Saturday, March 31, 2007

Virtual Dating

People in love will find a way to connect, no matter what separates them.

In the 70’s when my husband and I were still courting, he had to leave for Iloilo, leaving me behind in Manila. Neither of us had access to telephones, as my family was poor and could not afford a phone, and cellphones were 25 years away into the future. Before he left for the province, we vowed that each night at precisely 7 o’clock, we would drop whatever we were doing to look up at the sky. We identified our constellations, narrowed them down to our favorite group of stars (Orion’s Belt) and prayed that the sky would be clear enough to allow both of us to focus on the same thing. We were making a spiritual connection that made physical separation bearable.

Fast forward to the 21st century, year 2007. Oceans, continents and a 6-hour time difference separate my daughter and her Dutch boyfriend. They just have to find ingenious ways to get together, including virtual dating. She here, and he there, they prepare popcorn, DVD players and their favorite movies. They set the alarm clocks on their cellphones and at the pre-agreed moment, they each insert a DVD disk to start their virtual movie date. Conversations – hushed, as they would be if they were in a theatre – are conducted through their computers, with the help of Skype.

Whether connecting the old-fashioned way by looking at stars or the electronically advanced way through Skype, it’s all the same –it’s called virtual dating. It’s about connecting, and bridging the distance that separates people in love.

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