Less than 20 years ago it was still considered risque to form friendships over the internet. The concept of internet stranger danger was once strong, and the idea of digital friendships as "real" was far from normalized.While we've come a long ways - with dating apps, Uber, largely public social media platforms and the growing expectation that we'll build our social lives and careers through the web, meeting an online friend IRL (in real life) for the first time can still be nerve wracking. Especially because the potential for them being a creep or weirdo is still ever present, torturing our nervous psyches!In a recent Reddit thread, commenters shared what happened when they met internet friends IRL, and the stories range from heartwarming to terrifying.1. AvatarOfShibby found love in a hopeless place. "Met my wife on an online forum when I was 16 and she was 15. Dates for three years broke up for awhile got back together and have been married for almost 7 years now. Her mom still thinks we met at a summer camp I never went to.""Met a girl on a Harry Potter forum when I was 15 years old. Im from Canada and she is from France. When i turned 17, flew to France to spent 3 weeks at her place and she then flew back to Canada with me for 3 weeks. 10 years later and we are still really good friend. Met again in Ireland 2 years ago!" 2. Harry Potter blessed Kalia44 with the magic of friendship. "Met a girl on a Harry Potter forum when I was 15 years old. Im from Canada and she is from France. When i turned 17, flew to France to spent 3 weeks at her place and she then flew back to Canada with me for 3 weeks. 10 years later and we are still really good friend. Met again in Ireland 2 years ago!" 3. vn90 has made stellar career connections. "First person I met from the internet, we started a private game server together. Fun times, fell out of touch. Second person I met from the internet hooked me up with a job in IT, got me started in the industry, and has been my career mentor ever since. He played on our private server." 4. RetroMutant found a roommate through the web. "I met one of my best friends in an AOL chatroom 18 years ago. I chatted with her nightly for about a year, lost contact for 2, then bumped into her IRL and have been friends ever since. We were also recently roommates for a year an a half. She is basically a sister to me." 5. Gamecat235 was able to say final goodbyes. We had been planning to meet after known each other for years on line, just a couple of crazy old guys who loved cars, beer, and weird shit. I had a business trip that was gonna take me out near to where he lived (he lived in Northern NH, and I had a trip to Montreal), but my business trip got delayed, and delayed again. And between those cancellations, his cancer, which he had defeated once, came back with a fucking vengeance. "When I contacted him about my updated schedule to come out in, what was then, 6 weeks from the call, he said his docs said he had weeks to live. I told him I didn’t care what it meant, I was gonna stick with the plan. So I reserved a rental car on the hope he’d still be kicking. I stayed in touch regularly, he moved to a hospice and I let him know that I had cared for my dying grandmother through months of hospice, 24/6, as she died of cancer, so I’d been there and seen it. I was not scared of hospice and would be honored to see him regardless of where he was." "When the weekend came, my flight got delayed, there was a forecast of frozen mix between Montreal and the border, but I drove it anyway. I landed in Montreal, paid out of pocket for my rental car, dropped my bags at the hotel downtown, and drove to NH. I got to the hospice around 9:00 PM and talked to him and his wife for hours. I brought his some timbits at his request, it was the only thing he asked for. Eventually, around 2:30 AM I realized that I needed to head back, because I had to be at work, teaching a class, at 9 AM, back in Canada, so I slowly say my goodbyes, take a picture with them, and drive back. I called my son to keep me awake, and when I got to the border back to Canada I told the guards that I had some carrots in my bag that had come from the US via plane, to Canada, to NH, and now back to Canada, and that was the only thing I had to declare. My son stayed with me on the phone until I got back to my hotel, where I took a power nap, and then taught my class that day." "Guard duck (my friends online nickname) passed on last Thanksgiving (which was just a couple of weeks after I visited). But he held on and fought and faced it through it all. He never flinched or looked away, he was thankful for the extra time he had with his wife and getting to see friends. He and his wife were among the greatest people I have ever met." "Speaking of, I got a Christmas card from her a couple of days ago, I’m in the process of putting together a care package for her. She’s doing as well as could be. I guess, this is just to say, imaginary internet friends are sometimes the best friends you’ll ever make. And I regret nothing. RIP Guard Duck." 6. PlopsMcgoo made a musical connection. "Probably not what you are looking for but this was kind of wild. I posted in a thread looking for vocalists in my area to sing on some songs I've been working on. Someone responded to look up someone via Instagram. I looked her up and she's good. Really good. Turns out shes been recording at a studio just down the street from my house." "I let a little while pass without messaging her because I wasn't quite ready to send anything out yet. Cut to my band's show last weekend at this dive bar on the other side of town. Get off the stage and she's in the crowd actually approached us and complemented us. Took me a minute before I made the connection. Sent her the songs yesterday and she liked them." 7. CellarSaver needs an escape plan. "Currently at my PS4 friends house in Kansas. I’m from Massachusetts. I wanna go home. Been here for 3 days out of the 7 we planned. His wife took off for the week too, he didn’t tell me. She’s annoying and loud, always speaking at a 12/10 volume level. Think I’m gonna make up some lie as to why I HAVE to leave tomorrow morning when we all wake up. Edit: my plan is to have a roommate back home call me around 12 and tell me a pipe broke at the house and I need to leave" 8. Peebles_23 has experienced the best case scenario(s). "I kinda have two examples here. Met a guy online through a pen pal website (I love writing letters). I live in Australia and he lived in California. We decided to try a long distance relationship and after 6 months he came to stay with me for 3 weeks. He never left and we've been together nearly 9 years, married for 2." "During the wedding planning process I was an avid gamer. I met someone to play games with that was going to teach me to play better since I wasn't very good. Got talking and found out that the guy and his wife were wedding photographers and we had just had ours cancel because he double booked himself. They flew down and did our wedding photography for us! All in all, had pretty good experiences I would say!" 9. youhaveonehour found love with their Craigslist roommate's ex "Does Craig's List count? Because I got a lot of roommates off Craig's List over the years. Became very good friends with a few of them. One of them had this ex-boyfriend she wouldn't stop complaining about, all day everyday. Her stories about him were so outlandish & she was so embittered, it made me insanely curious about what his side of the story was, given that I lived with her & knew that she could be...a handful. I wound up meeting him randomly a few years later (not online) & paid extra-close attention because I knew who he was from all of her endless complaining." "I was like, "Huh...He's really cute. & he seems smart. & funny. & not at all like a human garbage monster." & then we fell in love & had a baby, blah blah blah. I sometimes wonder if it would have happened if I'd never met this random bitter ex-girlfriend after posting a roommate ad on Craig's List. I probably wouldn't have paid nearly as much attention to him if I hadn't been hearing terrible stories about him for literally years. (FWIW, we are still together & I really must attribute her stories to the fact that everyone is a less-than-ideal partner when they're like 17 years old.)" 10. RhettSarlin found love and the open road. "I joined a couple small gaming forums in 2002. I befriended lots of people on each, and found myself wanting to meet everyone. Some people thought the idea creepy, but it was purely out of friendship on my side. So in 2008 I saved up about $1500 and went on a 3 week, 8,000 mile road trip to meet anyone who was interested in having me visit them. I met over 20 people on that trip, every visit was awesome in its own way. (It's a lot cheaper than you might think it is if you're willing to sleep in your car or if people you visit let you stay the night)." "One of the women I met on that trip married me 6 years later. Been together ever since.I've also had one friend from that group live with me for a couple years, before the road trip actually, and I've met several others under other circumstances. Meet people from the internet. It's great, trust me. I can literally say it changed my life, and for the better." 11. Patrikiwi made a nightmare discovery. "Guy that had exchanged messages with from okcupid found me on facebook. I was a bit wierded out but accepted his friend request and noticed his last name didn't match with all his other family members (not a common last name). I googled his "name" and nothing came up. Then I googled his first name with the last name that most of his family members had and boom.. registered sex offender had been out for less than a year after serving 12 yrs for Rape 2, Sodomy 2, and a couple other charges. I told him what I found, said thanks but no thanks. I deleted okcupid and never went on a dating site again."