Blog Series: Internet Relationship #10: Bob

A gentle reminder of wonderful traits we can all possess when connecting with others.

I have been thinking a lot about people I have known and who know me. I have been thinking about the influences people I have met online play in my life.  Lately, things keep coming up that really have had me on edge, and believe me it has made me wish 100 times over that I could go back and change things drastically. 

Going back to when I was still married, and still trying desperately to save my marriage I saw a picture of a young girl (we will call her May) that looked like it was a picture of myself. I thought to myself, wow how much can a super zoomed-in picture make two people who are so very different look alike. 

Truth be known this young girl had super bone structure, big bright beautiful eyes, cute freckles, lovely skin, and a great figure. We looked nothing alike besides being white and fat. Well for whatever reason it may be, I messaged May about the photo, and from that, we started talking. May was from another country. She was super smart. Way smarter than I am. 

Over the next 2 to 3 years, we would stay friends. At times I would get where I would have to take small breaks from May. She was super opinionated and had thoughts about everything. While I do not think it is a bad thing, I just could not keep up with her in conversation sometimes. Then May had some tragic events happen and she began posting about it constantly. I had a lot of guilt about this topic in my own life, so after a while, I just could not take it anymore.  

Around this time, I met a guy – a super young guy (we will call him Bob), and while I was not his mother’s age, I could have been his mother. By this time, I was trying to find a way to leave my husband and to me, I no longer was mentally faithful to him. I was starving for attention. I was alone, and it felt really good that a young guy wanted to actively talk to me. We started talking as friends, and then flirtation became a part of it. It was easy to love Bob. He was kind, funny, smart, cute, a talker, and very caring. He was also from another country. The same country as May.  Bob and I would become great friends in a short time and friends that tried to be more. The unfortunate thing about our relationship is I was broken, and I could not be what he wanted me to be. I also was very turned off by the idea as Bob was a younger guy. My husband was younger than I as well, and it had gone so badly I would never think of a younger man again being right for me. When I tried a more intimate relationship it just was not going to work but I just could not lose this friendship. So, I said to Bob, I love you too much to try and have a relationship with you. I need a friend much more. 

That was a hard thing to say to someone when you knew how invested they were and how much he cared. However, a friendship continued and we did bond. We spoke daily, had lunch and his dinner together most days. We shared with each other thoughts and feeling as much of each other that you can over an internet connection. I began to see how lonely he was and how much he needed a mate. I knew May lived in the same country and they were both smart, talkers, and sticklers for factual information. I thought them to be a perfect match. Thinking that they would be great friends, and hopefully more one day, I introduce them online. 

May got very mad at me because she thought I did not respect the long-distance relationship she was already in. I could never get her to understand I worried about her in that relationship and thought he was doing to her what I have had done to me more than once. In fact, more than once I encouraged May to end the relationship and move on. It was not that I didn’t respect May, I thought she deserved more. So, I dropped the idea of my two friends becoming friends. 

After that incident, I swore off trying to make friend matches. I had become estranged from May and that didn’t feel too great at all. She never let me forget how wrong I was.  That being said, Bob and May did start chatting and they seemed to be friends, yet May never said thank you for introducing them or you were right we do make good friends. Maybe I was thinking too much about myself and not enough about how she felt, whichever it may have been I begin to have a lack of better words “hurt feelings”. After that, we didn’t talk much and I would often complain about her post on public sites we were both on to Bob.

Meanwhile, Bob started talking to someone in his country (we will call her Amy), and quite honestly it was so toxic. I would listen to him cry and feel so down about himself and I would give him advice based solely on his feelings. I mean, isn’t that what most people do for their friends? I had at this time left my husband and begun living with my spouse now. My spouse and his kids became friends with Bob as well. We all loved him. I felt like our relationship had moved into almost a sibling relationship. I would always say I was talking to Uncle Bob and the kids would instantly say hi and start talking. Well, Bob and Amy were having major issues. I was so upset for Bob. I cried tears for him on this topic. I just wanted Bob to be happy. He kept telling me how this Amy did not want anyone to know they were dating, and how ashamed of him she was. It literally broke my heart for him. I hated Amy because day after day he was so sad. 

One day Bob did not reply to me. One day turned into several days. I got scared. Since I could not call his house phone directly, I messaged May and I asked her if she could someway look up his home phone and call it for me. I explained that he was having a hard go with Amy a girl he is dating and what a terrible bitch she was. She said to me, “He’s got a girlfriend”? I was a little surprised he had not told her himself. I kept speaking about the situation and finally, she said she would call. 

It was not much longer and my phone rang. It was Bob. He says Evie I have to tell you something. Please try not to get mad. Amy is May. I didn’t quite get it at first and I say what do you mean? He tells me that he and May had been having an online relationship and he called her Amy so that he could talk about the relationship with me without me knowing it was my friend May. Mind blown. Now he is telling me May is mad because of all the hurtful things I said to her about Amy not knowing Amy was May. (Gosh this is getting confusing to type). I got so mad at Bob, that I did not speak to him for a hot minute. 

Over this time May messages me a great long text about how horrible I was about her. I tried to remind her it was not her that I was speaking about but a no-face girl named Amy. I tried to explain if it was someone I knew I would have tried to see both sides but because it was someone I didn’t know I spoke only in the interest of Bob. Nothing could get her to see this point. She begins to tell me that I was too faced, and not really a good person. 

After that was somewhat settled, Bob and May did in fact start dating in public. They went live with their relationship, met in person, and eventually begin living together. I was so happy that they both finally had relationships that the spouses were worthy of them. I had less time to talk to Bob but that was understandable. We were still friends and he was still helping me start my social media mark. I could not have even got started in social media if not for Bob. 

This is where I have to stop talking about the events that would completely end our friendships. While it was made public on their end, I refuse to do the same. Privacy is a strange thing now that we are a world that lives on social media. I am not angry at the need to put “one’s truth” out. In any form of situation, there are always 3 sides, yours, mine, and the actual truth. 

I will end this tale with just the major fact. We are no longer friends. I thought maybe it was because May could not be convinced that I did not want a sexual relationship with her boyfriend. Maybe the thought she worried I would influence Bob in a bad way? Maybe she just hated me for not being a good friend to her? I now think I did not spend enough time listing to May and finding out what she truly was mad about because it seems like 3 and half years later it still has not been put to rest. Losing friends is never fun. 

What I can take away from this entire experience is you can in fact have strong relationships form online. You can also hurt someone when you never mean to. Your own opinion on things does not make the opinion a fact. Sometimes you have to step into others’ shoes to see what they see. Lastly, which is the hardest part of this other than losing friends, is accepting that some things can never have a completely happy ending.

XOXO, Evie

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