For those of you not familiar, for the past year, I’ve ventured into the bizarre world of online dating. Things only got more bizarre when I took advantage of a free 10-day trial on a Christian dating website.
Note to self: men only get weirder online when you bring religion into the equation. One guy formally introduced himself as a non-native English speaker and single father. He then went on to proclaim his love of the writings of John Calvin and Martin Luther.
I mean that’s the sort of thing guys say to pick up girls in bars, right?
Another dude wrote me an 8-stanza poem and last week’s gem enthusiastically asked me if I saw that day’s Glenn Beck show. Boy, was that guy barking up the wrong tree. In what comes as a surprise to no one, the website had a noticeable lack of New Yorkers, so for the most part I spent the duration of the trial dodging emails from random Canadians and weird old dudes. But there was one guy whose approach reached the highest level of normalcy. He also said I was prett. What can I say? It really is THAT easy. The problem was that he lived in the geographically inconvenient Philadelphia and was not really my type. When I say “not really my type” I mean that I have a weird aversion to men who wear suits. I prefer my men to be creative, tempestuous and very, very poor. Anyways, we chatted on and off for a couple of weeks. I later found out that he was moving to an even more geographically inconvenient location, but I was enjoying the conversation and going with the flow either way, so no bother. We eventually graduated to a short phone call where one of my long-time fears of online dating was assuaged—he did not have a weird voice. Come on, I can’t be the only one who’s concerned with getting matched with what Seinfeld referred to as a “high talker” can I? Honestly at this point, it could have fizzled out naturally as he moved further away, and I would have moved on my merry way, but he kicked it up a notch by making plans with me over a weekend he was going to be in the city. For me, this was a bit of a game changer, so at this point, I did start to get a little excited. We talked about going to a Mets game (my baseball curse strikes again!), and he suggested rearranging his itinerary around my work schedule so we could spend the whole day together. Did I mention that he also invited me to come to Philly if I felt so inclined (my schedule didn’t allow it)? He left it off by saying that he’d keep me apprised of flight times and that he was packing up that weekend. After I didn’t hear from him over that weekend, I reached out a couple of times to confirm his arrival….
Complete radio silence.
Here’s the funny thing about dating with current technology: there are a million different ways to keep in contact with someone. Also, it is really easy to see someone log into GChat and NOT answer your email.
I was so baffled by this, and as the day approached that he was supposed to come, I obviously had realized that he wasn’t coming, but it was driving me absolutely crazy that I didn’t know what happened (some theories included temporary amnesia, alcohol and general douchebaggery). I sent him one final email inquiring what changed on his end of the equation–not because I had any hopes of our meeting face to face, but that my curiosity had got the best of me. Also, my blog entry needed an ending. It’s not that I was crazy about the guy (though I was interested). It was more that I was surprised that he lacked basic common etiquette. If you make plans, it is your responsibility to un-make those plans if something changes. Enough time had passed with the mystery unsolved, that I deleted him FB and chalked it up to another weird chapter in the always-amusing story that is my dating life. I suck at this locally. Who was I to think that I’d be better at this long distance?
And that’s where I left this blog until tonight: almost two weeks later, I received an email from him explaining why he flaked. I swear I about spit my drink out when I saw the email pop up. Why now?
As I greatly suspected, another girl had entered the picture. He went on to explain that he didn’t “want to lead anyone on nor cause hard feelings, and being that we hadn’t met, it didn’t seem like it was fair to keep you interested in me.” So you see, friends, he was doing me a favor by sparing me from perpetual interest! Phew! I now also suspect his ego just might rival mine. I am relieved, and grateful though, that he responded (better late than never, buddy!). Ultimately, his folly was making the mistake that people so often make when it comes to communicating with one another: underestimating how much people usually appreciate straightforward honesty. Why do people think it’s more effective to be flaky? Or maybe that’s just me—I’m nothing if not completely rationale. If he had given me the heads up weeks ago that things had changed (before his supposed weekend visit), I wouldn’t be writing this. I’m not lying when I say that I was completely jazzed when I checked my email. I’m not any closer to being a successful dater, but I am certainly accumulating more material for that book I plan on writing.