I recently began conversing (long distance, via email, text and phone) with a new female friend. Our situations are quite similar, both suffering very recent losses, close in age and lifestyles, seemingly at the same level of education/intelligence … it has been very nice and comforting to be able to interact with someone since, for me, that type of interaction is a big part of the loss I feel.
Even our recent losses followed similar paths … not sudden, not unexpected, and while still crushing and totally heart-wrenching, in the haze of it all we can both see a possible light way off in the distance. And I have found that being able to share these thoughts and feelings in a one-on-one setting has lifted some of the horrible weight from my soul … and I believe my new friend feels it as well.
But I can’t shake this feeling that, somehow, I’m cheating on my wife. Just for the record, there has been no physical contact, no sexting (I think that’s the phrase …), no expressions of love or lust, I really don’t even know what my new friend looks like beyond one nondescript photo (and I’m sure, likewise for her) and honestly, for me, appearance takes a definite back seat to spirit & soul. However, this is the first time in 35 years I’ve been excited to speak with a female other than Bunny, to share a laugh or a tear with another woman, to have the beginnings of something more than a casual acquaintance with a woman that is not my wife.
Of course, I know that it is ridiculous to think it’s cheating in any manner. It is the beginning of a real friendship with someone who is also seeking a more personal interaction with a kindred soul. I think loneliness, for me, is a gigantic burden to overcome. Someone to care for, to worry about in small day-to-day events (did she get there safely?), to bitch to when my day has been crappy, to be happy with when good things happen, someone with whom I can talk about completely unimportant nonsense. I really have missed that over the past ½ year during Bunny’s decline and passing (Bunny & I talked a lot at the end, but it was always heavy and sad).
I also know that I am in no way ready for a new serious relationship, there is way too much unresolved junk in my noggin that needs to be sorted out yet. And I’m pretty sure my new friend feels the same way, too. But I am ready to enjoy the company of a smart, funny, interesting female, however long distance that company might be. For all I know, distance may well be exactly what is needed right now … if she were to meet me in person I could easily see this whole thing crash and burn. I can be a very long day for folks at times, and I’m having way too much fun (yes, it IS fun) right now to mess it up by being … well … by being me.
6 months or a year down the road? Who knows? Maybe a friendship and flirtation becomes something more serious, maybe not. My new friend certainly seems to be the type of person I could easily become very attracted to as the clouds lift away. Over 35 years of being together, Bunny was my one & only, both physically and emotionally, so to be sharing an emotional bond with someone new is both exciting and terrifying. But, I don’t think it’s cheating, is it?