Monday, January 6, 2014

My Return to Online Dating -- Too Dull, Too Exciting, and Just Right

Well, like pretty much all of the other single people on the planet, I decided that with the New Year I’m ready to look for luv or love or whatever. In other words, I’m ready to date and I actually mean it this time. I think I’m ready for a boyfriend, you guys. (And I should probably stop having Incredible Sex with Jason, especially since he asked me New Year's Day to reconsider dating him. I said no.) My divorce has been final for almost a year and my relationship with Max has been over for 18 months. 
That's me with my three non-dates.

So, like all those other singles I decided it’s time to dive back into online dating. (I dabbled with OKCupid for a few weeks in July-August.)

In the final days of 2013, I reactivated my OKCupid account and, thanks to a Groupon, I joined Match for one month for $15. Sweet.

I’ve been chatting with plenty of guys, but it hasn’t been too overwhelming yet. I don’t feel a need to message back and forth indefinitely because, let’s be serious, we are not going to know if there’s a connection until we’re face to face.  I start to get bored with too much emailing.

With this in mind, I stacked my weekend with three non-dates, as I call them. The encounters had me feeling like Goldilocks – one was too dull, the other was too manic, and one seemed just right.

Non-date #1 – Too Dull

On Saturday, I met Ed for coffee at 6pm. (Who suggests coffee at 6pm?) We were both punctual and shook hands to say hello. He paid for our cappuccinos and churros. The conversation flowed for an hour, then the shop was closing. On the sidewalk, he told me to let him know if I wanted to get together again sometime. Here’s the thing with me – yes, I’m a very independent woman blah blah, but I want my man to be a man. Tell me you want to see me! Ask me out! OWN IT. So that was not hot. In fact, it confirmed that the coffee date was just… dull. Not bad, not good – just, who cares? Neither of us, apparently.

Non-date #2 – Too Manic

Two hours after I said goodbye to Eddie, I met Vic. For the next 90 minutes, Vic utterly overwhelmed and amused and appalled me.

I got the bar a few minutes before him. Vic frantically texted me his location – “leaving the restaurant now” “looking for parking” “omw”. He also called and told me to order a bottle of champagne while I waited, to which I politely said no, I was happy to wait for him.

He blew into the restaurant, barely said hello to me, but put down his iPhone and a WAD of cash on the bar then placed his hat on top of the wad. He mumbles something about the bathroom and bolts away. What? This was his first time seeing me!

This set the tone for the wackiest non-date ever. Highlights included:

My telling him that smoking is a dealbreaker, and him telling me that that’s stupid.
Me: “Well, I dated a guy who smoked and it confirmed that I really hate it. Plus there’s cancer in my family.”
Him: “So? My dad had cancer and he smokes. What’s your point?!”
…um, OK.

Discussing past relationships:
Me: “The last guy I dated was my Mr. Right Now. I knew there wasn’t a future, but that was fine. He was good to me and a good guy, but he’s a tattooed guy who works at a restaurant. We were just mismatched.”
Him: “Oh god, why did you even bother?!” [dismissively flicking his hand] 

Discussing his love [obsession] with tennis, which he plays frequently:
Him: “You have to watch me play tennis.”
Me: “I know nothing about tennis.” [Code for: I find this rich people sport so dull that I’d rather watch paint dry.]
Him: “I'm playing on Tuesday. You have to come. You’ll love it.”
Me: “You don’t even know what I like, so how would you know what I’d love?”

Discussing wanting kids:
Him: “I saw on your profile that you don’t want kids.”
Me: “Well, I might, I just don’t know. There’s no one I want kids with right now, so no, I don’t want kids.”
Him: “Hey, just because I want kids doesn’t mean I’m desperate. I’m not going to have them with just anyone!”
Me: “Why are you being defensive? I didn’t say you were desperate. It’s just the way my heart and mind are that—”
Him: “Because I’m not desperate. I am who I am. Do you know what kind of people are on dating websites? Because they’re desperate!”
Me: “You do remember that we are here because of OKCupid, right?”

Him wanting another drink but the bartender was busy closing up:
Him: “Don’t worry man, I’ll get my own gin!” [reaching over the bar to pretend to grab the gin]
Me: “Oh my god! You are so rude!”
Him: “I was trying to be funny.”
Me: “You failed. You are so rude!”

The list continues, but I’ll cut it short and tell you how I summed up the date right to his face:
“I can’t decide if I completely can’t stand you
or if I find you entertaining.”

Since I was a ballbuster, he obviously thought I was just fantastic, so he kissed me. More than once. And I allowed it because I knew he’d be a good kisser (I was right). Why did I let this wacko kiss me? I’m so weird. I already have a rather unhealthy and potentially toxic "relationship" thingy with Jason. I don’t need another! 

(Did I mention that I told Vic not to bother adding me on Facebook because I am not mixing social media with dating? So, logically, he added me when he got home. I asked him how I was unclear about this. Decline!)

(Oh and did I mention that Vic tried to correct MY GRAMMAR? How fucking rude is that to correct anyone’s grammar? I’ve been called the Grammar Police and a wordsmith, both of which I take as huge compliments, and I would never correct someone’s grammar [out loud].)

I was kind of bamboozled into having dinner with Vic today. It was better than Saturday (he was more sober), but he is way too self-centered and needy for attention. He hardly asked me anything about me, and when he did, he interrupted to either talk about himself or to answer his phone. As my dad would say, Vic is taken with his own importance.

Logically, he is dying to see me again. Why?! So now I need to tell him thanks but no thanks.

Non-date #3 – Just Right

This was the one I was most looking forward to. John had sent me really good messages on OKCupid and then we'd texted a little. He seemed normal and promising. 

Sunday night, I met John for a drink. (January 5 happens to be the best day for online dating. Coincidence?) Pretty early on, I told him that I’m divorced since I didn’t think I put that in my OKCupid profile. I said, “I certainly hope you wouldn’t pass judgment on all divorced people, but I know some people do. So, I’m putting it out there right now.” He was completely fine with it. Whew!

Moving along, we chatted a little about past relationships, movies, and his likeness to John Cusack. He asked me a great question – what did I feel I learned from my relationship with my ex-husband? I answered that the reason we got divorced existed before we got married – hell, it existed before we got engaged. I knew in my gut that it would tear us apart, but I didn’t want to believe it because we loved each other. My lesson is to trust my gut with matters of the heart. My gut is never wrong.

Instead of getting a second round of drinks, we both got water and proceeded to chat for another hour about international travel, our agreement that gay marriage should be legal, and having sisters that live in the same town as our parents. Next thing we knew, two hours had passed. He walked me to my car, and I could tell he wondered if he should kiss me. We hugged instead – and that was just right.

John texted me as soon he got home. Here’s the exchange:
I liked his recovery. And, yes, we have plans for Saturday night.

So, thankfully this Goldilocks wrapped up a big dating weekend with a very nice non-date. And I must admit… I’m cautiously excited to see John again! I will keep you posted, of course. Don't I always?

My fellow divorcees, how long did it take you to feel ready to have a relationship again? Do you have any crazy stories from your early days re-entering dating?
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  1. I met one of the nicest person thru online dating once a long time ago, it was a hit or miss kindo thing before we "met". we had a 2year relationship but sadly I could never see us getting married. We are still great friends though.
    Have fun on Saturday :)

  2. Many of my family members met their husbands online. Some really great guys. Keep going. You're going to find the right guy. Your descriptions had me laughing. I love your honesty. It will serve you well in this journey

  3. That is a good story to hear at this stage in my dating game!

  4. Thanks for reading and your kind words, Jennifer!

  5. I didn't intend to have a relationship with BF when it happened - it sort of just... happened. I think that's the best way though.

    I encountered quite a few self-described "nice guys" while online dating. I had fun with it for about 6-8 months [and went out with a plethora of different guys] but I was getting a bit tired of the dating websites and guys who wanted serious relationships when I wasn't really ready for that yet. A lot of times it was simple mismatching levels of interest/attraction. When BF pursued me without being creepy, overbearing, or pressuring me like other guys I began to consider an actual relationship. I knew I wanted a relationship when I felt that I didn't want to deal with other guys any longer.

  6. Lily from It's A Dome LifeJanuary 12, 2014 at 1:12 AM

    I just read your Twitter comment that your date was going well. :)

  7. Yes, it did! Will be blogging about it tonight.

  8. I think it's pretty easy to scare off a divorced woman. It's a delicate art to pursue us!

  9. Every "coffee date" i ever had was a colossal disappointment. I swore off them. EVERY guy who suggested coffee, didn't drink booze (as i'd later find out). i have nothing against non-drinkers, i just don't want to date them. this gal likes her wine :-)

  10. I had another coffee date over the weekend and it was a total bust. You're right, something to be said for dating a fellow wine drinker. ;)

  11. Wow, that's incredibly true! Any time I've "met for coffee" the guy has been a total flop yet any time I've met up for a drink it's been either okay or rather good. Beer is enjoyable and I want someone with whom I can enjoy it.