Hopeful 7 Hopeless 3
Now that I correspond with Plenty of Fish people from my e-mail address, I have had to tackle the instant message question. On Plenty of Fish, I was asked from the first few minutes I had created my profile to chat live. I had ignored all chat requests as previously explained because I was overwhelmed with messages. Now this is no longer the case, so the question has come back.
So the instant messaging is now beginning to develop in parallel with everything else. I am still receiving e-mails from some of the guys. I have begun to get requests to meet some. At the same time, I am now beginning to chat live as well!
It turns out that only three of the guys I am currently corresponding with have MSN capability. They are Thomas (who first wrote me about being Catholic), Seb (who first wrote me about linguistics) and Alex (the History student slash guitarist slash writer). Thomas added me, Seb asked me to add him and when Alex asked me if I used MSN, I added him. Thomas caught me online first. When I saw "caught", that is exactly the way to describe it. I was checking my pseudonym e-mail and all of a sudden I noticed that a chatting box had popped up on me. I hate it when hotmail decides for you that you are online! I am online if I sign in to MSN and not otherwise already!! So I apologized to him for not seeing his message right away and explained that I hadn't noticed that hotmail had signed me in. When he asked me what I was up to, I very honestly told him that I was on my way to bed because it was getting late for me. I didn't just want to blow him off, but I did really want to sleep. He was very understanding, though and I promised to catch up with him later.
Saturday was my first conversation with Seb. It was also late, but I was too warm to sleep, so since I was up anyways, I talked to him for awhile. We chatted about school and classes mostly, then a little bit about movies at the end. On Sunday, our conversation was mainly about pets and allergies. It seems he has a cat, a dog and a bird and I thought we had a zoo with three cats and one dog! Talking to him means that the subjects are fairly general and pretty "safe".
My first real conversation with Thomas, though (also on Sunday), was more serious. He began to ask a few questions like what I was looking for in a guy and such. I pulled out my famous answer from Secondary Four Spanish class when the teacher asked us to describe our "chico ideal": honest, loyal, intelligent, respectful. I know that sounds very general, but I think it covers most everything; it applies to so many particulars, one of which I expanded to show Thomas just how all-encompassing those few words are. He is pretty much looking for the same thing as me. Though we are on the same page there and share some other commonalities, there were a few topics he raised that have given me pause. Though I have a lot of compassion for his background (which I won't get into here out of respect for his privacy) and could quite probably deal with it as a friend, I am not sure I would be okay with it as his girlfriend. I might need a bit more stability from a boyfriend than Thomas can provide. Our conversation lightened up towards the end, but he also appeared a bit jealous because at that point, I then also had Seb who had signed in and begun talking to me and finally also Alex in yet another window. I felt bad about that and I truly do not want them to feel they have to compete for me. I hope they will leave it to me to be as fair as I possibly can be and treat them with utmost respect and sincerity.
Sunday was my first time talking to Alex. He showed me that he is VERY serious about dating. After asking me a little bit more about my illness, he began asking me all of the tough questions and we did not get to lighten up the conversation later. He wanted to know when my last relationship had been. That's the first time any of them asked me. It was slightly embarrassing, but I told him the truth. When I asked him the same question, he did not reveal the exact amount of time, just saying that it "had been quite awhile". So hopefully that means we are somewhat equal in that respect. Then to try to explain to him in French what I am looking for in a relationship was a bit difficult. I find more and more as I get older that it is not really possible for me to express my opinions or feelings in French adequately. Here we had something lost in translation, so I had to explain to him that looking for "your best friend" in English does not mean you are looking for friendship over a relationship! Once I explained the entire expression and context for him, he said that was an interesting way of putting it. So it seems that I mostly got everything I wanted to across. He asked me if I could send him my display picture so he could see my smile in big. I had posted one from a trip to Old Orchard Beach because I found it summery. I told him that it was not a recent photo and that I had long hair in it, but that I could send it to him. Later, when I thought about it, here was the stereotypical "exchanging pictures" ritual. I never understood that at all. In any case, this was just one-way. I sent him the picture and he said: "je dois avouer que tu es très belle". I said thank you and literally put the embarrassed smiley. I explained to him that I am not used to being complimented like that; I am so used to being invisible I have still not adjusted to the attention! I am not sure I was ready for how quickly he wanted to be serious; that is still a question I am asking myself.
I am still not sure how I feel about instant chatting with these guys. Sometimes it is a good way to get to know people because you get to hear about mundane things (you ask what they're up to while chatting with you) or because sometimes you get them to open up more readily through a screen. It certainly gives me fewer e-mails to answer, which is helpful. It is something I like to do when I don't have the time to go out and see people face to face; it gives me some social time even when I am operating on less energy. Yet, there is something mildly terrifying about it at the moment. I experienced the most discomfort when talking to Alex for reasons I can't seem to put my finger on at the moment, other than the idea that he seems to like me and appears to want to move quickly. I think it is probably a double-edged sword to instant message. I am still able to control it, however and stop entirely if I feel the need to. For now, I'm sticking with it as long as I do not allow it to keep me up too late!