There is one universal question every single couple of this planet will be confronted with, no matter of their origin.
“How did you meet?”
Humans are curious and love stories. They always did, and that’s a beautiful thing. It doesn’t matter who you meet, but I discovered this question being the number one asked question. It’s also one I keep on asking new couples: ”How did you meet?” It doesn’t matter how long you know a person, as soon as someone new comes into their life, you want to know more and I always hope for a cute love story.
Growing up with Disney movies created a bunch of expectation towards love. As I want to feed my desire for happy endings and romantic stories, I would love to be able to give a cute story about how Mr C. and I met.
How did Mr C. and Mrs D. meet?
During one of Mrs D.’s trips to Japan in 2016, she took a walk inside 新宿御苑 (jap., Shinjuku Imperial Garden), enjoying the lovely autumn in Japan. Back at home in Germany, winter already took over and painted every inch of the world outside into a depressing grey colour. Here in Tokyo, winter couldn’t take over yet, and you were able to discover new magical colours everywhere you look.
Something made her stop in her movement, and she slowly moved her head to the right side. Mrs D. noticed a fast shadow passing her by, and she was curious about what it could be. Elegantly, the crow made its way to the ground and searched for something within the fallen leaves on the soil. “What could it search for?” Mrs D. asked herself, while slowly and quietly coming closer to the crow.
Just as she reached for her mobile phone to capture this moment, something hit her occiput. For a second, she stumbled forward but managed to stay on her feet. She saw a ball jumping up and down, moving further away from her. A medium-strong feeling of pain shot through her as she touched her head to make sure nothing got broken.
Suddenly a guy stood in front of her, looking profoundly sorry but also irritated. The next moment, which felt like infinity, she got lost in his dark brown eyes. Everything around them got forgotten, and only these two humans mattered. “I am so sorry! Are you okay?”, the stranger asked and transported both of them back into the real world. “Yes, I am fine.”
That would be a lovely story to tell your family, friends and coworkers. But everyone who knows me is aware of the fact that I was not in Japan in 2016. I just made up this cute story, but indeed ”met” Mr C. in late October 2016 when that typical November weather took over your everyday mood and left everyone depressed.
Dating applications up until this point feel very weird to me, but I don’t have any problems using an app to find new friends because I am pretty open-minded. But should you use such an impersonal way to find the love of your life? Impossible. Some friends told me about different platforms, and on one day, I decided to try one out for fun. It was a rainy Sunday. And I had nothing else to do. Let’s register and see who’s showing up.
Most apps will work with your location to suggest people nearby. Since I’m living in Germany, this ended with some boring conversations. Just as I wanted to delete the app again, I noticed the possibility of changing your location. For a long time, I have a deep connection with Japan. I travelled there many times so far and had a bunch of friends all over the country. In 2016, I decided to jump into another adventure and postponed my next Japan trip to 2017. The long gap since my previous trip led to a decrease in my Japanese language skills. For the sake of practising a little bit of Japanese, I decided to switch my location to Kamakura, which is my most favourite city in Japan.
Several guys approached me on that day. Most of them were Japanese and one Chinese. Shortly, I stopped replying to most Japanese guys since they aimed for the boringly obvious reason to use such an app: intercourses. I had zero interest in this kind of adventure and decided to delete my account.
One of these guys was different. He seemed interested in me as a person, asked questions, and I got along with him immediately: Mr C. He was the only normal person within mostly weird and strange guys on that platform. His character stood out and made me want to continue writing with him.
On that day I didn’t aim for finding Mr Right, not the person I want to spend the rest of my life with. It was just a day of boredom and previous stories of my friends which let me to Mr C.
Why did Mr C. approach Mrs D.?
I didn’t start writing with any of the guys. Call me old-fashioned, but I didn’t feel like starting conversations. Mr C. did, even he did not search for love either. That was the first thing we had in common. He planned on meeting new foreign friends closeby he could practise English with. People who can understand his living situation in Japan. Also, Mr C. chose English which made communicating so much more comfortable.
But even after telling him that I am not living in Japan, he didn’t stop writing with me. My love for travel and photography impressed him. He was curious to get to know me better. Our love for Japan was the second thing we had in common, but also my existing Japanese skills kept him interested.
How we fell in love
It might sound weird for some people that we only knew each other via messages and a few video calls. But I made several friends thanks to the World Wide Web over the years, and a couple of them I met in real life as well. Of course, you’ll never know who is sitting on the other side of the screen, and people can trick you. But as there is no other way of interactions you will get, you communicate differently. You start using words more effectively, and with the right person, it’s effortless to dive deep into topics. That chat window can turn into your save place where you’re able to share every type of thoughts. Staying curious and asking many questions is essential to get to know someone on the other side of the planet.
I cannot recall an exact day that I started feeling differently about Mr C. Very slowly, it merely happened. After several weeks I noticed my feelings growing for this person, and before we even met in real life, I already had the feeling of having a boyfriend. But to make it official, I wanted to meet in real life one time. There are certain things you can make up in your mind, but will never be sure if things work out if you meet up.
For this blog entry, I also asked Mr C: “When did you fall in love with me?”
His reply was similar to my own. He slowly started growing feelings for me since I matched his type of girlfriend. On top of that, he appreciated my stories and the Photography I shared with him. “I thought you are not that bad at all.”, Mr C. added to his opinion.
Once I didn’t contact him for a whole week. I needed time for myself and decided to take a break from my phone and any human interaction. Compared to most people, I told him in advance about my plan. But still, he had the feeling it was just an excuse to stop writing with him. After a week, I was back online, and we continued to write. Even tiny interactions like a simple「おかえり」(jap. “Welcome home“) when I knew he just came home, filled his heart with love and spread a warm feeling across his body.
How we fell in love was not like you see in movies or read in books. It was online and a slow process. But sometimes meeting someone is faith. It doesn’t matter how you met, but that you met is important.