My Husband And I Have A Better Relationship Online

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I know it’s been around since Gore invented it in the ’80s and all, but the power of the Internet officially hit me when my husband and I first met 10 years ago. That was the moment it became clear to me that a long-distance romance could seriously have a chance.

He and I had been living on separate continents, and for three quarters of that year, the superhighway was all we had to keep us together. We started with email. In fact, our entire courtship could be printed out. I’d wake up to his bon mots and spend the following hours with my online thesaurus composing the perfect comeback: faintly aloof, a bit flirtatious, suggesting a flair for epistolary writing. But without the time to squander crossing all my ‘T’s.

We carried on this way for months, and occasionally he’d surprise me with little gifts bought online, even coffee and a Danish from my favourite café. Until we gave up and I moved in with him. And, no, living together did not ultimately destroy us. That’s not where this is going.

But lately we’ve been returning to our old ways. Life has gotten complicated. We’ve been married, had two children, moved around the globe and schlepped the kids between four continents. He’s gone through four jobs and I’ve flitted between freelance work and mothering. We both work into the evenings. On an average weekday we’ll spend about an hour together, at least on our own while awake. So a lot of our romance is played out, once again, over email.

It’s been surprisingly good for us. Those days when things have felt too rushed, I’ve been irritable or we’ve had a spat, we’ve always managed to exchange some sweet virtual banter. We bang out our childcare theories and try to reach consensus over email. We love to punctuate the day with articles we’ve found that lampoon our different professions, or our different nationalities. We send funny photos of ourselves eating regrettable lunches or mopping up vile baby messes. And, occasionally, we’ll sext.

It might depress a more blissful couple to hear that our lives have come to this: acting like a couple of teens – not embracing madly in the back seat of a car but rather holed up like geeks in our respective rooms expressing our passions over the ether. But I look at it as a renewal of our happiness with each other, 10 years down the line. It eliminates the distractions, skips over the constant interruptions that normally blight our alone time.

Then, at night, when we finally find ourselves together, alone, we have just enough time to, well, not communicate.

(Photo: Hemera)