I smile when I get a message from him - email, text, or IM - not because the content of the message is funny or entertaining, but because his effort to make the connection pleases me. I know that in the middle of his day he was thinking of me, and he took the next step to let me know by reaching out through the virtual world to find me.
When we talk about work or books or any one of a thousand other topics, we make an intellectual connection. He cares what I think and how I think, and he shares his thoughts, too, bringing the connection full circle.
When we make love, I am immersed in the power and gentleness of his physical presence and I feel the depth of our emotional connection.
When I first signed on to that online dating site for married folks, that's exactly what I was looking for - a connection. I had what seemed like a million contacts with people in my life, but they all skimmed the surface and very few made it through to actually touch me in a meaningful way. Even the primary relationships in my life had become predictable, rote, unauthentic.
I wanted a physical, emotional, and intellectual connection with someone.
Sex wasn't, and isn't enough. Chatting and talking on the phone wasn't, and isn't, enough. I wanted someone to touch me on every level, to pull me out of the isolation I had retreated to after years of self-protection. I wanted someone to make me feel something again. I wanted someone to know absolutely everything there was to know about me, particularly those hidden things that I'd been protecting for years. I wanted someone to push through my defenses and fears and touch the real Kat....and love her.
It's a lot to ask of someone, I know, especially when you're not looking for a spouse, but a lover, and you're not planning to leave your marriage for all sorts of complex reasons. It's asking someone to invest in you in all of those ways - emotionally/spiritually, intellectually, and physically - just for the pure joy and pleasure of that connection, without a promise or an expectation of more. After all, how can there really be more? If you make a connection on all of those levels, isn't that as good as it gets?