Marriage matters online, too

By Anita Tedaldi: CNJ Columnist

I met a man. Business brought us together. I contacted him about an upcoming project and we started talking. I do a lot of work over the Internet, so informality is pretty common — no “Dear Sir:” and somber punctuation, but lots of first names and exclamation points.

He invited me to chat, and a little magic box became a big part of my life. We slowly got to know each other. At first the conversations were formal, then personal details emerged. Compliments about my work and jokes that weren’t entirely appropriate led to “I like what you say,” and, “I can’t wait to talk to you.”

I never met this man in person, and I don’t know what he looks or sounds like. We only knew each other through cyber-space. There was no physical element, and thousands of miles of safety, so that made it easier to just feel harmlessly engaged in conversation.

I made excuses for my chatting partner’s cute comments that strayed from work — telling me I looked like some famous actress in a photo on my Web site, for example.