Years ago, a good friend of mine in New York introduced me to her boyfriend’s (now husband) brother. He was unconventionally handsome. Very smart with a sarcastic wit. I liked him. It was a brief meeting and I was on a train back to Baltimore.
But he called the next day. Actually, it was that same night. We talked for hours about everything and anything. It was super comfortable and I was relaxed and totally at ease. The conversation flowed like Ouzo at a Greek wedding. Totally exhausted, the call ended because it had to.
But he called the next day. And the next and the next.
And then we made plans for a visit. I’d take the train to New York and we’d spend the weekend together.
This was a big step. We didn’t even tell his brother or my friend right away. We selfishly wanted every minute to ourselves. Clearly, we had a lot to talk about.
I counted the minutes. I was distracted at work. I packed 2 days early. I couldn’t wait.
Finally. Friday arrived and I left for the Big Apple. I got off the train and there he was. We were over the moon.
Where should we go to dinner, he asked. I wouldn’t know. I was not a New York girl. What kind of food do I like? Anything. You pick.
We ended up at a nice bistro and talked about the food and how great it was to see each other. He gave me a book.
And that was it. There was nothing to talk about. Well, that’s not exactly true. I just felt awkward and intimidated and I had nothing to say. He was a lot less pithy in person. More biting sarcasm, I’d say. But we made it through the weekend on the energy that got us there.
And I left.
He called Sunday night. And we had the best conversation. Rinse. Repeat. Every night for two weeks.
And then, he came down to visit me.
And we had nothing to say.
Needless to say, this relationship did not last long. It was good phone. Not good reality. He blamed me. But all these years later, I think he gets at least 51% if the blame. I think he was busy trying to impress me in person and it just made me squirm. On the phone it felt more like a level playing field.
Kind of like social networking. Like Facebook or Twitter.
Now I’m not saying that all the people that I meet or become reacquainted with online are putting on airs or act differently than they do in person, but I do believe that the barriers to socialization that exist in person are blurrier online. It’s easier to be relaxed when someone isn’t looking you in the eye. It’s easier to be bold and confident when no one sees you biting your nails or sweating.
I think meeting people online is great. I’ve met some amazing new friends, old friends, and made some business relationships that I am grateful for making.
And for me the ones that last. The ones that work. They are the ones where the online, on phone, in person vibes overlap in a major way.
And that is my thought for the day.