I have long held…
That you just can’t tell if you are going to be a good match with someone you “met” online till you are actually face to face.
It has happened to me over and over. I will correspond with someone with whom everything feels just right. We then speak on the phone and there is that instant click and before you know it you have been on the phone for two hours. So with a big smile on your face, you set up a first date and hang up the phone. You just can’t wait to meet her.
“First Date.” Probably not the best thing to call it.
I have a friend who calls first dates arranged over the internet “Interviews.” I like that. Online dating is a crap shoot. You have never set eyes on this person. You. Just. Don’t. Know. What takes place when you first meet? You check each other out, ask some questions, see what they say and how they say it. Sounds like an interview to me.
Then there are the times when you never even get to the “phone call stage.” Which
is why you need to exchange at least a couple emails.
So I exchange a few messages with this lady I found on Matchmaker. We exchanged a couple of fairly normal messages. Then I get this:
Hi, Steve..you are too clever! From Monty Python no less..ha ha.. Steve,let me cut to the chase..I need a real man..one who’ll satisfy me in every way.are you that guy? also,not only do I need a guy who’ll satisfy me physically,you’ll need to spend money on me..are you ready for the ‘ride” of your life.Then,call me..ok? My real name is “susan” 212-XXX-XXXX.Ciao.
Woo Hoo! Looks like I got a live one here!
I sat there reading this email over and over with my mouth hanging open, reflecting my utter disbelief. It was as if I was a mother cat nursing her kittens and someone snuck a lizard into the litter. No this was not the response I expected. So I go back and look at the profile again, sure enough the profile says she lives in Princeton. But that phone number is Manhattan. So I do a reverse lookup and find that the phone number points to someone with the first initial “S” who lives on Manhattan’s Upper West Side a few blocks from Central Park, nice neighborhood! So what I have unwittingly found is a hooker soliciting on a dating site. Wonderful.
One step further.
Let’s say that you have exchanged a few emails and have decided the person you are corresponding with is fairly normal, or at least normal enough to share a phone number with. So you arrange to talk on the phone.
Why insist on a phone call? Why not just arrange a date via email? Two reasons really. One is illustrated below. Two has to do with finding out what kind of a person you are really dealing with. I have found (through personal experience) that women who won’t talk to you on the phone are more likely to skip out on the “interview.” Not a clue why (well maybe one or two) but by all means feel free to speculate.
So the time comes, you get her on the phone and manage to stumble through the first few awkward minutes, collect your wits and start thru your conversational gambits. You talk about work. That leads to what you do which leads to where you are from, how long you have lived in the area, favorite places to eat, yadda yadda, yadda.
So I have been talking to this lady for about 15 minutes and we discover that both of us used to live in the
“So how do you like Princeton?” she asks
“I really like it here. Princeton is cool” I respond.
There is a long pause and she says, “I don’t care for it that much, really.”
I am a little puzzled by this response, ?”Why don’t you like it here?”
“Because there are too many Asians and Indians here.”
There is a pregnant pause. I fumble for a response, nothing comes out. She, however, is not at a loss for words.
“Not that I am prejudiced or anything, it’s just that they are so arrogant and they talk funny”
“They are so arrogant and they talk funny”
That phrase is running around in my head, trying to find a place to park. Mom taught me to always be
nice to people, no matter how strange they may seem. So I am trying to come up with a polite way of responding. The rest of me is starting to feel like a rat in a cage looking for any way to get away from this double-X chromosome Archie Bunker.
I make small talk for another ten minutes. I have no recollection of my response to her comments nor what I said to fill the next ten minutes, but I did, somehow. I say goodbye without my usual end the first-time-on-the-phone question, “how about you and me get together sometime?”
So now you know why a phone call is a good thing: you learn things that can’t be edited out of an email.
Let’s say you got past the emails, phone call and even the first date.You hook up with someone that you are starting to become quite fond of. Well it ain’t over yet Pepe!
Remember you are now dating someone that you met thru what is essentially an artificial means. There was never that instant of very first contact where your eyes and hers meet and lock: that moment of instant electricity. Instead you are dating someone that you saw and liked from their profile. You read their emails. You learned more about them from their writing. You spent some time on the phone and learned some more. So by the time you get to actually get to meet them you have built up this image of them in your mind (wrong or right).
So you have entered this (hopefully) budding relationship with some feelings about the person you are about to meet already in place. Perhaps you had something in common. Something that not a lot of people are into. So you may focus on the compatibilities and ignore the incompatibilities. It’s only natural. You are just happy to have found a kindred spirit.
A month goes by and you still enjoy their company. You find that they are really quite a lovely person. Intelligent, kind, attractive, great in bed, all the stuff anyone could ask for. But do you bother to ask yourself why your conversations with this person are curiously brief or only about one thing? “Nope,” you
rationalize “we are developing a relationship and that takes time.” There is nothing quite like the mind’s ability to come up with a plausible (if wrong) reason. Of course it also helps that you have no desire to meet ‘Archie Bunker’ or ‘The Hooker’ ever again.
A couple more weeks pass in blissful ignorance till you get a call or an email or a little talk at the end of a date.
“Steve, There is just not that certain indescribable something going on between us. I think
you know it too. It’s like we are just buddies. Life is too short to waste your time and mine. I hope you’ll add me to your group of friends.” Whoops,there it is she said the “F” word and all of that denied rationalization drifts back through your mind like a sudden shower on a sunny day. And you can hear a little voice, ignored till now, “I told you so, but do you ever listen? Nooooooooo….”
So what do you get out of all of this?
E X P E R I E N C E
Also Encounters with a lot of people that I would not ordinarily socialize with: closet bigots and hookers!
Explain to me again why I do this?
Originally posted before I added WordPress to this site. Published date is approximate.
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