My Last Internet Date
My last internet date was 7 months ago and was the capper to many years of Internet dating starting with Craigslist, moving through Lava Life, Jdate, Match.com, a stint or two on EHarmony and winding down with OKCupid and Plenty of Fish (aka POF or as I like to call it: Poff) It was on OKCupid where I met my LID (Last Internet Date) in fact.
Ahem: before you beat up on me on how internet dating can be fun, and or:
— you met your wife on Match.com (when you went on just for a lark for the first time ever and you were: stoned, drunk, doing it on a bet while having beers with friends and go figure — you lucked out)
— you met your current (second husband) on EHarmony after one missive and no other candidates — it was fate.
- your friend met her soulmate after resisting Internet dating for 5 years of singlehood and never met anyone at : school, work and in bars but she tried Internet dating one time and guess what? More great fate at work.
To all this may I just say: good for you. Truly — good for you.
For the rest of us who have given online dating more that the fair shot it deserves, Internet dating can suck. Big time. It’s a whole new frontier of rejection from imperfect strangers who do this thing called ‘ghosting’ which is to say, whether they’ve actually met you or not, they can go from twenty-five ardent texts a day or even a month of solid dating into this Diaspora of Romance where love goes to die. They totally disappear off your radar; hence the term, ghosting.
The last Internet date started off well. I was happy, in a good place and curious about life and ready to make a brand new start and had said, good attitude in hand. A fellow called Pat began to pursue me — albeit we were ten years apart (yes, I was the older, wiser one). Texts turned to phone calls. He texted a lot. I didn’t judge (especially as I had yet to meet him).
“Pat, as in Patrick?, I asked him (I have a penchant for Irish men who tend to break my heart)
No, he said –Pasquale –a paesan, he said.
Who can be immune to the charms of an Italian man who had a voice like Harrison Ford?
“You realize, I told him, that given we’re ten years apart, when you were 17 and I was 27, I probably could have had my way with you’.
“You can still have your way with me’ was his quick rejoinder which gave me a slight flutter.
Still, I was a little surprised by his pursuit especially when I received several phone calls without prior text warning at 10:30 in the mornings. But hey, I thought — everyone has their style and I was getting to know him.
Thing is: I liked him and I didn’t like him. His voice was riveting, as was his intelligence and devotion to his three adult children. He had a regular day job; an administrator in a large hospital, same job for 30 years (compared to me, a freelancer, self-employed author for the same thirty years or an erratic career path). I thought was a big difference between us but I also thought: don’t judge. Who knows? My best judgment had got me to a point of divorce at 40 and raising three sons solo. On the other hand, he was also irritable sounding at times on the phone, somewhat unhappy in a transitional time in his life and ok — a bit negative if not outrightly bitter. I would say at that point my interest was neutral to a bit below neutral but I thought it deserved a meet cute.
Still, we agreed to meet. I had no expectations and I tucked away my impression of his negativity. Happily, I chose to remember he was also a foodie.
And then? Then, my dear reader: I saw him. He was well-groomed, athletic and handsome. In a second, I decided I liked him a fair bit after all. I even felt that rare thing called spark. I thought I’d lucked out and immediately forgot the convos that had been less than upbeat.
We sat and had coffee and while I noticed his trim physique and direct eye contact, I also noticed he never smiled. Coffee was finished rather abruptly and he insisted we walk about outside the cafe area. I felt I was being pulled around for a requisite walk and talk, sort of like taking your grandmother for an airing. I thought: he either doesn’t like me or he’s nervous. Like many women, I forgot to tune into myself (past being attracted to him) and ask myself: do you like him ? Is he engaging?
When we parted he said, ‘there’s so many things around the city I wish you could show me sometime’ . I preened and said, sure, that’d be great. I added, by the way, FYI, you’re my last Internet date’.
Why, he asked.
I said it was just time, no matter how this date went, to rough it in the romance wilds. I’d had enough Internet dates — I’d sooner stop while I was ahead and leave it to fate and destiny.
His response was to advise me not to stop —He said: you never know when you could meet someone.
Yes, why would anyone say that when you met finally meet them and they seemed to like you? Was he not a ‘someone”?
I felt a chill.
Then he was off and minutes later I was surprised to receive a series of flirtatious texts began which were all about what a great time he had and would I do it again sometime soon? There must have been 10 texts which I finally had to put on pause as I headed onto the highway to drive home. Clearly he liked me! Maybe my instincts were wrong because here he was texting nonstop!
But hours went by and and then days and then maybe a week later and still no more texts no phone calls. Then one text on day 10 post date; he wrote a non-committal note about having to get groceries and going to yoga.
You should always beware of the ones that are too attentive at the outset because in my experience, they tend to disappear just as quick. It’s a dating trope. And so, he was in fact, my last Internet date.
Thing is, one way or another, I had decided ahead that he was either going to be my soulmate or an ephemeral coffee that I would soon forget. There really isn’t a lot in-between unless you want to suffer. Either way, it would be win/win. I’d fall in love or I’d be free to find it elsewhere and free to walk away from the cyber world of love’s infidels and become part of another world where the male spirits are all, at least at first, in the flesh.
As it turned out, he was not my soulmate but just another male ghost on my dating path and the last, volunteer haunting I’ll ever sign up for — unless it’s Halloween.