Friday, January 16, 2015

I Went on an Internet Date

Yes, you read that right.  I went on an internet date.  I am still married.  I’m not cheating on my husband.  He knows all about her and likes her.  He even thinks her family is pretty awesome, too!  

I met her through Instagram's explore photos feature.  I randomly clicked on a London photo on my screen, and the caption immediately drew me in.  The gal had recently moved to London, and her captions rang true of our expat adventure.  She wrote of their plight of living in a temporary apartment with kids, needing to find a house, and needing to get the kids in school.  Those dilemmas sure sounded familiar to me so I followed her feed.  As I continued to follow along with their expat adventure, I messaged her my email address to say I had just gone through the same things, and if she ever wanted help or a sounding board to let me know. 

I did not hear anything for a while as she was busy doing all of the things above (and more).  Not wanting to be an internet stalker, but I continued to follow their expat adventure.  Just a few days later she sent me a message with a nice greeting and wasted no time getting to many of the same questions and face-palm moments I had just a few months earlier.  We swapped a few emails, and after they settled into their house & got the kids in school we made a date to meet.  

That was quite an out of the box moment for me.  I was to travel to an area of town I'd never been to meet someone I befriended on the internet.  No surprise, my husband was weirded out by the whole situation.  He texted me several times during lunch to make sure I had not put myself into a dangerous situation.  

I was only nervous that lunch would be awkward if our true life personalities were not compatible for conversations longer than a three sentence Instagram caption.

It was all good.  While she has a much more exciting & adventurous back story than my little family, we easily made conversation about all things moving to London and family.  We continued to email and text through until the October half-term break when our families had the chance to meet.  We met up for an afternoon at the observation deck at The Shard.  After introductions we became engrossed in the amazing view despite the rain.  

Then something spectacular happened.....  

Her girl and my girl started talking, and they did not stop.  At times they talked simultaneously, but neither one cared.  It was absolutely adorable.  The rain really bummed us out so we decided to drown our sorrows in lunch at Covent Garden.  Once we sat down, the adults finally had a chance to talk.  Again, insert the concern for awkward conversation if Matt and her husband could find nothing to talk about.  Turns out the men have some similar job experiences that made conversation easy for them, too!  It was all good.  

So that's the story of my internet date.  In the months since our first meetings, we've gone out several more times with and without the children, and our girls have had a playdate.  They even text every once in a while.  We have big plans for the winter term to find and devour some of the best pastries in London while exploring the architecture and history of the city.  

I'm so happy that I took the chance to use my limited expat expertise to help someone else in the same situation.  The bonus of it all is that our family now has new friends in London.  I'll keep you abreast of the pastry hunt.  

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