Everyone has their own pace. Mine? While I trend towards impulsive decisions, my overall pace is generally slow– Especially when it comes to online strangers.
Oh, don’t get me wrong– I’m all for meeting in person as SOON as I have determined that the human behind the screen SEEMs to be a decent sort. (Few things rot more than wasted time–investing energy and effort into getting to know someone through the written word only to discover you do not enjoy their actual presence. So I’m a fan of meetings in public places as early on as possible.)
But that’s about as fast as I tend to move in general.
I’m not one for placing a huge emphasis on the first date. I’m not looking for romance or spark. I’m looking for whether or not I ever want to endure this human’s company again. I’m looking for hanging out. For laughter. For a good experience. There are a million things that are important to know about worldview and ideals and compatibility in general. But none of them matter if I don’t enjoy his presence. So I treat a first date as a casual encounter rather than an event of SIGNIFICANCE.
The first time I met Mr. Moved-Too-Fast, we were both on time. But also equally 40 minutes late. I was waiting inside – He had waited outside. Wisconsin hates cell phone reception, so I had no way to communicate with him; and I was just about to give up when when he saw me through the window– oops!
I don’t really believe in foreshadowing, but if I did, that would probably have been a sign that we just weren’t on the same page.
Overall, dinner was nice. He had beautiful eyes and an easy smile, and the conversation flowed pleasantly. After about an hour, I had to get home to attend to some business things, so he walked me out to my car and hugged me goodbye.
At least, I thought he was hugging me goodbye.
I have never had a guy attempt to kiss me on a first date, so it took me by surprise when I leaned in to reciprocate his hug and then felt his lips on my jaw. Clearly they had not intended to land there.
I stepped back, bade him goodnight, and retreated to the safety of my car, unsure of how I felt about the situation.
Two feelings warred within me:
Feeling 1: WOW! He thinks I’m kissable! (I’m kissable? DUDE–I’m KISSABLE!!!!)
Feeling 2: ummm…. I barely know if I LIKE you as a person, I’m TOTALLY NOT ready to be kissing you!
My complete inexperience with the kiss-at-the-end-of-a-first-date mentality coupled with my reticence to introduce physicality at the very beginning of any relationship had created a rather awkward ending to what had otherwise been a fine evening (save for the great mishap with the timing). I didn’t want him to think that I hated him, so rather than waiting for him to text me, I sent him a text telling him I had enjoyed our evening together.
He responded by requesting a second date.
I was open to this; however, my options were limited.
We met on Wednesday. I had a dance class followed by dinner with a photographer on Thursday, the desperate need to not deal with people for a day on Friday (Seriously, online dating is like a full time job, and I had a REAL full time job I had been neglecting), work on Saturday, and the intention to head to my parent’s house for a week on Sunday. (I ended up not leaving until Monday, but at the time, Sunday was the original plan for departure).
We settled on Saturday after work, but then came the harder part: Deciding what we would actually DO. Though we live an hour an a half apart, he offered to drive to my town for Netflix and dinner.
Netflix and chill??? ummm… I’m a hardcore fan of netflix–believe me…. BUT, I don’t think it makes for a very woo-ing worthy early date.
Then there was also the issue of personal security.
We had shared three phone conversations, a small but steady string of messages through the online dating site, and one in-person meal together. That was NOT firm enough foundation for me to be willing to give him my address. Call me paranoid, but, –no, never mind. There is no ‘but’– just call me paranoid.
Seriously, though? Netflix for a second date? umm, no.
I dodged this proposition with the small but significant fact that I lack both a couch and a TV in my small apartment; so we concluded he would come to my town, and we would play it by ear.
Day of, he texted me to ask where he should pick me up. Again, I was not about to get in his car at this point of only vaguely knowing him.
(Apparently, I have severe trust issues… but I have seen WAY too many episodes of CSI to be willing to hop in a car with a dude I don’t know just because he SEEMS nice). [The difference between guys and girls when it comes to online dating is that a guy’s greatest worry is that either the girl will be fat or she will be crazy and clingy. Meanwhile, girls seriously hope not to end up in some guy’s trunk.]
Safety first– so I presented him with a choice: We could meet at either a sushi place near me, my favorite restaurant in the area, or a sports bar.
[This was a test. A test which turned into an epic fail. Ladies, if you are presenting a list to a man, for the sake of your enjoyment of the evening, do NOT put anything on the list that you would not actually enjoy doing just because you want to see which one he will pick. If a sports bar is on the list, he will think that a sports bar is ok to choose. and if he has already considered Netflix to be a viable option, that WILL be the option he chooses.]
He chose the sports bar. Which pretty much sealed the fate of our brief acquaintanceship.
I am not a sports bar girl.
Being prone to headaches, I don’t like cacophony or lots of loud noise; and the FIRST thing I noticed when we walked in was how LOUD it was.
We had to speak unnaturally loudly in order to hear each other.
Which became rather awkward at one point when the waitress across the way joined in our conversation. (Yeah, in order to hear each other, we had to speak loudly enough for everyone else at nearby tables to hear us, too!)
Then there was the issue of the TVs. There were TVs EVERYWHERE. Mr. Moves made a VALIANT effort to keep his attention on me. But I nearly got whiplash from watching his eyes dart back and forth from my face to a nearby screen multiple times during a sentence when talking to me. [At least he MADE the effort, though. There was a couple I could see sitting at a booth behind Mr. Move’s shoulder. Throughout the evening, her attention was completely on her date; his attention was completely on the screen behind her.]
So let’s just say that when the focus NEEDS to be on getting to know each other, a distracting environment will probably NOT be helpful unless both parties are EQUALLY into sportsing–something which my profile CLEARLY addresses NOT to be the case.
At the conclusion of our painfully loud evening, Mr. Moves once more walked me to my car, and we once more enacted the hug-oops-he-meant-to-kiss-me routine. Not to be thwarted, he attempted a second kiss, but instead of swiping my lips, he swiped my forehead.
Here’s the thing: He was a NICE guy. I had enjoyed our conversation. I had enjoyed our phone calls. I was flattered by his interest.
But at the end of the day, I think we were expecting different things. He wanted a buddy to chill with. I want someone who is going to put thought, effort, and intention into making me feel special.
I visited my parents the following week, and he offered to cook me dinner if I wanted to stop at his place on my way home. My hesitance to do that made me realize that if I was still feeling uncomfortable about a more intimate setting, I should probably just acknowledge that I wasn’t as into him as he was me.
It probably didn’t help that he had a photographer to contend with…. but that’s another story for another post.