I’M about to make a shocking confession, I am a married woman and I have been exchanging kisses with a married man, what’s worse is, I don’t even know him!
It began out of the blue. He’s a married writer who lives in London and we had been working together on a project over the net. After a few phone calls and three emails, he included a kiss on one of his messages. I stared at it for a little while, not really sure what to think. I don’t know you, and we‘re both married, I thought, yet somewhere deep inside I felt a slight inner glow. The brazen part of my brain was thinking, check me out, I’ve still got it! Then I squirmed a bit and wondered how best to handle this. I thought I’d wait and see if there was going to be more kisses before I replied with a smacker of my own. Sure enough, there it was again at the end of the next email, a small X after his name.
I’m not really a cyber kisser. My husband and I don’t even sign our texts to each other with kisses, yet here I was worrying about whether or not it was rude not to kiss this man I barely knew back.
I still feel relatively new to technology and I’m not entirely familiar with the right netiquette. No doubt the guy who cyber kissed me cyber kisses everyone, but all of a sudden I began to think of our relationship differently, there was an instantaneous intimacy, I felt closer to him. I began kissing him back! (I felt so guilty about this that I put kisses on texts to hubby too, as it didn’t feel right kissing a stranger and having no intimacy on texts with my own husband!) Then one day Kisser sent me a hastily written reply to an email and there was no kiss! I was secretly devastated, what had I done? He started it, coming over all Mr Kissyman, then as abruptly as it began, the kissing stopped! I replied to his email and went out of my way to not put a kiss on it. If he thought I was still going to be all kissy kissy with him when he had stopped kissing me then he had another think coming! We were having our first tiff, evidently. Then a reply came back to my next email with a kiss and I was so relieved that I hadn’t done something to annoy him, that I sent him two kisses in return. I almost sent a hug too, but you don’t see them much on the net. I was concerned in case an ‘O’ meant something entirely different in cyber space, perhaps it was the equivalent of having two pampas grass in your front garden or putting bananas in the child seat of your supermarket trolley.
I didn’t want him issuing me with a restraining order so I held back on the hug. I’ve since finished communications with Mr Kissyman and I’m rather relieved as the whole; to kiss or not to kiss debacle was rather stressful. I felt like I was being a tad unfaithful to my husband, throwing kisses at a strange man like a big cyber kissing hussy.
Any email/text contact I have is normally with women, either work wise or socially, kisses from a woman aren’t a problem, I know it’s just a friendly gesture (apart from this one time, but that’s a whole different column!) but male/female cyber kissing is an issue of doubt for me.
Thankfully, I’m not alone in my kissing confusion. A new study reveals that in many cases the kisses used in emails and texts are misconstrued. Both men and women assume a kiss on the end of an email is a bit of a come-on. Out of 1000 people surveyed, 55 per cent of women and 60 per cent of men who’d had an affair at work, admitted that it had initially been sparked with kisses in emails. If that’s not bad enough, 71 per cent of women and 90 per cent of men consider a winking face sign tantamount to a date proposal! An over-friendly 40 per cent of women and 10 per cent of men put kisses on emails to their boss; while 86 per cent say they put kisses in emails to colleagues. Worryingly the study showed that 35 per cent of women and a quarter of men had put kisses in mail that had been wrongly misinterpreted as romantic by the recipient.
Kisses not involving our loved ones can be a dangerous old business. Take the taxi man who picked up the nun. He couldn’t stop staring at her. When she asked him what he was gazing at he said he was very embarrassed, but he had always dreamed of kissing a nun. The nun said she would give him a kiss as long as he was single and Christian. The cab guy said he was. She gave him a fabulous kiss then the cab driver began to cry.
“Why are you crying son?” asked the nun.
“Forgive me, I have sinned. I lied, I’m married and I’m Jewish.”
“It’s OK”, said the nun, “my name is Frank and I’m going to a Halloween party!”
There is now even a new website called HeTexted which helps hopeless romantics decipher what their dates really mean behind their cryptic text messages.
Oh dear! I rather preferred pre-internet days when confusion over kisses seldom arose. As Sam famously sang in the movie Casablanca, ‘a kiss is just a kiss’, but that was before the internet, it seems the fundamental things no longer apply as time goes by.