The One in Which I Fail At Online Dating (Part 2)
For those of you who have been anxiously awaiting an update: Perfume Guy and I connected in time for our date. It was an excellent first-time-meeting-someone-from-online-dating-in-person experience. He did everything right.
Unfortunately, the one thing he couldn't do was create chemistry where it didn't exist. Which was baffling to me because it was off the charts in writing.*
Still, I made one of those weird, arbitrary commitments to myself that I would go on a minimum of three dates with any one guy before making a definitive decision about him.** This is exactly one more date than my father would prefer, as he not-so-subtly hinted by gifting me this book for Christmas a few years ago in a (futile) attempt to break my cycle of serial monogamy.*** But, three seemed like a good number to me.
Okay, I said it was arbitrary, but here's my rationale (because I feel like I owe it to you?). Generally, the first date is a crapshoot: it could be steeped in newness and excitement, which blinds you to logic or insight; or it could be coated in nerves and inhibitions, which create the most deliciously awkward blog material, but don't offer much hope for romance. The second date is filled with expectations - generally based on whatever happened during the first date. So the third date offers you best-two-out-of-three odds of getting it right. (whatever that means?)
Annnnnyyywaaays, we went on a second date. And then a third. Each date was beautifully planned (and paid for) by the perfect gentleman he is. However, when he walked me to my door at the end of our third date, I knew he was more into me than I was him and…well, I panicked.
I panicked because I really wanted to like him. I panicked because it felt so sudden. And I panicked because I didn't know how to tell him that I was also talking with "Pleather,"*** and was starting to feel excited about the possibilities there, even though - since we met on a dating site - it should somewhat be implied that we are talking to other people?
Almost as if on cue: 1) "Pleather" Facebook friend-requested me, 2) my panic imploded, and 3)…I overcorrected.
As in, not only did I deny his request, but I also wrote him a freaking novel outlining the heartbreak which led me to try online dating in the first place, followed by a list of all the other arbitrary commitments***** I made to myself when I started this experiment a month and a half ago (and all the subsequent fears and insecurities I've discovered in the process), and finishing it off with a pathetic "But if you're cool with it, we could keep trying?"
This whole thing reminded me of when I dated a guy (several months before all of this online dating craziness) and he ended our first two dates by telling me why he didn't think we should go on another. He was pretty crushed in his last relationship and admitted he wasn't quite over it yet. While I appreciated the honesty, I remember thinking, "Why is he telling me this?" In fact, I was so
baffled inspired by this experience, I started (but clearly never posted) a blog titled, "You're hurt? I'm hurt too: How much is too much to disclose about your past dating scars on a first date?"
Maybe I should have followed through with writing that post, because maybe then I would have taken my own advice...
In summation: I suck at this.
*I suppose this is one of the potential downfalls of online dating?
**Barring no obvious, life-threatening or moral-alterating red flags, of course
***Obviously I have yet to read it…
****Nicknamed after his wardrobe selection for our first date. (His alternative nickname is "Chris Tomlin")
*****Such as: I will stick with this for the full three months of my subscription (despite the multiple times I've begged God to let me quit)