Victor and I had a very unconventional relationship. I mean, we never met in person and all our dates were on Zoom. However, nothing was normal in 2020. COVID had just rocked the whole world and everything seemed to have turned upside down. I was getting serious cabin fever after being in lockdown for a few weeks. So I decided to join a dating app where I could meet people and have some kind of human interaction. Victor was one of my first matches but we didn’t talk to each other for some time. It was actually a week but during the lockdown, time seemed to move slowly.
After a series of creepy suitors, I decided to give him a chance. It was actually fun. Victor was a romantic and made our Zoom dates feel like the real deal. I could tell that this wasn’t the first time that he was dating over Zoom. I was sceptical about making a meaningful connection but he proved me wrong. Any time we’d have a date, he would light candles, pour wine, and play romantic music. To be honest, those Zoom dates were some of the best moments I had during the lockdown.
The only challenge with Zoom dates was that it was difficult to be intimate – not just physically but emotionally. There’s something about physical touch that makes you let your guard down. I could tell that Victor was holding back and no matter how hard I tried to break his walls, he still held back.
“You know we’ve been talking for almost a month now and I don’t even know what you do for a living,” I complained.
Victor was good at romantic stuff but he was lousy at heart-to-heart. Anytime I brought up his personal life, he’d get defensive.
“I told you, I’m a trainer.”
He had never told me but I was happy that I learned something about him. He did look like a trainer. His huge muscles were a dead giveaway.
“How has work been?”
“Good now. But I had a rough time at the beginning of the pandemic.”
“Well, I’m happy to hear that you’re good now.”
He was still secretive and it took a lot of questions for him to reveal things about himself. Nonetheless, we had lots of fun Zoom dates. I even started training with him. We had formed a really close relationship and we talked multiple times a day. However, things slowly started to change.
We talked less and at times when I called him, his number was busy.
“I was training my clients.” He said.
I believed him at first but it continued getting worse and more suspicious. On the days that we planned a Zoom date, he would be late and he wouldn’t turn on his camera. The COVID restrictions had been lifted and I hoped that he would ask me out on a real date. However, he insisted on sticking to the Zoom dates.
“They work so well. Let’s not spoil a good thing.” He said.
I actually agreed with him. The Zoom dates were so great and I don’t think I was ready to let them go. Victor was still acting weird, though. He didn’t always pick up my calls and the romance was slowly dwindling. I decided to take charge since I thought that he was overwhelmed at work and that was why he couldn’t give me his full attention.
I recreated one of our most romantic Zoom dates. The room was filled with bouquets of flowers and candles. I cooked the same meal we had – spaghetti and meatballs – and played RnB songs. However, Victor stood me up. He didn’t even answer his phone to explain himself. He contacted me days later to apologize.
“I’m so sorry. I had gone to a training conference which I forgot to tell you.”
He rescheduled the date and promised to make it up to me. Sure enough, he went out of his way to show that he cared about me. The old romantic Victor was back and I was loving it. For some time, things were back to normal. We even started making plans to meet in person.
However, I noticed something strange while we were on a Zoom date. Victor had set up the date in the kitchen since I told him I wanted to see his cooking skills. That’s when I saw a picture on top of the fridge. It was a woman. Victor hadn’t mentioned anything about any woman. In fact, he hardly spoke about women which I thought was amazing. It was hard to find an attractive man who wasn’t a womanizer. Now, I started to see that the deal was too good to be true.
“Who is that?” I asked as he chopped some veggies.
“The woman on your fridge?”
“Oh.” He was silent for a minute. “That’s my sister.”
“You never told me you have a sister.”
“Honestly, I like you a lot and I can’t lie to you anymore. That’s my girlfriend. We’ve been apart for almost a year now. She was supposed to come back to the country a few months ago but she couldn’t because of COVID.”
“You’ve been lying to me this whole time!” I yelled.
“I didn’t mean to.” He said. “I just didn’t want to lose you.”
He spent the rest of the date explaining how he met his girlfriend and that he felt bad for lying to me and cheating on her. He then dropped the bombshell.
“I’m not really a trainer. I’m currently unemployed and my girlfriend is the one supporting me.” He started. “Whenever I was unavailable on Zoom, I was on a call with her and not a client.”
Just when the worst was over, he dropped another bombshell.
“I’m going to stay with her.”
Those words punched me right in the gut. He had fed all kinds of sweet nothings and made me believe that he genuinely cared about me. Now, I found out that he had a girlfriend the whole time and he was choosing her over me. I was heartbroken, to say the least.
I never thought that an online relationship could hurt me the way it did but Victor and I had become more than just online lovers. He helped me open up more and gave me something to look forward to during the lockdown period. Though it didn’t work out, I will always remember those Zoom dates.
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