We recently heard from Like Seeking Like, who wondered if there was anything wrong with having a platonic email relationship with John, a writer who happens to be married. I wondered why she and the married writer had exchanged photos if the relationship was so platonic — "nothing romantic or sexual."
Like Seeking Like is back to answer my question — sort of. As always, there's a lot more to the story ...
She says: "He sent me, electronically, about a dozen full-length pictures of himself, I believe old ones. Then he asked me for a picture of myself. First I electronically sent him a seven-year-old, poor-quality picture. Then I sent him two more recent pictures, actual snapshots, that had been taken at a wedding two years ago. But that still wasn't recent enough, I thought. So I had a friend take a full-length picture of me which I sent electronically to John.
"I have to admit that the egotist in me was eager to show John how not-so-horrible I look even though I'm older than he is. He said I look half my age in my most recent picture. He sounded sincere. But of course, I was smiling and I was wearing mascara and I'd set my hair the night before, as I always do when I go out. At home, when I'm not expecting company, I don't look so hot. Still, for my age ...
"Only once did a letter of his include something suggestive, but after I scolded him for it, he promised to cease and desist. I'm amazed that after a life filled with so much romantic adventure, and so many loves, as well as affairs, including a few innocent ones, that now, years after I purposely stopped dating (at the stupidly too-early age of 50, when I was still good-looking in a youngish way), I'm once again having what feels like a romantic relationship. I can't help wondering if I gave up looking for Mr. Right too soon.
"P.S. As I sat down to write this letter to you, I saw only one letter in my in-box, which I'm about to read. It's from John. I feel relieved. It's been days since my previous letter from him. He gets tons of mail, so it's a feather in my cap that he answers mine at length. He doesn't have the time!"
Your thoughts ...
NORA: I think Like Seeking Like needs to make some new friends. If she's becoming that emotionally attached to her platonic email friend, she needs to start dating again and have some real flesh-and-blood male friends who are available!
ROSE: Like Seeking Like is fooling herself if she thinks this is a totally innocent friendship. It happens all the time — two people hit it off and think it's just platonic, and then it turns into something more. Even if it's totally innocent, he should be having this emotional connection with his wife, not her.
Have you changed the rules on your partner? How's that working for you? Send your tale, along with your questions and problems to [email protected] And check out my e-books, "Dear Cheryl: Advice from Tales from the Front" and "I'll Call You. Not.