Remember the days before Grindr and OkCupid? When we had to either use antiquated social sites like XY.com or Gay.com to find other gay men in our area to be friends with, or to do other things with? Back in 2004 I was one of those people using XY.com to see who else was out there.
Virginia was a lonely world for a gay guy in his late teen years. I wanted friends or a guy to date. I found a lot of frogs in that time, but no princes. To be fair I was in high school and about to head off to college. I didn’t really know what I wanted at that time.
None-the-less I searched longingly to fill an emptiness inside of me. Then one day I got a message from a guy on XY.com. He was cute, but a bit older. I was a senior in a Virginia high school and he was a freshman at American University in Washington, DC. We talked for a while on AIM, that’s American Online Instant Messenger for you young kids out there, and tried a few times to go on a date. I loved chatting with him online. He was forward, but honest. He was sweet and always knew what to say. He made me laugh every day.
At that point in my life I thought laughter was gone from my world, but he had reintroduced it to me. Unfortunately with his just having started college and my trying to wrap up high school we never got the chance to meet in person before I packed up my bags and moved off to college.
In December of 2007 I graduated from college a semester early. My boyfriend at the time really wanted to move to New York City and I figured it sounded like fun so I went along for the ride.
When I arrived in New York I realized I didn’t know anyone besides the boyfriend I moved up with. At this point in my life my online world had already started to expand. I was on Myspace and Facebook and used them both regularly.
One day when I was sitting bored in my Hell’s Kitchen apartment I decided to see if I could find anyone from my past who may have moved to New York as well via Facebook. I signed into my account and synced all my contacts into my Facebook profile. First my AIM contacts, which included that adorably sweet guy from American University who use to chat with me my senior year of high school.
He popped up as someone from my contact list who was also living in New York City now. I was excited to say the least. I kind of knew someone and possibly could make a friend. No, we couldn’t date at this point because I had a boyfriend, but I figured everyone needs friends.
I decided to make the bold move to write him. I was going to be throwing a birthday bar crawl for a friend so I decided to invite him to that. A group situation to break the ice seemed like a good idea.
Our Facebook conversation started February 21, 2008:
Blair responded to my invitation: hey hun, not sure how we know each other, or what party I am supposed to attend, but I guess if you’re coming to NYC to party let me know where and when, k, hope you have a good bday!
Realizing that I probably sounded a bit crazy since we hadn’t ever met or talked since 2004 I thought I should say more. I added someone I talked to 4 years earlier on a dating website to my Facebook page, invited him to a birthday party and expected him to remember me and come. I tried my best to reign in my crazy.
I wrote him back: I did the find which of your AIM contacts are on Facebook. I decided to check my old screen name from when I lived outside of DC. I think we met when you were in college at American University. Now that I live up here in NYC I figured I’d add you as a friend because it never hurts and I really know no one up here lol. I know it seems random!
I guess Blair realized that his original message was a bit curt so he replied:
Blair’s response on Facebook: No, I wasn’t trying to be mean, just confused and didn’t want to ignore you or anything. That’s totally cool, when I moved up here I didn’t know a ton of people either but now I have a really great group of gay friends and girlfriends from work, etc. So yea, if you and your bf or whomever are ever interested in going out just let me know, they’re a lot of fun. And as I said last night I was kinda confused about when and where your party is so if your having one let me know. Have a good day!
Our conversation continued for a couple more exchanges. I tried my hardest to engage with him and he entertained me to an extent, but as he tells me now he didn’t see much of a point. I had a boyfriend and he wasn’t interested in just being friends.
He never showed up at the party i was throwing and we didn’t get to meet that year. I wasn’t all that surprised, but it was worth a shot to run into him again after 4 years.
Nonchalantly, as all of us do, Blair and I wished each other Happy Birthday on Facebook when our birthday’s came around. While we both arbitrarily invited each other to our birthday parties that year, neither of us went to the others. Our lives continued on separate paths.
While living in Hell’s Kitchen on 47th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues I was walking Evian when I noticed a guy walking toward me. At this point I was married to the guy who I had moved to New York City with, so was still unavailable.
None-the-less the guy caught my eye. I am only human after all. As he got closer I could tell he was looking at me too. He was incredibly sexy. His walk screamed of confidence. His outfit was fitted and stylish and his scruff was so sexy I could hardly take my eyes off it until I noticed his eyes.
He must have noticed me staring because he kindly said hi as he passed. Once we were a few feet past each other we turned, smiled and waved acknowledging that we knew we had just passed each other in person for the first time since we had started talking in 2004.
Sadly, I was taken and he was walking to meet a guy for a date. The stars were not aligned for us at this point.
In 2012 I split with my now ex-husband. Divorces take a long time, but one month after announcing publicly that I was no longer married I got a message that changed my life forever.
I remember it like it was yesterday. I was sitting at my desk at Roosevelt Hospital in Midtown Manhattan when I noticed my Facebook was blinking. Someone had either sent me a message or made a comment. I decided to check it out.
Blair wrote me a private Facebook message on June 27, 2012: So, I know this is kinda random, but I see your pictures on Instagram and Facebook all the time and always thought you were such a cutie. I know we chatted ages ago, but I guess I didn’t realize you were single until very recently. Would it be too forward to ask you out for a drink sometime? Hope you’re enjoying this lovely day. ~ Blair.
I think I read the message twenty times before calling over my work-wife Daisy to read the message with me and stock his Facebook photos. A couple of guys had asked me out since the divorce and I had gone on dates, but none had excited me as much as this guy.
I was hesitant but after ten minutes I wrote him back, “Hi Blair”. Then I must have had further hesitations because it took me two more minutes before I fully responded.
My full response sent on Facebook: You are just the sweetest. I haven’t been single all that long, or at least public about it, so I’m not surprised you didn’t notice. I think a drink would be nice. I do remember we use to talk when we both live in the DC area but never were able to meet up. I am leaving for Virginia early Friday morning and won’t be back until July 12th. Anytime after that would be wonderful. My number is xxx-xxx-xxxx and of course I do think you are cute as well, and a little forwardness is always welcome!
After about 15 minutes he hadn’t responded and my nerves were getting the better of me. I was asking myself a hundred questions. Was I ready to date? Am I moving to quickly? If I wait
Then my conscience started to scream at me. I couldn’t resist writing more because I felt guilty and as if people would judge me for dating.
I wrote: I do have to be honest though, not sure if I am looking to date at the moment, but a drink doesn’t hurt if that sounds good to you.
Smooth, so freaking smooth. I guess playing hard to get has never been my strength. Luckily Blair is patient. He has waited since 2004 to take me on a date, so dealing with a little hesitation didn’t seem much of an issue.
Blair responded like a gentleman: Well that all sounds fine, and I completely understand if you’re not looking to date, I’m kind of in an in-between stage myself, so maybe we can just get a drink and see how it goes, haha. The summer is crazy, I’m in and out a lot as well, but we should be able to find a time after the 12th. (I’m in Chicago July 14-17) Do you wanna just pencil in the 19th and revisit when we get closer?
My response: Yes, we can pencil in the 19th. That works perfectly for me. I work in Hell’s Kitchen so I can stay in the area post work . If I come back from my trip earlier I’ll let you know. My trip is very up in the air at the moment as it’s last minute and things at the office are so crazy busy. Chat soon or see you on the 19th .
I was due to take a two to three-week trip to my parents. I was very fortunate because my job at the time let me travel to my parents since my life had so much going on to get my head on straight. I thought it would be perfect to get me out of the city and away from my ex.
In the days building up to my trip Blair and I started to exchange Facebook messages and text messages. My attraction to him was growing with every day.
By the time I got to my parents we were chatting regularly. I obviously through playing hard to get out of the window, until my parent’s home came into play. Their home tried to force me to play hard to get.
You see, they live in the middle of no where Virginia. The first day I was at their house a storm hit Virginia and Washington, D.C. Power and cell towers were knocked out throughout the area. This was an issue that lasted for about a week.
My parents are fortunate enough to have a land line for phone calls and a backup generator that can give electricity to the guest house I was staying in, but not to the main house. My trip wasn’t ruined, but I couldn’t get on the internet to chat with Blair there. I couldn’t text him or call him from my cell phone either. To top it all off he was in Cape Code with his friend and I didn’t want to interrupt his trip by calling him from the landline. We hadn’t even met after all.
Yet, I learned quickly what type of guy Blair is. Without hesitation or question he called my parents home that first night to talk to me. He enjoyed talking to me and getting to know me. I enjoyed talking to him just as much. As if we were living decades earlier we started a courtship for two weeks over the phone.
When I could, I would drive the hour and a half to Richmond, VA were I could get service on my cell phone. That allowed us to send each other pictures of our trips and further connect with each other.
By July 11th I was dying to get back to New York City. When I left I never wanted to go back, but after two weeks of talking to Blair on the phone I couldn’t wait. We got to know everything about each other. We had no choice, but to talk and learn about each other’s lives. I think that is something missing in a lot of relationships today. Thanks to apps like Grindr people often meet, have sex and move on with their lives.
When the time came for me to decide if I would stay an extra week or go back to New York City I decided I had to go back to New York City. My mother and I hopped in the car and began the long drive up the east coast. The entire time Blair and I texted each other and sent pictures as I made my way back to the city. He was already back from his trip.
My mom and I arrived around 5 pm. She had to continue on to Connecticut for a business meeting, but I had business to take care of as well. I unloaded the car, put Evian in my apartment and immediately headed to Queens. Blair and I couldn’t wait any longer. We mutually decide that July 19th wouldn’t work. The moment I got back to the city on July 11th I ran to the subway and our relationship began. We met for the first time in person and never looked back.
Two years later I have to say, he is every bit as amazing and thoughtful as he had been those first two weeks while I was in Virginia. He is a gentleman that wants only the best for me.
Today we celebrate our two-year anniversary. It’s been the best two years of my life. We’ve moved across the country together and started a new life. We adopted a second dog and began to form our family. Most importantly, we have decided to get married. Sometimes I just have to sit back and remind myself that I have a pretty amazing life and an extraordinary partner.
I’m not a patient person, but sometimes the best things in life are worth the wait!