I decided to try Bumble again in the midst of relative silence from Ian. Perhaps I judged the app too harshly last time. And I just wanted a distraction. I fully admitted to myself I wanted to seek out someone who captured my fancy and who was worthy of my attention.
My second experience was pretty much the same as the first. Although as if they heard my feedback, they adjusted the app so a man now has to also respond (the first time) within 24 hours. Ghosting is eliminated in the first exchange at least.
So after a couple of texts with a few men, the conversations dwindled. Nothing worth writing about.
Then the day before Mother’s Day, I matched with a crazy tall and decent-looking divorced man with one son. While the profiles on Bumble are sparse, Kyle mentioned a few mutual interests. No bathroom selfies, pictures of his car, or him on the gym. One of these days I’m going to write a post on common ridiculous male dating profile pictures.
I sent my first message (as the woman has to do on Bumble) and he responded quickly. We had a nice chat about things we liked to do, our Mother’s Day plans, how tall our sons were, that kind of thing. He asked what I had on the go for the week. I liked that he inquired about me.
When I asked what he was looking for on Bumble, he said “I’ve been single now about a year. I figured it was time to put myself back out there. I’m looking for someone who wants to really enjoy the city. Just general fun. I know this app was notoriously built for hookups. Not really what I’m interested in. I’d like to build something with someone.”
Within a couple of days of connecting online we decided to meet for a coffee, just hours before he had to leave for the airport for a work trip. It was a little bit faster to meet than even I was used to, but there was nothing to lose.
I was a little earlier than expected, so I asked him what I could get him. I saw the little iMessage bubble and then no response. I went back outside the coffee shop and waited. A few minutes later I noticed the incredibly tall man crossing the street to greet me.
Kyle was more handsome than his photos. At almost 6′ in my heels I still had to look way up to see him. He steered me into the shop, asked me whether I wanted to sit outside or in, and offered to get me something. I wasn’t sure what I wanted so I joined him in line.
I liked his physical presence and closeness. His ease of conversation and his confidence. When a few early things click I can’t help but turn to optimism that maybe this one will work out.
He bought our drinks and we went outside in the sun.
Over the next hour we had a rather lovely conversation. He did as much (if not more) talking than I did. As he talked about work and interests, his divorce and dating, my internal mental checklist was hard at work, ticking boxes.
Personal growth mindset? Check. Enjoys his job? Check. Good relationship with his ex-wife? Check. Confident? Check. Able to banter intellectually? Check. Sees his Mom? Check.
He told me on his way downstairs his colleagues asked where he was going, and when he said he was meeting a woman for a coffee they said “oh, another hairdresser?”, which launched him into a discussion of the general shittiness of the women he’d met online.
I didn’t like his undertone – for me it’s a fine line between snobbery / conceit and recognizing you want to be with someone you feel is your equal. It was the only yellow flag in an otherwise great coffee date.
While in writing this I realize it could sound like a load of bullshit he piled on, at the time it seemed genuine: he said he expected I intimated a lot of men. When I asked why, he rhymed off a list of reasons: tall, more financially successful than most men I meet, confident, intelligent, independent, big job, and not needy. He said most men don’t like a woman to be more successful than they are, and emotionally want to be able to rescue / care for someone.
I have to admit, he got a lot of points with that one. The implication, of course, was that he was different. I certainly hoped so.
We both said we had a great time and he asked to see me again. He was coming back later in the week but had his son on the weekend. He asked whether we could settle on a date later that night. Of course. We crossed the street together and he gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
Quickly afterward he sent “Thanks for the chat. It was really good to meet you”. Good sign. We had some fun text banter and a little flirtation, after I mentioned how tall he was:
“Well, I hope you like it”
“I do! You may have to support my neck when we kiss though ;)”
The next morning, I sent him a “good morning” text and we texted a little throughout the day. I know the dating bar is set really low when a man inquiring how my day was seems like a big thing. Sad but true, my friends. We set a date to meet; the following Tuesday.
The texting continued infrequently but steadily through Thursday night. It was relatively organic, with each of us being proactive. Friday I sent him a good morning text, continuing the conversation from the night before (he was the last to text) and referencing his arrival back in the city.
I knew he had his child all weekend, and as I’ve clearly been told through various forums, daily interaction in the early days is not to be expected. But then when Monday arrived, the day before our date, I started to wonder why I hadn’t heard from him when before, he’d been steady in his communications.
I. Hate. This. Shit.
And no, this is not major drama – hardly, compared to some of the other stuff I’ve gone through. But it’s these little moments, when someone you were pretty sure likes you stops communicating, that take up far too much mental energy. Was I planning our wedding? Hell no. Was I looking forward to a first date and pretty sure he felt the same? Hell yes. Could this be simply that he was busy? Yes. Could it mean something changed for him and he was no longer interested? Yes.
Was there any way I could tell which it was?
So now, we wait.