When a stranger sexts

About 1 month into joining OKC, J messaged me.  After just one or two back and forths to establish neither one of us were serial killers or hunchbacks, he asked me out. I appreciated his straightforwardness (I HATE prolonged messaging).  And, his profile was very promising. Why, you ask? Two things stood out to me:

1) He was legitimately good looking and tall.  Like over 6 feet tall. (Unless of course, he was using fake pictures.). There were multiple pictures of him, all looking tall and handsome and even one of him playing sports *cavewoman sigh.* And tallness gives you major points in my book. The average height listed by men on their OKC profile is probably 5’8. But, most men add 2 inches to their height (and when they are caught, they say things like, “Oh, I thought they meant when I was wearing huge shoes???Or when I’m standing on several stairs?”). So I think in real life, it’s more like 5’6. Which is only 3 inches taller than me. (Editor’s note: Boo fucking hoo, L. Some of us are 5’9 and struggle to even find a dude their height, let alone someone who’s 3 inches taller. xoxo – your tall, militant co-blogger) Point is, tall men are rare. Tall, attractive men, even rarer (Editor’s note: preach). Score! I marveled at my good fortune.

2) His profile was actually interesting. S and D and I will definitely get around to doing a full analysis of good vs bad profile content, but here is a little teaser. Most guys’ profiles are really boring.  They feature statements like, “I love to eat delicious food and travel and watch sports,” and “I’m looking for a sweet, cute girl who is high energy enough to go to bars with me but also low key enough to spend a laid back weekend at home.” Newsflash gentleman–you’ve just described 75% of the male population and like, actually 60% of the female population. But J was different. For example, he listed “gmail, snarky liberal blogs, and whiskey and ginger ale,” as things he couldn’t live without. Creative, and, all things I love.

So, armed with these two pieces of info, I gave him my number. He texted me the next day and we scheduled the date.

sexter 3

All good so far. This guy has a life, but he’s not a flake, and he’s capable of scheduling something. (I’ve learned that scheduling is a surprisingly rare skill for men to possess.) Our conversation continued briefly…

sexter 2

Perfectly normal stuff to talk about to a stranger. And he sounds like fun. Maybe this will be a great date.

I felt like we had ended the conversation on a good note.   Focused on the busy weekend ahead of me, I temporarily forgot about him. The next night (Saturday), I was enjoying some G rated fun at a friend’s house–hanging out in PJs and opening her bridal shower gifts. Around midnight, my phone beeped. It was J. 

sexter 1

What? I read it three times to make sure I was not hallucinating. I.was.not.  When I had come to grips with the fact that this was a real text, I imagined one of three things had happened. (Listed in order of most acceptable/least plausible to least acceptable/most plausible).

1. His friends stole his phone and were having some good, old fashioned fun with him at my expense. Immature, sure, but, this is the risk you take when you are dating 20-something guys.

2. He meant to text someone else. Who knows how many numbers this guy has in his phone or how many girls he is messaging on OKC? It’s possible he had a great date last night, and is just following up with some (hopefully liquor induced) banter. It’s not particularly flattering or uplifting to know he is seeing and sexting multiple girls, but it’s not like we are in a relationship or anything.

3) Unfortunately,and most likely: he actually meant to sent me the text. Why do I find this horrifying?

– First of all buddy, what do you mean “can’t lie?” No one asked you to tell the truth! It’s not like someone was cross examining you and they said, do you want this woman? Please remember you are under oath and committing perjury could result in jail time!” In fact, no one even asked you a question. At all.

– Second of all, why do you want me? We haven’t met yet. You’ve seen a couple of IPhone camera pics of me online, that may or may not be real or recent. And you’ve never even heard my voice. I’m basically the equivalent of a picture in a magazine at this point. This text made me feel one step below a Craiglist personal.

As you can see, I did text back the next day and give the dude one chance to explain himself. I was desperately hoping he’d say “I am so sorry and so embarrassed.” Or, even, “got too drunk last night. Hope you won’t hold the creepiness against me.”

But no, he’s just gonna say “my bad.” Which is what my 4th grade students used to say when they were caught breaking a rule or using the scissors to “tatoo” someone’s arm. Not good enough J.

So I decided to cancel the date. I feel like I’m already out on a limb online dating, and if I get ANY evidence of a potential weirdo, I should take it seriously. The sad thing is, if we had gone out ONCE, just ONCE, I would have been totally fine with, even flattered by a sext. But having never him, it just conjured up a sad, gross image of him sitting in front of his computer on a Saturday night and… and further more, how do you start a conversation with someone whose already said that to you? “Hi, I’m L, the one you can’t lie to?” or, “Hello, are you J, the one who wants me?” Too weird. So I texted him and called it off. He didn’t seemed too broken about it. (Though perhaps, in other cultures “K” actually means, “I’m so disappointed and can’t believe I blew this chance with an amazing woman. One can hope.)

I think I made the right call, but through consulting everyone in my social circle on this experience, I learned that people have different reactions to sexting strangers. What do you think readers? Was I justified in cancelling the date? Or is stranger sexting the romantic currency of the new millenium?

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!