I only met my wife eight times, in person, before we got married.It all began on a late evening in Toronto when a woman from Los Angeles messaged me on Ok Cupid to say she liked my look, and that it was a shame about the distance.
The first time I met B’s children, we all played basketball in the driveway, where I attempted to block their mother’s rush to the net with the enthusiasm of a pet dry humping a pillow. I’ve long ago fit “stepparent-in-training” into my Twitter bio at the expense of other self-identifiers. We’d removed all the typical stressors of a sudden wedding.As I’d said to a friend earlier that day, “If she’s not already in my bed, it’s too far to go.”Emotional distance has always gotten the better of me, so my friend, a couples’ therapist, suggested I try online dating.The safety of not having to meet a person in real life, she said, might lead me to speak more honestly about myself.The greetings eventually became more domestic; birthday wishes to mutual friends, washing the dogs, an occasional (and reluctant) greeting from one of the boys.Sometimes, I just fired up the webcam and ate cereal, about as domestic as it gets.* * *Upon first deciding to meet in person, B and I agreed we wouldn’t have sex for 24 hours.