I joined match.com for the first time in Fall '07, I thought it might be a great idea to form a forum of sorts for women (& men too, I guess) to post their opinions of their dates. After going out with a few creepy peeps off the site, I wished that someone had alerted me to said creepiness prior to my getting involved with these specific guys. "Matchpost.com" is what I wanted to call it, but of course that url had a cyber-squatter. Unwilling to waver on the name (I thought it was so perfect) I abandoned the idea altogether, as I'd abandoned match.com several times as well... only to join again after I'd forgotten how much I'd hated it the last time I'd been on.
Internet dating in this day and age is a necessary evil, in my opinion. An article in recently ranked meeting people via online dating and social networking sites is the #2 most common way that people get together these days, second only to the old fashioned "meeting people through friends". I, no matter how much I put the good word out, am never ever set up on dates by friends. I'm not exactly sure why especially since I set friends up with one another whenever I possibly can. In fact, a lovely couple that I introduced a mere 2 years ago were married last July and are expecting their first child in just a few weeks!. My most recent therapist was a sweet Jewish man who told me that if I introduced 3 couples who then went on to get married, by Jewish law, I would instantly hold a place in heaven. With only 2 couples to go, I keep trying to get my spot reserved up past the pearly gates. I have set up a few couples that have dated for a bit (only to have one break the other's heart... a downside to this type of endeavor). One person my matchmaking skills rarely seem to work on: myself.
Case in point. This story is about my first incursion into match.com. There will be several to follow sometime down the line. Many many more creepy, annoying and/or disappointing stories.... but I'll just start with this one. I'll warn you that it's not very entertaining and somewhat anti-climactic... but I did learn a lesson from it all the same- and that is why I'm sharing it. Venting, if you will. Bare with me.
His username was Southerner7. I won't say this guy's real name, but I will gladly mention his pseudonym to prevent any other girls who might read this from falling under his "sweet as pie" spell. This was a few months after my horrendous craigslist experience so at this point, I had learned to meet the person swiftly after email communications began. No sense in wasting each other's time. He was absolutely adorable in his pics and after a few correspondences betwixt us, we agreed to meet at Central Park at 3 that Sunday.
Fannie is always a good icebreaker... I hadn't realized that we would virtually need an ice breaker that day. What began as a fairly mild February afternoon quickly turned into a hailstorm. I had even worn heels (I like to do this when the person I'm meeting claims to be 5'11 or 6'0 because I can quickly detect when they are lying about it... that may be mean but I don't care)... and he wasn't 5'11 as his profile stated but he was cute enough to over look the fib. He was darling. Such a polite & handsome gentleman, or so it seemed. Ended up being a bit of a wolf in sheep's clothing, but at the time, I was easy prey.
After determining that a hailstorm was not an appropriate environment for a first date, we decided to meander towards my apartment and drop off our "third wheel", Fannie. Fortunately I am a quick jaunt away from the park. Once home (I made him wait down on the corner so as not to know my exact address- still wasn't sure if he was an axe murderer etc. Better to be safe than sorry!) I promptly changed into flats.... after all, I felt foolish walking around in wedges amidst the hail and all... plus, I was dwarfing him.
At any rate, we went for a little aperitif at a local place in my hood that has a jazz band on Sundays. It was a nice little date. He told me about his home in S. Carolina. He was recently starting his own business and moving from Chicago to NYC while maintaining a house just near the beach in . He told me that Charleston was the new "hot spot" for weddings and the number one choice for destination weddings. Wedding talk on a first date?! I was even starting to like his Southern drawl, which admittedly has not been my the most enticing accent in the past. I was pleased with this new boy and excited that he said he'd like to get together again as we kissed goodbye.
We went out to a lovely dinner that next Friday. He was coming from a work meeting (he worked in finance technologies) so he was wearing a sexy dark suit and tie (love a man in a suit) and we met at the W hotel lobby for drinks. He was such a gentleman and very chivalrous throughout the night. It was only our second date, but I was feeling very close to him. He sounded like he was from a similar background to mine, was Catholic and spoke very highly of his family & many siblings.
One thing led to another, as these things tend to do, and there we were, making out in my apt.! It was fun, but I realize now that I probably trusted him way too much way too soon (a mistake many women make in this day and age). My grandmother used to say about men, "they can promise you the stars and the moon but they'll never be able to give them to you". He used "we" and "us" right away and we began to see each other every other day or so for about 2 weeks.
He traveled for work on a regular basis and had a business appointment set up in my hometown of St. Louis, of all places!! It was during this business trip that his texts started to fall off..... and we rarely spoke on the phone anyway. I have learned to grow wary of a guy who can't ever talk to you on the phone. Texting can be so impersonal and in genuine; it is can be difficult to judge the tone of comments made via texting and email. A good old fashioned conversation vis-a-vis speaking is always nice... and one should see a red flag if a budding new relationship doesn't include this type of communication in the beginning stages.
After a few weeks of sparse contact which saddened me greatly I began to see the cracks in this knight's shining armor. In hindsight, I realize that giving someone of yourself wholly before they have even proved themselves worthy is one of the biggest mistakes women can make in this dating scene. I realized now that I thought I was falling in love with him... but in reality, I was subconsciously using a behavioral technique of displacement as my broken heart had still not healed (I had only moved out from my ex's about 3 months prior). I was looking to end the pain through someone else. "Band-aids" like this seldom help the healing process... they only temporarily mask the pain. Letting the wound heal via time is the only solution.
Anyhoo, many weeks passed and we finally spoke on the phone... he, like most men I've known, was all too capable of turning everything around to make himself seem like the innocent party. He didn't feel like it always had to be the guy to call, he, as chivalrous as he had always appeared, was now an enormous proponent of women's lib!!! It was MY fault that I hadn't called enough. He didn't think I was "serious" about really getting to know him. After clearing up what had gone with our little love affair, read: I was not aggressive enough... we made a date for that upcoming Sunday afternoon.
It was tax season and my accountant had given me a Monday morning deadline for my book keeping... so I texted Southerner7 to see if we could meet a mere one hour later than originally planned! I even said I was looking forward to seeing him! I, I had since surmised, would really shove my feelings in his face as clearly I had been too subtle with him in the past. I waited for a response & never got one. I never heard from him for the rest of the afternoon. I had been stood up. I, with my ego in shambles, tried for weeks to forget about this jackass. I was probably really still reeling from the recent end of my long-term relationship anyways. So to add fuel to the fire, I began hanging out more with my ex to dull the pain of Southerner7!!.... a coping mechanism I have unfortunately and unsuccessfully used all too often in the recent past, and viscous cycle that I have only recently learned how squelch.
At any rate, after not hearing from him in weeks with no explanation, and I had determined that he was now MIA. I simply had to get to the bottom it... I couldn't take it anymore. My ego couldn't handle the element of rejection without knowing what had caused it. I emailed him one day, in a moment of weakness:
"Hi there. Against my better judgement and at the risk of appearing like a desperate loser, I thought I'd attempt to contact you to see how you were doing etc. I must admit that I was a bit baffled and disappointed by the way things turned out.... I thought that you seemed like a genuinely nice guy whom I could at least be FRIENDS with when all was said and done. I totally understand if you weren't interested in me in "that way", but did I do something to vastly offend you at some point? Please do let me know if so! At any rate, best of luck with your business and with finding what you're looking for, Sarah"
To which I received this:
"Hi Sarah. Hope you are doing well. Thank you for the email. To be honest, I don't really know how to respond but, here goes. I too was baffled and disappointed by the way things turned out. I also thought and still think you are a very genuine and nice person. Someone whom I really liked. Though, I did mention during our last call that I had some reservations considering it took you a week to respond to my email from the previous week. Either way, we talked through that point and I was excited to see you the upcoming Sunday.
At least until I received your text messages the day before (Sat.) asking if we could push getting together off until later in the day/early evening. Not that your request to push schedules back was a big deal, though it did make me question the situation considering we had not seen one another in a wk or so. Guess I started to feel felt as though getting together was a burdon to your schedule, or that you always had to fit me in somewhere between everythng else.
Please know, moving the time back was not a big deal! However, I never want to feel like anyone had to be burdoned themselves with fitting me into a schedule. Maybe I misinterpreted your text message incorrectly though, considering we're both so busy with our lives (especially me lately with starting the business and traveling), neither one of us should have to question the social areas of our life (such as be excited about getting together with someone you like).
In regards to that Sunday, I didn't know until the day passed that we wouldn't get together. To be honest, I was truly hoping you would call to discuss our schedules/plans, and when your call never came (as had been the case the most of the time), I felt as though my concerns were right on target. I always enjoyed your company and always looked forward to seeeing you/getting to know you better. However, if our primary means of communication are via text, something is very wrong. Additionally, if the only time we do talk via phone is when I call you, something is wrong. Do you agree? If we can't communicate via phone, when busy or away via business, it makes it hard to get to know someone better.
Prior to that weeknd, I had gotten the feeling you really weren't into the possibility of us knowing one another better, only that getting together was something to do when nothing else was going on. And for the record, that's not what I'm looking for at this stage of my life. I do like you and I am interested in being friends though, only if we are willing to communicate better. What are you thoughts?"
Drats!! He'd done it again! He'd found a way to turn it completely around and blame me for his standing me up!!! This man had some serious talent!!! He could win Olympic medals for deflecting blame! The "email it took me over a week to respond to" is utter horseshit, by the way... I had immediately responded, and he had subsequently & very conveniently never recieved that lone email! And FYI, he never called me! He makes it sound like he was always calling and I never responded... when in reality, I was literally waiting by the phone. This email, though it may not appear so, is the biggest load of malarky I'd ever read!!!! and could not be further from the truth. I had told him on the phone how much I liked him. He literally made all of this up... like I said, Olympic medals. They need a new event for him in 2012: "Breaking up with someone while making it seem like you were the one hurt." It is serious insanity.
In the end, I'm glad things didn't work out. He was kinda puny (not even the 5'11 he believed he was) and had a very slight physique. I just simply can't date a man who wears a smaller jean size than myself. Call me shallow, but it is unnerving, in my opinion, thinking you might crush your man. His Southern accent was also highly annoying especially when his douche bag tendencies started to present themselves. (An asshole with such a gentlemanly inflection is such a stealthy contradiction; a sheep in wolve's clothing). Things happen for a reason, or don't happen for a reason.
What I learned from all of this was to take things s-l-o-w, get to know a person before you instantly presume that you want them to be your boyfriend. I found a tiny little screen capture of his profile, which I think I might post just for fun. Hell, this story is over 2 years old, what's he gonna do? I have since learned not to trust men who wear bow ties in their photos. There's an air of smugness about a guy in a tux with suspenders holding a cigar that might have given me a little hint about who I was dealing with...
More importantly, I learned that no man is worthy of you until he proves it. You've really got to make them work for it, after all... you are definitely worth the wait, and if he can't see that, then he most certainly, is not!!
ps. Laughing that he actually wrote 5'12 and athletic?!?! hahaha, there is no such a thing as 5'12! And athletic? I could have bench pressed his measley ass!