Sunday, September 22, 2013

My Adventures in Internet Dating- A Relationship?

At some point we’ve discussed when it’s okay to have sex.  For me there are a number of factors, but the prime one here is that if I’m going to have sex it’s within a relationship that is by agreement, exclusive. 

Our next date is a Monday evening.  I go to his house for supper.  He makes a fabulous meal.  And we end up in his bedroom…

He is every bit the gentleman one would hope.  He assures himself that I am fully on board.  We agree that we are falling for each other.

After I tell him that I know it’s crazy to ask him not to see other people at this point, but that I don’t want to know about them.  He says “If that’s important to you”. 

We see each other almost every day that week.  On Saturday I will not be seeing him as he has his child coming for the weekend.  And I have plans.  Weeks before I had begged friends to set me up.  One of them came through about two weeks ago and dinner at their house for me and a male friend.  I’m not going to cancel, partly because I begged for this introduction.  And partly because as far as I know, and I don’t want confirmation of this, PysicallyAffectionateGuy is seeing other people.  As long as he’s doing it, I’m doing it too.  And he hasn’t asked to not know about them, and I won’t lie.  So when he asks what I’m up to for the weekend, I tell him.  He tells me to have fun and be safe.

Dinner is fun.  I enjoy hanging out with my friends and SetUpGuy is nice.  He’s interesting and he’s brought veggies for dinner, which are quite good.  I enjoy hanging out with him.  I’ve never really considered dating more than one guy at a time before, but I begin to wonder if I could do it.  The friends leave us alone and SetUpGuy and I talk for hours.  I would totally date this guy.  Eventually we end up leaving the friends’ house and heading to a larger town to find food at 11:30 at night.  Sitting on the trunk of his car at midnight, eating gyros in the ghetto, I want SetUpGuy to kiss me.  It’s not the first time the thought has crossed my mind in the last few hours.  He doesn’t and instead invites me to get coffee either at his house or at a nearby Denny’s.  I opt for the Denny’s and we continue to talk until well into the morning.  When we say goodbye I once more am hoping for a kiss, but I don’t get one.  Driving home I’m convinced that he wasn’t interested, although it seems weird that he stayed out that late if he wasn’t.

In the morning I get several texts.  SetUpGuy and I are texting a rehash of the previous evening.  He tells me that he wanted to kiss me, but was nervous.  We agree that we should see each other, but very casually as he hasn’t dated in awhile.  A little later PhysicallyAffectionateGuy texts asking about last night’s date.  Somehow as a result of this he and I agree to see only each other.  Crap.  Awkward text conversation alert!  SetUpguy is very nice about it when I tell him of the change of situation.  I’m not sure I would be so nice.  He and I agree to continue talking as friends.  PhysicallyAffectionateGuy is upgraded to The Boyfriend and I am somehow in a relationship.  This was not actually the plan for internet dating.

Friday, September 20, 2013

My Adventures in Internet Dating- Second date?

PhysicallyAffectionateGuy and I have exchanged numbers.  And we text.  We met on Wedneday and on Friday I realize we’ve exchanged over a hundred texts.  Plus over two hundred messages when we were using the internet to talk.  We’re texting during work (big no-no, but I’m doing it anyway).  He’s already asked me on a second date.  He wants to take me to a movie next week.  While we’re texting I mention that I have to go out for lunch because I’ve forgotten to bring one and somehow we end up agreeing to meet for lunch.  He’s leaving work early for the weekend to do so and driving…an hour? to do so.  I’m suddenly both excited to see him again and nervous because I’m not looking as cute as I’d like. 

When we meet at the deli I’ve suggested I’m clearly looking just fine as neither one of eats anything because we use the entire forty minutes or so that I have for lunch, kissing.  Reluctantly we separate when my alarm goes off, warning that I need to head back to work.  I’m pretty enthusiastic about this guy.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

My Adventures in Internet Dating- Another Coffee Date

I’ve enjoyed my messages with PhysicallyAffectionateGuy.  He’s fun and funny.  He asks good questions and he made rules for a game of truth we’ve been playing.  Every question has to have weight (no “what’s your favorite color?”).  No asking a question that’s already been asked.  And be truthful.  His questions are possibly more enlightening than his answers even, and I’m having fun. After a few days of truth he asks if I want to meet for a cup of coffee.  Once again it takes a little finagling to get the schedules to mesh, but we get it figured out.  I’m pretty excited as I was really hoping he would ask to meet me and I have a little pre-meeting crush.

I get there, as always, a few minutes late and he’s already there.  He’s sitting outside with a cup of coffee and when I return with my own cup I discover that he too is drinking plain black.  A point in his favor.

At no point does the conversation lag.  He’s funny.  I like him.  I’m pretty sure he likes me.  The chemistry between us, I discover, is palpable several tables away.  I get up to use the washroom and two things happen.  One, I realize that despite the fact that we’ve just met, I’m not afraid to leave my half drunk coffee alone with him.  This is a major no-no, but I do it anyway.  Two, as I walk by another table I hear them talking about us.  They’re trying to figure out if we’re on a first date or if we’re long lost lovers reunited for one brief evening.  One of the ladies is trying to get the others to bet her that we’ll be making out before they leave.  I smile because of course I’m not going to kiss PhysicallyAffectionateGuy.  We’ve just met.

At some point in the evening he says he would like to touch my hand but he doesn’t want to cross any boundaries.  I tell him he can touch my hand.  And for a few seconds it feels like awkward silence has descended as I’m so busy being aware of the literal sparks I feel when he covers my hand with his own, that I’m unable to make conversation.  The betting woman is gone, but if she’d stuck around she would have won her bet.  I can’t remember who made the first move although I’m pretty sure he asked for permission, but suddenly we’re kissing.  And it’s pretty fantastic.  Starbucks is long closed before either of us becomes aware of the time and we reluctantly say goodnight (or I suppose good morning as it is well past midnight before this happens).

Monday, September 16, 2013

My Adventures in Internet Dating- Back to the Message Board

I get right back into things.  I have several other conversations going on.  One of which I’m actually really interested.  He’s a linguist who speaks Latin and ancient Greek.  He writes poetry.  He participated in National Novel Writing Month.  He’s the first guy I message.  I tell him I participated as well.  We chat about our writing and eventually move onto more personal matters.  I tell him about my job search and that I’m hoping for a position in my local library.  He’s rooting for me as librarians are super cool.  I end up thinking he’s pretty interesting and when people ask who I’m talking to on the internet he’s who I refer to.

Meanwhile I’ve found another interesting profile.  He talks about the fact that he’s great at hugs.  That physical affection, not sex but physical affection, is important to him.  He also mentions looking for someone who has the stamina to keep up and see every exhibit at the zoo.  I love the zoo.  And, as I’ve mentioned before, physical affection is something I’ve learned I need in a relationship.  It can’t just be a prelude to sex, I need physical affection to just be a regular thing.  He’s the second guy I message.  He’s also the second guy I met.

My Adventures in Internet Dating- First Date

About a week into internet dating I have several conversations going on with several guys.  One of them, TediousGuy (name changed to protect the boring) asks if I want to meet.  Our schedules aren’t a great match, but we decide to meet over coffee during my lunch break the next day.  I tell a coworker that if I don’t come back by my habitual (ten-minutes late) time, she should call the police and I go to meet TediousGuy.

He’s let me pick the place, and since I don’t have much time I’ve chosen a small cafĂ© in my downtown.  It’s ten minutes from my work and Starbucks is much farther, so although I don’t love the coffee here, it works.

My first hint that this will never work? It should have been when he messaged me that he’s glad I’m not too tall and I realize he’s three inches shorter than me (according to the height on his profile).  But I’m determined not to let that get in the way.  No.  My first hint this won’t work is when I order myself a nice black coffee and he grabs a bottle of Coke.  He doesn’t like coffee.

We chat for almost an hour, during which time I’m itching to check the time on my phone basically every three minutes.  I’m bored.  I could get over the height thing.  And the coffee thing.  The fact that he lives with family because he can’t afford to live on his own.  The lack of any education after high school, or interest in intellectual pursuits (I don’t need a college education, but I’m a reader and I’ve learned that I need someone who can make me think).  I can’t get over the combination.  Plus I’m bored.

And then.  Forty minutes into our forty-five minute date.  He says that he’s older than me and he can probably teach me a lot “when we get that far”.  No.  It’s time for me to go.  Thank goodness, the alarm on my phone picks that moment to go off and tell me I have to get back to work.  I make polite noises and go to leave, but he walks me the block to my car.  I definitely get the idea that I could have  goodbye kiss if I wanted.  I shake his hand instead.
I don't talk to him again, but I hear from him every so often for the next couple of weeks.  Once he even asks how I'm doing and tells me that he hopes everything is okay.  That "even though we've only known each other a little while [he] cares about [me]."  I don't respond.  Because what I do I say?  I'm sorry you care about me, but I'm just not that into you?  Probably not.  He gets the message and I don't hear from him again either.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

My Adventures in Internet Dating- Messaging

Oh! Fun!  My profile has been posted for five minutes and I already have a message.  I exchange messages for a while with “GuitarGuy”.  We even end up using our site’s version of chat.  He tells me that he’s not looking to hook up, that he wants to meet his “special someone” and he seems like he’s in a hurry to do so because he asks me to text him so we can hang out the next day.  Well.  That seems fast.  But I have a rule, so I agree. 

And then I never hear from him again.
Until a few weeks later when he once again messages me out of the blue as if we’ve never talked.  He again tells me that he’s looking for his “special someone” and asks what I’m looking for.  I break rule number two (respond to every message) and don’t respond.
I remind myself that I was looking for good stories and figure this is a pretty decent one.  But hopefully all the effort writing a profile, and all the time spend answering multiple choice questions, viewing stranger's profiles and responding to every message I get will result in a better story next time.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

My Adventures in Internet Dating- Rules

When I decided to internet date, I got a lot of advice from a lot of people.  Some of it I ignored, some of it I listened to, but the most important thing I heard was that I should decide on a set of rules on how to deal with what I would find.  Here’s what I came up with

1.       Expect to have fun, that every date will result in a good story and nothing more.  Keep your expectations on the relationship-finding thing very low.

2.       Respond to every message.  It doesn’t matter if all you get is  “Hey.”  Respond in kind.  If it’s obvious the guy in question read your profile, read his.  If he asks questions answer them, and ask some back.  Have fun!

3.       If a profile is interesting, write a message.  The worst case scenario is that the guy writes back something mean.  In which case, refer to rule one- at least you’ll get a good story out of it.

4.       If someone asks to meet, agree.  Obviously meet in public and be smart, but agree to every meeting.  Refer to rule one- at least you’ll get a good story
I bet you cant' wait to see if all those rules made internet dating fun or not huh?

My Adventures in Internet Dating- Profiling

I don’t really know what put me over the edge and helped me decide that I should internet date.  It’s kind of like a few years ago when I decided to embark on a weight loss journey that continues to this day, one day I just knew that I had to try.  Now for me the hold back has never been internet dating in and of itself, it’s not a fear of meeting creeps, or some leftover stigma from back when internet dating had never resulted in anything good.  No.  For me, it’s always been about the fact that I knew I couldn’t write myself a decent profile.

So what does a girl who can’t think of anything good to say about herself do when faced with the blank questions on an internet dating site?  In my case I asked around.  I posted the question on Facebook.  And most importantly, I sat down and I thought.  And I thought.  And I thought.  I just started listing things I like about myself.  Nothing was off limits.  There were no wrong answers.  And eventually I wound up with a pretty good list of things I could write.
Now.  I don't want to get myself sued somehow so I won't say what site I decided to use.  What I will say is that I sat down to write my profile and as I sat there staring blankly at the questions my roommate, who has successfully internet dated for both us (her current boyfriend and my most recent ex are both her internet finds), came in.  She asked what site I was using and when I told her she mentioned that the site I picked (solely because I knew the name and it was free) is the site you use if you're just looking for sex.  Then she sent me to another free site.  Where I continued to stare blankly at the questions for awhile before writing a fairly decent profile.