The last time I was on match.com four years ago, I was a member of the site for more than three months and only ended up going on a date with one guy. I've been a member of Tinder for two weeks and have gone out on dates with three guys.
The first guy I went on a date with is a graduate student at the college where I'm teaching. He isn't in my department; he's a musician and has performed professionally many times. We met at a coffee shop close to campus and had a really great conversation. It was nice talking to someone who also works in academia and could relate to a lot of things that I've gone through. He seemed like a genuinely nice, intelligent, and talented guy. And it was about as romantic as being on a date with my cousin. Apparently, he felt the same way because he hasn't called since then.
The second guy I went on a date with says that he's an artist, but he hasn't earned any money from his art. Instead, he works a regular day job and hasn't worked on his art in more than a year. I don't have a problem with dating a guy who doesn't work a prestigious job, and you don't have to earn money at your art in order to be an artist. It's one thing to take a break from your art or to struggle to earn a living at it; most artists can relate to that, including myself. But as a Type A workaholic who's stayed committed to her professional goals for years, it's hard for me to relate to someone who doesn't have as much drive and ambition to succeed.
I will admit that when I lived in Small Town, months went by where I didn't touch my manuscripts because I had to work so much at my two jobs. But I kept writing in my journal, my blog, and my Twitter page; I attended a writing class and read one of my stories at an open mic night. Now that I'm in College Town and teaching dozens fewer students than I was in Small Town, it's easier for me to make time for writing. I've entered two writing contests in the last couple months and submitted a story to a literary magazine. I was rejected by all three, but it didn't make me feel bad. Those rejection letters were proof that I was writing again and putting my work out there.
On the other hand, the Artist is a nice guy who is really easy to talk to, and I enjoyed his company. We've been on two dates so far, and he's been texting me almost every night. But the regular texting irritates me. Because I have two jobs, I don't have time to text people for hours every night. And it seems too soon to be talking to each other that often. I've told the Artist that there are some days where I'm just not available to talk, and he's been understanding about it. But I think the fact that I'm not that excited to hear from him is very revealing, especially because when I think of the last guy I was involved with in Chicago, I smiled whenever he texted me, and I was more than willing to drop everything and go hang out with him.
When he kissed me good night, I was flattered and thought it was a pleasant kiss, but I didn't feel a spark. It made me wonder if there was something wrong with me because here was this nice guy who genuinely likes me and wants to get to know me. But I just keep falling for guys who just aren't that into me, like Small Town Guy. I can't help thinking that maybe I should go out with the Artist at least one more time because he seems like someone I should be with, but I don't want to lead him on if there's nothing there. Or maybe I just want what I can't have because it's easier than dealing with the reality of actually being in a relationship with someone.
The third guy I met on Tinder is a "model", and by "model" I don't mean the kind who is featured in magazines or commercials. I mean the kind who has a six figure following on social media because of all of his shirtless pictures of himself.
The Model is so not the guy for me; I knew that from the beginning when we first started texting each other, and meeting him in person confirmed it for me. He is very self-centered, is too young for me (he's in his 20s and I'm 36, and I feel like I should be with someone closer to my own age) and we have nothing in common.
But physically, he's exactly the kind of guy I've always been attracted to. When I first saw him, I felt an attraction that was stronger than I've ever felt for anyone. He didn't even wait until the end of the date before he kissed me, and I kissed him back. I found myself thinking about the Model all week: when I was grocery shopping, when I was at work, and when I was resisting the urge to head-butt people at Starbucks who didn't decide what they wanted until they got up to the counter and then asked the baristas a bunch of questions about every drink (it's like, do they want to hear me start screaming like a howler monkey? Because that's what happens when I haven't had my coffee.).
The Model wants to see me again. I know that whatever happens between us won't lead to anything serious. But I still want to see him again, even though I know I shouldn't.
In a perfect world, I'd find someone that I was physically attracted to and could have good conversations with, someone who's a combination of the Model and the Artist. But I'm not sure if that person is out there, at least not for me. I'd feel more optimistic if it wasn't for the fact that I'm 36 and I've lost count of how many guys I've gone out with, not to mention Tinder is the sixth dating site I've tried. And considering how time-consuming this whole process has been (which also irritates me because I get antsy when I'm not working and due to all the messages from guys and dates, I've fallen far behind in my work), I'm not so sure that I want a relationship with anyone anymore. Or maybe I just think that because most of the guys I've dated so far are not guys that I want to be in a relationship with.
Or maybe I think that because I'm still new in College Town and trying new things (I even joined two Meetup groups and have been to three events so far, which I'll blog about later), I'm not ready to be in a relationship with anyone right now. And I'm still not fully secure in my career, which is still the most important thing to me and which I can't afford to neglect for too long.
In the meantime, I guess I'll stay on Tinder for another week or two at least, and then maybe I'll try a different dating app like Bumble or Hinge.
What about you? Have you ever dated someone you weren't really attracted to, or have you ever been attracted to someone who was all wrong for you? Either way, did you go on more dates with that person, or call it off after one or two dates? If you're in a relationship with someone, at what point did you feel that "spark"?
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