There were 150,000 marriages in 2010 from people who met on the internet.
That number has increased 20% each year since 2005.
Back in 2000, approximately 500 marriages were from people who met online.
Jen and I were one of only 500. (2 million people were married in the year 2000)
For those that don't know the story, it goes a little something like this...
I was heavily addicted to the internet. So much so that if someone picked up the phone...(dial up disconnect). ARRRRG!
I had barely unpacked all of my travel gear from Australia (another story in itself), when I met this girl in an AOL chat room. Type: Hello. Wait. Wait. Wait. Click!
I don't remember the images on the left...but hey. Surprised I even found this...
We typed back and forth for a couple of hours. She's from Oklahoma, I'm from Massachusetts. She's from Yukon (I type UCONN - got to love that). The end of the conversation ended something like this:
Me: Wicked Cool (or something to that effect). Talk tomorrow?
Jen: I don't have a computer. I am just using my Dad's work computer to do homework.
(*Note: Homework was not completed)
Me: Ok, well, good to talk to you!
Jen: Why don't you call me?
Me: Ummmm, I can't
(*Note: "Long Distance" was still a relevant term back in 98. Calling Oklahoma was like 10 cents a minute, but I didn't find that out until later...)
Me: But you can call me!
Me: My number is 555-5555
Jen and I talked for most of December. Until her Dad got the phone bill. Grounded!
Then we talked for most of January. Until my Dad got the phone bill. Grounded!
So, here we are 1999, Senior's in High School with no way to communicate to one another.
We are 1,700 miles apart.
So we do what we have to. Buy stamps.
Now, remember in 1998 we didn't have pictures online, or Google search. We had absolutely no idea what each other looked like.
We started mailing letters in February 1999. In March, Jen had a Spring Break. She decided to come to Massachusetts and meet me. (Much sneakiness was had, but her father did end up approving the trip before she went).
We finally met face to face in March 1999. We had mailed each other letters - seemingly every day - for 45 days. I was with my friends on my way to pick Jen up from the airport. Here is the car conversation.
Joe: What if she's ugly
Me: Dude, she's not going to be ugly. She said she was a model.
Eric: (*Looking at Joe) What if she is a shoe model?!
Me: Shut up! We'll see her in a minute.
Joe and Eric: (*Huge amounts of laughter*)
Wait for it. "There she is..."
Silence in the car. "Damn." (All three of us.)
The trip to Massachusetts has its own interesting detours...lets just say hospitality comes in many forms. Jen realized how awesome the weather in Oklahoma really is.
She left Massachusetts, and still wanted to talk to me...so I must have done something right.
We still could only talk through letters, so for the next 2 months, we continued writing to each other. Lots of poetry. Deep conversations about views on life, what is most important to us, and how we saw the world. Those letters are by far the best thing that have ever happened to our relationship.
In the summer of 1999, right after I graduated, I got on a Greyhound. 24 hours straight...and I was in downtown Oklahoma City.
The summer of 1999 is its own story - one I may tell - just not yet.
I joined the Air Force in 1999 and once at my duty station (F.E. Warren AFB in Cheyenne, Wyoming) Jen and I got married.
One of 500.
Meant To Be.