Last Summer, during my year out (aka the #gapyear I never had), I was in Europe for 3 weeks. After a couple of weeks in Paris, I went on to stay with a friend in Luxembourg. Luxembourg is a place I probably never would have visited if I didn’t have a friend there but it turns out it’s cool. A nice city (Luxembourg City) with close access to forests (yay, nature), and a friendly expat community.
I stayed with my friend ‘Lady A’ and her lovely family. It was actually my second time visiting them, welcoming me into their home. They are one of the nicest families I’ve come across.
Having spent a couple of weeks watching tennis in Paris, I was desperate to play some tennis. I turned up to one of Luxembourg City’s 3 tennis clubs (it was one that Lady A’s friend went to), without racket or balls, to see if I could have a hit with someone. Unfortunately anyone turning up was their for a lesson, and the coaches were all tied up with their clients/groups of kids. No luck.
At Lady A’s suggestion, I texted a couple of her friends who play tennis. Again, no luck. One of them had a lesson and the other, Lady B, told me she was having lessons and was terrible, but we could go for coffee instead?
Hmm, interesting, I thought. Why did she suggest coffee? Is she just being friendly, and trying to soften the sorry-I-can’t-play-tennis blow?
I’d bumped into ‘Lady B’ a couple of times on both trips, including at a birthday meal for her (her 40th, I think) this time around. We were sat at opposite ends of the table, so no real chat took place apart from my wishing her a happy birthday and her politely thanking me.
It felt like she seemed a little nervous, shy even, around me. Maybe that was just her personality. Maybe she didn’t really have any male friends (outside of this group of female friends in the expat community). Maybe it was something else.
I left Luxembourg and decided to be cheeky and test the waters. I knew she was married (with kids), I knew she lived in another country. Maybe I knew I didn’t have anything to lose.
I sent her a Whatsapp along the lines of “Hey, it was nice to see you. Hopefully we can play some tennis next time in Luxembourg!”
It gradually got a little friendlier, with me cheekily saying maybe not to mention to Lady A that we were whatsapping, as she might get the wrong idea. She sent me a cheekyish response back, emoji included, saying our secret was safe.
She was going back to her native country, with her kids and without hisband. Lady A had actually told me that she had gotten married young, and didn’t seem to have the best relationship with her husband.
As well as being attracted to her, I also felt a little sorry for her. She told me her outbound flight was delayed, and that she’d probably be up worrying and not able to relax until she’d safely landed and reached her Mum’s house at the destination.
I followed up to ask how she was getting on. Anyhow, it carried on a little longer, before she seemingly freaked out. Perhaps it was the frequency of our messages, perhaps she felt that this didn’t seem right and it might develop into something inappropriate. Looking back, perhaps it had already gotten so.
Either way, eventually the messages stopped. I noticed her suddenly becoming more curt in her responses, before failing to respond completely. After a follow-up asking if she was OK, and still no reply, I got the message. I sent her one final message, telling her that I hoped she was OK, and apologising if she had felt offended or uncomfortable by our conversation. I also told her that, if we crossed paths again (e.g. if we ever bumped into each other via Lady A in Luxembourg), there’d be no hard feeling on my side.
I haven’t seen her again. And I might never. Part of me would be intrigued to, another part suspects that this would be uncomfortable for us both.
Either way, that wasn’t the only time I’d found myself flirting (innocent, not-so-innocent?) with a taken or married woman. Ashamed as I am to say it, I’ve somehow found myself to unavailable women (not exclusively, I hasten to add) – and they’ve also reciprocated. The mother of a student I was tutored comes to mind. Nothing happened, but it felt there was something there.
In my experience so far, if I’ve tested the waters, there comes a point where it gets awkward for one or both of us, and nothing ever happens. I’m not sure if I’d ever have the guts to do anything physical (especially not sober), as I think my morals would kick in.
Maybe they’re also testing the waters, seeing if they’ve “still got it”. Maybe they’re not having their needs met in the relationships they’re in. Equally, maybe I’m trying to see if there’s any interest for me, with the safety of doing some from women who are, for all intents and purposes, unavailable.
There was another married woman, Lady Y, who I also connected with and we had some deep, and flirty, conversations also around this same time actually. We were even going to meet for a coffee, but after some to-ing and fro-ing from us both, I didn’t get a response from her the last couple of times – and I’ve not tried to (the last message was a Happy New Year one, I believe).
Note 1: to re-iterate, though I’ve tested the waters, I’m not sure I would go so far as physically cheat. Chances are my morals would kick in and I’d bottle it.
Note 2: That said, I have kissed a girl with a boyfriend. Quite passionately, after some drinks, and in a different country. I’ll share that story another time.
✏️ Written: Friday, 16th February 2018 (time not recorded)
What about you? 👀
Have you ever flirted close to the line (pun intended), or crossed it completely? I’d love to get the gossip…