I've known someone over the internet for roughly 7 years (give or take), and after so much time spent sharing like-minded zany humor and pun wars, geeking out over video games together, serious discussion of minor little real-life aspects, growing up through school at the same time and general mundane chatter I'm hit upon the feeling these past few months that I may be developing feelings of romantic attraction to him. Something just 'clicks' whenever we talk--I feel a little bolder, I feel more comfortable and better about myself whenever we interact, and during our AFK periods I keep catching myself envisioning the two of us in a relaxed-comfortable-long-term sort of commitment scenario. It's so hard for me not to think about him for more than an hour!
Logistically, my brain keeps pointing out that it can't possibly work. The four-year age difference is barely a deterrent, as we're both in college by now--the problem is that he lives an entire country away. Even if we could make things work over video chat or the occasional flight out to visit, I have no safe way of approaching the subject or knowing if he feels the same about me as I do for him. Nowadays I'm torn between aching for this relationship idea of mine to somehow become a real, tangible thing, and beating myself up for entertaining something so obviously far-fetched and unrealistic. I keep telling myself that this is the kind of fantasy that would only work out in a fictional context, and that things would likely get way too awkward and just fall apart if ever we did meet face-to-face, that all the flaws and big-kid quirks I have would completely turn him off once he got a sense of what I'm like as a functioning not-quite-grownup still trying to strike out in the world...and all the same, I still can't get rid of that part of me that keeps whispering "but what if". Even with all the things wrong with the idea, I still feel so strongly like this Brain Thing could turn out to be reciprocal and become a Real Thing, if only things could change to where it could be given a chance.
This whole mess has me feeling both the happiest and liveliest I've been in years, and completely frightened over the thought that I might just very well be setting myself up for a huge disappointment. I don't want to try and rationalize these feelings away anymore, but I know from experience that there is no way in h*** I'll be able to work up the guts to test this out. I've done my best to moderate my amount of contact with him so I can avoid being overbearing on him and give him his space to relax and generally go through his life outside of our talks without me hovering all the time. I just wish there was an easy way to know for sure what his stance was so that I could figure out what to do next and get back on the ground. I'm tired of getting close to tears at 2 in the morning worrying and fretting over this.