I fell in love with a married man on a plane here from Miami just as the March lockdown had started.
We were both wearing masks, both wiping down the seats and trays, and there was an empty seat between us. I think the atmosphere of anxiety and stress allowed us to talk very personally.
He spoke warmly about his wife, lovingly about his two young daughters. I was unusually open about why my ex-husband and I had separated just six months earlier.
I’d dated a couple of men since, but no one interested me.
The flight wasn’t long, but by the time we landed, I knew I had a crush. We exchanged “business” emails.
I made the first contact, expressing concern about how things were going with everything so different.
We stayed in touch for three months. By then, we’d shared concerns for aging parents during the pandemic, the difficulties of his managing his business, the loneliness of my working from home…
Sometimes, not often, we teased about “having lunch together one of these days.” We came closer than that to meeting in a park half-way between his office and my apartment… he cancelled two days prior.
It was okay, because I knew by then that I’d fallen in love with his decency, and had no real expectation that we’d ever get together romantically.
I feel like I went through an important experience. What’s your take on this non-relationship story?
The Never-Happened Affair
It’s a love-yourself story. You learned the value of a man and his family life without wanting to destroy it through an affair.
He’s not a cheater and neither are you. Being single again didn’t give you feelings of entitlement to come in between another’s marriage.
Meanwhile, he helped confirm your own self-respect and values.
A “crush,” in a mature woman, can be a window on the qualities you admire and seek in someone… not the obsession of a teenager, by contrast.
My “take” on your story is that you’re more ready now to date selectively, knowing the qualities you seek in a future partner.
My East European grandmother felt her son could do no wrong. My grandfather knew better. Early on, his son got involved in dodgy deals while his sister (my mother), sought education and a respected job.
She eventually divorced, left Europe, and brought me to North America with her.
Two decades later, her brother’s landed in serious trouble costing him his home, car, job. My widowed grandfather won’t let him live with him, fearing more trouble, but also doesn’t want him homeless.
He’s asked my Mom who’s finally working again as her job “opened up,” to send her brother money to buy his own apartment (not expensive by our standards but a lot for her).
I’m furious about it. I’m self-supporting and doing fine, so this isn’t about any loss to me, personally.
But I know that, because he was once registered as living there, when my grandfather passes, his son will inherit the house. That’s how it works over there.
He’ll never pay back my mother any money she sends him now, or share that inheritance.
I’ve told her not to send the money. But she feels she must.
What should I say or do about this?
Respect your mother’s wish to not worry her father, and her loyalty to her brother.
She’s consistently modeled independence, the ability to make courageous choices, maintaining ties to her father and her past.
Lucky you. Stay supportive.
My daughter 13, has a “boyfriend.” They became close friends two years ago when they worked on a big school project together.
She took some teasing initially but her close friends think he’s cool (he’s an excellent athlete), and everyone got used to their always hanging out.
They stayed in touch so much during the pandemic that both her family and mine decided to include the “other half” in their bubble.
Is it too early to talk about sex, STD’s and using protection with my daughter, or would I be putting ideas into her head?
It’s not at all too early to talk about inappropriate touching, or about her having the right to say, “No,” to anything, and how sexually-transmitted diseases get passed.
Talk to his mother, too, if possible. Neither of you should take for granted that they won’t experiment. Best to insist that a parent be at home when they visit each other.
Tip of the day:
Consider the qualities/values you seek in a partner, then date selectively.