The pace and consistency of communication moved to a new level after our “second date” while Alex was in town. Looking back on this time, I can honestly say the pace and frequency of communication between he and I, was led by Alex. It was initiated by him. I am not denying that I would respond and was available when he would text, because I was. He began to understand that if he texted me at basically any time of day or night, there was a great chance I would be available and respond within a short period of time. That’s one of the advantages of being single. My time was my time and I wasn’t under the control of someone else’s schedule. Plus, I enjoyed our exchanges because we both had so much in common – similar places and passion in our careers, involved in the same business and business unit, and the growing friendship.
On the flip side though, I did have an awareness when he went home at night and our conversations and interaction should stop as he had a wife and obligations with his family, and I didn’t feel like I had a place to interrupt that. In my head, I couldn’t justify communicating with a coworker at night. Sure there were times it would happen, but those instances were by far the exception, not the rule.
So when he started texting me at night and on the weekends, I knew something had changed, again. The ironic part was that we didn’t often have work related things to talk about in the evenings or on the weekends to justify his communicating, so it did become about random things. Things he thought I would think were funny or entertaining, or just random things he was doing. It was weird. I couldn’t figure out why he was texting me about those things and I couldn’t figure out what had changed, other than two people getting to know each other and progressing in whatever type of relationship this was.
One Saturday night he sent me some text messages and for some reason I asked him where he was or somehow it came up what he was doing. He shared with me that he was on a date night with his wife and they were at a restaurant. What? He was texting me while he was on date night with his wife? Why? What he was texting me about was definitely something that could wait and fell into the random category. I instantly felt a bit awkward. We all have been sitting across the table from someone who is glued to their phone and it is insulting and annoying. How could he be sitting across from his wife, texting me? I began wondering what his wife must have thought about him texting almost non-stop through their dinner. Did she know who he was texting with? If so, did he tell her it was work related even though it wasn’t? I cannot imagine any wife being okay with her husband texting a single, female coworker while they were on a date! Even if he had told her there was stuff going on at work to justify our exchanges, it wasn’t true! There was nothing going on at work! I felt like this was bad. Very bad.
While I couldn’t figure out why he would be texting me during this time, there was also a different reaction inside of me that I couldn’t explain. There was a pang of excitement. I was excited that he wanted to talk with me at a time when he should be focused on other things. Immediately after feeling excited, however, I felt guilty again. I shouldn’t be excited about this! He is married!! Plus, I kept reminding myself, a man like him, would never be interested in a woman like me, so it can’t be anything more than people casually texting with each other. Could it?
As most women do, I did a gut check with the two friends who knew what was going on – Christina and Mary. Both of them came to the same conclusion – no man, who is on a date with their wife on a Saturday night would text a woman he considered just a coworker. It didn’t make sense. They both said he must consider me more than a coworker. When talking to them about it, I agreed! There was no way a happily married man would be texting a woman during date night that he viewed as just a coworker. But, immediately after agreeing with them, I went back to the place of – it isn’t anything more than two coworkers who get along.
The mixed emotions of guilt and excitement were exhausting. I wish I were confident enough just to flat out ask him. I wish I were confident that he would be honest in return. He is such a black / white, right / wrong guy, that I could completely see him denying it regardless of the examples I provided him. Ugh. It made me feel so crazy. While I was being driven crazy, I couldn’t get him off my mind. I looked forward to his text messages, and I looked forward to talking with him. Frankly, I looked forward to every single exchange we had with each other.