NEOPETS / Facebook

You'll remember Neopets if you were a child - or, to be honest, an adult - on the internet in the '90s and early '00s.

The virtual pet community was a large and important part of many people's lives.

For Kristin and Michael Andrews-Karr, however, the game has a particularly special significance.

With five accounts on rotation that she ran from her Arkansas home, Kristin was a pretty serious Neopian (that's a technical term) at the age of 12.

She joined role-playing guild 'Evil Jellies' where she met ten-year-old Michael from Ohio, now 27, who went by the name of 'Doctor'.

It wasn't a smooth start, with the two on opposite sides of a guild divide. Kristin, was labelled a good guy of the guild, while Michael - true to his mad scientist username - was seen as a bad guy.

Soon, though, a small group from the guild migrated to chat rooms and neomail where Kristin and Michael grew particularly close.

Upon entering their teenage years, they moved their friendship to AIM.

Kristen, now 29, toldBuzzFeed News:

We went from silly rivalry to talking about school and life.

It took a long time from having talked pretty much daily when we were younger teens when he finally sent me pictures of himself and we would sneak phone calls.

Slowly, Kristin started to develop romantic feeling for Michael. She explained to BuzzFeed News that every morning before school the two would chat and sign 'love you' before signing off.

One day, Kristin asked if Michael really meant it. When he revealed that the feeling was mutual, the two started dating each other online.

At 17, Michael told his parents he was interested in applying to a college that happened to be near where Kristin lived. When visiting the campus, he arranged to meet up with Kristin, who was now in her 20s.

The first date, which Kristin brought her mum along to, was so overwhelming that she ran straight out the restaurant when she saw him.

She added to BuzzFeed News:

My mom said he was watching me so intently he tripped over a curb. She thought it was really silly.

But it went well enough that Michael enrolled at the college and the two entered a real-life relationship.

In 2014, Michael proposed - and the two got married not long after.

Kristin said:

We learned growing up as kids talking to somebody on the internet that you got to know how to communicate — otherwise you won't have a friend.

She added that she hopes her marriage proves how special internet friendships can be and become.

HT BuzzFeed News

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