This is a tricky one (for me at least).
Imagine a relationship you develop with someone online, which is kind of friendship to begin with, then evolves through joking and flirting and sharing of life events and aspirations into something almost romantic with carnal overtones, and involves months of daily messaging across the world, noises of exclusivity and commitment in anticipation of meet up…
…and then …all of a sudden, as if by magic (and I say that mindfully), there is withdrawal and confusion and it all goes cold, yet the evidence doesn’t point to an obvious reason, if anything it contradicts that, and points to something changing specifically between the two, that is elusive and ineffable, and does not fit the flow.
One party already believes they have fallen in love many months back, encouraged by the constant affection and flirting and expression of feelings by the other.
The former, maintains contact, although different. The latter flies literally across the world to see the former face to face for the first time just for a day, in new and less comfortable circumstances, The “connection” persists, like the residual temperature of warm coal. To extend that metaphor, there is apparently part of the fire triangle remaining, and with some changes or intervention, the fire could reignite and burn again. There seems to be uncertainty or reticence to stamp the smouldering remains out.
It’s difficult to even know what to call such a relationship, which makes it difficult to know what to do to repair or restore it. It’s not quite acquaintanceship, it’s not quite friendship; it’s not quite romance; it’s not quite dating; it’s not quite a fully formed partnership; it’s perhaps something like an LDR semi-relationship, an affectionship, or a potentialship.
Either way it was some kind of ship, and that ship seems becalmed, but not quite wrecked, and not sunk. It was an engaging adventure and a satisfying story, that seems to have ended abruptly, or perhaps it’s a hiatus or midpoint. So what to do with it? How to do anything with it at all? Can it moved backwards, forwards, sideways, up, or down? Is it imaginary, and can it become real?
This and many questions I have. Asking the right question is often the hardest thing; especially when it’s hard to define what you are asking about.