Hopeful 7 Hopeless 2
As you might have noticed, I often think in song. So when I was thinking of what to title this blog entry about using a pseudonym, I had several songs run through my head. The one that seemed to stick was from the musical Oliver!, sung by the character of ... Bill Sykes! Now, I am not the sort of person who want men to "tremble when they hear it", but I had a bit of a hiccup that was "all on account of" my pseudonym.
I have not told any of these guys my real name. Once or twice I think I have almost fired off an e-mail with my real name signed at the bottom, but so far so good. I have begun to wonder at what point I will be comfortable enough to divulge to one of them what my name is. The first person I admitted this to was Amin, that evening we went to see the fireworks. He thought it was very sensible and wise that I had not given out my real name on the Internet. He seemed somewhat impressed by it, actually! I told him that when I got to know him better, I would tell him.
He seemed entirely satisfied with that. It came about, though, that I got on the subject with Thomas and he was not satisfied. He didn't react favourably at all! I try to be as open and honest as possible when I correspond with these guys so that everyone gets as clear of an idea as possible as to who I am and whether or not that is compatible. So, seeing that honesty was very important to Thomas, I had an opening to tell him that I had not been completely honest in my profile. I explained that it had just been on the two points - my town and my name - simply to protect myself. Everything else, I assured him, was very accurate. He seemed to understand this logic, but he was nevertheless not very happy about it. He wanted me to tell him right away who I am. I, however, was not ready. He felt this was because I am keeping him at arm's length or not trusting him enough. So of course in that light it seems hurtful. I told him to think of it as more of a reflection on me than on him, but I am sure that was of little comfort. Thomas seems to be a really sensitive guy.
Perhaps I am keeping them from getting entirely in by using a pseudonym. I think, though, that it is my right to do so, given the extraordinary circumstances of relationships formed online. I don't want to keep this a secret indefinitely, but I certainly do not want to reveal my name before I am comfortable doing so. I think the determining factor is going to be my decisions about these guys. Once I have worked out for myself where they stand for me, what box they fit into, then I should have no problem telling them. For example, if I figure out that Thomas and I could not go beyond friendship, I will talk this over with him (and I somehow don't expect it will go over that well). In any case, I will give him the option of occupying that place in my life and with that, I will tell him my name and unlock for him my actual e-mail address, my facebook page, etc. This will be the same for if I decide I want to date him. It's the uncertainty that makes me hesitate. I don't want to add someone on facebook who I may or may not want to date, who may not take it well if I don't want to date him... and I don't want my friends ogling at them! I want to be sure and I want to decide before I let them access that part of my life. I don't think that's unreasonable.
That being sad, I felt really bad that evening while speaking with Thomas. For some days after that, we didn't have a chance to chat and I thought he must've still been upset with me. I wished that the choice I'd made was not so hurtful. I truly don't like to hurt people. He explained to me that his Internet was on the fritz, so it appears he was not avoiding me. We have chatted once or twice since and the atmosphere has been upbeat. I hope he is not still all busted up about it and that he will come to understand my decision better. I hope he will forgive me.