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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Allergic to cold-weather dating

Let me just be blunt – I HATE cold weather! I don’t care if it’s cold and rainy, cold and clear, cold and windy; the operative word in all of those descriptors is “cold” and that word and I do not get along. This is one of the (many) reasons I live in Austin. We think 65 degrees is cold. So, wouldn’t you know it, a massive Arctic front pushed through yesterday, the second one in as many weeks.

I was trudging through the wind to my car last night, thinking how nice it would be to go home, and snuggle up under the covers with someone and fall asleep wrapped in some nice, warm arms, when it suddenly dawned on me – I have never dated anyone (successfully) through the winter. I’ve been married during the winter, but we all know how that turned out, and I can tell you, there was a definite “chill” in our relationship during those months, and it was all me. I just do not find anything romantic in cold weather. My hands and feet get freezing cold no matter what, so snuggling isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. My nose gets red and runny from the temperature and wind, so I look like I have a perpetual cold – totally sexy, right? I’m much more interested in dressing for warmth, and I hate running outside, so my body is not in the greatest shape during these months. Also, I can never think of anything fun to do when the weather is this horrid – go for a walk? No. Go to a museum? That would mean walking to and from my car (so really, go anywhere is out). Stay inside by the fire? Fires make messes and are dangerous. I do like to cook when it’s cold out, but, again, that necessitates going to the store for ingredients and that means going outside.

But, back to my relationships… Tripp and I started slowing down right around mid-October. Ex and I would always slow down for winter and pick up again when it warmed up. Most of the rest of my relationships have begun in the spring or summer, and were over well before the first frost. Even Jay – I joked with him that I liked him because he kept his AC so low in the summer, but that once it got cold outside, I wouldn’t need him anymore. One week before the first Arctic front, he was kicked to the curb. And, interestingly enough, the holidays don’t play into these dating trends. I’m a great gift-giver and I’m pretty good with receiving gifts as well, so I’ve never had an issue there. I don’t stress over meeting parents or introducing guys to my parental units. It’s SOLELY AND COMPLETELY the temperature!

Ugh. I’ve never looked forward to spring more.

– Finch

Quick Thought: Definition of Insanity

Doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results. Like calling Ex. Sure, the last couple of times that we talked we had some nice conversations. But the last three times I’ve called, he has not returned my calls, texted me to say “Hey, I’m busy right now. I’ll hit you up later,” or even emailed to tell me to F-off. So why do I keep calling? Loneliness, euphoric recall, utter insanity? I think any if those will work for me excuse.

Don’t do stupid things. It’s not just a clever name – they really are stupid.

– Finch

Quick thought: Don’t Google People

When it’s late at night, you’ve had a long, lazy weekend, and you’re feeling a little lonely, don’t google your exes. You will see things you don’t want to see – like wedding dates. And even though you’ve moved on, there will still be that selfish part of you that wants everyone else to put their life on hold until you are fabulously happy, so that their happiness will just be icing on the cake.

So, take it from me – Google is not your friend. It will not tell you things you want to hear. If it tells me next that Joshua Jackson is engaged to Diane Kruger, I’m bidding the Internet goodbye. Maybe.

– Finch

Sucker Punch

There is always that one person in our past who we compare other people to – they may be the one that got away, or the back-up plan, or the ideal. But I think we always have a measuring stick. Mine is Tripp; as previously mentioned, we dated back in college, and it has actually been about ten years since we broke up. Our break-up was mildly melodramatic (on my part), we didn’t speak for about 18 months, and then we started the long road to friendship. We were friends for a while, then I dropped him like a bad habit, got married, and then when that fell apart, I came back seeking solace. And Tripp has always given that.

So, of course, what always happens is, he is so sweet and understanding and wonderful that I begin to think about what it would be like if we were back together. Let me clarify, we have not seen each other in over eight years, we live in different cities, and he has been back with his high school girlfriend for years. But still, it’s like a daydream. Even though I know it is totally unreal, and honestly, we are so different now, I would never go back to him… It’s still something that flows through my head on occasion.

We started speaking again in March, 2012, about a month after I told my (now) ex-husband that I wanted a divorce. Tripp was incredibly supportive not only of that, but also of the wonderful dating choices I made after that. We would email two or three times a month. Nothing major, just checking in. Then in December, we started texting, sometimes until 2 in the morning, and often for hours. So you can imagine my surprise when I received this (this is just an excerpt – he didn’t drop it on me this badly):

“and i got engaged on xmas eve. so that’s big news i think. good times.” (he also has no concept of punctuation or capitalization)

When I received this, we actually hadn’t talked for about three weeks. It was over the holidays, I was out of town; I just didn’t have anything to say. And this bauble came at the end of one of those “hey, what’s up? what’s happening?” emails. I think my mouth hung open for a full 30 seconds. Again, I want no part of him romantically, and the thought of marrying him literally makes me laugh out loud, but… He was like my life raft. Like if I never found anyone else, I could count on him to be there for me. And I realize that this in no way means that we can’t be friends. But you know how it is when your friend gets married – everything is about box stores, and kids, and familial get-togethers. And I doubt that an ex-girlfriend from college gets much time in that kind of scenario.

So – maybe this is the Universe’s way of saying that I don’t need a back-up plan or a life raft. Maybe this is clearing the decks for me to find someone better. Doesn’t mean it didn’t hurt a bit.

– Finch