In the fall of 2016, I matched with a great guy on Bumble. We quickly took our communication off the app and moved on to Snapchat and texting. We worked different schedules and lived an hour away from each other, so finding a day to meet up was always difficult and the timing always felt off. Almost two years later, we still talk pretty much daily but we’ve still never met in person.
I wasn’t ready to meet anyone when we matched. Dating apps had always been something I used to pass the time when I was bored but I never took them seriously. When I matched with him, I initially felt like we vibed and we got along well, but I wasn’t in a place at the time where I was ready to meet someone and have it potentially lead to something more, so I held back on meeting him.
He got into a relationship soon after. A couple of months after we first matched, he started dating someone. He didn’t tell me about her directly, but it was obvious that he had a girlfriend from his social media posts. I wasn’t all that bummed about it since I’d never even met him in person, but at that point, I realized the likelihood of us ever meeting was slim.
Instead of losing contact, our connection got stronger. Once he started dating someone, I assumed that our communication would slowly dwindle, but the opposite happened. We started talking more and started to have deeper conversations. He didn’t try to hide the fact that he had a girlfriend, but we never really talked about her either.
I started to worry about what other people would think. After a few months, I started to think that maybe our situation wasn’t normal. Even though we weren’t doing anything wrong or talking about anything that crossed a line, I worried about what his girlfriend would think and how I would feel if I had a boyfriend who was still talking regularly to a girl he’d never met. I struggled with this for a few weeks and ultimately decided to block him and just be done with it.
I missed him when he wasn’t there anymore. I’m not sure if it really was him I missed or just having someone who I could share things with without judgment. I went back and forth in my head about whether or not I should contact him again and ultimately found it really difficult to stay away. It was a weird feeling to miss someone you’ve never met in real life, but it was like someone who was a big part of my life just disappeared.
I’ve told him things I’ve never shared with anyone else. We got back to our normal banter soon after reconnecting. Most of our conversations were just about our day or weekend plans, but sometimes it was much heavier. I told him things I’ve never told anyone else and it just felt normal. It was easy to share things through a phone, even if I could never say these things out loud, and I felt like my secrets were safe with him.
We started to cross a line. As a woman who’s been cheated on before, I’m incredibly careful when it comes to other girls’ boyfriends. I even pull away from guy friends I’ve known for years when they start dating someone because I don’t want their girlfriends to question anything. Still, with this guy, it was different. It didn’t feel like I was crossing a line because I had never met him and didn’t even know if I ever would. Some of our conversations crossed a line from friendly to very flirty, but not all of them.
We still discuss meeting up all the time. It’s almost become a game of us daring each other to buck up the courage to make plans and actually follow through with them. We talk about where we could meet and what we could do, but ultimately, we’re always “too busy.” The hype of possibly meeting after all this time seems to be more exciting at this point than actually doing it.
I don’t know if I actually want to take our relationship into the real world. Sometimes I wonder if I really do want to meet him or not. I have this idea in my head of who he is and who I am when I talk to him. I’m not sure if we could be those people in real life. Maybe I wouldn’t be able to open up to him anymore and vice versa. Our relationship has developed over a phone and I don’t know how well that would translate in the real world.
I wonder how all of this will end. I don’t know what you would call what we have. It doesn’t make sense to a lot of people, myself included. It’s something that just happened and it’s almost too late to turn back. I wonder if we will just stop talking one day or if one day we’ll actually meet. The uncertainty is both exciting and anxiety-inducing.
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