Friday, September 16, 2011

The Creep Factor

I went on a coffee date with a guy I met on okcupid a couple days ago. We'd been messaging each other for about a week, and compared to a lot of the guys on okcupid, he seemed nice and normal. No half-naked pictures of him flexing in his profile. No references to a gun collection. No lines about how he's tired of the bar scene that were contradicted by several pictures of him in bars. Nothing in his profile about how women over the age of thirty should just be grateful.

There was nothing like that in his profile or his messages. We didn't actually have a lot in common. But I figure that even if I were to meet a guy who also happened to be a Type-A workaholic who turns into the human equivalent of King Kong when people annoy him, I probably wouldn't want to date him. I tend to be attracted to guys who are different from me - laid-back, outgoing, athletic, and down-to-earth.

During the date, he started texting once or twice. I felt tempted to say, "HEY! All eyes on ME, buddy!" But I figured that would be un-ladylike, so I didn't.

We talked a lot about our work, because it didn't seem like we had a lot of common interests. Then again, lately my interests include watching episodes of Jersey Shore, figuring out how many cups of coffee I can drink before I get really wired, and trying to find a polite way to tell my neighbors that the hallway in our building does not equal trash can. Or spittoon.

A couple of hours after the date, he called me. We talked about the possibility of going out again sometime soon. I told him that I had to work all day the next day, but I said that I would call him the day after that.

The next day, he texted me to let me know that he was thinking of me. And that's when I got creeped out.

In my opinion, that kind of text message is the kind of message I'd expect to get after a fourth or fifth date, not the first date. The first date (especially the first date with someone you meet online) is more of an introduction than anything else. You're still just getting to know each other. I've never been on one of those romantic first dates that I never wanted to end because I just found my soul mate, and do you hear the birds singing? Because I think they're singing for me.

Yeah. Never had a date like that. Or anything like those dates in one of those commercials. During first dates I usually just feel awkward and nervous. I try to keep myself from blurting out anything stupid, like "Do you know that your teeth stick out a little, like vampire fangs?"

I also tend to be pretty reserved in the romance department. For me, I need to take things slow, one step at a time, one date at a time. Once I went on a first date with a guy who started holding my hand and putting his arm around me about halfway through the date. All I could think of at the time was, Get OFF me! But I thought that might be un-ladylike too. (There was never a second date with that guy.)

After the guy from okcupid texted me to let me know that he was thinking of me, I sent him a terse message to let him know that I couldn't talk; I was working. It was true, because I was working on a project for my website job and I was on a deadline.

The next day I called and left him a message and apologized for not being able to talk. I said that I was really busy, but maybe we could get together for lunch sometime soon. But I think he must have thought I was no longer interested in him, because he didn't call me back.

A part of me felt relieved. But another part of me felt disappointed, too. Now even guys who do like me don't want a second date. I feel like I should have given him more of a chance, but deep down there was a part of me that just wasn't feeling the same things that he was feeling.

But he was a genuinely nice guy who liked me, and I pushed him away. I'm wondering if I should try calling him again, or if I should just let this one go.

What do you think? What would you do if you were in my situation? How would you react if someone sent you a text message like that after the first date?


  1. That message is a little intense for a first date. It might be a sign that he'll want to get really serious really soon, in which case it's probably best to run.

    And at least you have the nerve to go on all of these dates - I am terrified of Internet dating.

  2. Just follow your intuition. Maybe you left a great impression, but I also think it's a bit too soon. Or that's just me, I let my boyfriend fry for a year. During which he was my best friend and I really got to know him.
    Fingers crossed that the reason he didn't call is that he realized he was rushing and is only giving you time and space.

  3. As someone who is (for no good reason) a creep magnet, I say follow your intuition. I was glad I did with this guy who wanted to go out with me when I was in grad school--turns out he was a sicko (sex addict, stalker, etc). So I always say--go with the gut!

  4. As someone who's done online dating a few times, I don't necessarily think that sending a "thinking of you" text the following day is totally creepy. I think it depends how the first date went and/or emails you've exchanged. However, if you're just not feeling it with this guy, just move on. I've learned that trying to make things work just for the sake of it never works out in the end.

    Good luck!

  5. Hi lalalalauren,
    Online dating can be scary; I know that I was scared at first. But I think it can actually make dating a little easier, because it's easier to e-mail someone new than to approach him in person for the first time. And this way you get a chance to write to each other for a while before meeting in person.

    Hi Ivana,
    It's been two days since I left him a message, and he still hasn't called me back. So I guess it isn't going to happen. I've heard that the best relationships start from friendships; I think in many cases that can be true because you already know each other as friends and you know that you enjoy each other's company. My ideal relationship would be a situation where the guy and I were friends but also more than that.

    Hi Catherine,
    It's good that you followed your intuition; that guy sounds like he had a lot of issues. And the whole intuition thing can make or break the date. I can usually tell by the end of the first date if there's going to be a second one, either because of how he's acting or because of what I'm feeling.

    Hi prettylittlereckless,
    I think if I had been feeling the same things he was feeling, I would have been more receptive to his message. And I think that you're right. I've decided that I probably won't call him, because it might not work out in the end and someone could end up getting hurt.

  6. Hmm. That's a tough one, but I have to say I'm like you: I'm put off by guys who come on so strongly after only one date, because I think they have definitely smothering potential, and that's so not attractive.

    I probably would have done the same thing.

  7. Hi Talli,
    I think I've become so accustomed to being on my own that it's hard to picture myself with anyone else. I've also gone on too many dates with guys who weren't interested in me, so I guess I was just unprepared for a guy who actually did like me.

  8. It seemed a bit over the top for so early on in the relationship, if you ask me. Mind you, it's probably best not to ask me. The last time I went on a 'date' was in 1981.

  9. Hi Fran,
    I appreciate advice from everyone (especially my blogger friends like you), because I think it's good to get other people's perspectives. I think he might have been trying to find out if I liked him, and I gave him the impression that I didn't. But I did actually like him; I'm just not very good at expressing myself like that.

  10. I'd love to give you advice, but I was a TERRIBLE dater. Just terrible. I can wish you luck though!

  11. Hi Libby,
    I'm not a very good dater either. That's one reason why I would never do one of those dating reality shows. :)