This was my first foray back into the world of long distance relationships. Also, my virgin voyage into internet dating. It was all completely accidental. I had vaguely known him from a message board I was a member of for about a year. Our only real contact up to that point had been him coming to my virtual rescue against a message board bully who has targeted me. I had always been touched by that. That he had stuck up for someone he barely knew simply because he felt I was being wronged. I thanked him when it happened and asked why he did it. He was incredibly sweet and told me he could tell from the way I had treated other people and carried myself online that I didn't deserve the abuse I was getting. It meant so much to me when he said that. I considered him a friend after that despite the fact that we only traded a messaged hello or two for about seven months after that.
One night I was instant messaging with a couple friends when I saw him sign on. I hadn't talked to him in months, so I happily sent him a hello. He replied somewhat more sedately than he usually was and I asked him how he was. It turned out it was his birthday.
Excited to discover that, I wished him a very happy birthday and asked how he had celebrated it. He hadn't. I asked him why not and if everything was ok. Turned out, he had recently broken up with his long time live in girlfriend and basically spent the day alone. I felt terrible for him and decided to myself that I needed to do something that make him feel a bit better, even if it was just for a couple hours.
I asked him if he needed someone to talk to about all he was going through and that I was happy to listen if he did. He told me a little of what had happened between them but I didn't push the issue. I mean, we were casual online aquaintances at best and not everyone is comfortable opening up to a stranger. When I felt him talking about it all was doing more harm than good, I tried to steer the subject in other directions. We casually talked about the board we had met on then the conversation slowly evolved into getting to know each other better. That first conversation online lasted seven hours. We covered, life, love, mutual friends, family, jobs, hobbies and anything else we could think of. I can remember at one point thinking, "wow, this is like the best first date I've ever had". If we began the night as aquaintances, we most certainly ended it as good friends....if not more. We just instanly clicked. The conversation flowed smoothly, we got each other's humour and I accomplished my goal: for a few hours, he'd forgotten about the heartache he'd been going through and was able to laugh and enjoy his birthday. I should probably mention what else made the night special. He lives overseas and is five hours ahead of me. It was already well after midnight his time when we began talking late morning when we finally said goodnight. Somewhere in the middle of it all, we reminiced a bit about the first time we had noticed each other online. As it turned out, he had known, and liked me (platonically), for quite a while. He thought I was funny and clever and kind. I was so flattered. I told him I had liked him as well and somewhere in the midst of all that, I'm fairly sure there was a bit of flirting. Very harmless, casual, giggly school kids flirting, but nonetheless. We had a wonderful night together and part of why it went on so long was simply that neither of us wanted it to end.