“In this day and age where changes happen twice as fast
Sometimes I get wondering if anything will last.
People changing partners like they change their underwear …
(“Yours for Life” by Bread 1972)
A favorite song from way back when … and one I cannot get out of my mind as I go over the day’s events.
The internet: Perhaps the greatest invention of all time and I’m happy to have it. It has opened worlds that I could have never reached otherwise. Communication is easy and accessible, I can research any subject, I can listen to music, I can look at new art … and I can date on it.
The rub: Is internet dating real? Is it possible to fall in love with a man you have never met in person, never physically touched, one who lives thousands of miles away? Are we so incredibly desperate for love that we think this could be real? More questions than I have answers for, so I will throw it to the reader to decide.
I’ve done internet dating before, never really looking to fall in love or to find love. It was more a way to pass the time … so the defenses were up. Brick wall firmly in place. I had already made the mistake of moving to a very rural area with no opportunity for a man that I was crazy about that I had met on-line. It wasn’t soon after that I realized … whatever we had together wouldn’t translate to a relationship. He wanted to stay on the dating site because he had made “friends” that he didn’t want to give his phone number or personal email addy to. I gave him the benefit of the doubt, and when he popped up with a real girlfriend, I realized what a fool I had been.
I decided to get back on the proverbial horse and ride.
Let me say here, that I was very fortunate to have only met one real nut-case in years of the on-line dating game. I got to be very good at weeding the creeps and cads out before I met anyone. It was fun, not at all serious, no pressure. In the past, I dated a lot.
So, back at the ranch and on that horse … Giddy up!
One night, this profile hits my page and I decided to look. And look again. And again. And yet, again.
The man was handsome … with a wonderful, genuine smile and just mischievous looking enough for me to know he would be a lot of fun. He blew me away. The banter went back and forth for about a week with winks and flirts; then he wrote me. Holy cow! It wasn’t soon after that we hooked up on a social networking site and off to the races!
It was amazing … he was amazing. I was unbelievably hooked. I couldn’t believe it. We spent long periods of time on the computer “chatting,” getting to know each other … then moving to the online camera thing. I loved it … it felt more “real.” When he told me that he loved me “like crazy,” I believed him. When he said that he was ready to start a life with me, I couldn’t think of anything more in life that I could possibly want. When he said, “Let’s grow old together,” I was ready. When he said, “No shacking up, marriage only.” I was over the moon. He told me I was beautiful, better than what he expected. Always very complimentary. He called me his “Queen,” and that’s how I felt with him. He sent songs with one word, “Us.” He even called me on the carpet for a few things. I had met my match, in more ways than one, and I knew it. I couldn’t wait to get home from work and get to my computer. Head over heels in love and loving every single minute of it. I woke up thinking about him, I went to bed dreaming racy dreams about him. I thought about him constantly throughout the day. He had taken over my head. He had taken over every fiber of my being.
I loved his career, I loved what he was trying to accomplish, and I loved him. I was the most blessed woman on the planet. He is a deeply spiritual and religious man and very adventurous. Yes, it is absolutely possible for the two worlds to meet up. He brought out the best in me and other people noticed. My whole life, the life of a woman, who, in the past, has only counted on herself, improved vastly. I never felt more alive or motivated. I knew he was the reason. I was floating on cloud nine every day; happier than I had been in years. I even started going back to church … no small feat. I told him I was doing it for me, but I was also doing it for us. He was very happy. And proud.
In spite of all this happiness, we did have our bumps along the way. My bumps, my roadblocks. I have trust issues and they showed. It is hard to admit that openly. I would try to squelch them, but somehow they came out and angered him. I would relax, only to have it pop up again. It is a part of me that I hate deeply. The brick wall. The brick wall that I was ready to bust through, coming out on the other side spitting dust and mortar. Ready to let it go!
He told me one night that I had finally found everything that I wanted in a man and it scared me. He was right.
When I realized how ready I was to have a life with this wonderful man, I knew that there were some issues he needed to know about. I had a train wreck of a divorce. I prayed on it, sat up most of the night, writing him a very long email. I wanted him to know the truth, I didn’t want a life with him to have any secrets. I wanted to get it out and get past it. When he asked for some time to think about things, pure, unadulterated, panic set in. There was some bad timing on that blasted social networking site, where, I found out, your privacy isn’t as important as they say it is. Beware, folks. I accused him, he accused me. He said I wasn’t trusting. I can see his point. Still, I had hoped we could put that day behind us and move on.
So, was this real?
Was the love I felt (feel) for this man real? Did he even mean anything he said to me? Was it a game to him and nothing more? At least he had the decency to tell me that he was ending it and not just disappear.
For several years, the only thing that could really make me cry has been when I miss my father. I buck up, quickly get over it, wipe the few tears away, and move on.
Now, the tears have given way to sobs. Bone-deep sobs. Sobs of a veracity I have never know. For a future I’ll never have with the man that I adore. For Kodak moments that will never happen. For the fact that I will not grow old with him. The hurt is real. This hurt feels insurmountable and I wonder if he is hurting at all, or just going about his business.
I am done with on-line dating. While I would hope that love might find me again one day, I know it will have to be with a man I meet in person; a man I get to know in person. No more cyber-stuff.
And I would hope he would be as wonderful as this man I am missing … This man that stole my heart.
The man for whom I would move mountains to have back in my life.
He’ll have to be …
Nothing less is acceptable.