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Then one day I had my wisdom teeth pulled and my cheeks became grapefruits.Figuring this was not a great first-date look, I made no weekend plans.Reading through them, I noticed something odd: Many of Ok Cupid’s successful users first met when they were living across the country—or the world—from each other.I read stories of couples who chatted online for months before flying from California to Georgia, Michigan to Washington, Ohio to Peru, Cyprus to Lebanon to see each other for the first time.Here I learn there’s a word for digital couples who’ve never met in person: They’re called “nevermets.” “Three years in and we’ve finally closed the distance!! “[f/22][m/28],” she clarified, meaning she was a 22-year-old female and her partner a 28-year-old male.“Meeting him for the first time tomorrow.” A recent survey of the group found most members are young, between 18 and 23.“For the right person, distance isn’t a problem,” one user commented.
And one of my Ok Cupid coworkers—a quiet, 32-year-old software engineer named Jessie Walker—told me she’d met her boyfriend of 10 years through an internet forum for introverts while she was a student studying at the Maryland Institute College of Art. They messaged online for over two years before he booked a flight to meet her in Maryland and eventually moved into an apartment with her in Brooklyn.
Seventy years ago, the Yale sociologist John Ellsworth Jr.
was researching marriage patterns in small towns and concluded: “People will go as far as they have to to find a mate, but no farther.” This still seems to be the case in 2018.
“I guess people on online-dating sites know what they’re looking for, but these younger people in nevermet relationships aren’t really looking for love online,” the /r/Long Distance moderator, a 20-year-old college student who goes by Bliss online, tells me.
(As a female gamer, she’s asked me not to use her name for fear of being harassed or doxed.) “Then one day they realize they love the person they’ve been talking to online.