I’ve had a very busy and exhausting time recently in the world of online dating. I went on a second and third date with Mr. Baseball Cap and had several first dates with some new guys. I also started chatting on the dating website with a new guy that I haven’t met yet.
I’ll start with the first dates. The first one was a lunch date with a guy I’d actually exchanged phone numbers with and had been texting with for awhile. He was very nice and funny in his texts and the place he suggested to meet for lunch had sushi, which I was very excited about. I got to the restaurant a little early and didn’t see him in the lobby, so I pulled out my phone to send him a text letting him know that I was in the lobby. Just as I was typing the text, I heard a voice say to me, “You don’t need to text me, I’m right here.” And there was my date. I’ll call him Mr. Wristwatch because he wore a watch with a gigantic face and it was very hard not to notice his giant…watch.
So the date itself went well. The sushi was quite tasty. But most of our conversation was small talk. There was a TV over the bar that had the Weather Channel on and we kept commenting on the blizzard hitting the east coast. Wow, really? How old am I that the weather is part of my dating conversation? I am almost embarrassed to admit that we talked about the weather. Multiple times. Despite the elderly conversation about the weather, we had a nice time. I didn’t feel a spark though. He was very nice and funny, but I just didn’t feel it.
Another first date was with a guy I’ll call Mr. Fidgety. I’m sure you can guess why. He was also very nice and kind of funny, but clearly nervous. He didn’t seem to be able to sit still very well. And he seemed to have a little trouble getting some of his sentences out. I mean, I suppose one can get nervous on these first dates, but I don’t. I mean, there are times when I feel a bit uncomfortable or it’s awkward, but I’ve never felt nervous. Not once. Is that normal? Am I supposed to get nervous? I get nervous for job interviews and whatnot, but not dates. Maybe I’m just not taking these dates very seriously or maybe my subconscious somehow knows that I’m not going to “click” with these guys.
Next, I had a coffee date with a guy I’ll call Mr. Big Smile. This date started out awkwardly, but turned a little more comfortable as we talked. I got to the coffee shop early and ordered a coffee and sat at a table waiting for Mr. Big Smile to show up. I amused myself by looking through the plethora of random crap on Pinterest and quietly laughing to myself at the humorous pins I came across. Then my phone notified me that I had a message from Mr. Big Smile on the dating website, and the message said that he was in the coffee shop and would wait for me to get there. What is happening, I thought. I looked around the coffee shop and didn’t see my date anywhere. Then I looked behind me in the corner and there he was, literally sitting over my right shoulder. Sigh. So I turned in my chair and said, “Hi.” And he looked up and I think he was maybe a little embarrassed that I was practically in front of him that whole time. He sat at my table and apologized for not noticing me when I came in and I countered with my own apology about how it was my fault for having my nose buried in my phone and not paying attention to who came in the door (damn you, Pinterest!).
Anyways, the rest of the date was fine. We talked about our families and some common interests we shared. It was not a bad date, actually, and Mr. Big Smile was very sweet, but so very soft spoken that several times I had to lean forward and say, “What was that?” I felt a little awkward asking him to repeat himself because he was not born in the U.S. and even though he spoke perfect English, I know he struggled a little with pronunciation because of his accent. I didn’t want him to think that I was asking him to repeat himself because I couldn’t understand what he was saying due to his accent; I just couldn’t hear him, was all.
At the end of the date we did exchange phone numbers and I think he really wanted to hang out with me longer, but I actually had another date later that day and so I made some excuse about having errands to run. He did send me a text a little while later telling me he had a nice time, but I haven’t responded yet. I’m not sure if I want to see him a second time. I’m a little curious about him, but there isn’t a spark or anything. I would hate to lead him on just for the sake of my curiosity.
So, the date after that was with a guy I’ll call Mr. Muscle Car and it was at a frozen yogurt place. This was perhaps the most awkward date I’ve been on so far. Again, I got there ahead of him (What it is with guys? Am I just too considerate to show up late? Should I not care so much about running a little behind?). As I’m sitting there staring at the menu, a couple of my friends walked in the door. They’re newlyweds and I was super happy to see them since it’s been way too long since we’ve chatted. Right away, Mrs. Newlywed guessed that I was on a date. She was all smiley and excited for me and we all had a good laugh about the whole situation. When my date finally walked in I waved him over and my friends went off to get their fro-yo treats. They were considerate enough to sit in a different part of the shop, but I knew that Mrs. Newlywed would be keeping an eye on me. If I were in her shoes, I’d do the same thing.
Mr. Muscle Car (I call him that because later he kept showing off his new car in the parking lot and in pictures on his phone) seemed to take forever to decide on what to order. I realize he said he’d never been to this kind of place before, but my god, it’s frozen yogurt, not a new home purchase. He kept trying to talk to me and ask questions, which is fine, but not when you’re standing in line trying to order fro-yo and there are people behind you and the employees behind the counter keep waiting for you to make a decision. I kept saying, “I’m just going to get a smoothie, you go ahead and get what you want and I’ll go order mine.” I was trying to get him to order first so that we could sit down and then get to the conversation part of the date. But it took forever for him to get the hint and finally, finally, he grabbed a bowl and went to get his fro-yo. I was a little annoyed by that point, which is not a good start to a date. He seemed overly excited to meet me, like, so excited that if he’d had a tail, it would have been wagging. And his attention seemed to be all over the place. Maybe he was nervous, I don’t know. But he would be talking or I’d be talking and he’d look up at every person walking into the store or every person that walked by our table. My five-year-old nephew can carry on a steadier and more focused conversation than this guy.
After we finished our fro-yo, we just walked around the area near the fro-yo shop and chatted. But it was a little uncomfortable for me because he kept saying stuff like, “Oh man, wow, we’re like so similar. We should definitely date.” To which I responded, “Well, let’s take it a step at a time.” Why would he say something like that to a person he’d just met? I mean, I suppose some people believe in love at first sight or some similar concept, but I don’t. I believe there can be strong initial attraction between two people and that stronger emotional attachment can occur if those two people spend more time together and get to know each other. But this guy was planning out stuff for us to do together in the near future and he’d spent a little over an hour with me. I don’t know about the rest of the females out there, but that does not win me over. I do not go for the clingy type. I’ve tried it before and it was not pleasant for me. Needless to say, I decided not to pursue anything with Mr. Muscle Car and I have not communicated with him further.
As far as my subsequent dates with Mr. Baseball Cap, they were pretty good, but still no strong spark between us. I mean, I felt an attraction to him, but we had some differences that I just didn’t think we could overcome. Our second date was at a bar that had live blues and it was a good time. I enjoyed the music and just hanging out. Of course, he wanted to go back to my place afterwards, but I had an early morning appointment the next day and also didn’t feel comfortable allowing him to stay at my place. Our third date was dinner and a movie and a couple of beers afterwards. Also a good time, but while we were at the bar after the movie, he started going into all these conspiracy theories about all kinds of topics and I just sat there listening to him with this incredulous look on my face. I’m a skeptic about a lot of things and I usually require reliable proof to make me believe in something. But Mr. Baseball Cap was spouting off about these conspiracies based on photos that he’d seen and articles online. Now, to me, that’s not reliable proof. Anyone can write and post anything they want online (as I’m doing right now) and photographs can be doctored and altered with photo editing software. I tried to explain this to him but he insisted he was right. Oh, okay, if you say so. That’s when I pretty much knew that this wasn’t going to go anywhere. So after a few days I sent him a text explaining that I thought he was a nice guy but that I felt like I needed to keep looking for the right guy for me since I didn’t think things were really “clicking” between us. I’m not going to lie, I felt uncomfortable sending that text and I did feel badly about telling him I didn’t want to see him anymore. But it needed to be done.
I’m going to back track just a bit to the bar with the live blues band. Mr. Baseball Cap and I were sitting at the bar the entire time and there was a woman probably in her 40s sitting to my left. She was turned to face the stage most of the time which meant that her back was to me. At one point during a break for the band, she turned to me and said, “I just want you to know that I think you’re beautiful.” I looked around for a second and then said, “Oh, okay, thank you.” And then she said, “No, I’m serious. I mean it as a compliment.” I thought to myself, how else am I supposed to take a statement like that? As an insult? But I just nodded and smiled at her. She went on to say, “You’ve got this beautiful stark look with no makeup and beautiful skin and gorgeous hair. It’s so beautiful.” By this point I was getting uncomfortable and the band had started playing again so Mr. Baseball Cap couldn’t hear what she was saying and come to my rescue. I couldn’t tell if she was hitting on me or just paying me a compliment. I don’t care either way, but she kept staring at me and smiling and not saying anything and it was super awkward. So I smiled back and said thank you multiple times and finally she turned back around to face the band. When I explained what happened to Mr. Baseball Cap he laughed and said to take it as a compliment. Really? Why would I not take it as a compliment? It wasn’t what she said that made me feel uncomfortable, it was that she stared at me for awhile after she said it.
Speaking of uncomfortable, one of my close friends has now been dragged unwillingly into my online dating world. I got a message one day on the dating website from a guy who asked if I could introduce him to my tall friend in one of my profile photos. I responded by telling him that she is not on the dating website and is also currently in a relationship, which is all true. He replied with a sad face emoticon and I deleted his message. I thought about telling my friend but I wasn’t sure if it would creep her out and I figured the chances of her ever running into this guy were pretty slim. A few days later, I get a text from my friend asking me to call her asap about something related to the dating website. So when I called her I was like, oh no, this can’t be good. She proceeded to tell me that while she and a coworker were walking through the building where they work, this random guy stops her and tells her that he’s seen her picture on one of my profile photos on the dating website and that even though I told him she’s in a relationship, he is available if she ever becomes single again. Holy crap, I thought as she’s telling me this in a very excited and high-pitched tone of voice. So now she is creeped out by this guy and the totally random way in which this all came about. I don’t blame her at all. My friend kept saying over and over to me, I cannot even believe this really happened, I can’t even wrap by brain around this. But it gets better. So after work, my friend and that same coworker of hers decide to go to a bar near their office to have a drink and who do they see walking into the same bar shortly after? You guessed it, my friend’s new stalker buddy! Now that my friend is sufficiently freaked out about this guy, I’m so sure that if she ever becomes single again, she’s going to be first in line…to get a restraining order.
So after all these dates and the weird stuff that happened to me and my friend, I felt exhausted. It was like running a marathon, only less painful on my joints. I’ve decided to take a short break from the dating website. How long the break will be I haven’t decided. But my giant pile of laundry and neglected house cleaning require some attention and I can’t do that when I’m running around town going on all these dates. Should I really be complaining about getting to go on multiple dates? No, I shouldn’t. It could be worse, I suppose; I could be completely alone and dateless. It is a little exciting for me, but it’s even more exciting for my friends and family because they’re living vicariously through me. Except for my one friend, she’s just grateful that I have edited the photo she’s in on my dating profile so that she can’t be seen anymore.