We had matched on Bumble nearly a year ago. The last message from him was “Happy Mother’s Day.” I admit, I dropped the ball. Sometimes it has nothing to do with the man, but life just gets in the way.
Fast forward to March 2020, while settling into the Covid-19 lock down, Facebook suggested him as a friend. I remembered this Brit, though we hadn’t met. So I sent him a text.
It’s been a long time. Your profile popped
up on FB and I thought—
why didn’t I meet this handsome guy?
He told me later that he was very pleased to hear from me. We agreed to stay in touch.
Meanwhile, men from my past blew up my phone, feigning concern for me during the pandemic. “Hi! How are you?” texts filled my screen. Some I answered, some I ignored.
I entertained myself chatting with men on the dating apps. I did a few Facetime calls. I even broke some of my rules about sexting. I wasn’t really looking for anyone. I was perfectly content in my Stay-at-Home situation, doing my own thing.
Over the next two months, the Brit and I got to know each other better. And then he sent me some of his writing. Honestly, it was pretty sexy. So I called him to talk about his work and we were on the phone for a little over an hour.
After he texted, “you’re easy to talk to.” I replied with a blushing emoji.
He had a good texting game, funny, flirtatious, and I liked that. Before long, I stopped texting other men. We kept finding more things in common. We shared more intimate details about our lives, the end of our marriages, and our dreams and concerns for our futures. We Facetimed regularly. We’d check in daily, sending selfies.
“You’re annoying,” he texted.
“Annoying that I can’t see you in person,“ he replied.
To my friends I reported, “I think I’m in a relationship with a man I never met.”
“It’s good for you to take it slow, get to know each other first,” they texted me. “You tend to go too fast.”
Finally, my Brit and I planned to meet. I was nervous. I was invested. I had high expectations. And it would be a total bummer, if in person, we didn’t ‘feel’ it. Or worse, what if I did and he didn’t?
I saw him in his blue polo turn the corner. Even from a distance, with his mask on, he looked good.
“I hope you’re okay with me hugging you,” I said as we stood facing each other six feet apart. I stepped in and wrapped my arms around him.
We grabbed coffees, sat on opposite ends of a bench, and talked about real things: marriage, jobs, our parents, love. We had only ten minutes left when I said, “I want to make it clear that I really like you, and I’d like to continue this.”
“Me too,” he said. “You’re exactly what I expected.”
We stopped in front of my apartment building. “I want to kiss you,” he said frustrated.
“I’d like you to kiss me.” We threw social distance to the wind, took off our masks and kissed.
No one knows what will happen in the next few months. We’ll have to take it one day at a time. The physical distance and social distance are frustrating, but we’re figuring it out. And let’s just say, we’ve met a couple of more times, and we took off more than our masks.
Image credit: The Lovers by Rene Magritte, 1928 MoMA