Steve? Eric? Russell? Who can remember the name of the first guy to make virtual advances on them after a long relationship? Obviously not me. We’ll call him “Number 1.” What I do remember is this… I was so fresh out of my marriage that I had no idea what I was doing or what I was looking for. I had never used the internet to date before. I had never dated in a rural conservative Christian environment before. Too be honest, I’m not really sure I had ever even truly dated. I was of a suburban group of semi attractive young adults who would just couple up at the end of a long night of partying. That’s the only dating I really knew. So this… I didn’t know up from down. Side note, I was so freaking horny. Is that some sort of unspoken phenomenon; a divorce induced extreme horniness? It seemed to have taken over my body. That and an intense need to paint and clean the entirety of my home not to mention give up eating. So, here I am, horny, skinny, nesting and full of angst. The first guy that put his line in, I didn’t hesitate. I took the bait. I asked him to suggest where he would like to eat. I may live in a small town, but that means we have some delicious farm to table restaurants around, and I wanted to see what he might choose knowing it would give me some insight into his personality. He chose a chain, which I recognized as something that was going to bother me. Whatever, it was a meal, and I wouldn’t fault friends or family for making the same decision (okay, yeah maybe I would, but I would get over it).
So, to a chain I went for my first internet date feeling very nervous. I mean, I had never met this guy. What did I know about him? Was he going to try to harm me? Does this fall under “stranger danger?” Was there a class for online dating safety that I missed? How were people doing this all the time and not ending up dismembered in a ditch? Then I calmed down and remembered, this is a public place. And, because of my community connections, I likely knew someone on staff.
So we met, we sat, we ate, and we talked about ourselves, of course. I may have teared up while talking about the end of my relationship. After all, it was still fresh, and even though I had been the one to end things, my feelings for him never ended. I was up front with my “separated” status on my profile, so in my opinion it was fair game as a topic. He filled me in on his divorce as well. He had a big government job that gave him some great stories to share. He talked about his big house, his big property, his four wheeler, etc… Then he started sharing photos of himself with his brother. It seemed he wanted to show off his gigantic heavily blacked-in upper arm tattoo. Yikes! I already knew that this was not going to go anywhere, but that sealed the deal for sure. His brother on the other hand…how could I get introduced to him?
When he discovered that I was half Italian he asked if I could cook. Is that a joke? Do men expect all women to cook? Or just Italian women? Is it how our worth is measured? What’s the deal? Mid date “Number 1” begins to tell me all of the things we’re going to do together in the future. Yep, he’s planning our future and we haven’t known each other an hour. When will this be over?
As the meal started to wind down he gave me a look. It was like that look that a confused puppy gives when it knows you’re talking to it but has no idea what you’re saying. It was one I had seen before on a man, but where? It seemed to say, “Look at me, and know that I am imagining jamming my tongue down your throat right now.” And with that look, I was completely skeeved out. Seriously, I hope to never see that look again.
When the date came to an end he insisted on paying for dinner. Wow! That was so not what happened in my past not-really-dating history, and it felt great. I was still skeeved out by him, but it truly felt good to not have to pay for my meal. Then he told me he was excited to tell his dad that he had met a nice Italian woman. Good grief!
As would become my m.o., I gave him a hug goodbye and left him with a glimmer of hope for a second meeting. I texted him the next day to say I wasn’t ready to move on yet. I was certain that wasn’t the motivation for my wanting to not see him again, but I couldn’t help wonder if there wasn’t some truth to that. Now, how do I go back onto the same dating site without hurting his feelings?…
Lesson learned; next time hesitate before taking the bait.