Mr. Creepy and Bait & Switch – My experiences with eHarmony

As I mentioned previously, I recently joined eHarmony. I decided that it was time to go after a higher caliber of person, someone who was also looking for love as opposed to a roll in the hay (which is all well and good, but not what I’m going for long-term). I quickly found many eligible suitors, and less than five days after I had joined the site, I had my first date. And since it started off with him being creepy, let’s just bestow that moniker now – Mr. Creepy.

I met up with Mr. Creepy after work over at Austin Java. I was a few minutes late (in reality, I was planning on bailing, but then I felt bad about standing him up, so I drove back downtown to meet up). When I got there, he stood up and gave me perhaps the creepiest first hug ever. It was one of those where he was holding me, and I actually kind of patted his back, like “okay, you can let go now.” Let me just say too, we hadn’t really talked much before we met. We went through the basics on eHarmony, and then on the first email, he asked me out, so there really wasn’t any conversation before hand to establish a rapport or flirtation. We went inside to grab a drink, and I offered to pay since I had been late. He didn’t acknowledge it at all (at least not until after the date), and then he ordered a $6 smoothie! And seriously, a smoothie? He had stated on his age that he drank socially, and I had ordered a beer. If you don’t want something alcoholic, that’s fine, but get a tea or an Arnold Palmer – a smoothie is just a little too weird for me. Anyway, we go back to sit at the table and wait for our drinks (also, you never have to wait when you order a beer. A smoothie though, you have to wait for that.) So we begin talking, and it is pretty obvious pretty quickly that there is no chemistry here. Or, at least, that’s what I thought was obvious. Clearly he missed the memo, because he kept holding my hand, and even when I would pull it away, he would wait perhaps 90 seconds before he would reach for it again. Finally, citing errands, I made my escape, but not before he planted two of the creepiest, soft-mouthed kisses ever. Less than 30 minutes after I had left, and a mere five minutes after I had made it home, there was a message waiting for me – “I had such a great time. Thanks for the smoothie. Let’s do that again soon.” Um, no – you had tiny hands, you moved way too quickly, and you were just creepy. Pass.

With Bait & Switch, I was really excited to meet him. Unlike Mr. Creepy, Bait & Switch and I had been talking online for several days, and had even had a 40 minute long phone conversation. We had tons in common, he repeatedly told me how awesome he thought I was (showing that he had good taste), and I really liked a lot of the details I was learning. In fact, after our first phone conversation, I actually called M and told her to mark the time and date, because I was pretty sure that I had just talked to my future husband. So we met up over at Cenote the night after I met Mr. Creepy. We had seen pictures on the site (he was VERY cute), but, as I got there first, I sent him a text telling him that I was in the back wearing my sunglasses on my head. Please imagine my surprise when a guy who bears little, if any, resemblance to the pictures on the site shows up and sits down. I almost told him, “I’m sorry, I’m waiting for someone,” thinking that this was some random guy. NOPE! It was Bait & Switch. The guy in real life looked about 40 pounds thinner (and not in a good way), had some crazy teeth, his hair was completely different, and even the shape of his head was not the same. I am not joking, I seriously think that the picture was of his brother – certainly related, but no way is that the same guy. Okay, I tried to look past the physical, since we did have all of these other thing sin common. But the conversation just wasn’t really flowing, and I wasn’t really feeling much. So then this happened – we were discussing Star Wars, and he kind of laughed, and said, “It is so cool that you like Star Wars. My ex was the complete opposite. She was such a spiteful bitch, she would never watch the movies with me.” Um, okay… Look, I recognize that Ex and I had one of the more amicable divorces that exist, and I also recognize that divorce can be a wretched, horrid thing to go through. But I’ve known you for approximately 30 minutes in real life, and less than a week by any definition, so I don’t really think you need to unload your hostility about your ex right now. If that had been all he said, I still would have been a bit offended, but I would’ve let it go. But no, he kept up his tirade throughout the rest of our date, at various interludes. That, coupled with his obvious use of either a super old picture, or a snapshot of someone else, completely soured me on him.

Just in talking to a lot of people about their eHarmony experiences, it seems that there are many people on the site who are jaded or cynical, who have tried everything else, and this is their last resort, so they’re pretty sour about it. If that’s the case, I’ll just bow out now. There’s no way that this is my last chance at happiness and I am not that desperate for companionship. These guys can keep each other!

– Finch

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I’m sort of the opposite of a serial-monogamist

Another Sunday, another OKcupid date. This one didn’t leave me wanting to dig my eyes out with a sharp stick, although I did go home and pass out for two hours. Let me explain…

We met up at two, but the bar he had picked was closed. We convened at another bar, got some drinks, and proceeded to start talking. We actually had a lot of fun. So much fun, in fact, that I had four beers on an empty stomach (I wanted to look extra thin for the date – no judging!!), all in the course of about two and a half hours. I literally lost track of the time. When I got back to my car and saw that it was 5 (and I had previously told this guy that I had other plans at 6), I was shocked. I had not thought that we had hung out that long. So yes, I stopped at Maudie’s, got some insanely good breakfast tacos, and then went home and passed out until about 8. I’m too old for this!

The date was certainly fun, and even if I never hear from him again, he gave me a great piece of information. We were talking about our past OKC experiences, and he said, “I’m sort of the opposite of a serial-monogamist. You know, so many of my friends can’t go five minutes without dating someone, but I’ve only had one serious relationship in my adult life. The rest of the time, I date a little here and there, but mostly, I’m happier when I’m single.” PEOPLE! This is literally me!!! I’ve only had one serious relationship in my adult life (okay, or maybe two – Tripp and Ex). I will date for a couple of months here and there and then be single for a year or more. I stated all of this to him, and told him, “I thought I was the only one.” He replied that nope, there were plenty of us out there.

And here’s why that is so important to me. I live under a constant fear that I will never be with anyone ever again, that I will never fall in love again, and that there is something seriously wrong with me because I don’t constantly have a boyfriend. However, this guy gave me this nugget of truth that I am not terminally unique, and that it is perfectly normal to find more happiness and contentment in your own company rather than in a relationship. Don’t get me wrong, I love being unique and one of a kind, but it truly sways my fears to know that there are other people out there like me in this regard.

As for the guy himself – I don’t know. That’s not true – I do know, but it’s a scary feeling. He was cute, incredibly smart, had similar interests, and was really great. But I just can’t picture anything with him. Okay, yes, I can picture some drunken sex with him, but that’s not exactly the basis of a relationship. I think there’s someone out there who is a better fit, and it will be difficult to find him if I spend my time with someone I’m not crazy about (and sure, feelings could grow, but there are other factors there that I don’t want to get into of why I won’t be pursuing this). So, my Sunday Date, thank you for a lovely time, and showing me that four beers is way past my limit when I haven’t eaten anything, but most especially for showing me that I am not damaged and that there is hope for me yet.

– Finch

Quote-athon

In the middle of my Dan-induced happy phase, I had a date, which had already been scheduled, and which I definitely did not want to bail on. This guy is 6’4″, looks very similar to Tripp, and seemed to have the same sense of humor (are you already sensing where I’m going with this?)

We’re going to call him Dante, if, for no other reason, than he was as good as me at quoting every single Kevin Smith movie (well, the good ones, anyway). Dante showed up at the bar where we were meeting, and there was an instantaneous lack of sexual chemistry. Not that I was disgusted by this guy, not at all. But there was no desire whatsoever to kiss him or do anything more. I didn’t even care if I was attractive to him, which I think made for even more fun on both of our parts.

We started drinking – we’re both exploring the world of beer right now, so we had fun exchanging notes, trying each others’ choices, and discussing pros and cons of beer vs. liquor. I actually don’t remember how we got onto the subject, but at one point, he brought up Mallrats, and from that point, it was on.

I truly think we spent the next two hours speaking in almost nothing but movie quotes. We relayed how different movies had affected our lives (Chasing Amy very much formed a large part of high school for me), we discussed future Kevin Smith projects, and then… we branched out to Star Wars.

Now, from a conversational point of view, I was having one of the best dates of my life. There was not a single awkward pause, there was instant understanding on anything we said, there was definite respect on both of our parts for the other’s knowledge and intelligence. But still… no sexual chemistry.

R asked me back in September why I kept talking to Tripp after everything which had happened between us, and I responded that when we weren’t screwing everything up by bring sex or love into the equation, he was one of my dearest friends. Tripp has been there for me in some of the darkest times in my life, and he has been there without judgement. When I missed Tripp, I didn’t miss the time we had spent dating – that was ten + years ago, and I had been 20 then. I’ve grown in my desires and my expectations since then. What I missed was our friendship, the instant understanding, the perfect meeting of minds. And it seemed that I had found that in Dante.

We both had friends coming into town for the 4th, so we decided to meet up again the next week. Here’s the thing – I don’t know how to have the conversation that I want him to be my friend, and only my friend. I mean, we met on a dating website. If we had just met in person, then I think it would have been easier to segue into that. Either way, the next guy who goes on a first date with me has some very large shoes to fill!

– Finch

It’s just a crush…

I always hear people talk about how hard it is to have a crush. You long for someone, but can’t (for whatever reason) tell them how you feel. I get that, at least to a certain extent. However, I think a crush can be liberating, even fun.

I’ve known this guy for pretty much my entire life, and there has never been anything between us. Nada, nil, zip. I only see him every few years, and each time I think, “Yeah, he’s cute. Oh, is that food over there?!? See ya later!!” Plus, I cannot even begin to believe that this person sees me in any kind of romantic light. It’s just not like that.

Then, during the holidays last year, we saw each other for the first time in 3 years. And I was properly distracted by seeing and catching up with other friends, so when he exclaimed how great I looked, I simply smiled, said “Thanks,” and moved on down the receiving line. However, throughout the night, we kept talking and catching up and realizing that we had a lot of things in common. And there was this… energy between us. Yes, I was buzzed, and I’m sure he was too, but still. I couldn’t recall having felt like that in ages. Every time he looked at me, I just smiled. I wanted to be next to him all night. I could feel him watching me when I spoke to other people, and I was absolutely giddy when we got to spend a few minutes alone. Nothing happened, but still – it was intoxicating.

However, I left the next day, full of daydreams and little else, and it was fine. I got a couple of nice fantasies out of it, and then I moved on with my life without another thought. But then we saw each other again recently, and it was like we were instantly back in that moment.

I knew he was around, but I saw him unexpectedly, and when we caught each others’ eyes, his face just lit up. We were instantly in this little world all of our own, just chatting about inconsequential nonsense. This person has to be charming for a living (luckily, he’s very good at it), and I know a lot of it was just his nature, and you know what? That was okay. In fact, as we went on, I realized that I didn’t need him to be involved in my crush. This was about me, about how I felt. Someone close to me remarked later that I liked him because he was safe and comfortable. And my response was, “Duh!!” There are worse reasons for liking someone. And when you’re getting back out into the world, maybe crushing on someone who you feel safe and comfortable with, but with whom you know there is really no future, is a good idea. Maybe it’s about making yourself feel safe and comfortable with being out there again.

He left a few days later, and that was it. Nothing happened, no tabloid moments here. Last September, when I was going through my “Catcher Crisis,” Tripp told me to stop taking everything so seriously and to just have fun. I remember yelling, “Who the hell is having fun?!? I’m not having fun! THIS IS NOT FUN!!” But you know, I have to say, these last few visits with my guy? They’ve been, well… fun.

– 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 had noticed that her voice was a little husky…

This is a story from 3M. 3M is My Music Man (and also his name starts with M). He lives upstairs, and is a thoroughly decent and great guy. We share dating stories with each other, laugh over the ridiculousness that is other people, and generally commiserate each others’ experiences.

A couple of weeks ago, 3M had stopped by my apartment to check in and thank me for inviting him to my Spring Fling. We were chatting, and he asked if I had had any experience with OKcupid. I told him that I had, that it was bad, and that after my last date from there (Mmm mmm bad) ended so horribly, I had immediately deleted my account. 3M told me that he had just gotten on there, had set up his profile, and was already talking to a couple of interesting women (interesting, as in they had potential, not interesting as in, they’re weird). We talked about how funny some peoples’ pictures were, how strange it was that people would contact you and then not respond when you wrote them back, and just the absolute silliness of dating in this day and age. 3M let me know that he did have a date that upcoming Saturday with a woman down in Wimberley who seemed exciting. I was over the moon for him, wished him luck, and asked him to let me know how it went.

I doubt that 3M would be upset with me if I told you that I laughed through his entire story. 3M went down to Wimberley (a lovely little town, if you’ve never been), found the meet-up location, and looked for his date. As he searched the faces, he was a little surprised when he realized that the woman he was meeting… wasn’t a woman. Or at least, had not always been a woman. As he sat down to join her for a drink, she told him that she was a post-op transsexual. As in, she used to be a man, and no longer was. As 3M is telling me this, he commented that even if she hadn’t told him, he would have been able to tell. “Her hands were pretty masculine, and I had noticed on the phone that her voice was a little husky.” I could not stop laughing. I asked him if she had identified herself as a woman or as a transsexual on OKcupid (I don’t remember, but I think there was a way to let the world know exactly what your sexual identity was). He said that, no, she had said that she was a woman. But this wasn’t even the worst part.

The woman, withing a half hour of 3M sitting down, invited him back to her place to “get into bed,” but warned 3M that her lady parts were a little tight, since they were, after all, artificial. 3M informed her that he would not be going there, to her house, bedroom, or lady parts. That pretty much wrapped up the date.

3M let me know that he had had another date where the woman (and it was actually a woman) showed up with a colostomy bag, full of drainage, which was placed on the table. As I almost snorted because I was laughing so hard, I asked if this woman had let him know before hand that she would be showing up with this… extra hanging around. No, 3M replied, he was just as surprised with her as with the Wimberley woman.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that we have to disclose every single thing about ourselves within the first 30 minutes of meeting someone, nor do we have to put our business out for the entire world to see. But maybe, just maybe, letting someone know that you were once a man and are now a woman (or vice versa) before the first date, is not completely out of line. Unless, of course, you have a husky voice that gives you away!

– Finch