Have you heard the world of online dating is tough? Brutal is more like it. After abstaining from online dating for a while, I signed up on a Christian site, Christian Mingle, and thought I’d record some of my experiences for posterity.
Oftentimes I get winks or emails from Billy-Bob types who drive a 30-year-old truck, sport a 16-inch graying beard, and live in West Virginia. Additionally, they have to borrow their friends computer because they don’t own one, much less know how to use one. And, like one date I once had, don’t know the difference between scallops and scalloped potatoes.
So, I’m being a little choosier this time. My date must have the following: be male, and have a pulse. I just think some of these West Virginians don’t have a pulse. But I should be kinder.
Anyway, after three months of nonsense, I’m about ready to give up. Here’s a look back at some of my potential mates:
First there was Sick Rick. We emailed back and forth a few times and he said he’d like to take me to a restaurant that was popular here in Steubenville. Rick didn’t have a job, but was decent looking, lived nearby, and he seemed nice enough so I figured I’d give him a chance.
On the day of our scheduled date, he texted me and said he was sorry he had to cancel but he thought he had the flu. The flu is a wonderful thing. It can be used to avoid all kinds of things: anything from work, to appointments, to, well, a date. I responded I was sorry he was sick.
Then, just a day later, when I asked how he was doing, amazingly, he was feeling better already! Gosh, I wish I could get that one-day flu! I didn’t say anything then, about doubting he had the flu, but was definitely not believing he did. Then, I didn't hear from him for two days.
Now, I am of the opinion that if a man has your phone number, and is a texter, and he is truly interested, he is not going to let two whole days go by without a text, or an email for that matter. So, after two days, I lost patience and decided to tell him how it was.
“I haven’t heard from you in two days, so I guess you’re not interested anymore or you’re too busy. Honestly, I don’t think you even had the flu.”
Well, did I get a nasty response back!
“I was interested but now you are calling me a liar. I was sick.” He proceeded to tell me I was not a nice person, he was no longer interested, blah, blah, blah. Classic over-reaction, in my book. Nobody likes to be caught in a lie. I think he probably had another date, maybe with someone more desirable, and put me off for a bit. This is nothing new in the world of online dating.
He blew it when he let two days go by with no contact after claiming to have the flu. Hello… I’ve been at this dating thing a long time Sick Rick, and I’m better at it then you!
Next up was… dang I can’t remember his name. Anyway, we’ll call him Slippery Sam. He sent me a very nice email saying he liked my profile, and thought I was cute. Great. So I emailed him back. Two days passed. Now, I know he got the email I sent him because you can check to see if the email you sent was read by the recipient.
Then, against my better judgment, when I saw Slippery was online, I tried to instant message him. He didn’t answer. Normally at this point I give up. I have very, very little patience for delays and non-responses. You’re online? Answer me. Otherwise, we’re done. Sound too harsh? Experience has taught me to be harsh.
A few more days went by and Slippery Sam emailed me again. He acted like it was completely normal to talk to someone after ignoring an IM, and for some reason, against my better judgment (maybe because I thought I was too hard on Tricky Rick) I gave him another chance. But my original thought to discard him was correct.
We began one evening chatting on the instant messenger service through the dating site, and I noticed his responses were taking a lot of time. Again, I don’t have a lot of patience for this. If you are interested and want to meet me, you need to be timely in your responses. If not, I’m signing off. I have better things to do, such as chat with other non-responders, than wait ten minutes in between messages.
Slippery Sam then told me he was cooking dinner, so I cut him a little slack, because one needs to go back and forth to the oven and onto the computer. And cooking upped his desirability, because I wouldn’t mind having a man cook for me. And clean up. And do housework….
Anyway, he was fairly quick in his responses at that point, so being the considerate person I am, I asked if he would want to chat later since he was cooking and would then be eating. He said that would be good.
So, an hour or so later I came back online and we began chatting again. Then, the dreaded non-response. I asked him a question, two minutes went by. Then three, then five, then eight. So, just what are you doing that you can’t answer me?
Again, in my book, if a guy is interested, he’s going to make sure he responds, and in a timely manner. So, I signed off. A little while later, I signed back on… just to see if he had ever answered my question, and/or apologized for taking so long to answer. He did not. And before it ever got started, it was over. Another one bites the dust.
Then there was Don Juan. He was so very complimentary to me, telling me how pretty I was and how much he liked my profile. He was very attentive to me, chatted politely online, with no delays, and was very excited about possibly meeting. I was feeling pretty good about the whole thing. He was going to school for nursing; he was bettering himself at this late stage, and I felt that was admirable.
But Don Juan had some secrets to reveal, one of which was at fifty-five years of age he worked a near minimum wage job in retail. Do I really want to date a guy who makes less money than I do? But, he was going to school, and eventually would have a much better job for more money, so I weighed that and decided it would be ok.
But then, we were discussing when we would go out to dinner; it was early in the month. He informed me he would not have the money to take me out until the end of the month. He can’t take me out to dinner until his next payday?
I’ve been living that life for a long time, and frankly, if I’m going to be with someone, my life better improve substantially, or, no thank you, I’ll stay single. I started to get that creeping, ugly feeling.
Then his other little secret came out:
“I live with my parents. I take care of them.” Oh, geez. Can it get any worse? Can it?? Somewhere during all this he sent me an email telling me he would understand if I wasn’t interested anymore. You’re darn right I’m not interested anymore. I do not want to take care of someone’s elderly parents any more than I want to become a step-mother to young children. Sorry, but that’s a deal breaker. But, bless your little heart for making it easier to dump you!
I got up the courage up to do the necessary thing and I emailed him, saying, “After thinking about everything you have told me, I feel I don’t want to pursue this.” Honesty is the best policy! I mean, I could have led him on and let him spend his entire paycheck on taking me out to eat, but I took the high road and passed on the free meal.
Then there was Tipless Tom. I have to say, I really liked his picture. He was in his mid fifties, and quite good-looking. He was employed and lived fairly close to me. I had a whole vision of his personality matching his looks.
Like me, he wasn’t a phone person, but liked to text and that worked for me. We texted back and forth and he seemed really interested. He was polite, and very timely in his responses, and I got the feeling he wasn’t talking to anyone else, which is always a good thing.
We were to meet at Applebee’s for our first date. I was greatly anticipating meeting him.
I primped and primed and looked good. I was excited. An attractive man, intelligent, seems great…why wouldn’t I be excited? Visions of a happy life together filled my imagination. Could he be the one?
I pulled into the parking lot of Applebee’s and saw a man in an older model beige Toyota, which he had previously described as his car. This had to be him. But wait – he doesn’t look like his picture. Nothing like it. I started to get that dreaded feeling once again. All right, all right, give it a chance, you haven’t seen him up close yet I thought.
I got out of the car, and smiled at him. All the while feeling that disappointment. He looked nothing like his picture, and it was one of those instant things: I didn’t like his teeth or his hair… the whole person looked nothing like what I expected. I am not attracted to this man, I was thinking. I wanted to leave right then and there. He wasn’t tall enough either. I’m 5’9 and tend to like men around 6 feet or taller. With my slight heels on, I was towering over him. Sigh.
OK, I thought, give him a chance. If he has a great personality, it will be fine. We can be friends first and maybe it will grow into something. Looks aren’t everything.
“Hi, Lisa,” he said to me. I looked around to see if he was talking to someone else, since my name is Mary. I got my hopes up…maybe I have the wrong guy. Maybe my good-looking guy is in another Toyota… a newer one, perhaps?
But no, he was talking to me. We had dinner and had a decent conversation throughout, but there was absolutely no chemistry for me. He had this odd tinny laugh and I couldn’t wait for the server to come over and take the check so I could get out of there. I kept looking around to see if our server was anywhere but she was busy.
Then, as if this wasn’t bad enough, he says, “Do you have money for the tip?”
Seriously, dude? I was so astounded; in all the dates I have been on – and there have been many over the years – this question never came up.
“I don’t think I have any cash on me…let me look.”
I really didn’t think I had any money on me, as I normally don’t carry much cash; I use my bankcard for everything. But I found a five-dollar bill. Frankly, it was five dollars that I needed. I left it on the table. I found that whole thing awkward, but he seemed fine with it.
I sensed that Tipless was interested in seeing me again, as he texted that night saying he had a great time and enjoyed the conversation. I however, had an OK time and had no intention of seeing him again. Asking me to leave the tip really sealed that deal.
I wasn’t quite sure how to tell him I was not interested. He continued to text me, and I answered, politely, but short. Then, I had my opening.
Tipless Tom mentioned something about our “next date.” I decided it was time to come clean. Should I tell him I’m not attracted to him? No, that’s mean. Tell him there’s no chemistry? That seemed cruel, too. So, I simply texted this: “I just want to be friends.”
He texted back that that was fine and it is “comforting” to have Christian friends. Whew. That was easy. A couple times after that, he texted me to say hello, and I answered, but haven’t heard from him since, which was over a month ago. Maybe he’s busy working overtime so he can afford to pay the tip on his next date.
I have now switched from Christian Mingle to Christian Café, hoping for a better quality person. I have been communicating with one particular guy who waited days to respond to my email to him, after he first emailed me. Different dating site, same baloney.
Truly, it is no wonder women stay single.