Texting Timelines and Distant Lovers

Someone I know posted a photo on Instagram the other day, and next to him I spotted a fuck buddy of mine that I hadn’t seen in a long time. Seeing him reminded me of the nice connection we had, so I decided to message him right away. Let’s call him Boy19. Unfortunately, my message to Boy19 came back to bite me in the ass. Though it was friendly, our conversation ended abruptly when the man who posted the pic – much to my unknowing, his partner – messaged me to tell me how he was upset about the text exchange. In my mind, I was just being a curiously perverted friend, as that’s what my friendship with Boy19 previously consisted of. Before, we’d always kept in touch about our kinky adventures and sexual (mis)behavings, and I didn’t know that anything had changed. The problem is, even though I didn’t know that the two of them were now dating, I had done something wrong. After spending some time on TikTok and contemplating the recent text-fail situation, I couldn’t help but wonder, what’s the statute of limitations for text flirting?

My relationship with Boy19 spans about three years. Maybe relationship is too strong a word to use here because we only played a few times together; the rest of the time we connected through flirty messages and photos on WhatsApp. I met this person when he was 19 (hence the clever pseudonym) when he was just starting to discover his kinky side. We had a couple of hot sessions and kept trying to reconnect in person, but it wasn’t so simple as he was living a distance away, studying in university. Once the pandemic hit, it grew into more of a long-distance, sexting friendship between us. Even though we didn’t meet for over a year, we still kept in touch from time to time for updates and attempts to meet. In this last year between lockdowns and long-distance, we hadn’t been in contact at all, so it was a nice reminder to see his face again on Instagram.

For this reason, you could imagine my surprise when I was confronted by this uncomfortable exchange of words with Boy19’s partner, someone I like and respect. Knowing he was upset with me especially bummed me out. It suddenly got me thinking. Is it me? Am I the drama? I don’t think I’m the drama. Maybe I am? Am I the villain? After I took some more time to think about it and distract myself – yet again with TikTok – I realized that it was not me who was the bad guy here. I realized that no one was. We were not in contact enough to know each person’s side of the story when it all went down. In the end, in classic texting drama form, it was all just a big misunderstanding. But when does it go from old buddies getting in touch to desperate, lonely and out of touch?

In a similar situation, but with the shoe on the other foot, an old fuck buddy just messaged me this week. His questions shifted quickly from the polite ‘how-do-you-do’ to a more on the nose ‘do-you-wanna-fuck’. I hadn’t seen him in a couple of years, and I wasn’t opposed to hooking up with him again, but similar to the situation with Boy19, I now have a boyfriend and I’m not as available or eager to meet, so I left it with a ‘have-a-good-day’. His message didn’t upset me, but instead, I was a little flattered to think he still thinks of me. If he’d messaged me under different circumstances, we’d probably end up fucking that night. But anyway, I think it was just nice to hear from him.

I think we can ask the same question about those friends or acquaintances we’ve grown apart from over these past couple of years of lockdowns and restricted travel. How long is too long to reconnect? The idea of getting back in touch or staying connected seems nice, but perhaps the pandemic served as a way to clarify who we do and don’t want to keep in touch with. Even though I have a Rolodex of guys/people I used to check in with regularly pre-pandemic, I’m at peace knowing that I may not connect with any of them again. Or at least I’m not connecting with them right now. Who knows, if I find myself single again I could discover that inspiration in an old friend or fucker from the days of yore, message them, and find out if there still lies a connection… or not. Either way, I don’t have any rules about it. After all, what harm could a little text message do?