“Have been seduced by informality of messaging medium into flirting with office scoundrel, but will persevere with resolution to find nice, sensible man.” Bridget Jones.
Much like Bridget, I too have been seduced by informality of the messaging medium. Alas, I fret that I will indeed end up doing something colossally stupid with scoundrel rather than actually finding my Mark Darcy.
It really did start innocently enough. I asked my friends to set me up on blind dates. This should not have led to moral complications before any of the dates occurred—and yet, I’m involved, so naturally things have already become bizarrely intricate. In fact, in nearly all the situations, my friends could not get me a date with their proposed suitors because they were involved, nearly involved, sometimes involved or involved in a political uprising. Not a problem. These are things I understand. On occasion, I have also had political uprisings to attend to, so I get it.
There is this man.
I know. Every love story gone wrong involves the words “there is this man.” Hear me out.
There is this man. I don’t really know him. We’ve met before very briefly, so I doubt he remembers me. I barely remember it. My friend L, told her special friend that she needed to set me up on a date. Special friend (from here on known as “SF”) decided to help. It all sounds great, right? Exactly what I wanted, right? Except that SF decided that my actual offer would probably not be all that enticing. So, he texted his friend and made him an offer on my behalf that he thought the man would like better.
He wasn’t wrong.
The man thought the offer sounded delightful, but he was seeing someone, so he declined. However, he did play along with some… seemingly harmless text messaging. So did I.
I’ll admit that I thought some of his responses to what I thought were fairly innocuous comments were a bit racy, but I’ve been out of this game a long time, and it is Los Angeles. I didn’t question it. In fact, I encouraged it. In some weird way, I think I was flattered. It had been so long since a man actually paid attention to me that I opted not to question the interaction. And keep in mind, all the interaction was still going on through two chaperones: my friend L and SF. Literally, it became a chain text email even after the first time: me to L, L to SF, SF to the man, and back again. Given the boundaries of us not ever seeing one another that he set, it sort of became a joke. It was entertaining. My ego got a little boost.
While it was rare, the interaction didn’t stop. Apparently, neither did SF’s embellishment of what I was actually saying. Now, I think largely what I was saying was being delivered because I was playing along. But on a recent night, I saw a disconnect between something I said and the response. The man was having a bad night, was drinking, and I think SF just wanted him to feel better. I think SF’s message to him was in keeping with the spirit of my words, he just sort of made them more appealing to a guy with a lascivious mind (and a bad day). Of course, I don’t really know for certain. And now there has been a suggestion that he and I have more direct contact.
I’m not exactly opposed to it. I wouldn’t mind getting to know him provided the relationship issues are no longer in play. But if the messages he has received are very different from what I sent (or intended), is it possible to back up and explain to him that SF was just being SF, and that I really do just want to talk (for now)? As long as the prospect of never seeing him face to face was in place, I just laughed off the messages. I should have stopped them. But I didn’t want to. I liked flirting with him and having him flirt back—however outrageous some of it was (and I don’t mean outrageously sexual—some of it was just funny).
Is this situation like every other first impression; once you’ve made the first impression, you are done? Or is it possible to undo it and have the man get to know me without the SF filter?