|Matt Fleming and Robin Coe|
When I read this story on the MSN Heartbeat blog, it just melted my heart. With echoes of how I too found love online, I think their story is one worth sharing to encourage anyone out there still wondering about online dating and long distance relationships. Honesty, and a commitment to see as soon as you can is definitely key.
Matt Fleming and Robin Coe followed each other on Instagram, and though she had over 200K followers, she would sometimes comment on his pictures and reply to his comments on hers. In the winter of 2011, she shared a photo of someone walking a dog through Toronto's cold landscape which reminded him of his childhood in the midwest. He finally asked her to send him a private message.
"What's up?" she replied. This prompted Matt to send her an eight-paragraph email about himself and his childhood.
"He was just so endearing and sincere. I could feel the warmth in his words," Robin, 34, told The Heart Beat. "I'd long been struggling to find my place on this earth, and despite the differences in our individual circumstances, I could relate to every single word. I didn't hesitate to write back."
Soon enough, the two were regularly emailing while still continuing to view and comment on each other's photos. In a January 2012 email, Matt, made a bold move: "If you want to reach my voice, this is how you get it."
To say they hit it off would be an understatement. One Skype call between the pair lasted 13 hours—they stayed up all night and finally hung up at 6 a.m. They found themselves in the middle of a full-fledged long distance relationship—Robin was in Toronto and Matt lived in Oakland, Calif.
On April 24, 2012, the couple finally met in person, The Star reports. Robin captured a photo of Matt upon first seeing him face-to-face. She says it's an odd feeling to see someone for the first time when they simultaneously seem so familiar.
"I couldn't even make eye contact with him. I'm not exaggerating," Robin told us. "For at least an hour, I couldn't look him in the eyes for more than a second or two. I was a flustered, giddy mess."
Since then, the couple has shared their blossoming romance through photos. Earlier this week, for example, Robin posted a photo of a gift from Matt—an illustration of her dog, Gracie. Looking forward to an upcoming trip, she captioned the pic: "Have I mentioned lately that long-distance love is like holding your breath, chin tilted up towards a surface that is 36 days away?"
They say love happens when you least expect it, and that was definitely the case for Robin: "I was at the end of a five-year-relationship...I was fully immersed in the process of getting comfortable just being on my own. I was happier than I'd been in probably a decade. And, honestly, I think that's why we found each other. I finally had room in my life to let in a little light."
When asked for a tip to maintain long distance love, Robin says they do their best to have the next visit planned before saying goodbye as having something concrete to look forward to can ease the pain of constant separation. She also thinks that honesty and communication are the fuel to any relationship,as does not sweating the small stuff, when you know and remind each other every day that you're in it together.
I couldn't agree more with her, and wish them the best.