Shana and Michael:
It all started last July. I was baby sitting my younger cousin Kristian while my aunt was out of town for the weekend. As it was getting late I put Kristian to bed and I began to watch TV... 
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She's From:   United States
He's From:     United States

December 15th marks our 4 year anniversary of being together.

It all started in the fall of 1997, I had just started college and had just gotten connected to the internet for the very first time.

     
 

I met Gil in November in a Virtual Places 20ish chat room. I was in my dorm room chatting there because I am a shy person and found chat rooms to be an easy way to let myself talk to guys. I was going about my business and feeling like a flirt when I saw his screen name. It struck me as odd (evilpuppylord), so I sent him a private message asking him "are you really the lord of evil puppies?" He must have thought I was some crazy person because all he said was, "uh, I guess so."

That's when our lives began to change. We talked until 2 or 3 in the morning and could hardly wait to get online the next night to connect again. Gil would tell me stories of girls he'd meet or talk to in real life and I found myself becoming very jealous.

 

 



   

 

 
       
 

I wouldn't let him know though, because I thought it was crazy of me to think he and I would ever get together, much less meet in real life. We had been talking for about 2 months before he realized that he wanted to take our relationship to the next level (I knew within the first couple days that if possible, I wanted us to be together). So, he did it. He asked me to be his girlfriend. We were both happy, excited and shocked at what we had agreed to do. I mean, how crazy is it to actually meet your girlfriend/boyfriend online?! Nowadays it's not that crazy, but 3 years ago it wasn't so popular.

It took me forever to get Gil to agree to talk over the phone...even after we were officially a couple. When it finally happened it was even more exciting than the night we decided to be a couple. We finally met in person a year later when he flew up to visit me a few days before Christmas. I should mention that I was only 18 when we first started talking, although I turned 19 a few weeks later, and he was 23 about to be 24. My parents insisted that my mom come with me to greet him at the airport. I swear they thought their usually intelligent daughter had been abducted and replaced with a reckless one! But, largely they were supportive and Gil and I finally met.

When we saw each other at the gate for the first time, it was almost like magic. I started grinning from ear to ear and practically ran him over as I rushed up to him to touch him for the first time. I was stunned just about the whole day, not knowing what to do or say, not believing that we were actually face to face and holding each other. It was one of the most incredible days of my life. We could hardly keep our hands off each other in the car, except we had to because my mom was in the front seat. I was still shy though and didn't know what to do.

We finally got to my house and Gil and I took his stuff back to my bedroom and were finally alone with each other. We immediately embraced again and tried kissing. Being that I had never kissed a guy before and was a virgin in every way possible (as was he), I failed miserably. I tried too hard and our first kiss was sloppy and awkward, but it was still beautiful. We spent a couple days in my town before we both got back on the plane and took a trip to L.A. where Gil lived. I spent a couple of weeks down there until it was time for me to come back for school again in January.

Ever since then we've been communicating over the phone, through email and over ICQ. He's visited me a few times, and I go down there whenever I have a break from school. I am now about to graduate from college, I have only a few days left. The love of my life is coming to see me on the 28th and I'm packing up as much of my stuff as will fit in the back of my car and we're taking a road trip back to LA where we will start our lives together.

Being in a long distance relationship is one of the hardest things a person can do in their lifetime. Gil and I have had many tough times. There have been a few times when we've actually said so much that we were going to call it off. Thank God we didn't. We both believe that we are soulmates and truly believe that God sent us to each other. The thing we have in our relationship, the key to a long distance relationship is communication. You have to be able to tell each other everything. you have to be so comfortable with your partner that you can and will share anything and everything with them. 

We got engaged this past Spring and have plans to marry. Our journey is not over and the hardest parts are still waiting for us, but we have God, faith and true love on our side. I can't wait to start my life with this sweet, sensitive, sexy, kind and loving man. He means the world to me and I thank God everyday for sending him to me.

"Jen"