1. The Twitter Success Story
"I started following [my now boyfriend] on Twitter in spring 2012, and I became immediately charmed by his hilarious quips. I fangirled over him for weeks before I finally got the notification that he followed me back on Twitter one day when I was eating lunch in Central Park.
After months of fave-ing each other's tweets, we finally met accidentally at a shoot for a mutual friend's web series. He wasn't how I imagined him, and he wasn't really my type — a little too eager, a little bit awkward. There was no immediate spark, but we did become friends. He started Facebook chatting me almost daily, though, and the rest is history.
As he's become a more successful comedian, with thousands of more followers than when we met, I sometimes think about all the other girls who have internet crushes on my boyfriend; will he date one of them if we break up? But then I realize that even after we met, it took us months to go on a real date, let alone fall in love. The internet brought us together, but it was slowly developing a real-life connection that actually made it count."
2. Everyone on Tumblr Is at Least a Little Bit Hot
"I have long nursed a Tumblr crush on a gentleman who lives far, far away and seems totally unsuitable (this is my type, to be fair). My M.O. of liking a medium number of his posts has gotten me nowhere with him, but the furiously interrogating an IRL friend whom he reblogs from time to time has resulted in long-lasting embarrassment and the question, "Hey girl, you doing OK? You dating?"
3. Proof That Twitter Faves Are Flirting
"This is less about having a crush and more about being subject to one. It started out as networking, I think: I was a little more than a year into a job at fairly prestigious magazine, and she had just moved to D.C. to take a reporting internship. I knew who she was vaguely, mainly from, as lame is it sounds, her persistent presence in the 'Mentions' column of my Tweetdeck, fave-ing link after link. I was in a relationship at the time and she was trying to find her footing in the D.C. media ecosystem, so I looked at our initial meeting over happy hour bourbons as a rap session on finding a job, a chance to provide advice in a way nobody had ever really done for me when I first arrived in the Beltway.
She had other ideas, apparently. Fast-forward six months later: I'm recently out of a relationship and we meet to talk shop and gossip over bourbon at a local bar. One thing led to another, and we ended up at her place. The next morning, she leaned over and whispered in my ear, in all seriousness: 'I can't believe this took so long...I've been following you on Twitter for, like, EVER.'
This was the day I learned that faves are, in fact, flirting."
4. Ah, To Be Young and in Love on LiveJournal
"In high school I used Livejournal. Shut up. It was a place for me and my friends to — I said shut up. Anyway, whatever, we would air our angsty laundry and passive-aggressively snipe at our friends and post, publicly, for everyone to see, that we were currently listening to Death Cab for Cutie. It was a pretty social exercise; a group of, I don't know, maybe 15 or 20 of us (including a couple people I knew in real life but had only interacted with via Livejournal) all followed each other and read and commented on each other's posts. I developed a crush on a girl who was a sort of tangential friend of a friend, two years my junior. A few months after we'd been chatting in these semi-private comment section/community things, she asked if I wanted to hang out in real life. She asked me this in a comment on a Livejournal post. Which meant everyone else we knew also saw it.
We hung out more than once, just the two of us, but the only time I remember was driving around our suburb in my decade-old car with hand-cranked windows but automatic seat belts (remember those? Those were the worst) talking about, I don't know, Sufjan Stevens, probably. It was nice, but we never made out or anything. She's married now. I'm not. Did I mention she's two years younger than me?"
5. The Girl Who Wanted To Be Written About
"I've written about dating for various internet publications a few times, and because of that, I occasionally used to get asked out by strangers via email. Most of these ask-outs I politely turned down because I felt weird about meeting someone this way, but one woman seemed to have real potential for offline chemistry. She was funny and lightly self-deprecating — she seemed embarrassed for both of us, like she couldn't believe that here she was, asking out a dude because of his writing about dating.
I was flattered and interested, and the fact that she was also very attractive sealed the deal. When we went out, though, it was kind of a nightmare.
What slowly emerged over the next couple hours (after she was a half-hour late) was that she wanted to be written about online. She kept asking questions about dating and writing about dating until we appeared to be stuck in some kind of quasi-sexual Ouroboros. In any case, I did not write about her, unless this counts as such, and I decided to never go out with strangers who emailed me about a date ever again. (Except... I did end up doing it one more time a year later anyway, #yolo.)"
6. The Sizzling Twitter Fling
"I hooked up with a Twitter crush after a brutal breakup, even though he was only 22. We shared a million whiskey shots, scream-sang classic rock across blocks of Brooklyn, and ended the night with me accidentally locking him out of my apartment. We met again another time and banged. Never intentionally saw each other again but it's chill.
My current Big Internet Crush just moved to L.A., so I sadly will probably never get the chance to lock him out in the rain. I will have to suffice by strategically hearting palm trees and blimps in his Instagram feed. Womp womp."
7. All's Fair in Love and Early 2000s Sarah McLachlan Listservs
"I was kind of a big deal on the most famous Sarah McLachlan Listserv in the early 2000s. A Listserv is just like one long reply-all email thread, the idea of which now sounds strenuously insane. But somehow, amid the incessant email dump, I met a boy named Jeremy. We both had Yahoo email addresses with long strings of numbers on the end and we both agreed that "Plenty" was Fumbling Towards Ecstasy's most underrated track.
Jeremy and I maintained as constant a penpalship as one could back in the days when checking your email was something you did once a day, after school, on your family's shared household PC. We even took it to the next level and became Yahoo Messenger friends. Then one day, Jeremy sent me an email and I didn't write back. I never did. I'd attribute it to some dramatic curl of fate, but probably my dad just had to use the computer."
8. The Awkward YouTube Stalking
"Once I had a crush on a guy. From the internet. And I was secretly watching a YouTube video that he had posted. And my finger slipped and I accidentally clicked "like" or "thumbs up" or whatever.
And this was the first time I realized that YouTube was directly, horrifyingly linked to my Gmail. So there was my face, next to a thumbs up of this video that I was secretly, creepily watching. And I frrreeeeeeeaked out. And was like "Undo! Undo! Undo!!!"
So then I clicked "thumbs down" thinking that would undo it somehow, but no, obviously that just meant that now my face was on the YouTube video next to a thumbs down icon and it was very very very embarrassing, and then when we met IRL I pretended to barely know who he was even though obviously I'd watched his video."
9. No Really, Twitter Faves Are Flirting
"I started a new job about a year ago and was surprised to discover that my boss, the editor-in-chief, was a pretty young, kinda hot dude. In a hot dad way. But we never really interact in person since he's not my direct boss.
But in my first week he started following me on Twitter, which I was really flattered by because he only follows a few hundred people on Twitter. Then I wrote something and he tweeted about it, so I faved that. Then I realized I was favoriting quite a few of his tweets, and then things got weird where I was like fave-ing his tweets on Saturdays, or going back to old tweets and fave-ing those. I think I thought I was being subtle and saying "oh, heyyyyy," except it wasn't subtle at all.
I've managed to rein in the faves but it's weird because we still hardly ever speak, even though there are only like 30 people where we work. I just feel some strange attraction that I can only express in mildly flirtatious faves."
10. Facebook Isn't That Bad and Can Even Find You a Spouse!
"In 2009 I befriended a guy who one of my other friends had gone out with a few times. Once he accepted my Facebook friend request I naturally went to look at all of his recent photos. In his photos was another guy that caught my attention, so I went and looked at his profile and lurked all of his photos. "What a babe," I thought. I was immediately obsessed.
I decided to take my virtual stalking offline by messaging our mutual friend and not-so-subtly asking for him to hook us up. Go big or go home, right?
To make a long story short, yadda yadda yadda, Billy and I got married in December 2013! P.S. Here's our wedding video where we tell the whole story."