And this is why you do not put your picture on Craigslist ads

On Election Night 2012, I had a one-off date with a guy I had met on OKCupid. In fact, he was the first guy that I had a date with from that site. We met up at the Driskill for the Democrat Election Viewing Party. It was a perfect setup for me – I was already going to be there with some friends, they serve plenty of liquor (which you definitely need on Election Night), and it was a comfortable crowd (at least for me). We’ll call this guy Grey, which will make SO much sense later on.

So Grey met up with me around 8:30 that night. He hung out until 10, met my friends, we had what I thought was a lovely time. I walked him out and he asked if he could see me that weekend. I said sure, we talked about getting together Sunday, and I went back inside to totally be the first person in the room who noticed when the electoral count changed on the television and scream, “Oh my God, we won!!!!!!!!!!!!” I literally could not speak the next day at work. And even though Election Day is on a Tuesday, and Grey and I had set Sunday as our rendezvous day, I still expected to hear something from him – like, “Man, I left too soon!” or “Hope you were happy with the election (and the date)!” But no, nothing. Never heard from him again. In fact, he became part of a trifecta of guys who I had had amazing dates with shortly after my divorce and never heard from again.

Flash forward about 15 months. I was playing on Craigslist this weekend, because, why not? I love checking out the different ads that people post. Guys, when posting under “Missed Connections” – it’s really creepy if you repeatedly post the same thing every single day, especially if it is about someone you work with or live near. To the guy here in Austin who has a not-so-secret crush on the girl who lives downstairs from him at the Rolling River apartments – I’m sure she knows, and she is trying to break her lease at this exact moment. Man up and talk to her, but you have posted the same exact Missed Connection every day for the past three weeks. It’s just sad. So anyway – I was scrolling through the “Men for Women” posts, and I came across the title “Do you want to explore your submissive side??” Now, I’m not sure that I have a submissive side, but I’ve read Fifty Shades of Grey (although not the sequels), and I’ll admit, it’s pretty hot. So I open it and OMG!!! It’s Grey from Election Night. Like, no way is this someone who just looks like him, or maybe I’m misremembering him. No, this is without a shadow of a doubt the guy that I had a date with the night that President Obama was reelected. He even states that he lives on the south side of town (which Grey told me that night that he did) and he goes in to EXPLICIT detail about what a relationship exploring my submissive side would look like. Apparently he has been doing the dom/sub thing for quite a long time. And that maybe could have been hot, but I kept thinking, “I know this guy! He seemed kind of boring!! He’s seriously into this stuff???”

Granted, it’s been over a year, but when we met up, he told me that he worked in the downtown area, somewhat near my current office. If I see him in person, I don’t know that I will be able to keep from laughing out loud. I certainly won’t be able to look him in the eye.

And maybe he never called me back because he realized that I’m not exactly the “taking orders” type.

– Finch

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If I was a guy, we wouldn’t be having this conversation

I spent this past weekend in Chicago with my awesome pseudo-cousin, J-Mac (I have a lot of “J”s in my life, deal with it). I hadn’t been back to Chicago since Ex’s and my honeymoon, so it’s been more than a few years, and I needed some new memories of my favorite city. I spent the first day and a half walking around to my favorite spots, shopping, eating, and then J-Mac got there, and we got down to business.

J-Mac was one of my bridesmaids, and that was the last time I saw her, although we have spoken quite a bit since then. But still – we had tons to catch up on. She filled me in on her dating stats, I gave her the lowdown on Jay’s annoyingness, it was great. But at one point, I started feeling kind of guilty. I told J-Mac that I felt almost like I had been using Jay for sex. From the beginning, I hadn’t really been that into him, I wasn’t over-the-moon attracted to him, and we didn’t talk that much. But the sex was amazing and I hadn’t had any for so long that I was like a fiend getting my fix. I kept this dialogue up for long enough that J-Mac turned to me at one point and said, “So what if you were using him for sex?” She left it just like that, and I started pondering this. Was it really such a bad thing? I mean, I hadn’t led him on to thinking that I was more into him than I was, and aren’t a lot of relationships based on sex? That’s when I said it.

“If I was a guy, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. I would’ve just said, ‘Yeah, that was hot, sex was good, but I’m moving on.’ And while I don’t want to be the equivalent of a misogynistic pig, I don’t think there’s anything wrong or unhealthy about saying that I like sex, and that while this guy was great for sex, he wasn’t really good for anything else.”

And it’s true – sex is a totally normal, valid form of physical contact, and as long as all parties are consenting adults, than why would it be weird to see someone just for the sex? Again, you’re not leading this person on, you’re not promising things that you have no intention of following through on – you’re just having some laughs and lots of mind-blowing sex. I don’t see anything immoral or unethical about that.

J-Mac just looked at me and smiled and gave me a hug. “I knew you’d get there eventually.” I love that girl. She knows her stuff.

– Finch

At least it wasn’t me

Back in January, I wrote about this really nice date I went on, with someone who totally got where I was at that moment (I think we’re always in the fitting room). This guy and I texted after our date, then a few days later I hit him up, asking if he wanted to get together for another happy hour. He was down with that, and so I asked where he would like to go. I never heard back from him. I wasn’t sure where I had gone wrong, whether asking where to meet up for a drink is too pushy or not, but I didn’t let it phase me. I had been pretty sure that this guy was not a great match for me, but might have been a good friend. I chalked it up to the game and moved on.

So, last week, Bunny and I were on our weekly walk, and she was telling me about one of her closest friends who had recently broken up with someone who she had been dating for over four years, and how hard it was for her. She said the guy’s name, and I literally laughed out loud. This guy has a VERY distinctive name, and when I paired it with his equally unique last name, Bunny stopped dead in her tracks. “How in the hell do you know _______?”

“We went on a date back in January. I know all about the trip to Rio, his job, his mom’s name, what she does for a living… I could write a book about everything he told me about himself.”

“I don’t think that he and ______ were officially broken up by then. She is going to be so pissed. And he’s not even your type!!”

“I KNOW!!!! But I was trying to date outside of my type, and he seemed very sweet.”

As we continued to discuss everything, my first thought was, of course, “that poor girl. I cannot believe that he stepped out on her when they’d been together for over four years. That is so horrid.”

My IMMEDIATE next thought was, “Oh thank God it wasn’t anything to do with me.” Because while not hearing back hadn’t phased me, it had given me a second’s doubt about myself – had he not called back because he wasn’t attracted to me? Or did he not think I was as awesome as I obviously am? No – he was a guy who was dating someone else, or had split up with that person within the past week, and was just trying to get out and have some fun. Which is all well and good, but I’m not the rebound girl – move along.

And it made me wonder about some of the other guys who I had dated and had not heard back from. What had actually been their situation? Were there some girlfriends waiting up at home, thinking their guys were out having a drink with some buddies? Had they just ended some long-term relationship that they hadn’t even begun to process? Were the trying to convince themselves that they should be out dating when they weren’t really ready?

The truth is, we don’t really know people as well as we think we do. We figure that since we can Google or Facebook someone, that we’re as close to them as their family, and in reality, any of the information can be faked, or tailored to suit whatever story that person wants to tell.

When I told this story to K, she laughed out loud when I told her what me second thought had been. “Girl, that would have been any woman’s response!!!” There is some truth in that!

– Finch

I don’t exactly remember his name

If you tell me this has never happened to you, then you are a liar. I met this guy online, as you do, and we emailed a few times. He had one of those email addresses that made it obvious that he only used it when responding to CL ads. It did not have his name, there was identifying information, and even the “nickname” part that shows up only showed “N.”

We had made plans to meet up one day, whilst I was in the middle of my dating marathon earlier this month. However, I had triple booked my plans, and I forgot that I was supposed to meet him. He later claimed that he had forgotten as well, but I wonder if that was a “Before Sunset”-esque ploy to seem as if he had not been stood-up. He emailed me a few days later and said that we should perhaps text so as to not forget our plans as easily the next time. I agreed, but suggested that I might need his name (he had never supplied it) before I gave my number. He literally sent back an email that looked like this – Name – 123-456-7897 (obviously I’m not putting what his real info was). Against my better judgment, I responded with my number.

Well, in a fit of post-New Year cleanliness, I was clearing out my emails, and I accidentally deleted the email with his name in it. So when he texted me the next day, saying simply “Hey, what’s up?” I knew it was him, but could not remember what his name was. We texted some trivialities back and forth for a couple of days, but I was always busy, and I had pretty much gotten my dating fix, so I was pretty set for a little while. I just didn’t want to expend the energy to go out with this guy.

So here’s where it gets ridiculous. One of my friends, CJ, HATES that I post on CL, and she frequently harps on me about this, as well as for her strong dislike of Tripp. We were hanging out one night, and Tripp texted me, and CJ attempted to steal my phone so as to respond to Tripp in a “not so nice” way. Well we were playing around, and I stole her phone, and we ended up actually taking each others phones home that night. The next morning, N texted me “what are you doing today?” Only CJ thought that it was Tripp, so she told him he had the wrong number and blew him off. When we met the next day to switch our phones back, she told me what she had done. Laughing, I looked at my messages and saw that Tripp’s previous text was still there.

“If you deleted his thread, why is this message still there?”

“What?? That wasn’t the number that I deleted!”

“Well that’s Tripp. So who did you delete??”

“I don’t know!!”

So now I’m in this place of having someone text me, I don’t remember his name, and I’m not particularly interested in meeting him. Why did I give him my number again??

– Finch