Should I meet my friend for the first time in 10 years?
April 22, 2014 3:43 PM Subscribe
I began an email correspondence 10 years ago with a guy whom I have never met. Now, after reluctantly putting it off for years I would like to meet him but am nervous about how the dynamics may change.
I first began speaking to Matthew when I was 13 (I'm nearly 23 now) - our respective friends were cousins and we all got added to the same online chat thing one night. From there we hit it off and began talking all the time - including the use of webcams, to make sure we were both real! However, because we lived in different parts of the UK and were very young we knew it wasn't really feasible that we would meet.
We saw each other through some difficult times, relationships, talked on the phone a lot, knew all of each others deepest secrets and so on. It has been largely friendly, though he used to joke that I was exactly his type and his girlfriend would occasionally get jealous. He moved to Australia for a year and we continued to keep in touch via email. Fast forward 4 years and he tells me he's moving about an hour away from where I live to go to University, which was a bit of a shock. He asked if I would show him around etc when he got there. I said of course - but when he got here I couldn't quite do it - I was in my late teens now, kept putting it off and even my parents were asking why I couldn't just go and meet him! I couldn't really tell you why exactly - but I felt paralysed about meeting him and eventually he stopped trying. I think I became convinced that on some level he had moved up because of me (but also knew this was slightly crazy). Despite this, though, we always kept in touch.
Now, it's nearly 5 years later and we've both graduated having still not met. We lost touch for two years, but have just found each other again. And I've decided to move abroad in 6 months. I realise I won't see a lot of my friends during this time, including him. And I suddenly decided that I must meet him, face to face, at least once in my life. I suggested this to him and he said he's keen as it's "a long time coming" but I'm still nervous about it.
The thing is I've always regarded him as a sort of soulmate. A distant soulmate, a confidante, probably perfect because of the distance. I'm worried about how meeting could change the dynamics. Or if we suddenly meet and decide we don't like each other, ruining the friendship. So, has anyone had any experience of anything like this? Could anyone offer any tips?!