Just pay attention to the dates in these messages and reconsider not deleting messages in your inbox for this reason…
He’s single because this is his profile picture on the dating site.
I’m single because the dating site suggested his profile to me.
On Sunday he told me I was a good writer. I’m not, or at least what he’s read that I’ve written isn’t that great, but it prompted me to reply. So, I asked him what brought him to a dating site. He spoke pretty realistically and on Monday I decided it was time to start exchanging textmessages, which was earlier than usual. He was also a bit taller and a bit younger than I usually prefer, but it didn’t seem sensible to turn down a date because “aw, you missed the cut off by a few inches and years.” (Inches as in height for those of you who read something else.) At one point he made a comment about meeting my cat. “Oh, you’re coming over?” I asked. I told him we’d have to meet elsewhere first so I could make sure that he wasn’t a weirdo, or rather that he was “good-weird” and not “bad-weird.” On Tuesday we settled on a bar at 6:30 that Saturday. On Wednesday we were still chatting, and then he stopped replying. The last thing I’d mentioned could be a deal breaker for some. I didn’t know what to make of it. Eight hours later I tried a “How was your Wednesday?” sort of test. No answer. Thursday came and went without a text. Friday was almost over. I didn’t know what to make of it. He was texting me constantly and now he’d disappeared. Plenty of people have gone ghost on me in the past, so I started to assume this is what was happening. Of course, I wasn’t used to his texting habits, so it was hard to judge and then this conversation happened after a long pause following my first message:
So, we went on the date. (After some excuse about him not responding due to a big project at work.) Honestly, I was more excited about putting myself together for a night out, than I was about meeting him. I wore my usual go-to wintertime first date outfit: My favorite perfect-fitting pair of jeans, a plain black cowl-neck blouse, and boots. I wore the boots that give me an extra couple of inches, with his height in mind. I tried to arrive on time, but still wound up 10 minutes early. I’m always early. He was two minutes late. I didn’t judge. He was kind of cute. I nervously removed my glasses when I saw him wearing his. “I don’t usually wear my glasses, they’re just for distance, and I can see better this way now.” That’s the first thing I said to him. “Okay? Should we sit?” was his reply. “It smells like licorice in here!” This was the next thing I said to him. “It does, but I like licorice, so that’s okay. Do you?” We both like licorice. He seemed really nervous and his hand was slightly shaking as he picked at the corner of the menu on the bar. “So, have you always lived here?” I asked. “No, I actually attended college at…” He unbuttoned his shirt to reveal a t-shirt with the college’s name. I raised my eyebrows, “uh, right, I see…” The bartender probably enjoyed the show. We wound up being two awkwardly quirky people dating as if neither of us had been on a date before. I guess it had been a while for me. He ordered a beer and I had a glass of their happy-hour wine. As cheap as it was, I didn’t mind that he didn’t offer to pay. We talked about religion, our families, where we grew up, trips we’d taken, and my dark humor shone through it all, but he didn’t seem to mind.
We took a walk in search for food. He stumbled over a bicycle resting near the curb. “Are you okay?” I asked. He said nothing. “Did you just trip over a bicycle?” I asked. “Yep,” he replied. “There’s a place over here…” he said while looking at his cellphone. He announced the name and continued to describe it. An image flashed through my mind of the…“intimate” moment I’d shared with someone in the bathroom. “Don’t tell him about the last time you were there,” I made a mental note. “Er…I’ve uhh…I’ve been there.” I said. “How was it?!” he asked. “Don’t tell him what you remember about that place. Don’t tell him about the bathroom encounter,” I repeated in my head. “Uh, it was okay. I saw someone’s band play there once.” He responded with an enthusiastic “Cool!” and I changed the subject. We got some wraps at a falafel place. They were pretty messy. He didn’t offer to pay, but they also weren’t that expensive. Normally this would have sent up a red flag for me, despite claiming I want everything to be equal, but my job had given me a bonus the day before, so in this moment it felt kind of rewarding to be this financially comfortable, and I wasn’t really seeking anyone to treat me to anything. Not that he knew that. “I saw that on your profile it said you prefer to date someone older than you, why is that?” I asked. “I don’t know if they can teach me something exactly, but I feel like they’re more experienced. I don’t really like women my age. Most of them aren’t looking for the same things as me and they’re kind of immature.” His leg was bouncing up and down on the bar stool. “Do you have to pee, are you nervous, or do you just do that sometimes?” I asked. He said it was just sort of a nervous tic and he was a bit nervous. I admitted to doing it occasionally as well. He asked if I wanted to head to another bar. It was still early, so I decided to let the night continue. He scrolled through bar options on his cellphone. “You know, you’re just going to find a bunch of bars, we’re never going to settle on one, and then we’re just going to walk around and find one anyway, so-” He put his phone in his pocket and said “I was just thinking that.” I pointed out that he had something stuck in his teeth and helped verbally guide him to where it was. Then we were off.
We eventually wound up going to a bar in the area at my suggestion when I realized we were close. I hadn’t been there in years. It looked different than I remembered, but it also could have been that I was sober at that point. Walking there, I asked “do you smoke?” “I have a pipe, you wanna see it? I took a picture of it!” He replied while pulling out his cellphone. I glanced down at the glass octopus tentacle-shaped pipe. “Wow, it’s octopussy,” I replied, then quickly frowned thinking, “Did I just say ‘pussy’?” This time he offered to buy me a belated birthday drink, but I declined again. We had two more drinks each. We talked about drug trips, previous relationships, the concept of marriage, being losers in school, the recent surge in crime and how he knew someone who could get me pepper spray. When I returned from a trip to the bathroom I asked him how many people he’d slept with. “That’s what you were thinking about in the bathroom?!” he responded, confused. “No, I was just wondering,” I clarified. His number was significantly less than mine. He uncomfortably stated, “I don’t really want to know your number, but I feel obligated to ask.” I gave him a range. “So, you know the exact number just like that?” I pointed out. “Yeah…” he replied hesitantly. “It is a kind of a low number,” I admitted. Suddenly he became a bit defensive about how he chooses not to just sleep with anyone. “I didn’t mean it like that! I think it’s by choice. I was just pointing out that it is less than what I usually hear from a guy,” I explained. He nodded. When it was close to midnight he said he was going to get going. “Okay. I was going to invite you to my place, but I don’t mean to hook up or anything,” I said. “Yes,” he replied, rather quickly. “Are you sure? You realize I live really far from your place, right? It’s cool if you stay over, but I’m not inviting you for anything sexual,” I warned him. “You’ve made that very clear, you’re not attracted to me, I get it. That’s okay,” he said, defeated. I shouted back in his ear over the music and chatter of the bar, “No, I mean I don’t mind you staying over because it’s late and you live far. I think you’re cute and all, but I don’t want to hook up or anything because I only just met you and I wasn’t lying earlier when I mentioned I had my period.” Because you know, this is all first date talk, right? Though I have a history of bringing dates home just for sleeping.
So, we boarded the train to my place. I ducked under two men kissing in front of an open seat, “Excuse me.” He awkwardly held a pole over the seats opposite me. I shrugged, “There was a seat.” Eventually the seat next to me became available and he joined me. We arrived at my apartment and it was quiet. It suddenly felt a bit claustrophobic to me, like there was too much attention drawn to each other, away from the distracting hustle and bustle of the bars and trains. I attempted to offer him pajama pants, but we were very different sizes. He tried to climb into my bed with his jeans until I’d repeated a third time that I really didn’t mind if he took them off to sleep. Suddenly he was nervous again. “I just want to warn you I will wake up with really bad bed head,” he turned to me. “That’s fine,” I replied confused. Did he not think my hair got messy when I slept? This was the first man I’d met who had shown worry over sleeping on his hair. He asked if he could wash his hair in the morning to fix it. I told him whatever he needed was fine, and added that I had an extra toothbrush. Suddenly I started laughing, “Not that the toothbrush is for your hair. I just meant that you could also have a toothbrush.” He joked along, “Some toothpaste as hair gel.” I started cracking up, “I just pictured you coming to tell me you’d just used up ALL of my toothpaste tomorrow morning, and I’m just liked ‘that’s…okay…’ and I just replaced the tube, too!” He laughed at the picture I’d painted.
We continued to talk and laugh and almost watched a movie but I quickly turned it off when the characters sounded exactly like a conversation I’d had with him earlier. “But, it’s us! I want to hear our story and find out what happens, let’s keep watching it!” he protested. “It’s creepy, no!” My vote won. Around 3am we got to sleep. That morning I heard him running the water in the bathtub. He came out asking me for a towel for his hair. “I just don’t want to spend the whole day looking like Ace Ventura,” he explained, pointing to his hair. I smiled, “It does look EXACTLY like his hair.” He went home shortly after that. -After he offered to cook me something (he cooks!), and give me a massage (he took Swedish Massage classes!) “Are you a hugger?” he asked. “No, not really,” I answered, and then hugged him goodbye anyway. He was all smiley like he liked me. He told me he felt a lot closer to me. I brushed it off. He was sweet, but the entire night he’d repeated the sentence, “Isn’t it nice we also have _____ in common?” Like he was pushing too hard for us to be some perfect match. I had to push back that I wasn’t looking for someone identical to me. It’s differences that compliment one another that make a good match. I don’t want to say he was “too nice.” I don’t want to say it because I know how stupid it sounds, but I felt it. I wanted him to have a tougher side to him that I just didn’t see. When I admitted a certain fantasy/fetish-thing I had, he was too freaked out by it. Okay, it’s not that common, but it’s also not that uncommon and I’ve met plenty of people who brush it off like it’s nothing, which I’d prefer. He even brought it up in a textmessage to me that afternoon, after leaving my place. It was about how he didn’t think we’d be a good match just because of what I like to picture during sexual scenarios. I have a feeling he’s one of those “let’s just make love” kind of people. That’s all nice and everything, and sometimes that’s great, but there are times when one hopes for something a little more uninhibited and so I found myself shooting some pretty sexually explicit messages to my far-away-crush shortly after my date ended. The weird part was that it felt like cheating. I’d only just met this date, my crush is thousands of miles away, and yet I couldn’t help but feel like what I was doing was wrong…Of course, it hasn’t stopped me.
When you see this^ pop up on your OkCupid account it’s like when you’re grandma impatiently taunts you, “well?” during a conversation of your relatives husbands/children. It’s like that sinking feeling you get when yet another engagement/wedding/birth announcement pops up on your FaceBook newsfeed. You know, the ones you quickly scroll by, maybe “accidentally” not clicking “like” as you move onto the next post. It’s not true, though. Of the 2,776 questions that you can currently answer on OkCupid, I skipped a bunch and I’ve *only* answered about half of them over the years. My birthday is getting closer. This is the first year it hit me that this means I’m getting closer to turning 30. This birthday also means I’ve been single for nearly 4 years now. I sat in a bar with some coworkers in their 30’s the other night. Some are married, some in relationships, and some single. I asked them to reassure me that being in your 30’s isn’t so bad compared to your 20’s. That there are things to look forward to in your 30’s. I got a lot of “uhh.” One guy told me “Well, in your 20’s you go into everything more. You love harder, you fight harder, you-” but he got off when a coworker in their early to mid-twenties laughed, “I like that you said ‘you love harder’ first” and the conversation moved on.
It feels like the older I get the less options there are. The less people in my age-range not already spoken for. The less time to decide if I want to have children. The less time to do things I have the energy to do with someone else. The less time to enjoy being in a relationship with someone else and decide if we should get married or have children. The less time to look youthfully attractive. And well, just less time in general for anything, if I were to live into old age. There is plenty I enjoy about being single, especially being an introvert and needing time on my own to recharge and all. There are a lot of things I’d miss. There are moments of heartbreak I can remember that at that time I’d tell you weren’t worth feeling for having loved. But after a while all of that fades and maybe it’s just due to human nature and chemicals and impulses in ones brain that bring back the craving of ditching single life, but I’m back to being dissatisfied with my love life, and I’ve grown extra picky from my experiences.
My update on single life? I went to some museums and zoos on my own because I wanted to prove to myself that I didn’t need to be in a relationship to do those kinds of things. I did my makeup thinking, “Maybe I’ll bump into someone on the train and some Hollywood-type love story will ensue.” It didn’t. Upon arriving at my destination I promptly realized everyone else is either with their significant other or their children and every turn I just kept hearing this whisper, “You’re single, huh?” …I’m also going through a jar of pickles a week. (Lack Of Dates = Lack Of Reasons To Avoid Bad Breath.) …I’ve given my number to two guys from various dating sites/apps recently. I knew very little about one of them, so without high expectations of potential, the lack of motivation caused me to sort of flake out on him. The other guy started up one of those really out-there and silly kind of conversations with me, so I played along without having anything better to do. He tells a lot of dry jokes. I thought I could put up with it until he uploaded a new photo and this conversation followed a few days later while I was out with some coworkers for happy hour…
Myself: “What’s today?!”
Myself: “I was sort of supposed to go on a date at 6pm.”
Coworker: “What?! You’re standing him up?!”
Myself: “No, no. We didn’t set a place, so it doesn’t count. I wouldn’t stand someone up.”
Coworker: “He’s probably waiting somewhere with flowers!”
Myself: “Waiting where?! We didn’t have a place. He would have checked in by now if the plans were still on, and I didn’t check in because I kind of lost interest.”
Coworker: “Then why were you going to meet him in the first place?”
Myself: “Well, I agreed to before he put up a new picture and I saw he had a gap between his teeth and-“
Coworker: “You’re so shallow!”
Myself: “No, I know. It is shallow. But I can’t help it, I just wasn’t really attracted to him anymore. I mean on some people that’s fine, but in the picture it just wasn’t on him and-“
Coworker: “So shallow.”
Myself: “It is but he also told bad jokes which didn’t help and if I’m not attracted to him, I’m not and how’s that supposed to work?!”
Coworker: “So why were you going to meet him?”
Myself: “I don’t know, to see what he’s like, maybe I’d be swayed another way. I don’t know him in person so I figured I’d give it a shot.”
…But I didn’t, and I guess he didn’t really mind either.
Continuing my recent trend of only having conversations that go no where on a dating site, here’s another…
…I wrote this a few months ago and had been meaning to edit it before I posted it, but so much time has passed that, well here it is as is:
I don’t post as much as I used to because I haven’t been actively dating as much as I used to, but every now and then I like to check in and give an update…The last date I went on, a couple of weeks ago…Well, let’s start from the beginning. So, the usual cycle began. I logged into my *whichever-app/site-it-was-this-time,* scrolled through my suggested matches, and felt I’d reconfirmed any doubts I’d had about eventually dying alone. Then of course an attractive face caught my eye, and I slowed down the rolling queue of single people. Moments later he’d sent an initial message, and the conversation began. Cute, interesting, not particularly with my exact sense of humor, but he was nice, so this would be alright. We chatted for a couple of days –actually there was about a week long break in-between our messages at one point- although, that’s not so important. He didn’t have a great excuse, but had reappeared to continue to message me, and then we switched to textmessages. We actually only made the number swap because of a dumb –but true- excuse I gave, about having an issue with a program at work when he knew how to resolve it. Program fixed, and we moved onto the normal and abnormal conversations people tend to text. This went on for few more days. Eventually we even had set plans to meet, and then one night it turned into something like this (realistic paraphrasing of the actual conversation while being as honest as possible)…
Him: “That sounds like a fun vacation! You didn’t wind up finding Mr. Right on that trip?”
Me: “Actually, I did wind up dating someone long-distance for 6 months after that trip. Now that’s the second time I’ve mentioned someone I dated, to be fair tell me one of your relationship stories!”
Him: “That’s alright!”
Me: “No, c’mon. How about, why did your last relationship fail?”
Him: “It didn’t.”
Me: “What? What do you mean, you’re still in it? I mean, why did it end, what was the reason?”
Him: “No I mean, I haven’t been in a relationship before.”
Me: “You haven’t had a girlfriend before?”
My Thoughts: *Oh no, what’s wrong with him?!* (As much as I’d like to pretend my thoughts don’t sound so cruel)
My Thoughts: *Alright, I gotta know how far he’s been…* (Not that it matters!…?)
Me: “How old were you when you had your first kiss?”
Him: “16” (It might have just been around there, younger or older)
Me: “How old were you when you first had sex?”
Him: “Is there a wrong answer to that?”
My Thoughts: *Uh-oh*
Him: “I haven’t yet.”
My Thoughts: …I’d like to say it doesn’t matter. I think I’ve been saying that for so long, but honestly, at that moment, well I wasn’t thrilled with the answer. I was turned off because I couldn’t help but think there must be some horrible reason, and I’d never encountered something like this at this age. And with such little experience how much time would it take someone to develop that sort of skill set? I was extremely judgey, but figured it would be okay if I didn’t say it…
Him: “You know, one time a girl stopped talking to me right after I told her I was a virgin. Just ended the conversation right there.”
My Thoughts: *Yeah, about that…*
So, we kept talking. I asked a lot of questions. I was honest, but not too honest because sometimes we all have inappropriate thoughts and the difference between being mean and just human is keeping them to yourself. He was adamant about telling me what he had experienced. It was interesting he’d done certain things, yet just by circumstance had never led to the rest of things. He then revealed a pretty uncommon fetish he had…So uncommon, I felt compelled to Google it to see if it was a “real thing” and understand how something like that was even worked into a sexual scenario. Sure enough, it exists and works for some people. After some debating, I decided not to specify what the fetish is on here. He was so uncomfortable with it, I’ve decided even though he’s anonymous, I feel like doing him the honor of skipping most of the details on the topic. But, for those who are still curious, I will say it’s over a typically somewhat mundane part of the body.
The first time we made plans to meet he cancelled with a lame excuse. The excuse itself wasn’t even that lame, but it made me feel like someone who was called “lame” in jr high school would use the excuse. I figured cancelling on an initial meeting just a few hours before was usually a deal-breaker. Either because it meant the person had never really intended on meeting you, or because the person being stood up wouldn’t be willing to give them another chance. But, some days later, we met!…And he was normal! Well, “normal” as in whatever weird way we all are in our uniquely diverse individuality. He’d simply fallen into one set of circumstances after another where he didn’t wind up in a relationship or losing his virginity until he’d suddenly just been the age he is now, and it’s not quite easy to jump into things after that at this age, especially based on the way even I’d reacted to his situation.
The date itself was fine. Days earlier we’d already discussed my opinion on who should pay on a date, so that was sort of easier and more awkward all at the same time. (I say that I don’t mind splitting it, while unable to help silently judging the other person if they don’t cover me –on a first date.) But, as I hadn’t eaten and didn’t want to drink without food, I meant it when I said he didn’t have to pay and I’d pay for my half myself without judging him. We did split it and somehow in the end I think he still wound up paying a larger amount. Overall, I just got this “friends only” kind of vibe from him. It’s hard to describe better than that, but when I let him know this he said he got that a lot. Maybe it was a combination of corny jokes and too much innocence on his part, but I couldn’t picture myself ever being in any type of romantic relationship with him. We continued to text each other after that night, and I’d say we became friends, but am not sure of us ever getting much closer –even just as friends. So there, that’s my story of the time I dated a mid-20’s-year-old-virgin with an uncommon fetish.
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