Monday, November 27, 2017

Worst. Date. Ever.

At first, Bumble seemed like an upgrade from Tinder. For one thing, there were far fewer half-naked pictures of guys posing with their phones in the bathroom, nor were there as many profiles written by couples looking for a "third wheel" (insert shudder here). I did, however, see several wedding pictures where the guy was looking lovingly at his bride, as well as one where the guy was actually proposing to his girlfriend. In one of those profiles, the guy wrote, "I'm just looking for someone I can talk to other than my wife." (It's too bad that we haven't yet developed technology that allows us to reach through our phones and slap someone in the face.)

I noticed that several of the guys who'd posted profiles on Tinder were also on Bumble, including the Artist. On Bumble, I quickly "swiped left" (meaning "not interested") on the Artist's profile, though he did contact me recently, asking if I'd be free to go out again sometime soon. I thought I'd made myself clear when I ended it the first time, but apparently I was wrong. I told him that he was better off dating someone else he had more in common with, but I didn't add that when I came home from my dates with him, I immediately Googled "Should I keep dating someone I'm not attracted to?".

Recently, I've been talking to a guy on Bumble. We agreed to meet for drinks. We spent several hours talking, though I noticed that he kept checking his watch. Also, he wasn't even paying attention to me half the time I was talking. I'd start saying something but his eyes kept wandering around the room; he kept getting distracted by some loud, drunk people who apparently didn't know each other but kept hugging each other and saying, "I love you, man!" and "I love you too!"

I'm not saying a guy has to give me his undivided attention the entire time during the date, but I do want him to at least look at me and listen to me when I'm talking. On the other hand, it was hard for me to focus on him sometimes when he started talking because he was pretty boring. He kept going on and on about some topic that I had no interest in (I even said that I didn't know anything about what he was talking about, but that didn't stop him from talking about it for way too long). I ordered more soda in order to keep myself awake; I didn't want to doze off in the middle of the date because he bored me to sleep. He also kept ranting about the government's "interference" in our lives through technology. I'm not a fan of the current administration either, but he sounded like someone who's seen The Matrix way too many times.

Another thing that kept me from enjoying the date was that I kept thinking about the Model. The day after I sent him those texts about how he was sending mixed signals (none of which he responded to), I woke up regretting what I'd said. I realized that I'd overreacted. Maybe he really did have to work that night and hadn't been blowing me off at all. I felt bad about reprimanding him, so I sent him a text apologizing for how I acted. He still didn't answer.

He didn't contact me at all that week, unlike the previous weeks where we'd talked to each other almost every day. I couldn't stop thinking about him, and I found myself unable to look forward to my date with the Boring Bumble Guy. Finally, on the day of my date with Boring Bumble Guy, I sent the Model another text with another apology. This time, he texted back and invited me to come over to his house right then and there.

And I did. And I hope this doesn't make you all think less of me, but I spent the morning with him in his bed. I don't normally sleep with guys after only knowing them for a few weeks, but it was different with the Model. He made it pretty clear from the beginning what he wanted. Unlike other guys who'd propositioned me, I was intrigued by the Model (I must admit that his big muscles, great smile, and the fact that he was better-looking than all the guys I've ever dated made him especially intriguing). I knew what he wanted, and I wanted it too. But I didn't give in until that day (and don't worry, I took all the necessary precautions, including a trip to Planned Parenthood beforehand).

I liked it. I liked being with him. That night, during my date with Boring Bumble Guy (I hope the fact that I spent the morning with one guy and the evening with another also doesn't make you think less of me, though BBG didn't even get to first base with me. I would have needed alcohol, not just soda, in order to tolerate a kiss from that guy.) I kept thinking of how it felt to be in the Model's arms and to have him kiss me.

Boring Bumble Guy mentioned going out again, though I was noncommittal, saying maybe but also citing a busy schedule. He also texted me not once but twice the following week, even after I told him that I was too busy with work to talk. Either he's totally dense or he really DOESN'T listen when I talk. (And also, why is it always the guys I DON'T like who want to keep dating me?)

I went out of town during Thanksgiving break. As soon as I got back, the Model texted me, saying that he wanted to see me. So I did see him again, and one thing led to another...

I knew from the beginning that the Model was not boyfriend material. But there's something about him that I can't resist, even though my brain keeps screaming, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" I've spent my whole life doing what I was supposed to do, and for once, I wanted to get away from that. I typically date clean-cut, "guy next door" types, and the Model is more of the "bad boy" type.

But now, I think I've gotten it (and him) out of my system, and am looking for another guy next door. If the Model ever contacts me again, I will not give in to him.

Or at least, I'll try not to.

What about you? What do you think of the "bad boy" type"?  What was your worst date like?

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Swipe Left on Tinder

Things with the Model fizzled, as I knew they would. He kept asking me to send him pictures of my chest, though he used terminology that was much more crude. I said NO because a) I am not one of those people who don't see anything wrong with sending naked pictures of themselves to other people; b) phones can get stolen or hacked, and all it takes is just one of those pictures to end up on the Internet or being passed around to who knows how many people; c) reputation is very important in academia, and if just one of those pictures was accessible to my colleagues or students, then my career would be over. I'd lose everything that I've worked for all these years, and all the sacrifices I've made would be pointless.

I tried explaining that to the Model, but he kept asking. But after we met in person, his texts were much less frequent. We were supposed to go out recently, but when I texted him to confirm the date about a half hour before, he said that he couldn't go because he had to work overnight for his job. That was a lie because the type of job he has does not require him to work overnight. I think he met someone as sleazy as he is, someone who is more than willing to send him boob pics.

And did I mention that when I was reading those messages he sent about the pictures, I was eating lunch in a deli near campus, when all of a sudden my bosses showed up right behind my table and invited me to eat with them? They may or may not have seen his messages, which is why I nearly choked on my sandwich and stammered, "Uh, I was just reading an article about the Mueller investigation!" The whole time I was eating lunch with them, I kept thinking, Good God, did they see his messages? Do they think I'm some kind of nymphomaniac now? I'm really not! But if I explain that to them and they didn't see his messages, then they really will think I'm a nymphomaniac! I didn't say anything about the messages, and neither did they.

I remember looking into the mirror that night after he blew off our date with no real apology; I'd spent almost an hour getting ready. I wondered if he would have even bothered to tell me that he couldn't make it to the date, or if he would have just let me show up and wait in vain for him. I'd spent all week eating nothing but yogurt, fruit, and other healthy foods in an attempt to slim down and look good for him. After he broke the date I bought some takeout and scarfed down a cheeseburger and fries, thinking it might make me feel better. It didn't.

Two days later, he texted me to invite me to come over to his house. I texted back, not asking for an apology but an explanation. I asked why he kept acting hot and cold: one moment he was totally into me, and the next minute I was invisible to him. He didn't respond. I messaged him one last time a few hours later, saying that I would have been willing to see him again if he would have just talked about what happened. He didn't respond but later posted a picture of himself on Instagram that same night where he was literally staring at his phone in the picture; therefore, I know he got my messages but chose to ignore them (and me).

I did not have romantic feelings for the Model. I'll be the first to admit that it was just a physical attraction. But I find myself feeling disappointed and foolish nevertheless that I let him treat me like this. And on his Instagram page he presents himself as a really sensitive, thoughtful man, which makes his many followers fawn over him (well, they're really fawning over his big muscles), when really he's the kind of guy that makes me Google "curses" on the Internet, such as "How to make your enemy's hair fall out" and "How to make his vital appendages fall off".

I also ended things with the Artist as well, and he was really nice and understanding about it. I couldn't keep dating him, though I could have since he made it clear that he had feelings for me. But unlike the Model, the Artist is a genuinely nice guy and I didn't want to use him just so I wouldn't be alone. It wouldn't be fair to him, and he deserves to be with someone who feels the same way about him.

I'm seriously considering deleting my Tinder account, even though it's only been three weeks. I'm tired of reading profiles of guys who say they are looking for "someone to smoke weed with" or who say that they AND their wives are looking for "a hot chick to hook up with" (in those profiles, they include pictures of their wives as well).

There was a guy I'd been messaging who seemed nice, but when I suggested meeting in person for coffee, he chose that time to say that he didn't want to date anyone because he was moving soon and he only signed up for online dating because he was bored. He claimed that he didn't lead me on, but I think it is misleading to sign up for online dating if you have no intention or interest in dating someone. I think it fed his ginormous ego to make single women interested in him and then immediately reject them because it's not like there's anything wrong with that. It's okay because he's just "bored".

I'm tired of seeing profiles that make me shriek and shudder, like the one of the guy who literally included a picture of his penis in his profile.

And I'm literally tired because I haven't been getting enough sleep; I've spent so much time exchanging messages with random guys and going on these dates that I've had to stay up late and wake up early to finish my work (I do still have two jobs, after all.).

I'll keep my Tinder account open, at least for now, but I'm not going to hold my breath. At a friend's recommendation, I just signed up for Bumble, a different online dating app. It has the "swipe right if you're interested; swipe left if you're not" option that Tinder has, but unlike Tinder, women have to make the first move. That is, although men can express interest in women on Bumble by swiping right, they can't message them unless women message them first. And I like that idea. So we'll see how it goes.

In the meantime, I wrote down a couple of those curses on an index card and put it in my purse, just in case I run into the Model around College Town.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

The Musician, the Artist, and the Model

The last time I was on 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"?