’90s Chat Meetcutes

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’90s Chat Meetcutes

The IGGPPC is celebrating the chat revolution of the ‘90s!   It’s preaching to the choir to tell our community that finding friends online is possible; we’re pretty much experts. But it’s no less of a miracle that these relationships grow up out of text on a screen and flourish into lifelong bonds. Digital meetcutes happen every day and are always worth celebrating! 

Hi, a/s/l?

As computers became a household staple and with the advent of DSL (thank goodness, no more dial-up!) the internet blossomed as a communication thoroughfare. Digital communities in the form of chat-rooms, message boards, & instant messenger applications popped up everywhere. These communities provided forums for every interest & niche you could name, connecting folks across the globe in new ways. Let’s take a closer look at some of the amazing relationships that grew out of virtual forums and the meetcutes that brought them together.

image source: Pexels

Sometimes it’s love…

Aerin (@ItsAerin) & Andrew (@solitalker)

Meetcute Platform: OKCupid

So, how did you meet?…

Andrew and I had both been online dating (mostly on OKCupid) for a little while, when I came across his profile. I honestly can’t recall, outside of his sweet face (I still think he’s SO cute), what made me message him. I’m pretty sure his profile was witty, and, if I recall correctly, he said something to the effect of “my mom says I’m handsome and good at a lot of things,” which made me chuckle. Long story short, I sent him a message that said something to the effect of “Hey! You sound cool and I think we should chat. If not, your loss, dude, I’m awesome.” Sass was a selling point for him apparently, haha.

Have you met in person?…

Yes! A couple months after we started chatting, Andrew made the NINE HOUR BUS RIDE journey to visit me in Maine. And if that wasn’t enough, he did that multiple times over the next five years, until I was finally able to move to Connecticut to be closer to him. 11+ years later, we’re married with a 2.5 year old, so things worked out pretty well!

What was the transition from online to “real” life like?…

It was difficult only in the strangest ways. Even though we were able to Skype in the early days (but it was terrible, 2007-2010 Skyping), a lot of our contact was non-visual so I’d say the hardest part was aligning how I thought he moved/reacted and his facial expressions up with reality. It definitely took me a few dates before everything was jiving, but thankfully we always had a great verbal rapport, so it was never much of a mental battle.

 

Celia & Andy

Meetcute Platform: IRChat RPG

So, how did you meet?…

We were both 10 years old, playing in a fantasy online role-playing game. There was a group of us, about the same age, that would spend our afternoons and evenings chatting and RPing. Andy and I had a particular repartee. We argued, A LOT, about the most ridiculous things (we still do).

Have you met in person?…

Yes. After nearly a decade of gaming together, chatting, phoning, bickering, and passive aggressively disliking whoever the other person was actually dating, Andy came to visit me when I was at university. A few months later we were engaged and next year will be our 10th wedding anniversary.

What was the transition from online to “real” life like?…

For the briefest of moments, it felt like the scene in Everafter when Danielle arrives at the masquerade. I have a memory of whispering, “Just. Breathe,” to myself before exiting the dorm to go meet him in the parking lot.

image source: Giphy

It was harrowing to think that all the chemistry we had in chat boxes and even on the phone might evaporate in person. Thankfully not, as I’m pretty sure we made out a few hours later. And, as it turns out, all those years of chatting online served us in good stead. We had a long distance relationship for over a year and our online comfort made the separation somewhat easier to bear. To this day, we sometimes turn to texting and chatting to deal with more difficult conversations because it’s a comfortable medium for us.

 

Jen & Adam

Meetcute Platform: Plenty of Fish – dating site

So, how did you meet?…

He messaged me first on the site. He asked a lot of questions about myself and referenced things in my bio. He put thought into that first message which stood out. Later on I found out why I hadn’t seen his profile on the site before and why he only messaged me then even though he had been on the site for months too – he had narrowed his match results to his exact age and I’m 9 months older than him. Once his birthday came and he became the same age as me, my profile popped up in his search results.

Have you met in person?…

Yes. We went on our first date in person about 3 weeks after that first message.

What was the transition from online to “real” life like?…

It was definitely awkward. I mean, you’ve spent hours reading and re-reading messages, thinking of responses and questions to ask, and taking in every word the other person wrote and looking for a deeper meaning. You feel like you know them really well and then you see them in front of you and you’re not sure what to do. As our first date went on, we transitioned into a really comfortable space. That initial awkwardness disappeared as we started talking.

 

Julia & Anna

Meetcute Platform: We met via tumblr, but my gf has been my constant commenter on ao3 😀

So, how did you meet?…

I was publishing fanfiction for a particular fandom for a while and I acquired some constant commenters, among which was my future friend and girlfriend. We became mutuals on tumblr and I wrote a nice ficlet for her when she was feeling sick. We started talking after it a lot on tumblr and I happened to drag her into another fandom I was in, which then transferred our conversation to Discord where it mostly happens now. We’ve become best friends, shared a lot with each other, supported each other through really rough times. And then it kind of escalated into a more romantic thing between us, where my gf offered to see if I’d like to call us girlfriends now, which I agreed to <3 Since then we are that, still best friends, and also more than that!

Have you met in person?…

Not yet, but we are planning to next spring!

How do you keep the lines of communication open when you’re not in the same place?…

We talk a lot, mostly chat, but also audio and video chat sometimes. We sometimes record messages for each other or just nature ambiences. We have a lot of common interests, fandoms, and are generally invested into each other’s hobbies or work or studies (she is a uni student). We also swap mail once in a while!

We talk every day as much as timezones allow us (because we’re literally on opposite sides of the earth) 😀

 

Kim & Chris

Meetcute Platform: AIM

So, how did you meet?…

His co-worker and I were acquainted and supposed to meet up. Said co-worker stood me up but left his AIM open. We started chatting, and he offered to meet me instead – by today’s standards not a smart idea, I realize now. I had a car accident on the way to meet him…this was before we had cell phones, so I had no way to get a hold of him. I presumed he’d left already seeing as a few hours had gone by…but when I got to the mall (of course, by the fountain) he was still waiting for me. We started dating shortly after that.

Have you met in person?…

Yep! Actually the first time we chatted online I ended up meeting him the same night. (again, not an intelligent move by today’s standards…)

What was the transition from online to “real” life like?…

We had plenty to talk about, what with the car accident and all. 🙂

 

Foxy Lady & Otter Guy

Meetcute Platform: Message board RPGs in the Redwall Online Community (ROC)!

So, how did you meet?…

I was running one of the ROC websites in the late 90s, early 2000s. Back then you’d have to go to all of these individual websites that hosted message boards and then the RPGs were long-form text gaming. So fun! Anyway, I was on staff with one of the smaller sites and Otter Guy was a member. He emailed with a question one day related to the game and we struck up a conversation via email. And then we just never stopped talking!

Have you met in person?…

I should hope so– we’ve been married more than a decade now!

What was the transition from online to “real” life like?…

The very first week we spent together was rough, I think because there was so much pressure for it to “work” somehow? Emotions were high and it didn’t go well. But then we finally both relaxed and figured out how to be friends. And then once the friendship was solid IRL, the rest, as they say, is history!

image source: Redwall Wikia

 

Victoria & Zack

Meetcute Platform: OKCupid

So, how did you meet?…

I had never done online dating before and was flooded with people messaging me and it was honestly super overwhelming. I was on there one day, seriously thinking about deleting the app and canceling any dates I had set up, and saw his profile and thought “Hey, that tall boy is cute” and I saw that he likes cats, wrestling and gin and tonics. So I took a chance and messaged him. From the very beginning he was just super easy to talk to.

Have you met in person?…

We have met in person, we had our first date a week or so after I initially messaged him, and it was just the most comfortable first date.

What was the transition from online to “real” life like?…

There wasn’t really anything to transition, because from the beginning we felt like we had known each other for so long. We’ve been living together for almost a year and January will be our 2 year anniversary, so I would say that my gamble on messaging him has really paid off for me, he’s my best friend.

And sometimes it’s like…

image source: Pexels

 

Arwen, Chusky, & Remus

Meetcute Platform: A local forum

So, how did you meet?…

The people who rule the forum know me in a local convention so they invited me to join in.

There was a thread to just chat and tell random and stupid things, I started writing there, my (now) friends did the same and our jokes and interests matched quite a lot so we started making jokes between us and talking a lot more, from there we finally exchanged our Skype and we exchanged quite a lot of personal stuff and funny things. They studied in my city but it was summer, so meeting in person was difficult until September.

Have you met in person?…

Yes, my friends in this case 🙂

What was the transition from online to “real” life like?…

It was quite smooth, a bit weird with awkward silence in the beginning but with a lot of fun and smiles in a couple of hours.

 

Steena & Liana

Meetcute Platform: Twitter

So, how did you meet?…

It’s all thanks to the IGGPPC! We were both involved in the IGGPPC Twitter shenanigans. One day, I (Steena) realized that I spent a lot of time “liking” and “retweeting” Liana’s tweets. I DMed her to ask if she wanted to be pen pals!

Have you met in person?…

A handful of times now. We’ve managed to see each other at least once a year since we started writing one another.

What was the transition from online to “real” life like?…

There wasn’t one in my (Steena’s) opinion. It felt just the same right from the get go.

 

Valerie (@peridotmage) & Alex (chronoslinger)

Meetcute Platform: Twitter

So, how did you meet?…

I was an unemployed newlywed in a tiny apartment across town from anyone I knew, so it seemed like a great time to switch my Twitter account from private to public. My brother started a retro gaming website during that time as well, & I went on a flurry of following all of the contributors he’d found, & anyone else who seemed cool in that community. That really shaped the trajectory of my Twitter social life! Alex was among the friends I made at that time, & we went from chatting about games, to talking about anything at all, working together on a monthly feature for my brother’s site, texting, & counting each other among the very best of friends.

Have you met in person?…

I have! I convinced some key members of my brother’s site to get a booth at a brand-new convention in town, & it was a great way to first meet up in person with some of these people I’d admired over the internet. Since then, we’ve kept meeting up just the two of us, & the last time we hung out I stood near his side as a member of his wedding party. <3

What was the transition from online to “real” life like?…

For me at least, it felt a bit awkward at first, but that quickly fell away. I had to stop overthinking my body language, volume, tone, facial expressions, & just relax!

 

The internet has grown and changed a lot since the ’90s! Precautionary steps are a must and certainly the IGGPPC advocates for your personal safety above all else. But there’s still a lot of good out in the world and a lot of friendships (or maybe more!) to be found. Share your story in the comments below! We’d love to hear about your digital meetcutes! And you can still sign-up for a pen pal to kick-off the beginning of something beautiful!

image source: Gifer

 

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By |2018-11-21T20:52:20+00:00November 22nd, 2018|Friendship, General, Inside The Theme|0 Comments

About the Author:

Steena is an INFJ forest sprite who enjoys snarking on old movies and board games with literary themes. She sometimes makes a bowl of cereal without making one for her husband too. Steena has a thing for blonde, buff speed demons like Captain Marvel and Sailor Uranus. She also has a thing for the macabre and murder. Morticia Addams is her mom role-model.