Hey Levenson: I've been talking to a girl online for two-and-a-half years. Is she my girlfriend?  – Micah, Winnipeg

Dear Micah,

Yes, she's probably your girlfriend. Also, she's probably an old dude.

Before you get upset, remember that love is a spontaneous, magical feeling that we have no control over. It finds us when we least expect it, how we least expect it, and where we thought it'd never find us, hiding behind a dumpster off Delancey, trying not to breathe, frantically dialing 911.

But there's also a scary side. What if they don't think you're as cute in person? Probably they'll still rape and murder you, so let's move on. If you discover that the person you've built such a relationship with is not as tall, or as blonde, or as female as you thought, be flexible with your expectations. Speak honestly, in a soothing, reassuring tone, as you back away slowly, scanning the room for a blunt instrument. 

Though the internet can hide certain things about a person, including their entire face and body, it's good to know that society is becoming more open about gender identity and moustaches. I'm perfectly comfortable admitting that my last girlfriend assumed many of the relationship roles normally associated with masculinity: She earned more money. She assembled the furniture. And she pissed standing. Through a giant dick. With balls. It was a real dick.

One day I told her I wanted to do the “guy stuff” in the relationship, like crying about my body. We had a long and meaningful conversation about it that was interrupted by her punching me in my temple. Since it was just a girl punch, it didn't really hurt until I woke up in the hospital.  

There on the gurney, drifting in and out of consciousness, I remembered why I was single all those years: My face. It's annoying and horrible. It's a miracle it doesn't get punched constantly. Finally, I understood! Point is, you'd be surprised about the stuff you realize about your face when a doctor says it.

Coincidentally, I'd always thought a doctor would be the perfect person to have an online relationship with. One, because they're really smart and caring, and two because I've never met one I'd want to hang out with for real. Thing is, doctors never have a problem getting dates. A lot of that is because they're always making TV shows about them. Have you ever wondered why there's never been a show about dentists? A Hollywood television producer once explained it to me. He said it's because teeth don't fucking matter. 

In conclusion, I think we can all agree that society puts too much emphasis on labels like “girlfriend” and “boyfriend” and “licensed physician.” Online or not, you should never regret showing someone a side of you they've never seen before, especially if it's broken out in a mysterious rash.


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