Introduction to Dating

Oh boy, I had no idea how right all those dating horror stories are. I mean, I knew they had to be right in essence, but to be so ever loving right? Damn.

Last year I dipped my toes in the dating kiddie pool, and it turned out to be the fucking deep end. Once I pulled myself out again, I wrapped up in a towel and sat in the sun for a while. It was warm and cozy, and only the diminishing shadow of my ex-husband threatened the light.

At some point I noticed everyone else was swimming, and I was just sitting there. I do like my solitude, but that water was tempting.

Baseball’s World Series was the perfect excuse to get out and see what the 30-something set had to offer. It’s not much different from what the 20-something set had to offer the last time I got sucked into this mess.

The games were good distractions, backgrounds, conversations, and good for my attention should there be no human to give it to. I should have kept watching. Chance connection number one got piss drunk once the game was over, and proceeded to shuffle his loafers right out the front door without paying his tab. Chance connection number two doled out his own shit when, after six hours of talking and chairs scooting ever closer together, the bar closed and I held my breath to know there would be an encore. Alas he doubted his finacée would appreciate it.

So the bar scene is out. I knew it would be, so I got it over with really. The World Series ended and that was the end of that. Some really boring dinners, a few of awkward afternoons, and a couple of fun nights later, I end up faced with an insult I had never even considered. (The great weekend and the insult aren’t related, just so we’re clear.)

So there I was, mingling through the evening party, casually avoiding anything that could even remotely be considered eye contact. I had felt his presence all night. I had worked to not acknowledge it. He wanted to catch my eye, and I knew it. I moved in circles separate from him, but we still landed in passing small talk conversations. Finally I stopped moving and leaned against the counter in the kitchen. I had noticed something all night and it was time to stand back and see it. The table in the kitchen was surrounded by couples. In the connected living room, couples. For the first time in over three years, I was acutely aware of being the only single woman in a crowd. I texted a friend: I’m tired of being single. Bring on the pain. 

I caught his attention, and he joined me at the counter. We talked until we finished our drinks. He asked if I’d like to join him and some others for karaoke. Neither of us sang, but our voices filled the air none-the-less until there was no more music and no more crowd. We exchanged numbers. I texted him when I got home. There was no response, but I wouldn’t have known anyway because I went to sleep.

He responded the next morning. I saw his name pop up across the top of my phone and flicked my eyes away before the message flashed. I took a deep breath, and then I read it:

Who is this?

To the core! I have never been so insulted. Sure, the backpedaling stated almost immediately, and by the time I responded he was up to dinner and the theater. I should have held out for the Lexus. Not that it matters. Being the ever so kindhearted, when he asked me to call I told him when I’d be available, and then he didn’t answer the phone. He called back, but by then I was over it.

So the first three months of dating have had more of this

than this

Dating sucks. This is nothing new. So, tell me, what’s the worst next day text that sent you screaming to your nearest bar?

*****

*Images brought to you by my new obsession with Community, and some really creative people who are not me.
Sources linked under each image. Featured image from mordicaicaeli on Flickr.

**The ads (which may appear) below are not mine, but they keep this free for me.
Do with them as you choose.

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40 thoughts on “Introduction to Dating

  1. He’ll be kicking himself if he isn’t already…
    As for my worst/weirdest date, it was a few months after my divorce, through a dating site. A woman from a neighboring city and I agreed to meet for dinner where I live on the coast. It was about 45 minutes from where she lived, so I was flattered. We had dinner and it was nice conversation. No fireworks, at least on my end, but pleasant. Afterward, it was late and I was concerned about her driving. She said she brought her pick-up with a camper shell on the back. She would just sleep there. I wasn’t comfortable with that and strongly suggested she stay in my guest room. She agreed without hesitation and followed me to my house. After a glass of wine I showed her to the guest room and told her I’d wake her up in the morning when breakfast was ready. I could tell she had something else in mind and was very attractive, but I just wasn’t “there” yet. Unfortunately for me, she was “there” knocking on my door off and on all night. In the morning I made breakfast as promised, then helped her load her truck. She looked stunned throughout breakfast, and even as I was helping her with her seatbelt. Finally, she asks “Are you gay?”

    In my mind, I was thinking she could become a potential stalker; this was my way out. “Yep, I’m gay.”

    She thought about this for a moment, then replied, “I know this guy who’d be perfect for you…”

    Ahhhhh, dating — I don’t miss it at all.

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    • Oh I’m dying. Gay! Isn’t it funny what excuses we’ll take. I wonder what she thinks now about knocking on your door all night. Ha!
      I didn’t miss dating, and not missing it helped me avoid it while I did whatever it was I’ve been doing for three years. I don’t know how much longer I’ll take it before I return to a more peaceful existence as a single-not-looking again, but in the meantime, I’m gathering all sorts of stories.

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    • Back before I took myself off the market to get married, you had to pay for every text. Still, I miss the days of simpler anxiety, sitting on a stool in the hallway by the attached to the wall house phone waiting waiting for it to ring and not be a telemarketer.

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  2. Many years ago I was set up with a friend of a friend. OK, all was great, we both had kids… fast forward to a year later and we went on a family vacation together. Great time. One day after our return I got an email- he was dumping me. In an email. Classy. So I had a two week cry then said, you know what? I’m going to let some guys buy me some nice dinners and simply get out of the house. I went back to the online dating scene. Turns out that the next guy I let buy me dinner is now my husband (boy, was I surprised!) Don’t give up, just think of it as a guy getting to buy you dinner. Or drinks. Or coffee. Just enjoy it for what it is. You are awesome– and when you do find “the one” he is going to know how lucky he is!

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    • By email! Oh Lord be. That is the ultimate bastard coward move. And to do it after a family vacation. Wow. Just wow. It’s awesome it led you to your husband.
      One of the guys at work has been trying to convince me for a year that though it’s noble to not just want a bunch of free dinners, sometimes it’s just a free dinner. 🙂 Yay for free dinners, or at least the stories I get out of it.

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      • Here’s my sappy thought after reading all of these stories and comments: dating takes a lot of trust. Not trust in the other person, but trust in yourself- that you will be okay no matter what happens. Trust that you will come through any situation with greater perspective, deeper knowledge of yourself, and new experiences to add to your personal history (good and bad.) Trust that you can go out for a free dinner and just have fun, even if the guy is a dirtbag. Trusting yourself is the hardest part.

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        • I like your sappy thoughts. It’s a very good point. Self-trust is so valuable. I’ve had to regain that, and dating has challenged it. Thank you for reminding me about being ok. Even with all the crap, it’s not as bad as my marriage, and I survived that, for the most part, finally, after three and a half years.

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  3. A man who doesn’t see how wonderful you are isn’t a man worth being insulted by. Guys who collect numbers like that are lame. I don’t even want to date at this point because I know what it’s like out there. For now my plan of attack is to adopt as many cats as possible, and hope I fall in love with one of them.

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    • He didn’t have a chance to see anything-five hours isn’t really all that much, especially since I’m full of jokes and a master at changing subjects so I hardly shared much.

      I started the cat conversation with myself about a year ago. I haven’t agreed with yet, but I think I can break me down.

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  4. It takes really tiny balls to be a douche like that.

    I’m about to get back out there myself, after I get my own place and settled. (Long story, but not really. I’ll tell you later.)

    Not really a date but I had this one time where this woman danced and flirted and all the stuff all night. When it came time to go home I asked if she wanted to leave, but she said she couldn’t because her boyfriend just showed up. That was the first time she mentioned him.

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    • What is it with leaving off the significant other!?! These times now are going to make me nervous if I ever fully commit to commitment again.

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    • Dating makes me want to find a plot of woods and live in a hut. As long as it’s a hut with internet, of course. And a shower. Ok, maybe not a hut exactly, but definitely the woods.
      But seriously, don’t self harm. As far as homicide though, there’s probably a few who’ve earned it. 😉
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Like

  5. Oh Melanie … as much as I enjoy your witty and clever writing, I could not help but think; ‘oh crap … is this the kind of thing that happens all over the world, not only in a little, old NZ’! What happened to men actually … men who knew how to behave, knew who they are and what they stand for? Men who knew how to treat a woman! I have recently read a book that explains few of those issues (‘New Manhood’) and it struck the cord with me as it outlines changes in society and how they affected men and what are the consequences. I know that may not help much on individual level … but at least it might provide some wider perspective.

    Something tells me that your healthy approach to the whole ‘dating thing’ will see you through!

    Take Care,
    Daniela

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    • One of the things I love so much about blogging is how it breaks down international borders. We might as well be next door to each other. Without these stories from all over the world, it wouldn’t be so easy to imagine how life really isn’t all that different just because the climate or culture may be.

      That book sounds interesting. I’ve read a few pieces around that subject and it’s been eye-opening. Things are changing in the dynamics of society and it affects everyone. I can understand how I adapt from my point-of-view as a woman, and some of these stories have helped me to understand where men are adapting, or not, from their p.o.v.

      I enjoyed your blokes of NZ posts last year, and your follow-up letter this year, and I’m so glad you stopped by this one. Thank you Daniela.

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  6. I did the online dating thing before meeting my boyfriend (off of one of those sites actually). And yes, I have to agree, sometimes it’s not pretty and you have to hang on but it’s funny to read about. I’m working on posting some of mine now. It doesn’t seem so bad in the end but rather funny.

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    • Time does a lot to life to make it funny. How long ago was the world series, like four months ago? Then it wasn’t funny, but now it is, and I am so glad to be able to laugh at it because it will help with future date disasters.
      I haven’t tried online dating yet, but I’ve read a lot of crazy funny stories about it, all dating really, and it’s all about hanging on because it isn’t all so bad. And it isn’t. There are good ones in there.

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  7. Gotta say, mine was lack of texts/calls after rainchecking the third date. Gotta love when people can’t just be honest and straightforward; and just tell you. You win some, you lose some, and it’s all a game to most of them.

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    • If I’m rainchecking a third date, it’s time to buck up and be honest. It’s never easy, but when you don’t want to hang, you don’t want to hang, and dragging it out hurts everyone in the long run.
      Thanks for popping over. I’m glad you spent some time here today. I hope it was at least a bit funny for you, even if it did bring back some not-so-good memories. 🙂

      Like

  8. Pingback: Subject-ed | This Is My Corn

  9. Girl, I feel ya! I put myself out there over, and over, and over again. I’m not sure which is worse, the “Who is this?” response, or no response at all. I met my man in the least expected place, in the least expected way, and I think the universe sent him to me. Keep sending your vibes out to the universe and telling it what you want!! And pay no mind to loser douche nozzle dudes, because you rock!

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  10. Firstly – love that you had all Community gifs. I LOVE that show so much. I would have a crush on Joel McHale if he didn’t look eerily like an ex of mine. Like so eerie it’s weird. But Donald Glover??!!! Hold me back.

    Welcome back to dating. I’d like to say it gets easier… But there are a lot of freaks around. Have you tried Tinder?

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    • Community is a great show. A friend of mine turned me on to it a couple of months ago and I was hooked right away. It is so ridiculous, but the writing is so smart. I can’t stop watching.
      Dating is insane! I took a break after that last one to regroup, but it’s the married/engaged ones that get me the most. Ugh! No!
      I haven’t tried any online dating yet. I have enough trouble getting myself out of my house, so I’ve been doing more group activity type stuff so I can both get out and meet people.

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  11. not like – love. experiencing the same thing. it’s like a repetitive process: date until you just get tired of it. eventually you think “maybe dating should happen again.” proceed to boringness, wasted time, occasional hurt feelings. repeat.

    as far as texts go, the best “wee bee has just nicely told you she sees absolutely no future with you in a way that was completely grown up and not weird” response was: “i think ur just scared.”

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    • So glad to see you here! 🙂 Yay!!
      I’m back to being tired of it. It’s such a crap shoot. Guys have been either boring, rude, still into their exes, or pushy-like scary pushy-like is this going to end with a police report scary pushy. I need another long break so I can forget why I took a break.
      That text you got is nuts! What a thing to say. Some people, it just doesn’t matter how grown up or nice you are, they just can’t understand. 😦 Plus the whole “ur” thing drives me up the wall.

      Like

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