Thursday, October 14, 2004


Online Dating

Just to take a little breather from the politics...

I find myself becoming more and more old-fashioned at the ripe old age of forty.

Just two nights ago, I met a guy with whom I'd been exchanging emails and phone messages. He looked attractive in his picture, and sounded fun over the phone. But then came the little warning signs.

After playing lots of phone tag, we finally spoke this past Wednesday night. He wanted to know if we could meet. I told him I had plans. But no. He insisted on wanting to see me later on in the night, and to call him when I was done with my plans because he would be busy the rest of the week. I mean can't these men plan ahead? So anyway, I did.

And here's where it got really weird. He told me he was on his way uptown to meet me but wanted me to tell him more about myself. The cell phone connection was bad. But I did hear him go on about how he considered himself to be a passionate erotic person. (Personally, I think if you actually have to tell someone that you're passionate and erotic, there's a problem right there.) He then proceeded to ask me how long ago my last relationship was, and expressed shock and dismay that it was such a long time...And couldn't I have found someone in all that time...? It's a pretty sad state of affairs when a man seems to think *less* of you for not sleeping around.

But stupid me, instead of telling him to piss off, I tried to calmly say that I considered such questions premature...That it would be more appropriate to meet him in person before talking about such things. Looking back on it, it's probably because I really wanted something to work out.

Needless to say, when I met the man face to face, he looked nothing like his picture -- he was heavy, looked way older than thirty five, invaded my personal space, and said flat out that he was looking for a casual relationship where he could see others at the same time.

As politely as possible, I told him that wouldn't work for me, and wished him luck.

On another note, I was exchanging emails with another man whom I met online who lives on the Upper West Side, right by Lincoln Center. I commented that he was lucky to live near the Lincoln Square Movie Theater, which shows interesting foreign films. So he emailed me saying we should go. I thought to myself, "fine, I'm up for making movie plans for a date." But no, the guy emailed me back saying that perhaps we could catch the 11:00 p.m. show tonight (when it was already 10:40 p.m.)

All of this reminds me of that retro dating book "The Rules" one of which was "never accept a date for Saturday night after Wednesday. The book got skewered by some critics. But I have to say, despite the tone of it, the writers made excellent points. In terms of accepting a last minute date, how do you know the man wants to see you because he really likes you, or because his other plans fell through and he doesn't want to be home alone. After all, if he makes plans in advance, you know he's blocking out time for you, and that he has the week or so to become excited about seeing you.

That certainly didn't seem to be the case with either of these guys.


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