What an interesting day I've had. I spent the morning recording a piece for Radio Leeds (I'll post a link later) and then headed off to lunch with a potential new man. 'Not another' I hear you cry! But a first meeting is always good fun, and we all know they don't necessarily end up being anything more than a lunch.
On this occasion I'm not sure about taking it any further. He wasn't bad mannered, he wasn't unattractive, he wasn't impolite, in fact he was delightful company but 'different'. Not different in a way that would turn me off after first impressions, but following an enlightening conversation it has given me more food for thought than I actually ate at lunchtime :)
I'm used to dating married men, attached men, unavailable men, cheating, lying and hiding their indiscretions from the world, so this man threw me a little. We talked about his relationship and the situation at home, which I don't usually ask about, but he was keen to volunteer the information. It transpired that he had the full permission of his wife to meet another woman.
I immediately thought she must be disabled or dreadfully ill, she mustn't care about him or what he does, she must have been unable to give him sex for years, but no, I discovered they had a baby six months ago. After a difficult birth she was reluctant to resume sexual relations and recently asked him to join www.illicitencounters.co.uk to find someone new to play with.
He was very upfront and honest about his situation and that itself is commendable but, from the perspective of the mistress, I was a little perturbed by it. I cast my mind back to the times we had spent chatting, building up to actually meeting face to face, and wondered how he had managed so long on the phone. He called me on Wednesday night last week and was on the phone for an hour, I assumed he was in his office, but apparently she had gone to the supermarket to give him time to get to know me. He had told her everything about me, shown her my profile, my pictures, and every text message we had exchanged. When we were nearing the end of our conversation last week he had received a text message. He said it was his wife and I made my excuses to hang up, the last thing I wanted was a man in trouble for speaking to another woman, but he showed me the text message today. It read "On my way home, do you need more time? Hope Karen has been as lovely as you hoped."
Now, I'm all for honesty in my relationships, in fact I expect loyalty and openness when it comes to any friendship or relationship I have, regardless of what lies he might be telling at home, but when does honesty come full circle and become weird or uncomfortable?
I love that he is so honest with me, and its admirable that he's so honest with her, but a small part of me started to feel uneasy when she was referring to me by name.
I'm not sure if I'll meet him again, I need to get my head round it. It's not the fact that men lie and cheat that I decide to date them. Its not part of the attraction by any stretch of the imagination, its more about them not encroaching on my life too much, and he clearly wouldn't do that. He's no different from the other men I date, so why does it disturb me so much that his wife knows everything about me? Its interesting to see a different aspect of the world of infidelity. Practically every man on that site is hiding everything from his partner, but we just don't realise that some broadminded women may well have given them permission to do what they need to do.