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So I've written before on ENA about how I think there's a place between being emotionally available and emotionally unavailable. Call it emotionally semi-available, meaning there is some corrosion in the emotional pipes but a general, and genuine, desire to be fully open to something and, with the right person, genuinely surrendering to something.

 

Most of us, I think, spend a significant (if not the majority) or our single life on the semi-available spectrum. This is why dating, by and large, is meeting up with loads of people who turn out to be less available than we thought or discovering, dang it, that we aren't quite as available as we thought. Like seeks like, after all. Or at least like-ish. We're sort of looking for the person who, for whatever reasons, under whatever circumstances, allows us to drop the "semi" and just be legitimately available, and we "click" with those who make us think they might hold that key (to say nothing of just being interesting, smoldering, and so on).

 

In some, the corrosion is so great that they find themselves drawn to people who will nurture the corrosion, and push them further toward unavailable than available. That can take the form of a "connection" that burns hot and burns out quick, or the form of a long relationship, even a marriage, that is fraught from day one to day zero with that fraught stuff (and the potential of it one day vanishing) serving as the "connection." Or all sorts of other forms, including extensive 2D things that never enter 3D.

 

But then there are the brief stumbles like this, the connections that turn out to be disconnections, and in learning to just recognize them as such—well, I think that's kind of us cleaning out the corrosion and becoming more available than not.

 

Point being, for whatever reasons, wherever you were on that semi-available spectrum, which I think is less available than you identified as, all that texting made sense, just as ignoring those red lights going off made sense. There was a certain safety in all that, a kind of barrier that allowed you to experiment with dropping other walls and barriers and feeling a hit of vulnerability and butterflies in the process.

 

But alas, this part? The IRL part? Not making sense. Mothballs in the closet, not butterflies in the tummy. Total bummer—sad, frustrating, funny all at once—but I think, in your case, it's a kind of cleaning of the pipes, an awkward few steps on the path toward greater availability.

 

Like Katrina said, you'll look back and chuckle at all the fuss—both how it went down and how you thought it might go down, given what led up to the water-and-wings rendezvous. That chuckling—and it's nice to see it's already happening—will be you becoming a touch more available, and stepping closer to exploring connections in a way that might will be less heady and, in turn, more genuinely vulnerable.

 

My few cents, at least, rendered with philosophical gloss in part to remove the lens from him and put it back on the thing that really matters: you.

 

I think you're right, BC. But you said it better than I ever could.

 

When he and I reconnected, I had a lot going on in my life. Therefore, I was okay with the texting, initially. But by no means did I expect it to continue on for as long as it did. I loved hearing from him and we really did seem to get on. There was a spark...a connection, which doesn't happen very often (online and offline). I've talked to a fair amount of men in my time, but by no means have I felt this kind of spark in a while. Was there a fear about meeting up and this connection not materializing in person? Yes! Was I somewhat reluctant (for a time being) to meet up because the spark might not be there and we'd lose touch? Yes!

 

But I got fed up with the texting, him seeming aloof about us not having met yet, what felt like an imaginary relationship, and I was concerned that maybe I was being bamboozled. I was so nervous the day we were scheduled to meet! Even as I was walking over to the bar, I questioned whether this would be the last time we would speak or see each other. Whether I wanted to accept it or not, despite me trying to keep my expectations low over the course of 9 months, I was excited to meet him, and really, reeeeeeally hoping for the best.

 

As someone who identifies as more of a demisexual, I need to feel an emotional connection in order to feel any sort of attraction to a man and I felt this with R (which was unfortunately, a connection that was formed strictly via text - which is so dangerous!). I have no doubt that he felt the same way. Problem is, because of these expectations that we set for each other (although subconsciously), neither one of us could do anything but fall/fail.

 

More often than not, I questioned whether he and I were too much alike. So much alike that we would always remain stagnant (I'd be waiting on him to make the move, but then feel like he was waiting on me. But we also shared a lot of the same interests, seemed to have a lot of the same views, opinions, etc. Again, the key word is "seemed"). Let's face it, anyone looking for a long-term relationship is not okay with that amount of texting (and the fact that he seemed to be satisfied with the texting more than I was spoke volumes! Because I text more than most, in my opinion - so this is saying a lot!).

 

I did discover and learn more about myself in this process (and I'm not just realizing this now. I was realizing it as we were getting to know each other, throughout the nine months). I often wondered how we would come out at the end of this. The way it actually turned out was my biggest fear. You know, losing that one constant who's been around on a consistent basis through all the highs and lows for nine whole months! He's gone - just like that. And we never had a negative exchange.

 

I know this thought of never seeing him again crossed my mind as we were saying goodbye. Maybe it crossed his too.

 

But what really struck a chord with me was when he asked me as we were saying goodbye, "Milly, why did we lose touch 6 years ago? What happened?" And he had the saddest look on his face! Ugh, I think my heart kinda melted at that point. I'm not sure why...maybe I was sensing some vulnerability on his part, or maybe I'm just a sappy romantic...I don't know. But there was something in that moment, and I can't really explain it.

 

And you should have seen the look on his face when I told him, as we were standing outside, "I was happy to have reconnected with you again". You should have seen the smile on his face. He was all grins! So worth it!

 

Actually, I believe he made the "Milly, why did we lose touch 6 years ago? What happened?" comment after I said, "I was happy to have reconnected with you again" - - which is just another example of him being more open (or open in general) after I laid my cards on the table (which was basically the pattern from the beginning. If I said something, he'd reciprocate. But I'd always have to initiate).

 

Anyway, now I'm just rambling. But you're right, BC - I think these moments just bring us closer to who and what we're meant to find.

 

I have no regrets. Only wish it could have worked out differently, obviously.

 

I think the only way we can connect with anyone is to be vulnerable, and a certain point, in a bit of weird way (again, due to circumstances), I was able to do that with R, and I think that's why I have no regrets moving forward. Being vulnerable was never easy for me (nor is it really easy for anyone), but R kind of helped me lean into that a bit.

 

I've never looked down on or criticized anyone for opening up or being vulnerable with me. It's admirable and quite an attractive trait! Hence why, in my opinion, you just can't go wrong putting it out there, and this is why I don't regret sending those texts. I really don't. If we had only known each other for one or two weeks, I would not have bothered sending anything. Do I wish the messages I sent were more positive? I do. I think a lot of people can be fairly hard on themselves during and after a date/meet. Those texts would not have been helpful to him, at all! I don't know what I was thinking. They would have only made him more guarded and standoffish. But I'll remember this for next time.

 

Wise words, BC.

Edited by milly007
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So I've written before on ENA about how I think there's a place between being emotionally available and emotionally unavailable. Call it emotionally semi-available, meaning there is some corrosion in the emotional pipes but a general, and genuine, desire to be fully open to something and, with the right person, genuinely surrendering to something.

 

Most of us, I think, spend a significant (if not the majority) or our single life on the semi-available spectrum. This is why dating, by and large, is meeting up with loads of people who turn out to be less available than we thought or discovering, dang it, that we aren't quite as available as we thought. Like seeks like, after all. Or at least like-ish. We're sort of looking for the person who, for whatever reasons, under whatever circumstances, allows us to drop the "semi" and just be legitimately available, and we "click" with those who make us think they might hold that key (to say nothing of just being interesting, smoldering, and so on).

 

In some, the corrosion is so great that they find themselves drawn to people who will nurture the corrosion, and push them further toward unavailable than available. That can take the form of a "connection" that burns hot and burns out quick, or the form of a long relationship, even a marriage, that is fraught from day one to day zero with that fraught stuff (and the potential of it one day vanishing) serving as the "connection." Or all sorts of other forms, including extensive 2D things that never enter 3D.

 

But then there are the brief stumbles like this, the connections that turn out to be disconnections, and in learning to just recognize them as such—well, I think that's kind of us cleaning out the corrosion and becoming more available than not.

 

Point being, for whatever reasons, wherever you were on that semi-available spectrum, which I think is less available than you identified as, all that texting made sense, just as ignoring those red lights going off made sense. There was a certain safety in all that, a kind of barrier that allowed you to experiment with dropping other walls and barriers and feeling a hit of vulnerability and butterflies in the process.

 

But alas, this part? The IRL part? Not making sense. Mothballs in the closet, not butterflies in the tummy. Total bummer—sad, frustrating, funny all at once—but I think, in your case, it's a kind of cleaning of the pipes, an awkward few steps on the path toward greater availability.

 

Like Katrina said, you'll look back and chuckle at all the fuss—both how it went down and how you thought it might go down, given what led up to the water-and-wings rendezvous. That chuckling—and it's nice to see it's already happening—will be you becoming a touch more available, and stepping closer to exploring connections in a way that might will be less heady and, in turn, more genuinely vulnerable.

 

My few cents, at least, rendered with philosophical gloss in part to remove the lens from him and put it back on the thing that really matters: you.

 

I agree except that they were not dating. They were chatting and they met up to see if they should go on a date in the future. And even using the term "connection" often leads to a mindset of more than there is. For me anyway words/terms are powerful in creating expectations. Kind of like by analogy that -to me silly- phrase "quality time" as if important stuff can be shoved into a short period of time on a particular day. And that adds to the issues here -the expectation that some sort of relationship other than text buddies starts before meeting (and they can't build up a platonic friendship if the goal is to meet in person to see if there is romantic potential - yes, after they meet, if there is none and they're both happy to stay in touch as friends and build a friendship online and/or in person then fine). Yes, it matters if someone is available to date even in the pre-meeting stages-of course -but they never went on a date -they chatted and had a first meet to see if they should date. But she treated it as if it were some sort of dating or romantic relationship.

 

I think it's great to be open and vulnerable when the timing is right. And crucial to treat chatting before a first meet through a dating site as just that -to think of the person as a stranger for all practical purposes that have to do with dating, so that you wouldn't even go to where "we might be too much alike" - especially not for dating purposes.

 

So if "finding me" is your goal -great goal -then make sure that you are 100% honest with that me and do a lot of self-talk if you veer off the path of self-honesty.

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My goodness milly from your last post, it seriously sounds like you are in love with this man, which I am not judging you for, but girl you need to start detaching!

 

With every post, there is more analyzation, more attempts to understand him and his pathology.

 

What was your take away from bc's post?

 

My take away was that you are both unavailable for a relationship, which is why the texting felt "safe." The connection you developed via texting felt safe.

 

Which I understand, been there myself for only a couple of months; he lived 3000 miles away. So it stopped. Great experience though, I actually learned a lot from our brief interaction.

 

Oh I know you said you were tired of it, but milly no woman whose goal is a committted relationship, IRL of course, would ever agree to continue what was essentially a "text buddy" interaction for nine months. I mean girl, he lived 7 minutes away! Really?

 

And if he had come up with another excuse to not meet last Saturday, you would have been quite happy to continue it for another nine months.

 

Just some things to consider about yourself, NOT him.

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I agree except that they were not dating. They were chatting and they met up to see if they should go on a date in the future. And even using the term "connection" often leads to a mindset of more than there is. For me anyway words/terms are powerful in creating expectations. Kind of like by analogy that -to me silly- phrase "quality time" as if important stuff can be shoved into a short period of time on a particular day. And that adds to the issues here -the expectation that some sort of relationship other than text buddies starts before meeting (and they can't build up a platonic friendship if the goal is to meet in person to see if there is romantic potential - yes, after they meet, if there is none and they're both happy to stay in touch as friends and build a friendship online and/or in person then fine). Yes, it matters if someone is available to date even in the pre-meeting stages-of course -but they never went on a date -they chatted and had a first meet to see if they should date. But she treated it as if it were some sort of dating or romantic relationship.

I think it's great to be open and vulnerable when the timing is right. And crucial to treat chatting before a first meet through a dating site as just that -to think of the person as a stranger for all practical purposes that have to do with dating, so that you wouldn't even go to where "we might be too much alike" - especially not for dating purposes.

 

So if "finding me" is your goal -great goal -then make sure that you are 100% honest with that me and do a lot of self-talk if you veer off the path of self-honesty.

 

I bolded the above for a reason. How exactly did I treat this "as if it were some sort of dating or romantic relationship"?

 

Everyone here is more than entitled to their opinion, and I have really appreciated everyone's feedback about this situation (you have no idea). But, to word it as you did above makes it seem as if I was delusional and that this was one-sided. And for what it's worth, I NEVER treated this situation as if we were in a relationship, or as if we were dating.

 

I've accepted my role in this, and admit that I participated in this endless chat for way longer than I should have. I engaged, enabled and fed into whatever it was that he fed me (hook, line and sinker!). But let me make one thing very clear. Nine times out of ten, he initiated the contact. Actually, it was normally ten times out of ten. He also initiated any "I miss you", Valentine's Day, etc., mushy time messages that I did not reciprocate. Did I respond? Yes. Did I enjoy vibing with him and thinking that maybe there was a connection there? Yes. And so did he.

 

This scenario involved the both of us, not just me. He wanted to feel that connection and enjoyed it, fed me lines (whether they were genuine or not) in hopes of making me feel the feels. We both got something out of it, whatever it was.

 

And if by chance he was surprised by the texts that I sent him after we met, he should then really rethink the content of the messages he's sending women in the first place.

 

This wasn't by any means one-sided. This took two...

Edited by milly007
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My goodness milly from your last post, it seriously sounds like you are in love with this man, which I am not judging you for, but girl you need to start detaching!

 

With every post, there is more analyzation, more attempts to understand him and his pathology.

 

What was your take away from bc's post?

 

My take away was that you are both unavailable for a relationship, which is why the texting felt "safe." The connection you developed via texting felt safe.

 

Which I understand, been there myself for only a couple of months; he lived 3000 miles away. So it stopped. Great experience though, I actually learned a lot from our brief interaction.

 

Oh I know you said you were tired of it, but milly no woman whose goal is a committted relationship, IRL of course, would ever agree to continue what was essentially a "text buddy" interaction for nine months. I mean girl, he lived 7 minutes away! Really?

 

And if he had come up with another excuse to not meet last Saturday, you would have been quite happy to continue it for another nine months.

 

Just some things to consider about yourself, NOT him.

 

Definitely NOT in love with a stranger (I only referred to some nice moments during the night! Because as I had mentioned, there were both good & bad). During the time we communicated, I think we both created impressions in our minds of who we hoped the other was, not who they actually are, which I mentioned before. I believe that we both became enthralled with the idea of who we THOUGHT the other person was, plain and simple.

 

Hence why I responded to BC's last post by saying, "because of these expectations that we set for each other (although subconsciously), neither one of us could do anything but fall/fail" (when we actually met in person).

 

We both got something out of the long-term communication, whatever it was. And as I mentioned, lesson learned.

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My goodness milly from your last post, it seriously sounds like you are in love with this man, which I am not judging you for, but girl you need to start detaching!

 

With every post, there is more analyzation, more attempts to understand him and his pathology.

 

What was your take away from bc's post?

 

My take away was that you are both unavailable for a relationship, which is why the texting felt "safe." The connection you developed via texting felt safe.

 

Which I understand, been there myself for only a couple of months; he lived 3000 miles away. So it stopped. Great experience though, I actually learned a lot from our brief interaction.

 

Oh I know you said you were tired of it, but milly no woman whose goal is a committted relationship, IRL of course, would ever agree to continue what was essentially a "text buddy" interaction for nine months. I mean girl, he lived 7 minutes away! Really?

 

And if he had come up with another excuse to not meet last Saturday, you would have been quite happy to continue it for another nine months.

 

Just some things to consider about yourself, NOT him.

 

And in terms of my take away from BC's post, I mentioned in my response that initially I was okay with the texting, but I eventually reached a point where I couldn't take it anymore. I wanted to meet in person. Was there a level of unavailability on my part? Of course there was. Like I mentioned in my reply to BC, there's no way anyone who is looking for a long-term relationship is willing to text for that long of a period of time. No way. The texting became too much for me. And if I hadn't said anything about meeting up, I have no doubt he'd still be trying to text. But I told him I was done...that it was too much. So we met.

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Definitely NOT in love with a stranger. During the time we communicated, I think we both created impressions in our minds of who we hoped the other was, not who they actually are, which I mentioned before. I believe that we both became enthralled with the idea of who we THOUGHT the other person was, plain and simple.

 

I was only referring to a couple of cute moments, that's all!

 

Hence why I responded to BC's last post by saying, "because of these expectations that we set for each other (although subconsciously), neither one of us could do anything but fall/fail" (when we actually met in person).

 

We both got something out of the long-term communication, whatever it was. And as I mentioned, lesson learned.

 

Hey not judging milly, although you had never met in person, by your own admission, you had been communicating with him for nine months, developed a mutual connection, so not quite understanding how you can deem him a "stranger."

 

And love is a strange phenomenon, it's intangible and never makes any sense.

 

Heck, there was a time when I was interacting with the man who lived thousands of miles away when I thought I might be in love with him! In fact, on some level I think I was, regardless of whether we met "in person" or not. Or been on a "date."

 

And who's to judge someone else's feelings? JMO but for anyone to suggest to someone they didn't love someone, or didn't feel a connection, for whatever reason (including the fact they had never met in person), is an invalidation of that person's feelings that I personally find quite offensive. And overly judgmental.

 

I mean I get having an opinion whether or not a relationship is viable, but it's wrong to invalidate that person's feelings, by suggesting because they never met in person or been on a "date," there was no real "connection." Ugh on that.

 

No one has the right to determine what's in another person's heart, which is why I said I would never judge you for your feelings, or the connection you shared.

 

In any event, if you say you were not in love with him, I believe you!!

 

With regard to the rest of you post, I am in total agreement with you!

 

Wish you the best moving forward! :)

Edited by katrina1980
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Hey not judging milly, although you had never met in person, by your own admission, you had been communicating with him for nine months, developed a connection, so not quite understanding how you can deem him a "stranger."

 

And love is a strange phenomenon, it's intangible and never makes any sense.

 

Heck, there was a time when I was interacting with the man who lived thousands of miles away when I thought I might be in love with him! In fact, on some level I think I was, regardless of whether we met "in person" or not. Or been on a "date."

 

And who's to judge someone else's feelings? JMO but for anyone to suggest to someone they didn't love someone, or didn't feel a connection, for whatever reason (including the fact they had never met in person), is an invalidation of that person's feelings that I personally find quite offensive. And overly judgmental.

 

No one has the right to determine what's in another person's heart, which is why I said I would never judge you for your feelings, or the connection you shared.

 

In any event, if you say you were not in love with him, I believe you!!

 

With regard to the rest of you post, I am in total agreement with you! :)

 

I understand what you're saying, K., I really do. The way I viewed it is this, yes we were communicating for 9 months, and I did develop some feelings. But I always questioned whether they were legit, because, let's face it, I didn't know this person and whatever I was feeling developed over text communication. So, my heart was saying one thing, but my mind was telling me that this was completely illogical (because he was a stranger. I didn't know him personally. We never spent time together, in person. He could have been anyone). Hence why I told him that I wasn't going to engage in texting anymore. I even told him that it had become "weird", which is when he came back to me and asked me to meet up. We even talked about this as we were standing outside of the bar and saying goodbye. I explained that all of this had become weird and uncomfortable, and he responded by saying, "I agree with you, Milly. Remember, I agreed with you when you mentioned this via text last week".

 

So yeah, I had feelings, but for the person I thought he was. I could never love someone I don't know personally, but that's just me.

 

And I'm obviously not negating anyone who feels otherwise about someone they've never actually met. If they feel feelings of love, then that's their prerogative. I'm not judging. But after experiencing this situation, I feel like I should become the poster-child for meeting before texting, or at least meeting up in person within a week or two of texting. Otherwise, jeez...it can become complicated. Even if you think you're prepared for what might happen down the road, and you're just thinking of taking each day as it comes (which I did in this case), I don't think it's possible to prepare yourself for the outcome.

 

So the lesson of the day is, don't text for 9 months and then meet up. Lol

Edited by milly007
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Oh I 100% agree about meeting in person before protracted texting, I have been posting this throughout this thread.

 

And I might advise someone that a relationship is not viable, due to distance, unavailability or whatever.

 

However, I would never judge or even have an opinion about someone developing feelings or a connection to the person they're interacting with.

 

Sure they don't know that person, never met, but one can still develop feelings whether those feelings are based on a fantasy, an illusion, an ideal or not, that's all I am trying to say.

 

None of those things takes away from the actual feelings one is experiencing. The relationship may not be real, but the feelings are, if that makes sense (it does to me).

 

I can understand too why you were torn.

 

You emotional heart was telling you one thing, and your pragmatic mind was telling you another!

 

Now that you have met, it turns out your pragmatic brain was correct.

 

All that said, chalk it up to a great learning experience, and continue on your journey!

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If K read your response to me and thought "whoa—love," I read it and thought "whoa—control." Specifically, that the sense of control is what drove this, what compelled the feelings, and that the loss of control, upon meeting, is largely the cause of the turbulence, and that reach-outs and ruminatations are driven, in part, by a desire to regain control and, with it, the feelings.

 

That space where you can indulge the fear of what might happen (or not) upon meeting, where you can indulge in some IRL reluctance to further nurture and savor an on-screen spark—that is a space of control. The questions about whether you're too similar—more control, like feeling comfortable in a dark, mysterious room because you can see the red glow of the exit signs. There is immense comfort in control, a kind of self-induced sizzle that, in romance, can feel like a sizzle induced by another.

 

I'm just going to spin this a bit, to get a bit more general since I think we're close to extracting from Mr. R all there is to extract.

 

Romance, and love, and all that jazz, is often referred to, positively and negatively, as a "rollercoaster." That cliché is not an accident, I don't think, and speaks to a way we are hardwired to seek, process, validate, and label connections. Being on a rollercoaster, of course, is among the least dangerous and least vulnerable things a human can do. It's just as safe as sitting in meadow, on a dock, or inside a parked car with your seatbelt on.

 

And yet, the way it feels! So wild, so thrilling, so dangerous. Those twists and turns, those ups and downs, the wind in the face and the knot in the stomach. Addictive and transporting stuff, all that. Addictive and transporting because, ultimately, we are in total control even while feeling totally out of control. We love that feeling. We sometimes call that feeling love. And, hey, it might be a version of it—since "love" can basically be whatever someone wants to call love...

 

Thing is, at least in my experience, a desire of control is about the greatest impediment there is to connecting with another human being. Relinquishing control, even the idea of it, is where connection starts, expands, and deepens. When you can be comfortable being genuinely out of control—whoa! That, I think, is what real vulnerability is: the rollercoaster with no engineer, or the one you are in a constant state of building and engineering with someone. That ride, if it proves stable, is where love blossoms.

 

Anyhow, texting, modern technology, and so on, has turned our phones and screens into little amusement parks where we can hop on to the rollercoaster while laying prostrate on the sofa—a simulacrum in which real feelings are artificially induced, in which there is a correlation between connection and control that does not hold in reality.

 

This thing with R? I see it as a "controlled experiment," the version of romance you were most available to, for whatever reasons. Doesn't devalue any of it, but just showed the limitations. Let it lead you to the experiment of relinquishing more control, and finding feeling and vulnerability there, and you're in for a much wilder ride in the future.

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>>If K read your response to me and thought "whoa—love," I read it and thought "whoa—control." Specifically, that the sense of control is what drove this, what compelled the feelings

 

----------------------------

 

Thanks blue, I think we agree here. Whether those feelings were based on a fantasy, an illusion, an ideal or control (as you suggest), those feelings are still real nonetheless.

 

That is all I was trying to say.

 

There is no wrong or right when it comes to feelings, they just "are" and most of the time we have no control over them. They may not make sense or based on the "wrong" things, but heck they're still real.

 

Sure we can control our actions and what we wish to do with those feelings (i.e. not move forward in a relationship), but the feelings themselves we cannot control imo.

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Oh I 100% agree about meeting in person before protracted texting, I have been posting this throughout this thread.

 

And I might advise someone that a relationship is not viable, due to distance, unavailability or whatever.

 

However, I would never judge or even have an opinion about someone developing feelings or a connection to the person they're interacting with.

 

Sure they don't know that person, never met, but one can still develop feelings whether those feelings are based on a fantasy, an illusion, an ideal or not, that's all I am trying to say.

 

None of those things takes away from the actual feelings one is experiencing. The relationship may not be real, but the feelings are, if that makes sense (it does to me).

 

I can understand too why you were torn.

 

You emotional heart was telling you one thing, and your pragmatic mind was telling you another!

 

Now that you have met, it turns out your pragmatic brain was correct.

 

All that said, chalk it up to a great learning experience, and continue on your journey!

 

Thanks, Katrina! I agree.

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>>If K read your response to me and thought "whoa—love," I read it and thought "whoa—control." Specifically, that the sense of control is what drove this, what compelled the feelings

 

----------------------------

 

Thanks blue, I think we agree here. Whether those feelings were based on a fantasy, an illusion, an ideal or control (as you suggest), those feelings are still real nonetheless.

 

That is all I was trying to say.

 

There is no wrong or right when it comes to feelings, they just "are" and most of the time we have no control over them. They may not make sense or based on the "wrong" things, but heck they're still real.

 

Sure we can control our actions and what we wish to do with those feelings (i.e. not move forward in a relationship), but the feelings themselves we cannot control imo.

 

And to add, what's posted above, specifically that feelings are never right or wrong, they just "are," I read in a great book called "A Fine Romance" written by Judith Sills.

 

Batya recommended this book to me and I learned quite a bit from it, thanks Batya.

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>>If K read your response to me and thought "whoa—love," I read it and thought "whoa—control." Specifically, that the sense of control is what drove this, what compelled the feelings

 

----------------------------

 

Thanks blue, I think we agree here. Whether those feelings were based on a fantasy, an illusion, an ideal or control (as you suggest), those feelings are still real nonetheless.

 

That is all I was trying to say.

 

There is no wrong or right when it comes to feelings, they just "are" and most of the time we have no control over them. They may not make sense or based on the "wrong" things, but heck they're still real.

 

Sure we can control our actions and what we wish to do with those feelings (i.e. not move forward in a relationship), but the feelings themselves we cannot control imo.

 

Yup, total agreement.

 

Wasn't negating the reality of feelings, or the magnitude, but just how feelings produced in controlled environments tend to have shorter shelf-life than those produced in environments in which the illutions of control doesn't exist, since they are more projection-based and self-generated than co-created and co-nurtured.

 

The extreme is the man who "loves" a celebrity. Searches her name at work, goes to her movies on opening day, sticks photos of her on his walls. Is that "love" real? Well, sure—something big, mysterious, and devouring is coursing through him. But it's built inside his imagination.

 

Be it texting today, or a feather dipped in ink 200 years ago, epistolary romance can have more in common with that man and his celebrity crush than it does two people meeting, connection, and seeing what's what.

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If K read your response to me and thought "whoa—love," I read it and thought "whoa—control." Specifically, that the sense of control is what drove this, what compelled the feelings, and that the loss of control, upon meeting, is largely the cause of the turbulence, and that reach-outs and ruminatations are driven, in part, by a desire to regain control and, with it, the feelings.

 

That space where you can indulge the fear of what might happen (or not) upon meeting, where you can indulge in some IRL reluctance to further nurture and savor an on-screen spark—that is a space of control. The questions about whether you're too similar—more control, like feeling comfortable in a dark, mysterious room because you can see the red glow of the exit signs. There is immense comfort in control, a kind of self-induced sizzle that, in romance, can feel like a sizzle induced by another.

 

I'm just going to spin this a bit, to get a bit more general since I think we're close to extracting from Mr. R all there is to extract.

 

Romance, and love, and all that jazz, is often referred to, positively and negatively, as a "rollercoaster." That cliché is not an accident, I don't think, and speaks to a way we are hardwired to seek, process, validate, and label connections. Being on a rollercoaster, of course, is among the least dangerous and least vulnerable things a human can do. It's just as safe as sitting in meadow, on a dock, or inside a parked car with your seatbelt on.

 

And yet, the way it feels! So wild, so thrilling, so dangerous. Those twists and turns, those ups and downs, the wind in the face and the knot in the stomach. Addictive and transporting stuff, all that. Addictive and transporting because, ultimately, we are in total control even while feeling totally out of control. We love that feeling. We sometimes call that feeling love. And, hey, it might be a version of it—since "love" can basically be whatever someone wants to call love...

 

Thing is, at least in my experience, a desire of control is about the greatest impediment there is to connecting with another human being. Relinquishing control, even the idea of it, is where connection starts, expands, and deepens. When you can be comfortable being genuinely out of control—whoa! That, I think, is what real vulnerability is: the rollercoaster with no engineer, or the one you are in a constant state of building and engineering with someone. That ride, if it proves stable, is where love blossoms.

 

Anyhow, texting, modern technology, and so on, has turned our phones and screens into little amusement parks where we can hop on to the rollercoaster while laying prostrate on the sofa—a simulacrum in which real feelings are artificially induced, in which there is a correlation between connection and control that does not hold in reality.

 

This thing with R? I see it as a "controlled experiment," the version of romance you were most available to, for whatever reasons. Doesn't devalue any of it, but just showed the limitations. Let it lead you to the experiment of relinquishing more control, and finding feeling and vulnerability there, and you're in for a much wilder ride in the future.

 

Interesting spin, BC. I'm sure you're onto something.

 

I don't regret anything that happened with R. Would I do things differently in hindsight? Yes. But it had its fun moments while it lasted. It was safe, easy, fun and the communication was pretty darn near perfect until we met in person (which I knew could happen, and it was always in the back of my mind). And those texts I sent after meeting? That was my version of relinquishing control, being open, vulnerable...whatever you want to call it. It's just that R had different ideas in mind, whatever they may be.

 

Maybe sending those texts was a way for me to regain control, as you had mentioned. But that really wasn't my intention. My text about him seeming upset was sent as a more of a "hey, is everything okay" type of message, and probably an indirect way of saying, "what was that?". So yeah, I guess in a way, I was trying to get things back on track, or wanted to see if it was at least possible.

 

Thanks for chiming in.

Edited by milly007
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I respect that and if you want me to clarify what I wrote since there seemed to be misunderstanding just let me know, and, if not, fine too.

 

Oh that’s fine, Batya. If you want to, feel free. Completely up to you.

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I assumed your only goal in being in contact with him was to see if you should meet in person and potentially date -from what you posted recently and I just read it a little while ago you also enjoyed the texting as texting despite figuring you'd meet at some point. For what it's worth of course I have no issue with online romances or flirting or whatever - to me they have nothing at all to do with dating or a romantic relationship if the two people haven't met in person but certainly if both people are having fun texting each other and carrying on an online flirtation even if they never meet or even if it's not that likely they'll actually meet (and they're both single) more power to them. Of course feelings can develop solely online - just to me those feelings have nothing to do (or extremely little to do) with whether the people will have the sort of feelings in person that are relevant to a real romantic relationship (with looks being the least of the reason). So in short you're an adult, so is he, and if you were enjoying texting like that with someone you'd never met and enjoying getting attached -- or at least balancing the benefits and risks of getting attached and deciding the benefits were worth the risks - no judgment here -that can be exciting and a lot of fun despite having nothing to do with a dating relationship.

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I assumed your only goal in being in contact with him was to see if you should meet in person and potentially date -from what you posted recently and I just read it a little while ago you also enjoyed the texting as texting despite figuring you'd meet at some point. For what it's worth of course I have no issue with online romances or flirting or whatever - to me they have nothing at all to do with dating or a romantic relationship if the two people haven't met in person but certainly if both people are having fun texting each other and carrying on an online flirtation even if they never meet or even if it's not that likely they'll actually meet (and they're both single) more power to them. Of course feelings can develop solely online - just to me those feelings have nothing to do (or extremely little to do) with whether the people will have the sort of feelings in person that are relevant to a real romantic relationship (with looks being the least of the reason). So in short you're an adult, so is he, and if you were enjoying texting like that with someone you'd never met and enjoying getting attached -- or at least balancing the benefits and risks of getting attached and deciding the benefits were worth the risks - no judgment here -that can be exciting and a lot of fun despite having nothing to do with a dating relationship.

 

I only exchanged messages with him in the beginning because we were both looking for the same thing - a long-term relationship. As I mentioned before, I was okay with the texting at first, but I never expected it to turn into a 9 month text fest. I kept it going because I thought, "Surely he's going to take the initiative and ask me out soon...", but he didn't really (as you can see in the thread that I started about him); at least not in the way that I had hoped. I can't tell you how many times I thought to myself that R was too comfortable with texting, and that most guys I knew who were looking for a long-term relationship would not be okay with texting to this extent. Any guys I've met who were looking for a relationship were very forthcoming and upfront about wanting to meet face-to-face asap.

 

So yeah, I should have walked a while back, but I was drawn to him, for some reason. When I called him out back in February/March, and asked him why we haven't yet met, his reasoning ("Oh, when I last suggested that we meet up, it never happened, so I was reluctant to ask again because I didn't want to make you uncomfortable" *eye roll*) didn't pass the smell test, just wasn't believable. And there was the, "I have mono" reason.

 

The thing is, I never said "no" to him back in October. He suggested that we meet for burgers/pizza one afternoon. I couldn't, but told him that I'd be interested in meeting up at any other point when he was available. His response back in October? "Okay".

 

And this ^^^^ is when the red flags began to make their appearance.

 

And when I asked him about this when we met up a week ago? He said that he thought I was just being polite when I responded. I'm like, "But we continued to text for months after the fact...".

 

So he continued to message me while he was sick. I wasn't nearly as communicative because I was bored...too much texting! So I eventually dropped off the radar and wrote him off.

 

And even before I wrote him off, I came to somehow accept that we may never get around to meeting, but even this feeling eventually faded. I couldn't take the texting anymore.

 

Until he reached out during the first week in July to ask how I was. And I informed him that I wasn't going to text him anymore and that this situation has gotten out of control. I thought he had been better health-wise for a while, but according to him, this wasn't the case.

 

Anyway, I won't repeat myself here, but I made the mistake of not backing out a loooooooong time ago. Shame on me, but I've clearly learned.

 

Funny how we tend to engage in things when we know better, and I knew better! Ah well, such is life...

 

I think that, throughout this 9 months, I went through various phases. At first I was okay with the texting, then I'd become frustrated, then I just accepted it because he was sick (and yes, I did enjoy hearing from him and I'd rather hear from him than not), and then I just grew tired of it...

 

It was just a weird scenario all around...

Edited by milly007
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I understand. I never ever thought that someone I'd never met asked me out on a date. It was a first meet. I didn't generally ask men out. I did suggest first meets because I had no time and no desire to message or chat with strangers from a dating site. (different with online friendships through other venues). So if we talked on the phone (which I did within one or two emails or messages -and if he wouldn't talk on the phone I moved on) and he didn't suggest a first meet and I thought I wanted to meet in person to see if we should go on a date in the future, I suggested that we meet in person. I didn't see it as taking initiative in a dating sense at all nor did I expect a man I'd never met in person to ask me out on a date. If we met in person and there was chemistry or potential for chemistry then with rare exception I let him ask me out on a date - I did not ask him out on a date.

 

It sounds like as you wrote you were fine with texting with someone who wasn't suggesting a first meet and then you weren't fine. I get it. I was never fine with that situation for various reasons. Totally fine if you were of course!!

 

And sure if you want to make a different choice going forward you will and of course we all make choices at times that are not the best for us -human - just depends on what the choice and consequences were as far as how to evaluate it. Sounds like here all that happened was you met someone once and it's a one and done. I had a number of those -no biggie. Sorry it was stressful and frustrating for you. I met over 100 men in person when I was on dating sites!

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>>I assumed your only goal in being in contact with him was to see if you should meet in person and potentially date

 

-----------------

 

I just wanted to chime in on this.

 

Batya, I actually agree with you, it's a very logical, practical way of viewing interactions and connections made on line.

 

However, I think what often happens, especially when two people have been chatting and connecting on line for many months, and certain feelings have developed (whether or not those feelings make sense to an outsider) the expectation is that their on line connection will carry over into real life.

 

I know couples who have made long term plans, including marriage, before ever meeting in person!

 

One couple I know (him from California, her from Eastern Europe) did end up getting married, after interacting on line for nearly two years!

 

With local on line dating, of course you chat, you meet quickly within a couple of weeks tops, see if you click in person and if so, begin dating.

 

But it's an entirely different ball game when a couple chats for months (or years) before meeting.

 

milly's case is a little unusual in that they only lived 7 minutes away from each other, so logically they should have met sooner than nine months.

 

But they didn't and as such they developed a connection, and yes feelings, so when they finally met in person, just my opinion but the expectation was that their connection would carry over to real life, it wasn't to see if they would potentially date - I think the assumption (and hidden expectation) was that they would date.

 

Which is why milly was so thrown (and confused) at first when that did not turn out to be what happened.

 

She simply could not believe that he would not reply back to her text, given the connection they had made on line. It was unfathomable to her that he would just ghost her, after all the intimate conversations they've had on line, etc.

 

I totally understand this milly, and please know you are not alone. There are hundreds of other couples who are doing the same thing.

 

I am glad you learned a lesson from it though to take with you moving forward!!

 

No more texting for months before meeting! :D xx

Edited by katrina1980
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I understand. I never ever thought that someone I'd never met asked me out on a date. It was a first meet. I didn't generally ask men out. I did suggest first meets because I had no time and no desire to message or chat with strangers from a dating site. (different with online friendships through other venues). So if we talked on the phone (which I did within one or two emails or messages -and if he wouldn't talk on the phone I moved on) and he didn't suggest a first meet and I thought I wanted to meet in person to see if we should go on a date in the future, I suggested that we meet in person. I didn't see it as taking initiative in a dating sense at all nor did I expect a man I'd never met in person to ask me out on a date. If we met in person and there was chemistry or potential for chemistry then with rare exception I let him ask me out on a date - I did not ask him out on a date.

 

It sounds like as you wrote you were fine with texting with someone who wasn't suggesting a first meet and then you weren't fine. I get it. I was never fine with that situation for various reasons. Totally fine if you were of course!!

 

And sure if you want to make a different choice going forward you will and of course we all make choices at times that are not the best for us -human - just depends on what the choice and consequences were as far as how to evaluate it. Sounds like here all that happened was you met someone once and it's a one and done. I had a number of those -no biggie. Sorry it was stressful and frustrating for you. I met over 100 men in person when I was on dating sites!

 

Thanks, B. Yeah, I knew what we were doing was wrong, but I went with it anyway.

 

There are so few guys I'm ever really interested in, so at the same time, it was hard for me to let this idea of someone I like (at least, via text) go.

 

So despite all the texting, I always kept the door open for us to meet. I'm glad I did, though, because we met, and now I know we're not a match.

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>>I assumed your only goal in being in contact with him was to see if you should meet in person and potentially date

 

-----------------

 

I just wanted to chime in on this.

 

Batya, I actually agree with you, it's a very logical, practical way of viewing interactions and connections made on line.

 

However, I think what often happens, especially when two people have been chatting and connecting on line for many months, and certain feelings have developed (whether or not those feelings make sense to an outsider) the expectation is that their on line connection will carry over into real life.

 

I know couples who have made long term plans, including marriage, before ever meeting in person!

 

One couple I know (him from California, her from Eastern Europe) did end up getting married, after interacting on line for nearly two years!

 

With local on line dating, of course you chat, you meet quickly within a couple of weeks tops, see if you click in person and if so, begin dating.

 

But it's an entirely different ball game when a couple chats for months (or years) before meeting.

 

milly's case is a little unusual in that they only lived 7 minutes away from each other, so logically they should have met sooner than nine months.

 

But they didn't and as such they developed a connection, and yes feelings, so when they finally met in person, just my opinion but the expectation was that their connection would carry over to real life, it wasn't to see if they would potentially date - I think the assumption (and expectation) was that they would date.

 

Which is why milly was so thrown (and confused) at first when that did not turn out to be what happened.

 

She simply could not believe that he would not reply back to her email, given the connection they had made on line. It was unfathomable to her that he would just ghost her, after all the intimate conversations they've had on line, etc.

 

I totally understand this milly, and please know you are not alone. There are hundreds of other couples who are doing the same thing.

 

I am glad you learned a lesson from it though to take with you moving forward!!

 

No more texting for months before meeting! :D xx

 

Yes, this pretty much sums it up, Katrina.

 

Plus, toss in a weird meet, mixed with hot & cold (where he'd compliment me tons one minute, and then seem snippy the next), and then emphasized at the end of the night he deleted his dating site account and was only getting to know me (and he somehow got the idea, I think, that I was still on there, dating other people - which is why he told me about deleting his own account...), my mind's been all over the place.

 

And as I mentioned earlier, back when I thought he had already recovered from the mono, a friend of mine suggested that I just ghost him and not respond. I told her that I couldn't do that to him, because it's not in my character (and I highly doubt he'd ever do that to me!), and that I would be honest and upfront about not wanting to text with him anymore. Low and behold, he disappears on me, without a word.

 

His ghosting has been hard to accept, especially because we always talked about the importance of people treating each other with respect, helping out friends and family, and him always willing to lend a helping hand, if needed. When he was sick (with mono), he went on and on about how his brother practically saved his life because he would not have been able to get by without his brother's help (cleaning, cooking, etc.). And then, as he was getting better, his mom fell, so both he and his brother had to help their mom with chores, shopping, doctors appointments, etc.

 

So yeah, this has been a tough pill for me to swallow.

 

A friend thinks that my last message to him put him off, and for reasons similar to what Batya mentioned earlier. For instance, me having mentioned that he seemed "curt", stating that I had different expectations after 9 months of communication, but that I was "willing" to "give it one last go/meet". According to this friend, this was the turn off. I wasn't showing enthusiasm and was a bit indifferent. I mean, I can see my friend's reasoning.

 

But either way, I'm getting off track. I'll never know the real reason(s) I did not receive a response, and that's okay. I'll get over it....

 

Just hoping he doesn't come out of the woodwork in the future.

 

And no, no more texting for months before meets. I've had enough. My thumbs are sore anyway...

Edited by milly007
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