I can't stand not being near you, while still being imaginary bf / gf. It started off as two "content creators" interacting with each other online, but after awhile it no longer felt like it was only a meme. Over the summer especially, I really did begin to think of you being there during my IRL activities. Not just as a companion -- as in, "I really wish Aimee were here so I could carry her tiny body around the park in a piggyback."
This is honestly the first time I've ever gone so far into a purely online relationship. I'm quite simply averse to online substituting for IRL. But this is the first time I actually felt tempted to try it out and see what happens. You're that fascinating of a persona, to pique the curiosity of an "online is not real" guy. The 15 years of archives here don't lie: I have never felt such affection for an online persona before.
Friends, acquaintances, collaborators, real-talk buddies -- of course. But nothing like an online gf, however spectre-like.
But that's just the thing -- as the boundaries between online and IRL have begun to blur for me, it's not enough to be digital-dating. I would need to feel your head nestled into my shoulder. Or watch you zip around high on Red Bull and knock into the furniture by accident, tapping with a grin your "Please be patient, I have autism" hat. :)
See, that's what I mean -- you don't really have that hat! It's just a meme, yet somehow more vividly visible than whatever errands I ran today IRL.
We live on opposite sides of the world, and are rooted there by families, childhoods, and the rest of it. There's no way we're actually going to give that all up to give IRL dating a chance.
So, I'd like to go back to how we were beforehand (RETVRN), where I lurk your Twitter feed, sometimes respond to your takes with a post here on the same topic, and perhaps write an infrequent song where you are a muse rather than a would-be gf, and where the audience is your online fandom rather than you alone.
I've already started to do this over the past couple weeks, after sensing a clear "man overboard" point with the "Lady of Red Bull" song. I don't care that it's adapted from what most people (not me) consider a cringey Boomer wedding song. I stand by every one I've written to or about you. I mean that that was the point where I sensed things heading too far for an online-only relationship. I would only be satisfied if we eventually ended up as a couple that could enjoy that kind of song together, falling in love for the first time all over again during a long marriage.
I'm writing this so that you don't mistake my relative silence over those weeks, as a loss of interest in you, loss of respect, loss of affection, or anything like that. That kind of process takes some time to navigate and arrive at the end of, otherwise I would've let you know immediately. Maybe this is familiar terrain for digital-native Millennials? Not for me.
I'm also writing this so that no one else in the audience, yours or mine, gets the wrong idea. Did I lose my feelings, did she act like a bitch, etc.? No, not at all. No drama, no juicy gossip. Simply me not feeling comfortable pushing an online-only relationship that far, with you or anyone else in the future.
But frens can interact with each other purely online, and the distance does not get in the way.
And perhaps it's only fitting poetically for the Girl All the Banned Guys Want to remain unattainable...
October 1, 2021
Aimee T. : Preserving frenship, in place of Apu-and-Aspie-ship