My online dating profile wasn’t stellar, but it was honest. My pictures were less than a week old, and I answered everything to the best of my ability.(Wondering what “everything” is? Look here, a site dedicated to the OKCupid profile.) The answers were brief and to the point – no pontificating. I was going for the soft-sell, but it wasn’t working. My friend, a fellow cupid familiar with pitching in other areas of his life, urged me to elaborate in some places and trim down in others. It was wise advice, but I was still torn between editing or deleting my profile. You see, I am still resistant to online dating; I still want to meet someone the organic way, the old-fashioned way. My friend’s quip to this is, “How’s that working for you?” Yeah, not so well these days. Editing had to be done.
With a slightly enhanced profile, I did acquire a ‘like’ from a guy I had exchanged emails with last time I was on OKCupid, over 2 years ago. As we had already done introductions before, I decided to send a quick message, and he responded with a dinner invitation. Normally, I would have taken a step back, but we had exchanged mini essays in the past, so I felt dinner was a logical progression, plus I didn’t want a penpal.
The date was on a Tuesday night. I was early –I usually am. The walk to my favourite Thai restaurant helped me shake off my nerves, and when he showed up, I didn’t hesitate to step outside and flag him down. The Thai chatter in the kitchen put me at ease, and after a long-winded discussion about our day, I broke out my rusty Thai to order dinner. The conversation flowed, the green curry was mild, the cha yen (Thai iced tea) was sweet, and it was a beautiful night. As he walked me home, we chatted about his son, acupuncture, and meeting up again. At my place, we hugged goodbye, and I thought to myself, I’d like to see him again. Against my friend’s advice, I even sent him a ‘thank you’ text the same night.
Maybe that was my faux-pas? Sending a text the same night came off as too eager? I hate dating rules. Anyhow, it’s been over a week since that date with Tuesday guy, and I haven’t heard a peep. I’m not going to second guess myself and run down the list of possible reasons why I haven’t heard from him. In fact, I haven’t been losing sleep or time since that Tuesday.
The same friend, a fellow introvert, is approaching dating as a summer hobby, or so she says. This isn’t typical introvert behaviour, but I thought maybe I could take this approach too. So, when a message from a handsome, well-traveled, multiple-degreed man landed in my inbox on Wednesday, I responded. Our messages went back and forth –hobbies and travel were the hot topics. Anyhow, we ended up meeting on Saturday for coffee.
I had iced tea, and he had what I can only assume was coffee. If you have been reading my blog for some time, you know that I’m not into coffee dates — they’re like interviews. Anyhow, the interview went well for the most part; we were re-hashing our emails, and he was everything that he said he was, plus nice biceps. But somehow, he seemed like too good of a catch. Then the conversation took an interesting turn — marriage. He had ventured down that path for a brief period, and he told me the bad, the good, and the ugly of that experience. (It was mostly ugly.) At the end, I felt guilty because I couldn’t reciprocate –I’ve never been married. However, I did share my feelings about family and my place in it, which is something I don’t often talk about. For him, family was the touchstone in his life, and his parents were currently living with him. I didn’t tell him this, but when I moved back from living overseas, I lived with my mom for less than three weeks before finding a place of my own. And once I had settled in my bachelor, I felt I had taken back part of my life.
After the ‘family talk’, I thought that our date would be sealed with a handshake, and a half-hearted, “Keep in touch.” So, I was surprised that it ended with a handshake, and a dinner invitation for the following Monday, just a couple days away. I politely declined as I wanted to be with a friend going through a breakup, and because I wasn’t sure how I felt about the prospect of another date. With his line of questioning and the discussion on marriage, I got the impression that he’d figured out most of his life, but was just missing the right woman to start a family with. Although we’re the same age, I’m still figuring out my life in the West, and not feeling the ticking of any kind of clock.
Oh, dating! It’s complicated, and to be honest, I don’t think it is the right hobby for me. I’m open to meeting someone, but it’s not my priority right now. And as an introvert, making a connection with one person, whether it be a friend or love interest, is hard enough without throwing more possibilities in the mix. Tonight the online dating profile is coming down.
P.S. I saw ‘what-if’ guy again tonight. After my run, I was walking home through the Village and there he was — not at a different table, but on the other side of the road.