I tried the online dating thing years ago. I was an insomniac, a workaholic and I’d just moved across the US. I knew no one. This was before cell phones and when IMing (on AOL, nonetheless) was the thing to do. I can’t begin to tell you how many hours I spent online getting to know potential male suitors. There was lots of witty banter, flirting, deep conversations with strangers, and back then, having a photo online was a rarity so you asked a lot of questions and hoped for the best. Often, after hours, days and even weeks of online communication, we would meet. Usually it was awkward and uncomfortable. Someone was too fat or too ugly. Secrets spilled on the keyboard made things weird in person. There was nothing left to discuss and everyone was suddenly shy and embarrassed. So much time and hope was wasted and the disappointment, though a little ridiculous, was very real.
Since then I’ve been in a string of serious relationships so I haven’t done a lot of dating, online or otherwise, but I have learned my lesson. It’s just too easy to get carried away by words and your imagination. I am very attracted to literate men and if he can engage me in short, witty emails, texts and instant messages, he’s at a serious advantage. I use words to flirt and I love to communicate in writing. Because of my tendancy to get a little carried away when it comes to the written word, I need to push for a meeting as soon as possible and STAY AWAY FROM THE KEYBOARD.
I had been doing a great job at keeping the pre-meeting communication at bay with all of my online potential dates. At one point the communication with a certain guy (let’s call him Sunglasses Guy as he wears them in many of his photos) was getting a little out of control. He was traveling, he was working, he was too busy, he had lots of excuses not to meet. He contacted me, so I thought this was a really crappy plan on his part. I told him that when he came back to town and wanted to meet, he should contact me. He said that was fair, and we stopped.
A few weeks went by and I had my drama with the Ex, JK and I hooked up, I had gone out on a few lousy dates, and things were pretty much status quo. Sunglasses Guy often popped up on my IM, so eventually I couldn’t resist and I said hello. Truth is, I thought about him a lot; he was just my type and I really enjoyed our conversations. Dangerous territory, I know, but what can I say? He was once again out of town for work. Against my better judgement, we spent the entire week texting and emailing as much as we could and sometimes until the wee hours of the morning. We flirted, we chatted, we had a good time. We even talked on the phone once or twice. He wished me sweet dreams every night, told me good morning and “checked-in” with me during the day, as he would promise to do the day before. We didn’t dicuss anything too personal, so that was my excuse to keep things moving along — as long as it was at a superficial level, I told myself.
After a week, he came back into town (texting me once his plane touched down). Sunglasses Guy had a day or two back in town, a houseguest who was around for business and home-basing it at his condo, and then was taking off to travel again. I was busy, so it didn’t bother me that things weren’t going to work out for us that week. We stayed in constant contact while he was home and when he went out of town again, and again once he was back and during the time his houseguest was with him.
He was still non-committal, but brought up a potential meeting on Sunday once his houseguest finally left. On Saturday we were both busy, but he texted me that morning and again that evening to tell me sweet dreams. On Sunday morning I texted him back and didn’t hear a word until Monday night when he texted me something short and sweet, but said nothing about Sunday or the week ahead.
I decided we either needed to meet or end this thing, whatever it was, so I texted him: “By the way, I’m free Wednesday and Thursday this week if we are still planning on meeting up.” That was Monday evening and I haven’t heard a word from him. At least 1,000 texts, some emails, some IMs, a couple of phone calls and the guy totally disappears on me. What the fuck?
I’ve beat myself up over it because I knew it wasn’t a good idea. It was a complete waste of time. I’ve been wondering what I did wrong, but I know that it’s not me, it’s him, and it could be a multitude of issues. I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt and not assume he was a dick, a liar or a cheater, but it’s getting harder and harder to maintain that stance. If anything, I think he’s a pussy for not manning up and telling me what the deal is. I’m really trying to believe that not all guys are like my Ex, I’m really trying to trust in people, and I’m really trying to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, but things like this make it really hard.