There's been a lot of talk recently about the non-existent girlfriend of Notre Dame football player Manti Te'o. His story has changed a few times but, ultimately, he admits that they never met, but that he wasn't involved with the hoax that was perpetrated on not only him (supposedly), but the national media. Gullible thought it may be, the media certainly didn't suspect that someone -- anyone -- would make-up a story about a girlfriend dying. It's a strange story, to be sure, but the fact that there was a hoax isn't what interests me most.
Here's my question: Can someone really be your girlfriend if you haven't met her? Call me old-fashioned, but I'm perplexed and fascinated by the notion that someone would consider themselves to be in a relationship with another, when they haven't actually met. Don't get me wrong: I understand about long-distance relationships. Nothing new there. But, in most cases, those folks have met before. It's just that they spend most of their time apart. That's different than having spent all of the time apart.
I dunno. Do I sound old and crusty here? Am I not 'with it?' Is there a new sheriff in town, and he's called Internet Dating? It's just that online dating used to be a means to an end, not... well... the end. It's true that Ashley & I met through an online personals ad. We conversed via e-mails for a couple of months, then talked on the phone a few weeks, then met. And our anniversary was decided to be our first date. Is that a quaint notion these days? Is meeting the person no longer an obligation for having the relationship?
If the answer to the aforementioned questions is 'yes,' then is that a good or a bad thing?