Long before I decided to marry again, I had been corresponding with a married American man who opened my eyes to a lot of things and who actually played a major role in my maturity level now. His name is FC.
I met FC when I was working as company physician in Dusit Hotel (my employer had a retainership contract with the hotel). I initially had to attend to his co-worker (they were in PI for business) who had diarrhea. He was cute and was jolly friendly. I had a crush on him, but I did not expect anything would develop from that point in time. 4 days after I treated his friend he was in the clinic again, this time with fever. I thought...hmmm...did he just want to see me again? There were 4 of us doctors rotating in that hotel. I could not help thinking that he might have purposely gone to the clinic in time for my duty. It was a viral infection, but I instructed the nurse to check on his illness' progress. During the check-up I mentioned to him something about listening to the body cues -- that the fever was a way of telling that the body needed rest. I left a calling card with the nurse, instructing her to give it to him. Kilig si nurse, pero she told me she noticed he had a wedding ring. Oh well, I was not that serious about it anyway. But I was kinda excited...
I felt strongly that I would receive an email from him within the next few weeks..and I did! But it was a gratitude letter, saying that he planned to heed my advice in that he and his wife wer attending a wedding of a relative's and that he would have a whole week off to rest. That started our friendship. I saw how mature he was, how he valued his family. WE kept exchanging emails, talking about a wide range of topics..He was such a sensitive man, always on the lookout for ways to help the marginalized children and women. He said I gave him a lot of insights about how it was to live in the 3rd world, and that a lot of his convictions were confirmed by corresponding with me. I developed a "close" relationship with him, pouring to him all my heartaches and frustrations as if he were my interactive diary. By the subsequent month he was to come back for a follow-up on their company's machinery in Laguna. I felt cold...I was anxious and unsure and excited about meeting him again with fresh eyes...Apparently he was too, although I did not know that before his trip back. We remained on a friendly level until the next visit.
When he came back we had friendly "dates". The first night he deliberately refrained from meeting me. He was a bit nervous. But the next nights we had been together dating every night. WE learned more about each other...but never carnal knowledge. On our last night together he confessed he had fallen in love with me, that he did not mean to be so, but he could not help falling in love with me ("What can I do? You're lovable and intelligent, it was not hard to fall in love with you."). But we were on a dead end. Even if his feelings were reciprocated (and I admitted that), he was married and we both respected the sanctity of marriage. I never wanted to be a home-wrecker. That last night we finally spent the night together all night in his hotel room (I was cautious about seeing the employees of the hotel!), but we just held each other...in what I would call as silent mourning for the love that we shared yet could not consummate. Though I desperately wanted to surrender myself to him I was thankful in the respect that he showed me. And he gained my respect more because of that (I could never imagine a Filipino man being able to pass up on that kind of opportunity!). For a while we just continued our long-distnace relationship, exchanging stories and views and savoring the platonic relationship (I told him on our last night together that I loved him too, but that I was not expecting anything in that relationship.)
Then a nurse friend introduced me to chatting sometime in 2000. It was a very exciting way to find another man. Gradually I was spending less time writing to FC. Chatting made me realize that there were a lot of mature, intelligent and interesting single men out there! Suddenly I had a lot to choose from. Chatting made me realize that I was highly desirable (at least to the white men), and that being a widow with two kids actually reflected a higher value! AS one email told me,"It's hard to find a beautiful woman, harder to find a beautiful wife, and even harder to find a beautiful mom!" Wow, suddenly I felt, "Ang ganda-ganda ko!" And I had a lot to choose from (thanks to the internet!) I did try to correspond with other Nationalities, but so far, those that attracted me most in terms of looks and intellect were the Americans. Whereas initially I thought of them as arrogant bastards (I did meet some like that), my relationship with FC and my chatting with a lot others gave me more insight as to the good nature of a lot of them. So I considered having an American as my second husband.