Tag Archives: first date

I forgot what that feels like

I talked about the quality of men on OkCupid in my last post, but to recap – I was pleasantly surprised.  Most of the men who emailed me had full and complete profiles, with very few (if any) grammar and spelling mistakes.  As with match.com, there were a few that I wasn’t interested in, but I started an email conversation with two particular men on the same day, a week after I signed up.

Seal emailed me, and his writing was clear and to the point.  He seemed like a pretty okay guy.

Arlington emailed me, and asked me my opinion on the Oxford comma.  I was sold.  (Pro, for the record.)

I had my first date with Seal on a Wednesday night.  It was very casual, and I enjoyed myself.  He was smart, and outspoken, and opinionated.  And all I could think was, “Oh, he and my dad would soooooo not get along.”  We were there for about 3 hours.  We walked out to the parking lot and parted with a wave.

My first date with Arlington came the following night, on Thursday.  We met for drinks, in a very crowded and loud bar.  He was quiet, but he had no problem talking.  We had a couple of lulls in the conversation, where we were both trying to figure out what to say, but once we started talking again we had no problem.  We spent about two and a half hours together.  We walked out to the parking lot, and parted with a hug.

Saturday rolled around, and Arlington and I went for our second date.  We went for dinner, and had intended to go to a movie, but my friends were throwing an impromptu bonfire.  It should be noted, I almost NEVER introduce these men to my friends before the fourth date, usually longer.  They don’t need a parade of men coming through their lives, in the same way kids don’t.  But…I felt sparks.  We had a blast at my friend’s house, he even did some singing on Rock Band, and we parted in the driveway with a quick kiss.

And I spent the whole drive home (even some of the time I was at a standstill on the interstate, with the car turned off) trying to get the huge grin off my face.

The next day, Sunday, I had a second date with Seal.  We went to a local hiking trail, and it was…fine.  He’s a nice guy, and very smart, and we have great conversations, but there wasn’t any of that sparkage I felt with Arlington.  We ended up running into my friends (the same friends who had met Arlington the night before), and Seal went on and on about how perfect we were for each other – We both like THIS and We both like THAT.  It was kind of annoying.  We parted with a hug.

That Wednesday, I made partial plans for a third date with Seal on Friday night, to go on a gallery crawl.  Then I had my third date with Arlington.  We went and played trivia, and had a great time.  And, wow, what a kiss.

I knew I needed to let Seal know that I liked this other guy more, but it’s such an uncomfortable position to be in.  I called him on Thursday and told him that, while I would love to go ahead with our plans on Friday, I felt I needed to tell him that I had met someone else.  And while I enjoyed our conversation and his company, I just liked…this…other…guy…um…more…

He was cool about it, and said he’d still like to do the gallery crawl, “as long as the other guy doesn’t mind.  And he can come to, if he wants.”  Oh, yeah, like that would be comfortable.

Here’s the thing that hit me.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve gone out with a guy and said, “He’s nice.  We had a nice time.  Good conversation.  Eh.”  And I would go on second dates with these guys, because, well, he’s a nice guy, and we had a good time.  And, you know, everyone says you need to give a guy a chance, that women expect too much, etc.  And I had started to believe that.

And then I felt what I think I should expect to feel.  Sparks.  That warm feeling in your stomach.  Not low down stomach, up high stomach, almost butterflies but not quite.  I can’t talk about him or our dates with smiling.  Writing this, I’m smiling.

I had forgotten what that felt like.  It’s a nice feeling.  And it’s now been almost a month, and I’m still smiling.

It’s a nice GREAT feeling.

Not too long ago, INRIS commented, “Now you’ve discovered you can feel good about a new guy.” No, NOW I’ve discovered that.  😉

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The quality of men on OkCupid

After years of online dating, I have been regularly disappointed by about 90% of the men I’ve come across.  I have bitched about it more than a few times on this blog – horrible profiles, crappy pictures, awkward dates, boring men, awful emails, odd phone conversations, kinky sexting, discourteous men…I could go on and on.

As I discussed in my last post (or was it the post before that?), I have avoided free online dating sites.  I figured, if men who are paying for a site can’t put forth the effort to write a good profile or email, what can the free sites possibly hold?

Well, evidently they can hold a lot, or at least OkCupid does.  I received a few emails (not winks!), and I was immediately impressed by the length and depth (and good grammar and spelling!) of the emails I received.  Upon visiting the profiles, I was again impressed, for the same reasons.  Long, detailed, well-written profiles.  Who woulda thunk it?!  In all, I would say about 90% of the profiles I viewed (both men who emailed me and men I found with a search) were awesome.  Complete opposite of what I was used to, and a complete surprise.

Were all of them what I was looking for?  No, of course not.  But I didn’t get any of the creepy emails I was expecting, no propositions for illicit meetings, no scams or freaks.  The site wasn’t full of trolls.  I was…speechless.  I really couldn’t believe it.  You mean this free site was actually better than a pay site?  How much money have I spent over the years?!

Algorithmic Dating

I’ve done plenty of online dating.  I’ve paid for match.com three times (twice using the 6-month guarantee, for a total of 30 months), for eHarmony once (for a six month period), and for chemistry.com once (for only a month).  In case you can’t do the math on your own, I’ve been on an online dating site for a total of over three years of the past six.  Out of that, I’ve had two major relationships, two minor ones, and a bunch of “three dates, you’re out” flings.

My last match subscription ended at the end of February, and I vowed that I was giving up.  On online dating, on dating, on life.  I thought, You know what?  I’m just going to be alone for the rest of my life, that’s just how it’s gonna be, and there’s nothing I can do about it. (Yes, I was in a fairly depressed state.)

But then, the next day, I got my optimism back and started thinking that I needed a fresh start.  (This is one of the reasons I sometimes wonder, half-jokingly, if I’m bipolar.)  I’ve been on match for far too long, and I’m giving up on it.  I was not impressed with Chemistry.com.  I had liked my time on eHarmony, though, so figured I’d give that a go.  Except, do you know how expensive it is?  And did I mention I don’t have a job?

I’ve always been against free dating sites, my thought being that you get what you pay for.  Also, I had pretty much assumed that sites like Plenty of Fish and OkCupid were mainly “hook up” sites, and that’s not what I was in the market for.  But one day in early February I stumbled across an interesting blog post over at the OKCupid Blog:  The Best Questions for a First Date. The people over at OKC wanted to know, “What questions are easy to bring up [on a first date], yet correlate to the deeper, unspeakable, issues people actually care about?”  Turns out, if you want to know if you’re date puts out on the first date, ask her if she likes the taste of beer.  If you want to know what they’re political leanings are, ask if they like simple or complex people.  And if you want to know how religious your date is, ask how much spelling and grammar mistakes annoy them.

I laughed when I first read the article, but I was impressed with the vast amount of statistics and algorithms OKC used to come up with the correlations.  I started reading some other blog posts that they did, and became fascinated.  The Mathematics of Beauty looked at the messages received by women vs. measured attractiveness.  They found that iPhone users have more sex, and that generally the more attractive a picture is, the more likely it is to be out of date. They found that “the MySpace shot is the single most effective photo type for women,” and that man should flaunt their chest and abs if they’ve got them.

You see, OKC gets all this information from a vast collection of questions that users are encouraged (but not required) to answer.  You can answer all of them, or ten of them, or none of them, it’s up to the user.  But, the more answers you provide, the more OKC will know about you as they try to match you with someone.  And, as you’re looking at people’s profiles, you can compare their answers to yours, getting a good feel for the person’s politics, outlook on life, intelligence, and sexual attitude.  You can see what they’re looking for out of life and in a partner.

So it’s kind of like a mesh between eHarmony (with the questions and the matching), and match.com (with the ability to search).

And I know this because I joined.

Stay tuned for a run down on some of the more interesting questions, and for my experience so far.

First Kiss Awkwardness

Lipstick used to make a symbolic kiss.

Image via Wikipedia

I met this guy for a first date a few weeks ago.  We had a great time – he was really funny, sweet, and we got along really well.  “I’d like to do this again,” he said.  Absolutely.  We parted in the parking lot with a hug, which is how I like to end a first date.

Second date.  Gosh, I can’t remember where we went!  But it was the same as the first – lots of fun, good conversation.  We parted with a hug.  Which was…fine.  Did I want a kiss?  Yes.  Did I care all that much that I didn’t get one? No.  But it would have been nice.

Third date:  we were meeting for a sushi lunch…at a restaurant that I always forget is closed for lunch on Sunday.  We decided to find another place to go, and I offered to drive.  We had lunch – it was great, the same as the other two, fun, great conversation.  As I drove him back to his car, I realized I had just made the opportunity for a kiss nearly impossible.  Do I get out of the car so we could kiss?  That seems weird.  Or do I forget the option of a kiss this go around, on our 3rd date?  That would really push my limit.  Or, worst of all, would we do an “across the console” kiss, which I knew would be completely awkward and unsatisfactory?

“I’d like to do this again,” he said.  Absolutely.  He leaned across the console.  I puckered up, then realized he was going to only hug me.  Then he realized I was going to kiss him, so he turned his head so our lips met.  In a very, very unsatisfying and awkward kiss.

Fourth date:  we finally got to eat sushi.  Another great time, same as the other three dates.  He walked me out to my car, and I was excited to finally get a good kiss.  It’s been a while for me.  He took my arm, leaned in, and…gave me the very briefest of pecks on the mouth, much like when parents kiss their kids on the lips (which I think is weird, by the way, kissing kids on the lips, but that’s just my opinion).  I got in my car, drove away, and wondered what the heck had just happened.

March 1st rolled around.  My match subscription was up, and I was done.  D-U-N-done.  I hid my profile, resolutely deciding I was done with online dating.  If I was meant to meet a man, I would do it the old fashioned way.

The next day I signed up for OKCupid.  I’m such a glutton for punishment.  (More on that later.)

Two days later I got an email from that guy, the fourth date peck guy.  Paraphrasing:  “It was nice meeting you, but I don’t think we’re right for each other.  Have a nice life.”

The food was better than the date

I had a first date Friday night, Frisbee Boy. In email we seemed to get along well.  Then we spoke on the phone last Wednesday to make dinner plans, and he seemed…distracted.  Conversation was awkward.  But I thought, maybe he’s just distracted.  So we made dinner plans for Friday night, to go to the local Ethiopian restaurant.  I was excited, as I’ve never had Ethiopian food before. 

The food was definitely the highlight of the meal.  The conversation did not flow, and it seemed that I was spending a lot of time trying to make conversation.  I’m very conscious of silence, because most people will rush to fill the silence.  Knowing that, I try to sit back and let the other person fill it.  He didn’t.  So, it was either stare at each other in silence, or stare at the decor.  I chose the decor.  But that only held so much.  (Don’t get me wrong – I did my share of filling the silence.  I just wasn’t interested in doing all the work.)

The food was good – it was nothing that through me over the moon, and I probably won’t go back “just because,” but I’d eat it again.  We had a veggie sample platter and a meat sample platter, which was just about the perfect amount of food.  I loved the carrot & green bean mix, as well as the collared greens.  There was also this cabbage and potato thing that was good, but wasn’t cut up into bite size pieces.  As for the meat dishes, there was a good lamb dish, and a beef dish that was spicy as heck, but there were two “purees” that I couldn’t identify.  They were good, I just don’t know what they were.   There are no utensils – instead you are served a bread called Injera, and you tear off pieces of it and scoop up the food that way.  The bread is kind of like a crepe – they fold it into quarters, and one side is kind of spongy, while the other is flat, with crispy edges – just like a crepe. 

Here’s a couple of links for you, as an introduction to Ethiopian food:

http://www.foodvirgin.com/columns/Ethiopian.htm

http://www.ethiopianrestaurant.com/

 

Dating Update

(back story) 

I did end up going out with Bicep Guy.  The date was kind of doomed from the beginning.  He was cancelling his match subscription, and I could tell that he came into the date thinking, “Okay, this is the last first date I have to go on, I just have to get through the night.”  So that was a hard hurdle to get over.  But I always try to be engaging, so we talked some, and had a couple of beers.  I asked him about some of the dates he had been on.  He said his first date was awful, and his second to last date was horrible, and that pretty much summed up the term of his match subscription.  I jokingly asked if I was his second to last date, and he laughed and lightened up some and said no.  He walked me to my car, and as he was walking away I said, “I hope tonight wasn’t too painful!” (I’m such a flirt.)  He laughed and said no, and as I drove home I figured I wouldn’t be hearing from him again.

So imagine my surprise when I got a text from him before I had made it home – “No it was painful!  Just kidding!  You seem like fun.” To which I responded, “Well, I try to be more fun than painful – at least on the first date.”  I emailed him the next day, said I’d like to get to know him more, etc, if he was interested.  He emailed back and said he was – but he was going to be out of town for the next week.  He’s due back some time this week – so we’ll see…

Scottsdale…We’ve been seeing quite a bit of each other.  He asked me out for Valentine’s Day – actually, he asked if I wanted to do dinner “next Thursday,” and I said yes before I realized that it was Valentine’s Day.  Very nice dinner (we’re talking one of those $$$$ in the restaurant guide), and it was very casual – not nearly as weird as I was afraid it was going to be.  Oh, and he actually MAILED me a Valentine’s Day card – how cute is that?  No flowers or other gifts, for which I was incredibly grateful. 

The Priest.  Yes, you heard me correctly – The Priest.  He’s an Episcopalian Priest.  On match.  I’ve said it before – What DID we do before the internet??  Anyway, this guy winked at me, and I checked out his profile.  He seemed like my kind of guy – and then I read the Priest part.  And I was like – NO WAY.  Then I thought about it, and thought – why not?  If nothing else, I’m sure we could have some highly intelligent conversations.  And I love a good religious discussion.  (I also figured it would be good fodder for The J&J Religion Study – website and explanation coming soon…hopefully…)  So I winked back, and he emailed me, and I emailed him back, editing myself somewhat out of respect (I kept it to “bull” without adding the obligatory “shit” at the end).  When he emailed me back, I nearly fell out of my chair!!  Actually, I may have fallen out of my chair.  First, he stated that dating was hard where he currently lives because the community has a large number of retirees, and he’s “not into the aged MILF thing.”  Okay (cartoon character head shake in surprise), The Priest uses the term MILF.  (head shake – my brain is starting to rattle.)  Then he agreed with something I had written in my email, and he said, “Yeah, sometimes I’m like ‘What the F*ck?!!?”  Except that the edit was mine, not his.  Wait – The Priest just wrote the F word!!  Several days later and I’m still kind of shell shocked.  And laughing my a$$ off!!

That’s about it for now – not a whole lot of action going on right now.  Oh, except to note that Scottsdale has told me he’s getting off of match.  When I asked why, he shrugged and said, “I like concentrating on one woman at a time.”  But, and I want to point this out, not once has he asked me to get off of match.  I feel like it shows a certain security on his part, which I like. 

Dating is fun.  🙂 

Catch Up

Okay, I’m back.  Sorry about the absence – I just didn’t feel like writing anything.  A couple of things came to mind, but every time I sat down to write, I just couldn’t get the thoughts to come out right, so I didn’t post.  But I figure it’s time to catch up on some things.  So, without further ado…

I’ve been on three dates now with Scottsdale.  (Don’t get too excited – you know I don’t believe in The Third Date Rule!)  He’s really nice, and we’ve had a good time together.  First date was at D&D Wine Room.  Second date we went to see a movie, then went to M5 (which was fabulous, btw).  Third date he invited me over to his place for dinner, and we watched a movie.  He’s a pretty darn good cook – dinner was good, but the homemade cookies (I watched him make them!) were FAB.  I’m still not all gung-ho for him though…probably because of Bicep Guy.

Bicep Guy – I was calling him Machu Picchu, because he’s hiked the Inca Trail (how cool is THAT?  I’m so incredibly jealous!), but whenever I talk about him to D at work, I say, “The guy with the amazing arms,” so I’ve renamed him Bicep Guy.  We haven’t met.  We haven’t even talked on the phone.  But I’m completely captivated by him – he’s more “my type,” if I have such a thing.  So he’s always hovering on the edges when I’m out with Scottsdale, dampening the chemistry, making me thing, “Yeah, this is nice, but what would it be like with Bicep Guy?”  Watch, I’ll finally meet this guy and it’ll be BLAH.  Because that’s just how the world works, right?

A note about my last post…. I’m feeling about the same now as I was then.  I keep having this internal conversation with myself about why I shouldn’t let it bother me and how I know he’s completely wrong and I’m a pretty darn good catch, damn it…but I’m still hurt by it.  And I know that it’s not that I’m not good enough, it’s that I’m TOO good…but again….

And that’s all I’m going to say about THAT.

3 strikes, you’re out

Another 1st date.  He showed up, and really didn’t look anything like his picture.  Not bad, just not like his picture.

Strike 1:  While waiting for a table, we got a drink at the bar.  We had to pay the tab there, I did “the reach,” and he let me pay.  I figured – okay, he’ll pick up dinner.  I can pick up a couple of beers.

Strike 2:  We went to Brixx (home of fabulous specialty pizzas, including my fave, the Rustica) – he ordered pepperoni.  No imagination.

Conversation was…fine.  Yes, I mean that as it sounds.  It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t great.  Slightly stilted.  He continually talked about his new car (he has four), a Mercedes convertible.  Do you know how much he paid for it?  I do.  Oh, and he pays a fortune on a house in Charleston every month, because he’s still in transition, and living with “mommy and daddy” in Troutman while he tries to sell it.  When the bill came, I didn’t even bother with “the reach,” and I think he was a little perturbed about that.  Hey – I got drinks.

Then we went across the street to get a drink and talk some more.  (I know – if I was already “whatever” about him, why did I bother with another drink?)  On the way, we stopped at my car to drop off my leftovers.  (I parked behind the building Brixx is in, in Birkdale, for those of you who know the area.  Nice enough neighborhood, but still, back of the building is fairly deserted.  Keep that in mind.)  Then we went across the street to Fox and Hound.  Talked some more, had another drink.  

Strike 3:  The bill came for the drinks, and he didn’t even look at it.  Fine, I thought, I’ll pay for these drinks, too – dinner came to more than that, I’m sure.  And this is a first date, so it’s not like it’s too big of a deal.  But still, a gentleman would have paid.  Especially a gentleman who can afford four cars and a big house payment.  Whatever.

So, I’ve pretty much made up my mind at this point that, although he seems like a decent enough guy, I don’t really want to date him, I’m not really attracted to him, and, quite honestly, I really don’t even want to be friends with him.  And then…

Strike 4:  We exit Fox and Hound, and he says, “Okay, well I’m parked over here, so I’ll see you.”  WHAT?!  I swear my jaw dropped, and I must have had a look of disbelief on my face.  I don’t even get escorted to my car?  Which is in the deserted area behind the building, where nobody will see if I get attacked?  You know what, he could have paid for drinks, dinner, more drinks, and looked like Brad Pitt – but I still would have been peeved if he hadn’t walked me to my car.  COMMON COURTESY, dammit. 

And before you say, “Maybe he just wasn’t interested” – He left me a message to make another date.

Nice

Don’t you just love a good first date?  I’ve had a lot of good first dates that have amounted to nothing, so you wouldn’t think I would be that enthusiastic about a good first date.  But I am.  I love a good first date.  One of those dates that goes on for hours, and you just talk and talk and talk, and it’s not awkward, and it just feels so nice.  I know “nice” is usually a bad term, like “fine,” but I mean, really, really nice. 

Yes, I had a good first date tonight.  Four hours, talk talk talktalktalk.  It was good.  We’ll see…

Text sex on a first date?

So, I met this guy (yes, on match) and our first date was at Carnevil.  A little different, to say the least, but here’s my reasoning: (a) if it’s awful it’s loud enough and crowded enough that I won’t have to deal with it; (b) I was sure to know people there, so that would help out; (c) if it works out, that would be a killer first date story.

 

Well, it went well…I think.  We had a good time.  Talked quite a bit, considering we were in a club.  Dancing was involved, as was kissing.  He walked me to my car, saw me off, and texted me on the way home to say he had a good time.

 

And then gave me his length, girth, and a description complete with a particular distinguishing characteristic.

 

Um…okay…

 

Dating so totally sucks.