Monday, February 10, 2014

From the OK Cupid Case Files: Tales of Confusion and How Not To Be a Dick

If you haven't been keeping up, I did some online dating recently. I did so for the same reasons dog owners take their dogs to the dog park: so they won't get nervous and pee everywhere every time they see another animal. I needed socialization. Here now, for your entertainment, are the highlights. Names have been changed (sometimes) and portions have been sanitized for the benefit of my relatives, but I promise you that this all happened. My responses and conclusions might be completely wrong, but I've got the facts straight. I left some people out mostly just because I couldn't find a way to write about what happened for whatever reason.

1. Chase. First person I met from the site.

First of all, Chase is his real name. I don't fucking care. I hope he reads this and I hope he cries. Read on to find out why!

First contact: He messaged me

Why I said yes: He was among the first to message me and I was anxious to get started. Also his profile said he was originally from Texas and I thought that might be an interesting twist.

Outcome: 1 drink. No kissing. Not fun

About Chase: Age 30. Worked for some kind of Independent Film acquisition something or the other. Whatever it was, he was very impressed with himself for dedicating all of his free to movie marathons.

What happened: I met Chase at a bar in Greenpoint. He was on the short and pudgy side, which I could be completely fine with, but he was wearing skinny jeans and a tight cardigan and a little pageboy cap and it kind of made him look like a very fancy Cabbage Patch Kid.  I didn't object to the way he looked otherwise but I can only describe his fashion sense as "trying very hard and failing without noticing". I could have forgiven this had he not been completely pretentious and self-involved but unfortunately every word out of his mouth was either about some famous person he met while living in LA or some completely unfounded opinion about New York. I was not having it and I am terrible at masking contempt so I thought I was making my signals clear. He walked me to the train and we didn't kiss. I assumed that was that. A case of incompatibility that neither of us needed to dwell upon. 

Yet when I arrived home I received a follow up texting wondering if I wanted to hang out again, to which I responded: "Full disclosure I only joined OK Cupid last week and I have a bunch of other dates set up. Not really looking to settle into anything"

I am aware that this was not as straight forward as it could have been but I figured it would do the trick. This is how he responded:
Either way you've gained me as a friend. First and foremost. You can still be single and hang out with boy. You can even cuddle and make out with a boy and still be single

A fair enough response, but keep in mind this is a 30 year old man we're talking about. I found the message unsettling and was pleased not to hear from him again. Until almost a full month later, the following text exchange occurred (everything is lifted directly from the texts):

Chase: wanna make out asdhfsdkjdhgf
Me: That was 40% not words. And no that's not really topping my priorities at the moment.
Chase: Ok good. You were kind of a bitch.
Me: That sounds about right.
Chase: You think you are so cool. Little do you guys are using you. Don't respond whore.

What I learned: If you have no interest in making out with someone you DO actually have to say the words "I DON'T EVER WANT TO MAKE OUT WITH YOU" if you met them on OK Cupid. Otherwise you will get insane texts that will make you feel weird:

2. Jake. 3rd person I met from the site.

First contact: I messaged him because he was originally from Vermont and mentioned a pub I like in his profile and a few other things that made me think we might have things to talk about:

About Jake: Age 28. Self described Liberal Politcal Junkie. Not a Hippy. Cute glasses.

Outcome: 1 date, many drinks, multiple locations, multo makeouts

What happened: Jake was right in my wheelhouse of short, bespectacled, and easily flustered. We got moderately drunk and had a good time (the kind of good time you have in public, that is) and the date lasted much longer than it would have had it not been going well,but we both had work the next day. A tentative plan was made for the following Sunday. I liked him, but due to the nature of the evening I actually did need more information before I knew how much. I hyper focused on Sunday and, because I am neurotic about scheduling sent WAY too many texts. On my end it was purely logistical at this point, but I realize now that the sheer volume suggested that I was already really INTO him. He didn't know me well enough to know about my proclivity towards obsessive planning. So what ended up happening was on Sunday morning I received a text that said "Hey I'm really sorry but I feel like shit. Rain check?" To which I send three consecutive texts confirming and suggesting other days. This was, apparently, not the way to go. I never heard from him again.

What I learned: It is entirely possible that he didn't actually like me at all to begin with, but I think it is much more likely that he just didn't like me ENOUGH to counteract the crazy I threw at him. Lesson learned. Consecutive texting is bad unless a precedent has been set.

3. Raoul. 6th Person I met from the site

First Contact: He messaged me.

Why I said yes: Adorable Alliteration. Liked his face.

Outcome: 3+ weeks of all kinds of stuff.

About Raoul: Age 25. Actor. Loud, tall, and entirely lacking in any kind of social filter. 

What happened: Raoul and I went out on New Years Eve under the logic that New Years Eve is already terrible, so why not combine it with a potentially terrible first date as well? Long story short it all went very well for a couple of weeks. He didn't really have any money, so activities were less "dates" and more "experiences", but I've never been a fan of staring at someone across a dinner table and trying to remember why I'm interesting. I didn't see much room for our lives to integrate (which is typically what needs to happen in order for a relationship to make the transition from casual to committed), but I was ready to let things play out as they would. I survived the demise of a 6 year relationship so I was pretty sure I could handle whatever might be in the future. We had a chat about exclusivity and at one point he, in an advanced state of inebriation told me that he thought of me as a "partner", but no one was picking out rings. There was a steady exchange of entertaining texts of various sorts and just enough honest exchanges to make it seem…promising.

So when, just a week shy of what would have been a month of involvement the texts abruptly stopped aside from a couple of very dry "sorry I'm busy" texts, I knew something was amiss. The lack of explanation and contrition suggested a troubling lack of investment. Paranoia doesn't suit me so I gave him the benefit of the doubt, but after a week of not answering his phone, paired with a photo which appeared on Facebook (oh, so you're not too busy to eat cupcakes?) I had to assume the worst. I don't like to do things via text message, but he wasn't answering my calls so I told him that he had to tell me if he was over it. Any longer would have ruined my weekend. I was right, of course, but since I wasn't expecting anything serious anyway I was content in ending things cordially and trying to be friends.

My level of OKness was slightly compromised when, the next week, Facebook informed me that he was "in a relationship" with someone else. So  he lying about being busy (well, unless what he meant was "busy dating someone else") and god knows when he would have gotten around to telling me had I not prompted him.  It stung, but I realized that I myself was already looking forward to seeing other people, and what good would it do me to be angry just because my pride was damaged when my actual feelings for him were entirely resolved? Furthermore, finding out that he was a half a dick in the door of another relationship while still technically involved with me completely eradicated any lingering romantic affection I may have had, which actually made it much easier to offer genuine friendship. I know that sounds unhealthy but it is what it is. So we're friends. Unless he doesn't like being written about in which case this might be the end of that.

What I learned: There is something between one terrible date and a full blown relationship, and it can be pretty OK. Sometimes people are cowards when they don't want to hurt your feelings, but it doesn't mean you need to get your panties in a bunch when they inevitably do hurt your feelings.

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