I was the new face on Plenty of Fish which always garners more attention, as does being on the site a lot, which I don’t have the time or inclination for. Welcome to online dating.
I didn’t keep track but I’d say about 15 men reached out to me in the first 10 days. A few had messages or profiles which clearly meant they didn’t read mine. No harm no foul. I don’t bother replying in that case.
There were several that sent nice messages but based on my review of their profile I wasn’t interested. I sent them polite “thanks but no” messages. Nobody called me a bitch in response which was kind of a nice change – yeah, it happens.
The first man I moved to text with (using a burner app phone number – do it, people!) was – no joke – named Leo, a handsome man from Trinidad. He had little on his profile and I forgot myself for a moment and moved too quickly to text. He’s he one who said “clean” was one of his requirements for a partner. I should have known better: his answers to my questions were superficial and he didn’t ask me anything other than when we could meet.
While I may have once thought this flattering, now I know it’s not really about me. Or it may just be about my looks or what someone imagines I’m like. It’s taken three times of my saying “sorry Leo but I don’t think we are compatible” for him to get the message. Although frankly I doubt he ever got it, but now I’ve blocked him.
The next man was a bald white dude who is exactly my height and 51 years old. I liked what I saw on his profile and we had some good text banter before he asked for a phone call. The conversation was almost an hour and effortless, which is a huge thing for me. I’m starting to think I should always have a phone conversation before I agree to meet someone. May have to add it to my rules.
After our call, he sent a text that said “Hi there, i felt like i rushed you off the phone. I would love to have a full conversation with you. Sometimes work is not the best time. Look forward to continuing to get to know you. Have a great afternoon. Don’t fall over with your slender ankles.. Couldnt help myself.”
I liked the sensitivity and humor. I had complained although my broken leg was mostly healed, it was still swollen and therefore not as slender as usual.
We had trouble aligning our schedules so we agreed on something unusual for me – a morning coffee before work. We picked a place close to my house which was between his home and office.
He was late and super stressed about it. He texted to say traffic was brutal and then called because he was mortified. He is in sales and never late and wanted me to know it’s not his M.O. I wasn’t fussed since I took the time to fold laundry and reply to emails.
I had two immediate responses to seeing him in person: hmm he’s exactly my height, and wow he’s way better looking in person. He looks younger than 51, has piercing blue eyes, and full lips. When he stood up and greeted me with a hug he proved to be rather muscular.
I moved a meeting so we could talk for an hour, and exceeded that time. Everything from dating as a single parent, to music, to his birthplace, and everything in between. Effortless and fun. My favorite story he told was of his mother asking him at 15 whether he’d had sex yet, saying she could arrange it for him if not because she didn’t want him to be a “selfish lover”.
We talked about the things that don’t often make it to one’s online dating profiles – marijuana and sexuality to be precise – and I sensed from him flexibility and openness. I liked it. I liked him.
We didn’t want to stop talking but I said “I really do have to go” and he admitted he was supposed to be somewhere 30 minutes prior. We walked to his car which turned out to be parked right outside my house. We stood face to face and all I could think about was how full his lips were and how he kissed.
I didn’t get the chance to find out. We both expressed our pleasure and meeting each other, and I thought he was sincere. He hugged me (muscles, yay!) kissed me on the cheek, and got into his car.
Image from the 1940 movie “The Philadelphia Story”