now she is afraid to tell him. She closes by saying her marriage "isn't the best in the world," and she asks if she should tell him she is married. She also asks what I think of married people meeting in the Real World with their cyberlovers.

VIXEN Responds:

I rarely give outright advice, but since you asked for my opinion, I will give you my honest response. Painful as it may be, I don't think there is any doubt you should tell him you are married. Whether you intended to deceive or not, the bottom line is, you DID deceive him on this extremely important point, which allowed him to freely invest his emotions and feelings in your relationship. If you only intended to chat casually online, there are plenty of people out there who enjoy chatting with people regardless of marital status. It is possible he would not have pursued chatting with you if he'd known you were married, but how can that be any worse than your current situation? He is likely going to be devastated and you may lose him anyway. Trust, once lost, is very difficult to recover. I see no easy way out of this for you as he will likely continue to press for a meeting. The truth is always the best course to take. The more you try to cover up, the more likely it is you will become entangled in the lies. My recommendation is to tell him as soon as possible before you both get in any deeper. If he is understanding about this and forgives you, then you will have some hard decisions to make regarding your marriage and your future.

My opinion on married people meeting cyberloves in Real Life is this: Each person's marriage is different and only they can make the decision whether or not to stay in that marriage or leave it. I think its very risky for a married person to meet their cyberlove if they are not prepared to seek a divorce. Only you can take stock of your marriage, the effect of your choices on your children, your husband and yourself, and whether you are willing to risk it all. Once you take your relationship out of the realm of cyberspace to Real Life, it becomes a full-blown affair with all the dangers inherent to an extramarital affair. Please be very careful.

STORY # 49 - "What's Up With this?"

"Marcie" is a 28 yr old female who has been online about a year. She writes to say she met a guy a few states away from her who is sending mixed messages. He says he does not want a real relationship, but then he calls her at odd times just to tell her he is thinking of her or that he misses her. He tells her he cares for her, does the sweetest things at odd moments, but still is reluctant to pursue a relationship. She asks, "What's up with that?"

VIXEN Responds:

I agree, the guy is sending you mixed signals. It sounds as though he does care for you, but there is some underlying problem for him. There are a couple of possibilities. One, he may be fighting his emotions, not wanting to get involved because the whole idea frightens him, he fears rejection or he is afraid of what his friends and family might say about it. Two, he may be hiding something from you, such as his true age, appearance, or the fact that he is married. If he has lied to you about some major aspect of his life, then there is no way he can meet you now in the Real World, even if he wants to. Or three, he may be a "player", one of those people who enjoy having a whole stable of online lovers for whatever reasons; ego, power, variety, etc.

You need to ask yourself what you want out of this online relationship and whether you want to continue to invest your emotions in this man if there is no chance of pursuing a real relationship. Good luck and stay in touch.

STORY # 48 - "Pre-Meeting Jitters"

"Gail" is a 28 yr. old single mother of two, who has been online about one year. This past December she met a 23 yr. old Sgt. in a chat room, who is in the Army and stationed overseas. A correspondence ensued until eventually things began to get serious between them. They sought each other out online despite their 14 hr. time difference, and even though she had been cautious in the beginning about giving out her real name and number, things reached a point where it seemed natural and necessary to move forward. Long distance calls began, photos were exchanged. She says receiving the photo was a "huge shock" to her. Not because of his appearance, but because it felt strange to suddenly see a physical form for this person she felt she knew so well. She thought he might have the same reaction when he got her picture, but he said no, he was not surprised at all when hers arrived and she looked much as he had imagined. He has since sent her several videotapes of himself at work, narrating and talking to her and turning the camera on himself from time to time. She loves watching it and feels it has helped her become more comfortable with who he is.

Things progressed and now they plan to meet in ten days. He is flying back to the U.S. and they will have five days together before he goes home to visit his family in another state. Gail is nervous and in her words, "a bit of a spaz" about it even though she is also happy and excited. She worries about being five years older, worries because he has never been married and has no children, worried she may have too high expectations. He also has an "old girlfriend" back home who has called him hoping to get back together. Gail feels that puts extra pressure on their meeting, for if it doesn't feel perfect, he may go back to his old girlfriend. She fears she may be setting herself up for failure and lose him, but she also says they have a "pact of honesty" between them regarding the meeting, no matter what. She also says she loves his sense of humor, his intelligence, and his thoughtfulness which is unlike anyone else she has ever met. This whole experience so far has been fun, different, exciting and wonderful and has taught her a lot about herself and communication. Despite the "pre-meeting butterflies," she can't wait...and says to tell "Jake" that she loves him.


You wouldn't be human if you weren't having anxiety and butterflies before a meeting such as this. Putting that physical form with the mind, voice, and picture of your cyberlove is a big leap. Once you meet, you have taken your relationship into the "Real World" and things will never be as they were before. You have done all the right things by getting to know each other slowly, by progressing to calls and pictures before meeting. I think the videotape is a great idea for getting used to the physical appearance of each other. I think you may surprise yourself when you actually meet. You may feel nervous for about the first ten minutes together, but once you are off to yourselves, the familiarity of his voice and face may well set you at ease.

Although I think you are right to run all the possibilities through your mind, don't put unnecessary pressure on yourself and the meeting by worrying about his ex-girlfriend. Try to enjoy the five days you have together and although this may sound trite, just be yourself. Thats who he fell in love with. Good luck to you both and keep me posted!

QUERY #47 - "Suggestion In Order?"

I recently received the following letter from a male viewer. It has been slightly condensed but I thought I'd share his comments.

"I have just finished reading your page about Shared Stories of Internet love...your stories were true to the heart and not at all exploiting. I enjoyed them all very much. I only have one critique; please relate how far from reality some of these people are. I am not trying to diminish the anguish they went through at all, I am just referring to the need for separation between reality and virtual-reality. I have enjoyed gaming such as this for many years, but there is a fine line between letting the games and relationships run your life and vice-versa. Maybe a suggestion at the top of the page is in order?

VIXEN Responds:

I appreciate your input on this controversial topic and thank you for your comments. While you make some good points, I have mixed feelings about putting any type of disclaimer or warning at the top of the page, because everybody's "reality" is different. Most people do not willingly or knowingly go online to become consumed by their online world. It happens to all types of people, all ages, all levels of education and in a wide spectrum of occupations. Its not just happening to "kids" or "needy people" or to "wierdos." And not every person's experience is a negative one; there are many happy stories regarding online relationships that worked out. I rarely give advice; I try to point out options, things to consider, and possible consequences. I have a lot of empathy for the people who write in. I never tell anyone what they should actually do, because 1) most people will do what they want anyway, 2) I would never presume to have all the answers, and 3) everyone's situation is unique to them and neat, tidy solutions do not exist for every situation.

Having said that, I will also say that I agree with you in principle that people should try to keep that separation between reality and virtual-reality as you suggest. However, when it comes to matters of the heart, it is not always an easy thing to do.

QUERY #46 - "What About Cyber Lust?"

I received another short query from a male viewer which I think deserves a response. He writes: "What is your opinion on cyber-lust? I'm sure you know what I mean. You talk a lot about relationships but skirt the hard-core, hot and heavy world of cyber."

VIXEN Responds:

Actually I haven't skirted anything, I have simply never had anyone write in and ask me about it until now. Yes, I know what you mean when you talk about "cyber" or "cybersex" or "cyberlust." Anyone who has been in a chat room, on PowWow, ICQ, or any number of other places online where people gather to talk in real time, quickly become initiated into this aspect of online interaction.

My opinion? I don't have a problem with anything that occurs between two consenting adults, whether its online or in the Real World. I do have a problem with predators who prey on children or who try to force themselves on people who clearly do not wish to participate. Cybersex can be very exciting and fulfilling for many. Perhaps its the novelty of the experience for some, or the fact that they can have multiple sexual partners anonymously and "safely." Some people prefer a softer, more romantic approach, while others are turned on by coarse words and explicit descriptions. I'm sure the reasons are as many and varied as there are people and personalities. Again, my opinion is; if its legal, if it doesn't hurt anyone, and its consensual, then I don't see it as a problem.

STORY #45 - "One That is Working"

Tom is a 22 yr. old single college student in Canada. He met his online love, who lives 500 miles away in the U.S., about eight months ago and they recently decided to meet. He writes that "We were very fond of each other before we met so the meeting just made our feelings even more so." They have subsequently gotten together four times and he has now applied to go to college in her state to be near her. They are very much in love and see each other every two weeks now. He has put up a web site dedicated to their relationship with pictures and text. He closes by saying "Anytime someone asks me on the web if these relationships ever work out, I say 'Hell ya, they do.'"

VIXEN Responds:

I love happy endings! Thanks for writing and here's hoping your college transfer comes through and things just get better and better for you.