In the past I kissed guys with girl friends. When I was younger it was exciting.
Last year I met a lovely man online. We flirted a little, & had amazing chats. We had a great time comparing our lives. We didn’t discuss the boring specifics of our lives (being internet strangers as we are), but we got to know each other very well.
We met on twitter & moved from chatting on the timeline, to sharing private messages. Once he casually mentioned his wife. But he continued to flirt & be incredibly sweet. Making me feel like I was persuading him into this. Like I was so exciting, he couldn’t resist. I thought he would stop. He’d mentioned his wife. Surely this was his way of letting me know it would go no further.
He was not cool or smooth. He was a bit awkward. (I’ve always had a place in my heart for daggy guys.) He made silly jokes. He made me smile. He sent me late night messages to tell me I should go to sleep. He worked long hours, but sent me quick messages when he had a few minutes. He made me feel special. He said nice things about me. He laughed at my jokes. He always signed off with x’s.
He re-tweeted his wife.
I was curious. I clicked on her timeline. She seemed nice. Normal. She talked about her life. Their life. Their kids. What they would have for dinner.
She brought me crashing back to Earth. This was not a fantasy man. This was not some hero in a romantic comedy. He was not my Joe Fox. He was not going to walk into my book store, or meet me on the top of the Empire State Building. He was at home, with his wife & kids. Helping the kids with their homework. Taking the dog for a walk. Working long hours for them.
I know people who say social-networking friends aren’t real. They scoff at the idea of us caring about people we only know on twitter. I have never touched this man. We never met. I don’t even know what he looks like. So by this logic, it wasn’t real. We did nothing wrong.
Oprah said it’s cheating if you are doing something you wouldn’t do in front of your partner.
I don’t know how anyone else would define what we did. What we had.
It was real to me.
And it will never be real