How would you express your admiration to somebody?
In 1877, Nadezhda von Meck sent Pyotr Tchaikovsky the first letter, addressing herself as a fervent admirer. Soon, she became Tchaikovsky's most important benefactor, providing him with 6000 rubles a year. However, she had one most peculiar request - they were never to meet in person. On two occasions, they accidentally met in public. They pretended not to know each other and did not talk. Tchaikovsky immediately sent a letter on the next day, apologizing for 'offending' her.
Their relationship, however, was anything but distant. Over 13 years, they exchanged over 1200 letters. Both frankly revealed their deepest emotional turmoil and provided encouragement to each other. The relationship ended sadly with Nadezhda going into bankruptcy in 1890 and the composer's death 3 years later.
We could only guess why they chose not to meet. Most likely, the lady wished to maintain a certain fantasy.
But love is not about fantasy. It is a process of understanding and acceptance. Eleven years ago, I sent my first e-mail as a fervent admirer. Instead of offering half of my salary (which would come later), I asked for a date. We never managed to reach the restaurant among unfamiliar streets and had to resort to a Pizza Hut on the road side. This is probably called adventure.
Happy Anniversary, meine liebe kleine Frau!