Those close to me are well aware of how we met, but the “story” of my boyfriend and I is not one I share with most people. Not because I care about their opinions of me, but because it’s so time consuming getting into the background of the hows and whys. It’s so much simpler just to say, “We met online”.
It all started out innocently enough, stemming from a “Strictly Platonic” post on craigslist (his) looking for someone to talk to while at work to make the day go faster. It wasn’t like I did anything while there anyhow, most of my day consisted of shuffling papers around my desk when my boss walked into my office to look busy, so I messaged him. And as corny as that sounds, even in the first few emails, it was obvious there was a spark of something there. We emailed through out the day, and that night at home talked via AIM. He was honest about being married, and about the fact that even though he was married, the relationship had long since turned into something other than love and romance. Still, I talked to him with only friendship in mind.
We talked all day, every day while at work, drew silly pictures for one another, made up fake albums together… basically we were as nerdy as we could possibly be, but able to be completely honest about our nerdiness with one another. After a week or so, I invited him to come over for a game night. I was surprised when he said he could come, and as much as I should have said, “Should you ask your wife”, I didn’t really care. Does that make me terrible? Maybe. But while I was somewhat feeling that nagging attraction in the back of my mind, I still believed it would just be some friends watching movies and playing Apples to Apples. And, to be completely honest, if anything were to happen, well, it’s always been my thought that the only person responsible for making sure your partner comes home to you is you and your partner. It was none of my business what happened between them.
The first time I saw him, he looked nothing like I expected. Crazy blond curls everywhere, thin as a skeleton, the softest voice. Nothing at all like my usual chubby to fat boys with dark hair, beards, tattoos and glasses. But the spark was lit instantly, and I was thrilled he was there. It started off a bit awkward, but by the time we were on our second movie, it felt like old hat joking and flirting with him.
He stayed until 7 the next morning. Nothing happened, we really did just stay up all night talking, though at one point when I was almost asleep, he was sitting as far from me on the bed as he could, he whispered, “Can I touch your hair?”, and I may have mumbled a yes. Nothing else happened though, and he left while I was snoring, writing a note on the pizza box from the night. It all snowballed from there, and within a few weeks we were together and inseparable. Did he leave his wife? Yes. Did he leave her because he met me? Maybe. But not because of me, but because that relationship was toxic and dangerous and abusive. They had been together since they were in high school, and while I can’t speak for him, I do believe he just didn’t know anything else was out there. I don’t think he knew that what they had wasn’t how love was supposed to be. We have had many all night conversations about the differences in our relationships before this one, and the one thing that is the same is that before we met one another, we both really just settled for what we thought we deserved, thought we should do.
I’m not going to lie. I’m far from perfect, he’s not the first involved person I have been with. I’ve been the person men have cheated on their girlfriends and wives with before, and I’ve been the one cheating on my partner. Sex has always meant something different to me than most people, and it doesn’t hold much emotional weight. I don’t need to love you to fuck you, and I don’t need you to love me and not another person for me to want you.
I also don’t believe humans are meant to be in one monogamous relationship their whole adult lives, that we’re meant to be with one sexual partner. After all, our whole goal in this crazy word is simply to keep our species going, and faithful life partnership isn’t the most effective way of going about that.
That doesn’t mean I don’t believe in love. With every ounce of myself I believe in true love. Passionate, intoxicating, knee buckling love is maybe the one thing that I believe in more than anything else. I believe that my boyfriend is the best possible fit for me. I don’t believe in soul mates, but I do believe in us. Because of how we started, because of both of our past indiscretions within other relationships, we have been forced to have the most honest, communicative, true relationship we can. We have had a stumble or two, but we believe in us so much that we have sailed over every bump thus far.
Am I proud of the way the relationship began? No. Of course I’m not. But am I ashamed? How can I be ashamed for falling in love? We found one another, he ended a relationship that was over in everything but name, and we are building a life together. People tend to have such strong reactions to what others do in their relationships, and it just amazes me.I really believe that you feeling ANYTHING about how my relationship started (or how, say, certain celebs relationships may have ended) says more about your own fears and insecurities in your relationship, than anything about me.
I’m not advocating going out and cheating on your spouse. I’m just saying not every woman a man has cheated with is a whore, or is stupid, or is out to ruin a relationship. In fact, she (or he, whichever) really has nothing to do with the existing relationship, and owes no one there anything. She’s not where you should focus your anger at. And in turn, not every person who cheats on their partner is evil, sometimes they really do fall out of love with you and in love with someone else, a lot of times they fell out of love a long time before anyone else came along.
So, I guess I veered off course a bit here. My boyfriend was married when I met him. That he was married to a horrible person makes no difference. That his wife was mentally and physically abusive to him doesn’t matter. That he was in the process of preparing himself to leave, and they hadn’t slept in the same room for months, and barely talked to one another doesn’t matter. All people hear is “He was married”, and I become the villain. It’s a role I knew I would take when I fell in love, and while I long ago decided he was worth having that title hanging over me for, it’s still usually easier to just go with, “Oh, we met online and just clicked”.