Friday, 10 October 2014

Online Dating and Projection

So it must have been about 3 or 4 weeks after my D-day, when I discovered my ex lover cheating on me.  I was still (in hindsight) spiraling through my shock and grief and trauma and I suddenly couldn't stand the idea of being alone.  After a laughing session with a friend, I signed up for Tinder, and started swiping right and left, looking for that person who would sweep me off my feet.  A couple of dates later and I then started considering Ashley Madison.

Of course I lose half my audience at this moment.  People have such strong ideas about using a website that seems to promote affairs.  How could I possibly consider this as an option when I have, myself, been so destroyed in the discovery of my lover's cheating??!!

Well, this is how I see it.  People who go to the Ashley Madison site have already made the decision to step out of the marriage.  That means the marriage is either broken in some way (like hubby and me), or it's a long term marriage that they are wanting to keep going for whatever reason (like the kids), but they are craving some sort of intimate connection because that part of their marriage faded a long time ago.  I think that they would not, like single people, be wanting a full time relationship, but rather, like me, need connection, intimacy and a lot of free time to continue to maintain their family life.  I thought it would be easy to find a man there who would be clear and up front about what he wanted and be happy to give me the space to be a mom and wife and businesswoman without getting too needy and feel alone on significant days etc.

I only went onto the site and had my profile live for a couple of days.  I was very clear in my profile that I was in an open marriage, but still married and wanting a successful clever man to create intimate connection time with.  Shew.  My inbox was flooded in no time.  There are definitely more men than women on that site and a new girl is fresh meat for the hunters!  I did get the pile of messages of men wanting to show me photos of their junk, but I got some lovely messages from men who had connected with my profile and wanted to chat.  So I sifted out a few hopefuls, and began the chatting game.

Wow!  What an experience! The online and cell phone chats were such fun.  SO addictive.  You're playing your best shots, bantering, and finding playful and sexy things to say to interest each other. I found myself glued to my phone for a few days and just connecting so happily with these boys.  For that time my pain and longing and anguish faded and I was feeling wanted again.

I met up with a couple of hopefuls that didn't really go anywhere.  What was so interesting to me was how easily I found myself developing excited and connected feelings for these guys in the chat time.  And once I met them face to face they just so didn't match the projections I had of them.  It's actually incredible how quickly you can 'fall in lust' with someone in your head and find absolutely no connection with them in real life!!  I was getting a real education on how much of myself I give away long before I should; how much of my connection with people comes from ME rather than US.  Wow!

And then I found "Berlin".  Flip.  I don't quite know how it happened but I suddenly fell hard for this boy!  I think I may very well have been holding all the loving feelings that I had for John in my hands with nowhere to put them, and then there was Berlin.  He lives in my country, but was in Europe at the time we connected on AM.  It got hot. Fast.  Like WhatsApp message sex.  Skype sex. Phone sex. iPad sex. My heart was lost SO fast and we connected so unexpectedly. Both of us had the feeling we had just lucked upon a really special connection, and it felt precious.  He invited me to join him in Berlin for a week while he worked there.  I was at the embassy the next day looking for a Visa but just couldn't get one in time to get on a plane.  So we settled in to wait for the two weeks it would take him to finish up in Berlin and then Qatar, and then come back home.

And during that time I started to get sick.  UTI after UTI were hitting me as I took stronger and stronger antibiotics.  I landed up in bed, texting Berlin all day and sleeping.  My world quickly contracted into my bedroom and my man in Berlin.  His was busy and business, and connecting in with me. I got sicker and more needy.  He started getting irritated with my neediness.  I landed up in hospital with the beginning of my complete collapse two days before he was due back in my country.  Sexting was over.  He was being really kind and supportive of me, but I could feel him pulling away.  The last time I heard from him, was him saying he was getting on the plane.

Then nothing. Bloody nothing.  I thought he would take a few days to come home to his family and settle in, so I didn't try to contact him.  A week later, after hearing nothing, I risked a short email to ask him what was happening.  Nothing.  Another week later, another email.  Still nothing.  By now I was living in my own private Hell. In hospital, alone, in another city, far away from anyone who could support and care for me, and his total lack of communication completely bewildered me.  Had I imagined the connection?  Was I just too needy in the end for him to feel connected to me?  My questions were all about how not good enough was I, rather than what shithead disappears without a farewell note?  I felt once again abandoned and sad.  And the piece of my heart I had reserved for him was breaking too, on top of the big heartbreak I was still suffering from John's betrayal.

Fast forward another two weeks: I'm out of hospital, having coffee at my favourite Sunday morning spot, when a friend of mine sends me her bombshell - he had just hit on her on another dating site, professing to be single!  Ugh.  I fell off a cliff.  Sent her a 'fuck you' message for her to post on her site.  Deleted him from facebook!

I know I should have closed him off in my heart at that time too, but I haven't - I'm still hoping that he returns with a huge apology and a request to meet up.  I know - how fucked up am I????  Addicted to longing and waiting, rather than being with men who want me and prove it by being present!

So this is also part of my 100 days of solitude: NO ONLINE DATING.  Clearly I'm not resilient enough to deal that quite brutal space yet.  But I'm lonely too. Ugh.

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