Online dating, ugh. I know it’s a necessary evil, but I’m only a couple weeks in and already over it.
I’ve been on three dates so far. The first was Guy With Dog. He was much cuter in person than in his pictures, had a super nice body, and dressed and smelled nice. I was impressed! We had decent conversation, although there was one painfully awkward silence where my brain went completely dead and I couldn’t think of a THING to say – a sign that I’m out of practice. It only lasted about 30 seconds, but it felt like five minutes. But we recovered and it was fine. I thought things had gone well and he even texted me after the date to say he had a good time, but I haven’t heard from him since. I’m not gutted or anything, but still. Disappointment #1.
The second date was Guy With Kid. He was cute but had a bad chinstrap beard and the face of a 12-year-old. We had a pleasant enough time, but he talked non-stop about his kid and how much he loves being a dad and how he’s looking for someone fully on board with his kid-centred life, and I immediately felt pressured. Being a good father is an amazing quality, don’t get me wrong. But #dadlife is just not something I’m ready to jump into. So overall, our incompatibility was a letdown, because I know that a large chunk of the local dating pool is made up of single dads just like him. Disappointment #2.
Now the biggest disappointment of all! Date three was with a guy I was really excited about from our two weeks of texting back and forth. Normally I don’t wait that long before meeting someone in person due to the inevitable letdown when they’re not as cool in person or we don’t click as well in real life. But this guy lives in Victoria, so we had to wait to meet. The first red flag was when he bragged about his blog and then shared a link. First of all, the blog was nothing special – his writing wasn’t as great as he seemed to think it is. Second of all, his recent posts were tone-deaf takes on all the sexual assault cases coming out in the media recently, and white privilege and discrimination. He came across as a nice-guy/Men’s Right Activist. Looking back, I wish I’d stopped talking to him then. But I thought “Cool, an opportunity to debate and have interesting conversation about our conflicting views.” He promised he was all about equality between sexes and races, so I chalked up his posts to him trying to be “edgy” and intellectual.
The second red flag waved when he got butthurt that I didn’t want to spend the entire weekend with him. All along I’d only planned for a long day date, but he kept talking about all the things he wanted to do throughout the weekend. I told him no, I’m staying at a friend’s regardless of how the date goes, and normally my first dates don’t go longer than 2 hours, so he didn’t need to plan for an entire weekend of events. He got really defensive and went on a big “nice guy” tirade about how I was already anticipating wanting to “escape” him and that I was creating a self-fulfilling prophecy that the date wouldn’t go well. To be fair, the way I worded it wasn’t great, and he explained that I struck a nerve because of his history of dates “putting on the brakes,” pulling the “let’s just be friends” card, him being enthusiastic and them being meh, and blah blah blah. I really should have listened to what he was saying and taken it as the warning it was. But no. I was blinded by hope.
The final red flag was when I went for drinks and a dance class with some friends on Friday night, and after I told them about my long-distance date, my friend asked me to show her the guy’s picture because he sounded familiar. She said they’d been messaging awhile ago and he did something that really annoyed her and kinda creeped her out, but didn’t elaborate. Sure enough, it was the same guy. She assured me it was a long time ago and maybe he would be cooler in person. I almost pulled the plug the next morning, but in the interest of being brave this year, I decided to go through with it.
So, I drove to Victoria, hope and fear mixing in my guts. The second he walked up to me, my heart sank. He was a dud. He looked like his photos, but he had an annoying voice, and pierced ears – not the cool hipster kind, but little diamond studs like the ones *I* wear. And he was awkward. I should have left right then, but I’d come all that way! Plus he offered wine in a to-go mug for our trip to the museum, and I knew that would take the edge off.
We went to the museum and I tried to make the best of it. The wildlife photography exhibit was incredible and the museum’s permanent exhibits were super cool. But god, was he ever a bore. He would talk and talk and talk every single point to death. He barely asked any questions about me, but was happy to blather on about himself. At one point he proudly showed me a Facebook comment he made that got a whole bunch of likes. It was just awful.
I agreed to go to dinner after the museum only because I was starving, and looked longingly at the other cool young people having dates and nights out. Even the table of middle-aged team of hockey players behind us obnoxiously yelling “YARRRRRRR” every time they took a shot seemed more appealing to me. To add insult to injury, he didn’t pay for anything that day, so not only did I waste half a tank of gas, but I blew my weekly budget for no good reason (ask me how my 2018 financial goals are going…). Mercifully, the night ended around 7 PM. I drove home thinking back over all my poor choices and wondering why I STILL haven’t learned to listen to my gut when it comes to men.
And that’s my online dating experience so far this year.