a good date, then uncertainty

A tall attempt to counteract my cynicism

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 ;)”

“I will”

“Deal”

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.

No response.

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?

Nope.

So now, we wait.

42 thoughts on “A tall attempt to counteract my cynicism

  1. Ann I can’t imagine how difficult it is to gage how much communication is appropriate and having to determine intentions in the absence of it. Just breathe. It’s easier said than done, I know, but I always try to give benefit of the doubt. You never know what may have happened in someone’s life in the space of a few days that interrupts their usual pace. Of course, there’s more to this story, isn’t there?

    • It’s the worst thing about dating honestly. When you aren’t aligned with each other it can become torturous and I’m working on the benefit of the doubt as well!! Sometimes it’s difficult when I’ve also had such bad experiences not to be cynical. I’m glad I have friends who can talk me through it because it’s not easy and I find when I’m stressed I can spiral into bad assumptions.

  2. That would upset me if it happend to me. I’m learning quickly that you need to be tough on dating sites.

  3. Not that I use them, but I’m starting to think that these dating sites may not be all they’re cracked p to be as far as helping people find each other. It seems like no one is ever capable of projecting they’re real selves because we all are terrible at having accurate self-perception.

    • They are definitely fraught with difficulty because of that (and other things). It’s one reason why I like OK Cupid because of the number of questions you can answer and what you can therefore meet about people (assuming they answer accurately).
      I’m pretty good at sussing out what’s really going on, because people do show their red flags even when they aren’t aware of it. Just like job interviews. I know what questions to ask. Obviously, it took me some time with Fox to realize what I heard was what he really wanted to be true versus what was true.

    • It is so easy for people to be dishonest online. Someone totally honest all the way through is rare. The mechanism is really just reflecting our broken society.

  4. Here’s my two cents: If a guy sent me a “good morning” text two days in a row after meeting him once; I’d be thinking this guy needs to not be so needy. I think I mentioned this before to you Ann: allow TIME and do not immediately start texting…it’s tooooooo clingy. For being such a powerful woman that you appear to be in the work force, you need to bring that into your personal life. I think you should give it a couple of weeks and just see what happens…Don’t text until you hear from him…If you don’t hear from him in a few days after meeting him, move on. But give it at least a couple of days….Then, after dating for a month or two, you can start sending your “good morning” texts…But just slooooow down….

    • I agree — that is my first thought when a guy I meet online immediately starts texting me morning, noon, and night. It makes me think that they are needy, or worse, controlling (especially if they tell me things like, “Why didn’t you get back to me right away?” or “I expected to hear from you before now.”). I’ve always been confused that you (Ann) put such weight into texting. It might be interesting to give it some thought to figure out why a guy texting regularly and so early (when there is not even a relationship yet) is so important to you and if it triggers something in you that might need to be addressed.

      • If I left an impression that we were texting constantly that wasn’t the case. There was no morning noon and night, no pressure to respond to anything with any timeline, and nothing that went on and one (for either of us). It was very casual and infrequent… When I say “consistent” I mean the pace was steady, like a few texts each day. Not steady as in all the time – which I DEFINITELY don’t like and can’t do. I don’t like lengthy texting before I’ve met someone (rarely afterwards either). I will definitely think about it, but I know there have been guys who reach out every day and they aren’t needy or clingy – they may just send something like “hey hope you have a great day!” Which I simply interpret as someone wanting me to know they are thinking about me…

        • You did not leave the impression that you were texting constantly…just please go back to what I said…you sent a “good morning” text two mornings in a row right after meeting him…that is too much for me too soon. Yes, I want a guy to know he is thinking about me and text me, but give it a few weeks before you expect this…

          • That was supposed to be in response to Jana, sorry.
            So in response to you…He was doing the same with being proactive. It was well balanced and I wasn’t pushing anything with him. One night he was the last to text at night and I was responding the next morning and so started with “good morning” and then responded to his question from the night before.

            I would not have done so had he not done so first. He was setting the communication frequency and I was responding in kind. I didn’t include the text exchange on Bumble but it was similar. He was also driving the conversation forward. I honestly wasn’t pushing it this time and after hearing so many people say men don’t communicate every day, despite it being my experience with the overwhelming majority of men I’ve met so far, I’m adjusting my expectations based on recent experience.

  5. “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.” Sister, you nailed it! I don’t know what they are thinking – my only thought every time I see a car selfie is, “Don’t selfie and drive!!” Here’s hoping they at least wait until the car is in park before they whip out their phone.

  6. I too was wondering about the morning/daily texting thing and whether that is just too much for most guys. I go back to my dating days pre-internet when we had to call one another….I would never call someone everyday after a first date…of course contact would increase over time. Only you can judge the quality and flow of the messaging and if it feels right then go for it…each connection is different .

    • Sassy I’ve been turning this over in my head for a while now and think I have a bit of an answer, which has to do with how communication occurs on a dating site before one moves to text.
      And i definitely do not send good morning texts every day if the guy hasn’t set that pace. As I’ve said earlier almost every single man I’ve dated ever has almost daily contact – and as we all know that’s men who just want hookups and to get in a relationship super quickly.

  7. Ugh! This is really shitty. And so much of what you are talking about is these men don’t seem to have minimum standard of manners. Politeness and consideration seems to a very rare commodity and I can only imagine how frustrating it can be to have to deal with this on a regular basis.

    • That’s definitely a part of it for me – I’m a very strong communicator so will do things like let someone know I got their text but won’t be able to respond until later because I’m with my son or having a busy day at work. Things like that. I see it as courteous and it’s very rare when I get the same in return.

      I believe everyone should get courteous and polite Ann, even before a first date, whereas lots of people seem to think you aren’t worthy of that until you’ve had a few dates. For me it isn’t about being clingy or needy at all! I’m showing someone interest and also being considerate – until they prove they don’t deserve it.

What do you think?