By now you have had time to binge watch, Love is Blind and come to your own conclusions about the participants and their outcomes. I’m sure that many people have thought, “I would NEVER fall in love with someone just by talking to them.” or “How can this be real, when it happened so fast?” I’m here to say that it can happen and it did, to me.
I met a man who I boldly called, my best friend and deepest love, on a website. Although he did have a few pictures posted, I barely looked at them, as the website would notify us every time someone looked at our pictures and I didn’t want to seem like a stalker. So, I generally knew what he looked like, but it wasn’t the main draw. In fact, a couple of the pictures made me feel the opposite of attracted to him. Most of our focus was on messaging and sending each other songs. We became so close through this, we shared emotions that we would not have if we had simply met and gone on a date.
It wasn’t long before we were talking on the phone for hours, which then led to Facetime. Our entire lives, outside of work and his parenting time, was spent together in some way, through our phones. We would even keep the phones on Facetime audio and fall asleep together. Because we couldn’t show each other how much we were feeling through physical means, everything had to be shared in words. It got very intense in a way that I have never experienced before. At first, I tried very hard to shy away from expressing what was raging inside of me. But he was always there, encouraging me and letting me know that it was ok. That I was safe.
When I met him, I had just thrown my entire career upside down to go back into teaching. I loved my job, even though my class was challenging and the experience was emotionally taxing. In February, I found out that I was not going to be offered a contract for the next school year. My principal was extremely cold when telling me the news and two of my grade level peers refused to give me a letter of recommendation. When I did get an interview at another school district, I actually broke down in tears over a question asked about my class. He was the rock that I leaned on to help get me through the last few months of my job. Before I started talking to him, I would drive to the school and cry in the parking lot before picking the kids up for the day. But after he was with me, I was able to find moments of joy amongst the sadness.
He flew out to see me in June, two and a half months after we first said hi. I spent hours cleaning and getting ready. I was so nervous! This stranger, who I had only seen in pictures and FaceTime, who I had fallen madly in love with, was now walking towards me for the first time. We just stood there for awhile, breathing each other in. The electricity was incredible. I kissed him first, out of nervousness. Honestly, I’m not sure how I drove from the airport to the house, and yes, we had sex almost immediately. We spent the next ten days just being with each other. We really didn’t do much at all. Yes, it was a little awkward all of a sudden having him in my space, but I remember watching him from the kitchen when he wasn’t looking and just being amazed that he was really there. It was almost like one long, delicious dream.
I flew out to see him in July. This time, we actually took the time to go around and see places. Still, it seemed too good to be true. Like how was this my life? I had actually found someone that I was crazy about and he was crazy about me! So in August, I moved to be closer to him.
I think we tried. His life was chaotic, with kids and work and the ex-wife. Mine was less so, but lonely. I knew no one, so when he had his kids, I was by myself. I found a hockey team. I went on adventures. But, when his days off came, I wanted to be with him. As I was constantly looking for us to be close and missing that connection that we had established through the distance, he started to push away. It was the hardest thing that I have ever gone through. In my head, swirled all of the things that he had said to me, yet, now that I was close enough to see him, he would sometimes not pick up when I called, or find a way to cancel our plans. In the end, he started treating me like a friend, picking me up to watch a movie and then dropping me back off after lunch.
He had made me a book that he gave me when I came to visit him. It was the transcripts of every message that we had sent to each other through the app. He had painstakingly gone through the Excel spreadsheet and changed his comments to a shade of gray, so you could easily see who was talking. He also took the time to add flags to any parts of the conversation that revealed how things were changing between us. Inside the front cover, it said that ours was an epic love story, one for the ages. I mailed it back to him. I couldn’t stand to see it. It was like a knife to my heart. Not long after that, we had a perfectly normal lunch where he made our break up official, saying that he just wasn’t in love with me anymore.
Because of the two back to back rejections, professional and personal, I have not been myself. Or rather, I am not the same person who taught Kindergarten and fell in love with a man over the internet. Although I want friends and companionship, I am very quick to push people away. Oddly enough, the person who I hated the most on the Love is Blind show, is the one that I feel the most kinship with. I think that Jessica is awful and I can say that unfortunately, I have acted like her.
No one can know how words will effect you, until you are the one hearing them. For some reason, what Barnett said to Jessica, struck her to her very core. Now watching from the safety of our homes, it is very easy to judge. The words that my ex said to me were very difficult to get over. When someone tells you things that you never thought that you would hear and then they take them away, nothing seems safe ever again. The ground underneath you refuses to be solid. I can see why she was so desperate to have them be true. Why she kept pursuing him. I did the same thing in my mind, after the break up. I wanted so badly to return to the time before, that I have actually blocked out memories from the last two years.
Jessica was presented with another option, a great guy named Mark, who seemed to be completely into her. She toyed around with his attention, never allowing herself to get close enough to consider him seriously. I met my current boyfriend not long after my break up. I was honest from the beginning on where I was emotionally and I have tried to end things numerous times. I find every excuse that I can to push away from him, when really, he has been nothing but amazing. I miss the powerful connection that I once had, with zero idea of how to go about letting anyone in, ever again. I’m scared either way. Scared to try and fail but also, scared to try and succeed. Stuck in this hazy and vague existence where I stay busy making sure that nothing ever matters to me. Where I used to curse the distance, I now embrace it.
Sure, watching the show was tricky and I definitely cried, but I think that I needed to see it. Not to dredge up the past, but instead, to really focus on the future. At some point, it becomes completely exhausting to walk around with an open wound for all of the world to see. And I’m sure the world is tired of it as well. So what will it take to make me feel safe enough to trust myself and others? I’m not sure yet, but I am sure that after watching Jessica, I don’t want to be that person anymore.
This post was previously published on Hello, Love and is republished here with permission from the author.
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