Message Monday – Unemployed

Happy Independence Week (American) readers!! I have a 3 day week this week, which is glorious, but also means I have a ton to get done in the next few days, so that I can properly enjoy my long weekend lakeside. So this’ll be a short Message Monday.

Last Monday, my “bagel” of the day and I matched. Meaning, we had both liked each other, and now had a message chat room open through the app. Typically, Coffee Meets Bagel opens the chat room and provides a ice breaker question to get the conversation off to a more interesting start than “Hey.” This was no exception, and the app asked us “What would you rather be doing right this second?” I was busy with something at work, so I didn’t reply right away. 2 hours later, my bagel responded:

message monday - unemployed

Well. That’s a huge debbie downer. Nothing says “hey, I like you and we should get to know each other” like unemployment.

debbie downer

I mean, it’s probably a very accurate answer to the question asked, and kudos to him for his honesty, I guess, but couldn’t he just say something like “spending the day at the beach.” I suppose it’s possible that, in his current predicament, spending the day at the beach was actually precisely what he was doing, so wasn’t a viable answer. But come up with something positive to say. Or at least some innocuous activity. Because, although I won’t immediately judge/fault someone for being unemployed, I’d like any potential relationship to at least start off in a positive place. And that answer is just depressing.

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I got dumped (and lived to blog about it), Part 1

rule

via: http://www.thatonerule.com/rule/1247

I heard this quote months ago and it really stuck with me. Not the ‘relationships are simple’ part, because that’s bullshit, but the idea that every single romantic relationship that I have in my life, aside from (hopefully) one, is inevitably going to end. Somehow, some way, it’s going to end. It’s a cynical, depressing thought, but it’s true.

It’s also what makes being in a relationship so f*cking scary: you never know when the ax is going to fall (unless, of course, you’re the one wielding it). For instance, I didn’t know when I bragged like an idiot about being “out of the dating game” on Monday that literally 24 hours later it would no longer be true. I just went about my business normally, answering questions about my boo at L’s parents’ Passover Seder on Monday night, thinking about what outfit I should wear to dinner with him on Friday (ahem, as in tonight…fielding that reservation confirmation call was a blast), and then…

breakup

via: film.com

D and I broke up. Well, correction: D broke up with me.

My co-bloggers were surprised that this post was done and ready to go so quickly after the…dumping, but honestly the only thing (aside from my wonderful, supportive friends and fam) that has made me feel better is writing. I literally sat down at my desk on Wednesday morning rocking huge sunglasses to hide my terrifying bloodshot eyes, and proceeded to word vomit this entire thing for the next hour.

This post  (which ps has quickly evolved into a two parter–you should know by now that brevity is not my strong suit) was especially weird to write because I know for a fact that D is going to read it. I mean, how completely bizarre is that? I was mildly tempted to put on a cool/aloof front and act like I DGAF about what happened/am already moving on to greener pastures, but honestly, fuck it. I don’t really care how I come off; I don’t have the energy to be anything but honest right now (and also, apparently, dramatic). A part of me also feels oddly protective of D, 1. because it’s just me here telling one side of the story and 2. as you’ll read, he didn’t do anything awful or dishonest or douchey, so I have no intention of skewering him or over-sharing at his expense. I don’t feel the righteous anger of a woman scorned like I did with J or H. I honestly just feel…sad.

debbie downer

via: http://letitrainlemonade.blogspot.com/2013/02/debbie-downer-much.html

So… where to begin? I guess I’ll start by saying that while I was shocked when it happened, I wasn’t shocked that it happened. Things had been kind of weird between me and D for a few weeks. His job was very intense and he was in a bout of working crazy long hours, but he was also just acting…strange. Distant. Off. He would insist that it was work stuff and stress and exhaustion, and I know that he wasn’t lying about those things. Something else seemed wrong to me, though, but I felt like an asshole harping on it. I was trying so hard not to be a stupid clingy girl, because no one wants to be that girl. I told myself that it was hard to maintain a relationship with crazy schedules and limited time to see each other in person. I didn’t really share my uneasiness with my friends because I couldn’t pinpoint what I was uneasy about. Then I’d see D in person and things would be fun and awesome and great again, and I’d forget about the weirdness altogether.

Last weekend, D was out of town at a wedding and I was hosting a bunch of friends for L’s birthday. We didn’t really talk the whole time, but again, I attributed it to us both having plans and doing our own thing. When D got home on Sunday, we caught up on the phone and things seemed normal and good. He asked if I was around Tuesday night and if I was free to grab a drink (news flash: “grab a drink” is obviously the universal euphemism for “get dumped”. Now you know.)

Tuesday night arrived and it was pouring rain (of course it was–although it will set the scene nicely when this story is adapted for 0ur future TV series) so D picked me up. I immediately could tell something was up and asked him what was going on. It took him a while to get the words out but he finally said:

“I think we should take a break.”

Pop quiz, early Millenials! What’s the very first thing that comes to mind when you hear that phrase?

Even though I semi blacked out, as one does in these situations, I’m pretty sure I managed to mumble, “what is this, Friends?”. As D continued, I quickly realized that by “break” he actually meant “break up” (and everyone knows how “taking a break” always ends anyway. Especially Ross and Rachel).

D told me that he had been feeling weird about us for a little while, that his feelings for me had changed, and that he couldn’t stop thinking about his ex. Oof.

louis

via: http://justgif.com/tags/247/facepalm

I’m not a particularly jealous person, but I couldn’t help but wonder about D’s ex who he broke up with over the summer. I was the first person he seriously dated after her and it was hard not to wonder if there were still lingering feelings there, although to be honest D hadn’t given me a reason to think that there were. I knew that he had seen the ex in question at last weekend’s wedding (of their mutual friends). He insisted nothing had happened between them aside the fact that he felt a real connection with her again, and he couldn’t ignore it, and it wasn’t fair to me for him to deny it or pretend that it wasn’t happening.

D kept going, his words only partially sinking in: he really cared about me, didn’t want to lose me as a friend, felt sick about hurting me, bla bla bla. What I heard was:

dumped_lge

via: http://blogs.houstonpress.com/hairballs/2009/12/online_stuff_you_gotta_do_afte.php

We sat in D’s car for a long time. Sometimes I talked and sometimes he talked, and sometimes it was awkwardly silent. I cried, because I don’t care what anyone says, getting dumped is completely traumatic/horrific, especially when you get dumped because your S.O. can’t stop thinking about someone else…

feelings

via: http://camphalfblood.wikia.com/wiki/File:Tumblr_md7tum00ng1rgzenuo1_500.gif

…but aside from the tears, the whole thing was strangely calm. There was no yelling. There were no alarm bells going off in my head telling me this was a mistake, that this was the right guy for me, that he was who I was supposed to end up with. I knew that while I cared about and felt close to D, my feelings for him were never that strong, and that despite having a great time with him, I couldn’t exactly picture a long term future with him either. Breaking up felt awful, but it also weirdly felt right. And that’s when I started to get mad, not at D (okay, obviously a little at D) but mostly at myself. For ignoring all the signals and not trusting my gut. For not calling D out on his weird behavior earlier. For not being honest about my feelings, with him or with myself.

So there I was, stuck in D’s car, hating myself, hating the universe, crying, my ego shot to hell, and wondering what the eff I was supposed to do next. Part of me wanted to run from that car like it was on fire; the other part of me felt glued to my seat. After we were both quiet for a bit, D assured me that he was happy to sit and talk for as long as I wanted, or still get drinks if I was up for it, or he’d take me anywhere I wanted to go. “I just need a minute,” I told him, blowing my nose pathetically. He nodded.

Finally, through the haze of emotions, I started to remember how my other relationships (and non relationships) ended in the past. And there seemed to be one common denominator: they each ended abruptly. When J broke up with me in a crowded bar I was so shocked and mortified that I literally ran out of there and never saw him or spoke to him again (well, save for a random little exchange last fall). When I ended things with H, my feelings for him were so strong that I knew in order to get over him/not get sucked back in I’d have to cut him out of my life completely. So it was the same thing; I told him it was over and essentially hung up on him. Both times I felt so unsatisfied, like there were things I wanted to say and ask but never had the chance to. If a relationship is a sentence, there were no periods at the end of those sentences (and I’m a stickler for punctuation- BADUM CHING). You know what word I’m about to use: the c word. No, not that c-word, dirty birds. Closure.

I wanted closure. I needed closure. And I decided I was going to get it.

I looked in the mirror at my ridiculously red, puffy eyes, and then over at D. “Take me somewhere dark where I won’t see anyone I know.” He nodded and started the car.

Stay tuned for the (thoroughly un-) dramatic conclusion to my break up saga next week.

Message Monday: The Married Guy

Hi readers! Remember in December and January when I was all like: OmigodI just want to date one guy at a time and that will be such a challenge because they are all over me like white on rice but I’ll exercise self control and do it anyway?

HAHAHAHA.

Turns out, a lady can go from having multiple men interested at once to a pretty dry spell of terrible dates and notably terrifying OKC messages and, as a result, spend most of February listening to Fiona Apple and reluctantly eating sensible things like vegetables and homemade salads while pretending that they taste like cheese products (unsuccessfully).

I hate salad

 Via http://falulatonks.tumblr.com/post/12096670779/i-know-i-should-be-chasing-your-vote-but-i-stand

Don’t worry readers, I’d be regaling you with some of these sad tales, starting this week with the story of a lovely gentleman I went out with a few times who ENDED UP HAVING A GIRLFRIEND. YUP. 

And, judging by this gem of a message I received the other day, I could continue the trend of being the third in people’s relationships if I wanted:

married guy

Yes, being married is an issue for me. I understand it’s not an issue for everyone, and that the internet can be a convenient and effective place to find someone with whom you can cheat on your partner. Or, maybe this guy is in an open relationship, in which case, more power to him!

But, as I clearly state in my profile, I am looking for single, straight men. So, on top of being married, this guy either cannot read or just doesn’t care. 

But that’s ok. I’ll pass for now, at least until I am out of salad and Fiona Apple tracks. I’ve had enough of attached men for awhile. 

Debbie Downer signing off–

 

Pic of the week: I won’t murder you

Hey, guys. I know most of you come to our site generally looking for a quick laugh, and we love (attempting to) deliver that to you. But as you may have noticed, the subject matter here at Stucu has turned a biiiit serious at times. Between L’s Message Monday and my uppity Match.com manifesto, we’re quickly gunning for the ‘co-bloggers who are most likely to hop on the nearest soap box at a moment’s notice” award. So if  LSD are coming off as weirdly morbid, super serious buzzkills these days, I apologize. In reality I promise you we are actually a LOT of fun and not as Debbie Downer in training as we’re probably coming off.

debbie downer

So thanks for sticking with us, even when our posts are accompanied by that magical WOMP WOMP noise. I promise you, more fun, light-hearted dating high jinx than can be found in your run of the mill Kate Hudson romcom will be posted in the near future. Having said that…

pic of the week knife

I’m sorry. Clearly I’m supposed to take this as a joke, but how about you don’t voluntarily put a picture of you wielding a knife on your online dating profile when the Craigslist Killer was an ACTUAL PERSON and expect me to be charmed by it, faceless dude? I’m sure you probably chuckled when you posted this, pleased at the irony, thinking girls would find you hilarious. And maybe some do. But here’s a fact:

THE OFFICE DWIGHT BEST

Most young women I know who are online dating are legitimately afraid of being assaulted, raped, or murdered. Is this fear probably exaggerated by too many episodes of SVU and Criminal Minds? Sure. Is this guy probably a totally normal non-murderer? Yup. But does him playing on this very real fear of mine in the name of irony and humor make me want to go out with him? Not so much. 

I hear all you dudes out there telling me to lighten up. Well, you don’t see me posting a profile pic that features me suggestively wielding a pair of sharpened gardening sheers over some dude’s crotch with a caption that reads “HAHA JUST BEING FUNNY TOTES WON’T GO ALL LORENA BOBBITT AND LOP OFF YOUR DICK WITH THIS SHARP WEAPON LULZZZZ”. Would the men of Okcupid find that funny, or would they think I’m a psycho? Pretttyyyy sure it would be the latter.

Okay, this is actually a fun game. Let’s think of some other things that men typically fear about dating. How about I post a picture of myself jabbing a few holes in a condom with one hand and flashing a positive pregnancy test with the other. Maybe I’ll be giving a thumbs up to the camera. Then in the caption I’ll say, “IT’S JUST A JOKE, GUYS! RELAX. AND DEFINITELY ASK ME OUT BECAUSE I TOTALLY WON’T DO THIS IN REAL LIFE 🙂 :).”

Last scenario: Hold up a fake restraining order that prevents me from being within 100 feet of a man, while simultaneously watching Fatal Attraction and taking notes.

fatal-attraction_l

Caption: “DON’T WORRY, BOYS. I’M TOTALLY NORMAL! TONS OF MENTAL STABILITY! 😉 😉 ;)”

The truth about cats (and dogs) and me

Pop quiz: Why has L been so neglectful about posting on the blog?

A. I was temporarily kidnapped by a date, and held captive until yesterday. Hold on to your seats readers, this post is gonna be a doozy!

B. I am seriously dating someone I met online, and we’ve been so busy going on romantic getaways and sexy staycations that I haven’t had time to post. 

C. I have been buried under a giant, fat, un-glamorous mountain of work.

I didn’t make this a real poll, because I knew most of you would pick C, which is OF COURSE, the correct answer, and it would further depress me that even strangers from the internet can tell what a sad little life I lead.

WHOMP. WHOMP.  I know, I know. Who invited Debbie Downer? (Um…Tina, and Amy, and Kristin, that’s who!)

http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/debbie-downer–dress-rehearsal/n12817/

Anyway…I have carved out a little time in the past month for some dates. I decided to join JDate recently, fantasizing that it would be full of smart, nerdy-cute, doting men who were lining up to go out with me. I’ll be writing a longer review after a more legitimate time period on the site, but in case you are just dying for a preview, here it is:

IF JEWS THOUGHT THAT THE DESERT WE ALLEGEDLY WANDERED IN FOR 40 YEARS WAS THE MOST BARREN WASTELAND WE’D EVER ENCOUNTER, THEY OBVIOUSLY HAVEN’T BEEN ON JDATE FOR 3 WEEKS.

I suppose there is still time to turn it around, but in the meanwhile, I’ve only been out with one guy from the site. N, a high school teacher in his late thirties with a short stature and an adorable face. He sent me a nice, to the point message, and 1-2 messages later, asked me out for drinks. We agreed to meet at an Irish Pub known for its whiskey selection. I wasn’t really sure what to expect–his profile was pretty bare bones, and except for his job and the fact that he had nieces, I remembered very little about him by the time we  met at the bar. I actually prefer not to scour people’s profiles too closely (beyond, of course, a diligent read of OKC dealbreaker questions), because I enjoy finding out about them on the date. 

N did not subscribe to this philosophy. He spent a good deal of the date QUOTING MY JDATE PROFILE back to me. For example:

“Remember when you said you loved the shore, but other people call it the beach?” 

“Do you want hot sauce? You said it could improve any meal!” (Yes, readers, I broke my eating rule because I was having a decent time and we were drinking WHISKEY and I didn’t want to vom at the table. Remember, stupidcupid bloggers are consistently inconsistent about rules).

“You moved to DC in 2009, right? “

There are more examples, but I fear I will literally GIVE MY IDENTITY AWAY, if I include all the details this guy remembered. Now, before you all pile on (COUGHReddit), and say, “OMG how can she be criticizing this guy for reading her profile and referencing things she’s interested in, he’s just being thoughtful, I know why she is single, what a man-eater, blah blah blah,” please remember that I was not weirded out that he remembered my profile. I was weirded out that, throughout the date, he quoted the entire thing VERBATIM. And when I mentioned I had a brother, he said, “I know. He is standing next you in picture 3 on your profile wearing a red jacket.” It was just a little too close to this:

fatal attraction

Also, that was one of two things that went a bit wrong. The second was this exchange:

N: So, do you like pets?

L: Pets? Well I don’t have any, but I do really like dogs. 

N: Do you like cats? I really want to know how you feel about cats!

L: Ohh, I’m really allergic to cats. (TRUTH: Not only am I really allergic to cats, but I also HATE THEM. With a  passion that could take up 100 posts. But I refrained from sharing that, cause I figured the phrase, “hate with the fire of 1000 suns” should not come up till a second date, at least.)

N: Oh god. Oh no.

L: What? Is everything okay?

N: I just have two cats. And I’m not ready to give them up.

L: (Bewildered look on face). Oh, um, you don’t have to?

N: I mean, you can’t live with them AT ALL?

L: Umm…I haven’t really thought about it. (Desperately changes subject to something neutral). My best friend had a lot of cats growing up. They lived in her basement.

N: Oh.

L: So, how many years do you think your cats have left? 

Now, to N’s credit, my last line was probably the most epic fail of the conversation. Who asks someone else about when their BELOVED pets are going to die? What were you thinking, L?

But, the bottom line was, this guy was thinking way too seriously for me. I mean, if I was in committed relationship with someone, and we were thinking about moving in together, then we should definitely have this conversation. But, I just met this guy. And even though we were having a good time (once you get past the whole “profile quoting/possible stalker” thing and the “asking about the possible death of someone important to you” thing), there was no need to consider giving up our pets.

After the date, we said polite goodbyes and N asked if I wanted to get together again. I said, “Um…maybe? You can give me a call?”

Maybe it was my tepid response, or the fact that he was not ready to get rid of the cats (or let me get rid of them for him), or just that we didn’t click. But I didn’t hear from N again. I wish him the best, and hope that he has found a cat loving woman who enjoys a man whispering sweet nothings that she originally wrote on her JDate profile into her ear.

Date rating: 7/10. 5 points alone for plying me with Jameson all night.

Dos and Donts: Giving good date

So, after 6 or 7 first dates, I’ve noticed a couple of patterns.  There are several things a guy can do or say that will make or break his chances of me saying yes to another date or not. There are also several things I’ve learned to do on dates, that, I believe, lead the guys I’ve gone out with to have a good time and ask me out again. (Actually, who knows why they ask me out again? Maybe it’s because i’m also gifted at silent, motionless hypnosis.)

DO

1. Show up looking like the person in your picture (or better). The experience with George Constanza has left me rather traumatized. Please please please, show up resembling the image you posted online. There is nothing more distracting than when you’re trying to determine whether or not a date has had recent plastic surgery or was vain enough to generously airbrush his profile photo. This also helps me recognize you, so I am not awkwardly lurking at the bar, smiling at every 20 and 30 something gentleman that sits down alone. In return, I promise to brush my hair, wear makeup, and put on clean clothes that fit, just like I have in all my carefully chosen OKC pictures.

2. Make eye contact. I know you’re nervous. I’m nervous. Before walking out the door, I spent 5-10 minutes doing something resembling this, ok?:

But I urge you to put those nerves aside, and look at me. It makes me feel like 1) you find me attractive 2) you’re listening and 3) you’re not actively checking out other girls. 

3. Ask INTERESTING questions: All we know about each other so far is that we both love pancakes and Netflix, and that we have a difference of opinion on the Hot Pocket. There is a lot of potential for making new connections, jokes, etc, if only you’d just ask some questions to get to know me better. Ask me about my family, friends, hobbies, job, pets. Follow-up when I provide short answers (i.e., So you grew up in Alaska, what was that like? See any Eskimos?). On a first date, I would say I spend 60% of my time just asking the guy questions. The goal is not to make them feel like they’re a chief murder suspect, but to learn more about them. And, in turn, I hope these guys want to learn more about me. Sadly, I have gone through first dates where the guy has not asked me a single question aside from my drink order. Those first dates were also last dates.

4. Read up on your current events: Say we’ve run out of appropriate personal information to share with one another. This is when I feel really lucky that Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are still together and that Congress hasn’t accomplished anything since 1965. Gives us something to talk about, right? Well, not if I say something like, “so, do you think Oscar Pistorius is guilty?”, and he says, “who?” And then I say, “you know, the guy from the Olympics with a prosthetic limb,” and he says, “never heard of the Olympics.” DUDE–throw me a bone here!! On the other hand, you score major points with me if you can tell me something I don’t know. For example, did you know that most Groundhogs are born in April or May? Neither did I, till I went out with a pretty cool guy on Groundhog day.

DON’T

1. Give one word answers: I went out with a guy a month or so ago and the conversation went something like this:

Me: So do you like living in DC?

Him: Yes.

Me: Me too! It’s a great city because there are a ton of fun cultural places to go, but also it has some quiet spots to walk and escape into nature. What do you like about it?

Him: Everything.

Me: Well, where is your favorite place you ever lived?

Him: I’ve only lived in DC.

Me: So, is your family here?

Him: No.

Me: Neither is mine. Well, my aunts live here, but my parents are a couple hours away in Philly. And my brother lives in California. I wish I got to see him more. Do you have siblings??

Him: Yes. One brother.

I’ll stop here, so you don’t fall asleep reading this post like I did on my date. I mean, this guy acted like I was really putting him out by each conversation topic. I felt like Beth in Wet Hot American Summer when she asks Andy to clean up:

And that ain’t sexy.

2. Obsessively ask about my online dating history: Yes, I want you to ask questions and make conversation. There are a few topics I want you to steer clear of though, and one of them is my dating history. It’s our first date buddy, and we met on the ebay for relationships. It’s going to take more than an Amstel Light to get me to open up to you about my dating past, and it’s going to take several tequila shots before I tell you about every single other person I’ve met online. So please don’t ask. And, please know I’m fine without you telling me things like, “This is only the third time I’ve gotten someone from OKC to go out with me. And the other girls were pretty crazy.” Thanks for the compliment, son.

3. Criticize what I am eating or drinking: I mean, you can tease me for ordering a Miller Light at a cocktail bar. But don’t say, “I really like mussels too, but I’d never order them on a date,” while I’m extracting the lil mollusk from its shell. You will make me insecure, and worse, you might ruin my appetite.

There’s a lot more to say on this topic, so this post will be one of many. Got a good first date conversation topic? Email us at stucublog@gmail.com Happy Friday everyone!

 

The weeknight only policy

When I first started online dating I instituted a scheduling rule called the weeknight only policy. The rule states that I never schedule a first or second date on a weekend, for the following reasons:

  • Weekends are short, and they’re precious. I want to save them for my friends, family, and people I’ve actually confirmed that I enjoy being around.
  • It’s an easier out if the date is bad. I can say (honestly) that I have to work early, I’m tired from a long day, etc. etc. It’s also easier to schedule just drinks on a weeknight.
  • It’s less of a disappointment if it doesn’t go well. If a guy cancels, the date is awkward, or something comically awful happens, at least I didn’t potentially miss something better to be there. On a Tuesday night, for instance, I would have most likely been on my couch watching New Girl, not out to dinner or drinks with my friends. So that definitely softens the blow. Which brings me to the inspiration for this post…

I broke my own rule. I said yes to a Saturday night date. A second date, so slightly less egregious than a first, but it’s definitely early enough in the game that I still don’t know how I feel about the guy. When he asked, I hesitated, but I honestly didn’t have plans at that point so I said yes. He made reservations at a BYO I’ve been wanting to try, I planned my outfit in my head and bought some vino for dinner (I know, I’m classy as hell). And then, hours before said date:

okc cancel text

Okay. Intellectually I know this isn’t the end of the world. It’s flu season. People get sick. Shit happens. Dates have canceled on me before. To be fair, I’ve also canceled before (but only once same day and I promise I had an actual reason). He was appropriately apologetic. We chatted for a bit about potential dates to reschedule. I’m fairly confident that this is legit and that it wasn’t just an excuse for him to ditch me, but I also know that that’s a possibility. Ahem, because it’s totally happened to me before. 

stay classy men of okcupid

Still, I can’t help but feel like a complete and utter loser. Everyone was busy by the time I tried to make alternate plans. Obviously staying home on a Saturday night is far from a tragedy; to be totally honest I stay home on weekend nights fairly often (wow this post is making me look cooler by the minute) but online dating can be such a self esteem crusher to begin with, and I just stoically endured an entire day of girls smugly blowing up Facebook with instagrammed shots of 1-800-flowers arrangements. Frankly this pushed my reality a little too close to the opening scene from Bridget Jones’s Diary for comfort. The worst part is, if this had happened on a Wednesday night I would’ve been thrilled at the prospect of putting on my pjs and watching Nashville instead of muddling through awkward conversation. Which is EXACTLY why the weeknight only policy was put in place to begin with! As a fail safe against shit like this. Damn it, me. Damn it.

So now I’m sitting on my couch watching Workaholics, blogging, eating cheese, and drinking the Pinot Noir that was meant for dinner. Happy Saturday night, guys!

My best first date

This is the story of the best first date I ever had. But don’t get too excited, readers, as this story does not have a happy ending. Fast forward about 5 months from my very first okc date. I’d had some decent first dates, but nothing truly awesome. At that point I wasn’t convinced that there was such a thing as a great first date. Enter N, two years younger than me and pretty damn cute. He sent me a great first message, just the right combination of funny, charming, short and sweet.

N asked me out after a few messages back and forth. I was leaving for a work trip so we scheduled a date for a few weeks later, which meant there was a lot of build up before we actually met. In that few weeks we did some texting, but it wasn’t annoying, it was actually nice. We joked, flirted, and shared our favorite music. I was officially into him.

Finally, the night of our date arrived. I met N at a Thai restaurant in the city (his pick). I had learned pretty early on to push for just drinks on a first date, so if it turns out to be awful I can escape quickly, but when he suggested dinner I didn’t protest. We had hit it off so well online that it had to be good in person, right?

It totally was. N was cute and (miracle of miracles) actually the height he claimed to be in his profile. He was funny, smart and sweet in person, just like online, and our chemistry was good from the beginning. The conversation flowed easily: he told me about himself but also asked lots of questions about me and seemed genuinely interested in what I had to say. We drank Asian beer. We shared Pad Thai. There was enough snappy dialogue between us to fill an Aaron Sorkin script. Not to sound like a conceited asshole, but I made him laugh. A lot. I could tell he was into me. It was the closest I’d ever gotten to those fictional dates from movies and tv. Shit. Was. Great.

N had a good job in an interesting field and what sounded like a fun life. We talked about music, movies, books, college, our families, and the city. Finally, as our meal wound down, he offered to walk me towards my place since his apartment was in that direction.

It was drizzling as we walked and I wondered if N was going to kiss me. We stopped at our destination and he smiled, telling me he had a great time and would definitely be in touch. I agreed, thanked him for dinner, and was just turning to leave when he suddenly leaned in and kissed me. It was a short kiss and the only truly awkward moment on the night; he did it so suddenly it kind of startled me. It was honestly no more than a peck on the lips. Then he smiled, said ‘Bye’, and walked away.

I walked home doing an internal fist pump. Success! I thought. That was so much fun. The last part was a bit weird, but whatever. I was excited to hear from him again.

Except I never did. Days passed and I couldn’t believe N hadn’t called me. I started to feel really, really, unbelievably, spectacularly stupid. Did I completely make up how great the date was? Was it totally one sided and he was never into me the whole time? He had certainly acted like he was having as good a time as I was. How could I have been so wrong? Also, if he wasn’t into me, what. the. eff. was that kiss about? I decided that one of three things had to be the explanation:

  1. He wasn’t really into me
  2. He liked me, but wasn’t attracted to me
  3. (my preferred reason) he was tragically hit by a SEPTA bus before he had the chance to ask me out again. RIP

I thought about calling or texting him, but it just seemed too… desperate. This one was a real bummer. I don’t even mean N; I met the guy all of once, so who knows if I would have even liked him as much after a second date. I mean thinking something had gone really well and then getting a cold slap in the face telling me otherwise. I mean getting excited and then being let down. Also, there are few things more embarrassing than telling your friends, co-workers, roommate, mom, barista, pharmacist, bank teller and mailman about this awesome date you had, and then having to update each and every one of them when they asked with, “Yeahhhhh never heard from him again.” Ugh.

Am I a pussy for not reaching out to N? A few people told me to just call him. But I never want to be “that girl” who can’t take a hint, and I’m not sure there’s a bigger hint than someone not calling you. If he had wanted to see me again, he would have made it happen. Justin Long at least taught me that much.

Date rating: 8/10 (funny, smart, cute, great conversation, minimal awkwardness, good chemistry)

Lesson learned: Don’t get too ahead of yourself when things go well, especially on a first date. Also, don’t broadcast the fact that you had a great date to everyone you know until you’ve actually heard from the guy again.