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  • Natalie Garcia
    Natalie Garcia

    Love at First Sight, Unmasked

    For many of us, life in the internet age can be a lonely and confusing experience. We form relationships with people we have never met in person, creating a unique and much discussed phenomenon - online friendship. Although initially we might struggle to find a common language and have different interests, there will always be shared understanding between two emotionally connected people. But what should we do when this seemingly beautiful connection, which initially was based on strong emotional affinity, suddenly turns awry after meeting in person –when we had a crush on an online friend, until we saw his face?

    My story began years ago, when I discovered the beauty of meeting strangers over the internet. By the time I exchanged my first words with him, our conversation felt like destiny had brought us together for a short period of time. We felt an invisible force connecting us, an emotional bond that was stronger than any other I had ever experienced. Out of all the random chat room acquaintances I'd made, we were the only two left who talked often and discussed open secrets. It quickly became apparent that beyond the mere interest of talking here and there were feelings of deep attraction and admiration towards each other growing. But despite the fact that never asking how each other looked kept the spark alive, it was a gamble. I was convinced he had qualities I was looking for; but could it be just a fluke or fantasy?

    The teasing messages implying something more than a purely platonic relationship hinted at something unfamiliar, foreign yet exciting. One day he finally took the leap and asked me for a real meeting in person. When we finally stood facing each other, there was no physical connection resembling what I'd imagined. My excitement evaporated into thin air when I realized his features weren't as attractive as I'd described in my head. It was uncomfortable to discover that someone we'd invested so much emotion into seemed like a completely different person without a good-looking face or body to match my wishes.

    It can be heartbreaking to realize that what attracted us online wasn't exactly true. We can think it was fate or chance that dialed up something special in our souls, only to experience severe disappointment upon meeting the person for real. We then feel like nothing has been achieved, not even an emotionally satisfactory answer from our beloved stranger. Feeling regretful and foolish for trusting emotions so easily leads to wave after wave of confusing somberness.

    But perhaps it was indeed meant to be this way from the start. What if this idea of finding real love over the Internet is narrowed down to a sweet dream - instead of a potential reality like one hoped for? Crushed expectations are tough to accept but these moments show us exactly how vulnerable we can be and emphasize that beauty does come in both shapes and sizes. Now can be theright moment to step back, take some distance and look at things objectively – figure out what went right and wrong during our attempt to make something out of this lost connection. As soon as we make peace with our past ventures and proceed by going one careful step at a time towards our future lovers, can finally reveal what is truly important in a mutual relationship.

    The lesson here is that no matter how hard we try, life can often end up being different than planned out initially. Instead of giving up on love completely while trying to process our unfortunate experience, understanding why it unraveled like this, is essential if we want to advance. Trying again might still bring miraculous results –it might be worth the risk to try love once more!

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