When I say unexpected, I really mean that it’s a chance happening that I’m marrying the person I am. I say this because of a rocky friendship history in the beginning as well as the age gap between us and the fact I have two children from a previous marriage. My fiance (Tyler) and I have a 7 year age gap, he being 7 years younger than I. When I met him he was 21. We actually met through a Massive Multiplayer Online (“MMO”) video game called Lord of The Rings Online (“game”). Online games cater to people from all over the world. So at any point you can be playing with or against either someone who lives down the street or someone who lives across the world from you. It’s a pretty intimate setting as these games require a great deal of human interaction. It’s quite common for people to meet and develop lasting friendships and relationships through MMOs as you very well could spend upwards of 4+ hours a day interacting and speaking with them. I laugh when saying this, but people spend more time interacting with others in this avenue than they do their own family. With things like Skype, Ventrillo, and Teamspeak bringing people together through voice and image, it’s very easy to make and maintain friendships even when the game is turned off. There’s a myriad of ways to connect and stay connected to people you meet over the internet. One may even argue that it’s easier than maintaining friendships with people in your immediate life circles.
I digress. In the beginning of year 2010, I met Tyler through the game. The circumstances of how we met were pretty rough considering we didn’t particularly get along (read: we spent a good long time trash talking each other). It took a little more than a year for us to actually spend time getting to know each other outside of playing against each other in a video game. Through a really bizarre happening we ended up being Facebook friends. Neither one of us can really remember how it happened but Facebook is an endless hole of friends of friends of friends so somewhere in our friend circle we ended up overlapping and becoming Facebook friends. He won’t admit it, but I think he saw a pretty girl and it changed his entire attitude.
By early 2011 we were communicating frequently through Facebook. At that point, both of us were playing different MMOs so we relied pretty heavily on Facebook communication and occasionally Ventrillo. But eventually the communication tapered off a bit and it wasn’t until 2012 that we played the same game again together and it renewed talking to each other on a regular basis. At this point we were just friends and there was never any intent otherwise or mutual interest. Finally in the beginning of 2014 we started getting closer, spending more time talking and doing things together and eventually began to Skype each other pretty regularly.
Keep in mind we are two countries and time zones apart and that age gap never really goes away. At this point my life and career is pretty set. So you can imagine the tension and social problems facing a 32 year old dating a 25 year old. Nevertheless we managed to wing it after a friendship for all these years. The transition was odd because you begin to wonder how you go from being friends who joke and kid and say stupid things to people who now have a common goal and romantic interest.
The good news for us is that nothing really changes. We stayed friends and fell in love. Our relationship isn’t without it’s share of struggles, but in a way our chance relationship really strengthened the bonds we have. There was never an awkward time because Tyler really already knew just about everything about me considering all the time we had already spent seeing the best and the worst in each other. Who knows, maybe enemies make the best lovers?