At the time we were going through a bought of un-medicated insomnia so our six hour time zone difference didn't seem so bad, he flirted with us occasionally, and we flirted back. He’d send us e-mails on occasion, commenting on things, asking questions, agreeing with us that Natural Born Killers was one of the better romance films he’d seen; continuing to read our blog daily. Eventually we began to talk about potentially meeting, and then decided we should have a date on Skype.
We had planned to not pursue relationships any longer after the last one we had, with Significant Other, ended, decided to come out publicly about our mental illness and work slowly toward helping raise mental health awareness, and writing about our life. We knew we would never be able to keep the Us, and our “illness” a secret from any man we ever dated again, realizing it wouldn’t be right to date a man, then after weeks, months, tell him we were ill. We resolved to a life of being single and only casually dating men, having “alternative” styles of relationships. We also didn’t want a relationship for reasons to do with privacy (we like being alone), and complications that might arise because of the way we decided to live, honestly, with no more hiding, so we could heal, come to terms with our history of abuse, and work towards a healthy life for us.
For weeks it went on and we started discussing meeting in person and then we invited him to come visit us. He was excited and did what he could to fly to us as soon as he could. We were still not interested in a relationship; we couldn’t look past the distance, and the difficulty not only with our illness, but also immigration issues. Being the adventurous type, and willing to try anything we thought why not, he was nice enough, and willing to pay his way.
In July 2011 we met James at the local airport; we were excited, slightly nervous. He was better looking in person than on the computer. Our first kiss was seconds after see each other, in the international arrival room of the airport. Someone nearby made a snide comment about “kids”, we didn’t care. After weeks of dating online we couldn’t keep our hands off of each other.
The most important thing we did, looking back over the months we were single, was finally dealing with a lifetime of baggage, condensing it, eliminating some of it; working on ourselves, and changing the way we approached dating and relationships. It’s important to be happy with you, accept whoever you are, to not go into every date thinking they “might be the one” because in doing that you are doing a disservice to the one who is truly “the one” …not to mention putting immense pressure on the situation.
We try to have a fairly open and transparent relationship with him. We value honesty, even if it’s hard, it beats the pain of the opposite, the pain of secrets. James knows a relationship with us isn’t going to be easy, but he loves us, he loves who we are, and is willing to work at it. He knows we don’t all love him, he knows when he feels the urge to tell us he loves us, he may not be getting an “I love you” in return. He knows that a good relationship required work, and communication, just like a friendship. No relationship is organic.
We are happy we took the time to start dealing with our issues, to be stronger together, to be who we are, to learn to love ourselves, because how can you expect someone to love you, if you don’t love yourself.