09/21/12 - 0 Comments
Rachel’s Online Dating Diary, Part III
In Rachel’s last online dating diary entry, she introduced us to Benjamin, the smooth-talking ladies’ man who ended up being a lot like most of the men she had met in real life: only interested in sex. While she quickly realized she wanted much more than just a physical relationship, she continued to hook up with Ben until something more serious came along.
As luck would have it, a friend introduced me to a great guy named Luke right around this time. Luke was Ben’s complete and polar opposite: quiet, unassuming and somewhat dorky. But I liked him all the more for these refreshing qualities. Having the potential to date a bona fide nice guy made it so much easier to tell Ben I was no longer interested in being his hookup buddy.
In the meantime, several new guys were messaging me on the online dating site, two of the standouts (for all of the wrong reasons) being Nick and Tom. After several messages back and forth to both, dates were arranged. The first was Nick. He was super-smart (Harvard) and really disarming, with a smile that could melt ice. We met at a wine bar in the East Village and, before I knew it, three hours had passed. Needless to say, the conversation was easy breezy. I started to have my reservations about him, however, when the bill arrived. He asked if I wanted to split it, even though he had had one more $15 glass of wine than I. At the risk of being old-fashioned, I think the guy should pay for the first date, especially if he did the asking out (which in this case, Nick did in fact do). Of course, I split the bill without complaint. But it was the one and only first date thus far in my life in which the guy didn’t offer to pay (note I said “offer.” I’ve been known to go dutch, but it has always required some insistence on my part). If this had been the worst of it, then maybe I could have given Nick a second chance. But, after the date, Nick continued to message me on the dating site, even though he had my phone number! This drove me crazy. I responded for a time, but after several messages and no mention of a second date, I let it go.
Now for Tom. This was a dating experience I would like to just erase from my memory. Right off the bat I was a little weary of Tom, as he seemed really over-eager in every way (lightning quick responses to my messages, several texts before we had even met). And, when we finally did meet, he practically jumped out of his chair to greet me. Had this been any other guy, I would probably have been flattered, but the thing about Tom was, it seemed really obvious to me from the moment I met him that he was gay.
Heaven forgive me, but the feeling was unshakable. His mannerisms and the way he spoke just didn’t scream “straight male” (NB: I have absolutely nothing against homosexuality. Whatever floats your boat. I just don’t want you to waste my time if you know that you don’t like women!). I endured two painful hours that felt like a prolonged interview. My theory is that Tom hasn’t owned his sexuality yet, and is therefore definitely not ready to share it with his family and friends. So he’s looking for a nice girl to settle down with in the hopes of creating a guise of normalcy. I could be wrong, but stranger things have happened. When we finally parted ways, we hugged awkwardly and said we’d “do this again soon,” but it goes without saying that this did not happen. All I can say is, I wish Tom the best, whatever his sexual preference.
Whatever happened to Luke, you’re probably wondering? I continued to go on dates with him throughout the Nick and Tom fiascos. As great and gentlemanly as he was, though, he was very preoccupied with work. We would go out to dinner once in maybe two or three weeks, but, when I realized that his communication wasn’t increasing as time wore on, I decided he was just another in a string of men (boys?) who weren’t able to commit to an actual relationship, for one reason or another.
Believe it or not, there is one story left. Willing to try any and every avenue to meet a dateable guy, I agreed to give speed dating a go with a friend. I was against it in the beginning, but it helped to have a friend to commiserate with. In about two-and-a-half hours, we talked to a staggering thirty guys for four minutes each. At the end of the event, we were instructed to list our top five—if any of our top picks chose us too, we would be notified of the mutual connection and given their contact information.
There was really only one guy (Mark) who really sparked my interest, so I put his name down first, and threw in a couple of other guys for good measure. A few days after the event, I got an email saying that Mark had chosen me, too. Less than a day later, he contacted me with a cute and funny email, alluding to things we had spoken about in our brief four-minute chat. I appreciated that he had paid attention, and just as importantly, that he had remembered specific things about me after having talked to so many other girls (he was only the second person I spoke to).
We emailed for a week then planned to have our first date on a Wednesday evening. We met at Pier 25 in TriBeCa and played a rousing game of mini-golf (major brownie points for the interactive, unconventional first date idea) then had dinner at a charming Italian restaurant in the neighborhood. At dinner, a couple sat down next to us, the woman toting a beautiful bouquet. Mark said, “That dude totally showed me up!” and he sprinted from the table, plucked a flower from an arrangement at the bar, and handed it to me. It was the cheesiest but probably sweetest thing I’ve ever experienced on a first date. After dinner, we walked to the subway, where we had a brief and innocent kiss goodnight. This was hands-down the best date I’ve had while keeping this online dating diary, and I didn’t even meet him online. So, ladies, the one piece of advice I can offer, given my extensive dating experience is: don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it!
And there you have it. We commend Rachel for facing her fears and giving online dating a try. While it didn’t yield any stellar prospects, her open-mindedness led her to try speed dating, where she met what seems to be a really great guy (knock on wood!). So, like our friend Rachel advised, don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it!
Photo credit: The Telegraph