Blast From the Past Category
So I tried to sign up for a ‘new’ dating website (new as in, I haven’t used it in a few years) over the weekend just to mix things up a bit. Almost immediately I was reminded why I hate dating and online dating in particular, when I got a message from naked poetry pie guy. Yup, three years later and he’s still trolling. I just can’t.
That awkward moment when you bump into that guy at the gym who you went on a date with ages ago and who never texted back. Also you see him on the regular at the coffee shop he works at. No eye contact!
That convoluted moment when you realize that one of the latest followers on your semi-secret OTHER Instagram account is the ex-wife of that dude you were texting with last year who asked you on a date and then flaked on you. Hmm.
Two plus years ago I fell for a boy, and I fell fast and hard. Then he ghosted me. I had no idea what had happened to him– did he die, did he meet someone else, did he fall out of like (or lust) with me, was he abducted by aliens…? The answer was inconclusive.
A few months after this fellow neatly removed himself from my life, I ended up moving to an apartment a few blocks away from where he lived. I was sure– absolutely, without a doubt SURE– that I would bump into him on the street one day (this actually happens to me quite regularly, so it was not out of the realm of possibility).
I used to think about his look of shock at seeing me, and how he would feel so guilty and bad about himself. I’d map out my declaration of disgust and how I would throw his rude behavior in his face. My speech was full of ‘how DARE you’s’ and lots of devastating digs. There may have even been a scene that involved a face slap. It was a whole routine that I created in my mind, and it was very comforting to me. Don’t we all wish for a second chance to take an old enemy down a few rungs?
In any case, I never ran into him and my little fantasy faded away, as time and other boys and other instances of ghosting replaced it. I figured that this particular guy might have moved, or expired. He was gone.
Last weekend I ran into him.
At first I didn’t even recognize him– two years later version of him was puffy, pale, and quite lacking that magnetism that had drawn me to him in the first place. I passed him by without a flash of recognition on either of our parts. But all of a sudden I realized who that puffball sucking on a sweating glass of iced coffee was– my fantasy was about to become reality– I turned, I confirmed it was him, I took in his entire person in a glance, and
and I let him go. I watched him walk away from me. Although I’m sure I must have looked a little strange to anyone watching this scene play out on the street, it (oddly) made me smile. Surprisingly, I was glad I ran into him and even though the drama of my fantasy would have been really fun to enact at long last, I realized that I didn’t need that drama. This ghost was not worth the effort. I was better than all that. And to top it off, even though I was wearing a maxi dress from Target with the hem taped up, flip flops, sunglasses from CVS and last night’s drunken-night-out frizzy hair, I STILL looked amazing. And I felt good and at peace with who I was.
So I smiled, and went about my Saturday. Sometimes fantasies don’t quite match up with realities, and that is not always a bad thing.
I was recently contacted by a student from my alma mater, Haverford College, who asked if I would be willing to participate in a series of Q&A about my career and the journey from HC to where I am now.
Of course I said yes! I loved loved loved my time spent at Haverford. I think it is so important to give back and provide support and guidance to students who are just starting to figure things out. I remember quite vividly being in that same position, not knowing what I wanted to do, feeling like the whole world was open to me, and what a burden that was. A crushing amount of opportunities, making it so hard to decide where to take the first step (this is possibly one of the only downsides of a liberal arts education).
Answering the questions made me reflect on my current situation. It is strange to me to think that I have advice and guidance to give others, since I still feel like I have an eternity of information left to learn. But the takeaway is that everyone has something to offer, and we should not downplay our own experience(s) as they may speak poignantly to another.
One from the files. Last year I went on vacation and (naturally) started texting with a cute boy while away. I met him on OKC (where else) and we’d started chatting. His profile had a picture of him walking away from the camera, and when I asked him why he didn’t have a picture of his face he told me he’d experienced an unfortunate ‘stalking incident’.
Mmm ok. Weird, but not out of the realm of possibility. He texted me a couple photos and he seemed normal (looking) so I went with it.
We started making plans to meet up when I got back into town. I was excited- this guy was cute, liked talking to me, and was eager to meet in person. What could go wrong?
For SOME reason I decided to Google him before we met up. All I had was his first name and his phone number. So, naturally, I found out:
- His real name
- Where he worked
- Where he lived
- His wife’s name
- His wife’s email address
- His son’s name
- His facebook profile
Of course he was too good to be true! Why would I have expected differently? This is internet dating, after all!
There was a 1% chance that maybe he was divorced or separated, so I tested out my findings the next time we spoke.
Me: Hey, have you ever been married? Or do you have any kids?
Him: [Suspiciously long silence] No, you?
I will admit, I have been known to screen grab some text exchanges with exes, before I delete their info from my phone. Those texts are the modern-day version of love letters. Which is kind of hilarious, and sad, all at the same time. Instead of a beautifully thought-out and written yellowing letter, I have a text from six months ago that reads ‘Whut up’.
The other murky area of modern-day dating is the leftovers. Nowadays, Facebook friending and following each other on various social media sites is de rigeur if you end up dating someone longer than a month or so. What happens when those relationships end? I have some ‘friends’ and I don’t know how to manage my connection with them. Is it creepy to remain friends/cyber stalkers once the relationship is over? Is it a natural progression in today’s interconnected and digital world?
I think I hit publish on my last post too soon. Apparently YP didn’t like my rejecting him.
This is one of many reasons why I really, really don’t like online dating.
*Edit: I had a screenshot of our conversation up, but decided to take it down. If you REALLY MUST KNOW what he wrote to me just let me know.
“YP” messaged me early in the year. His email stood out because he seemed to genuinely want to get to know me as a friend first, and then see if we might be (romantically) compatible later on. It is not the easiest thing in the world to make new friends at this point in my life, so I started emailing with him.
YP pulled a Fade on me. I last heard from him in February of this year. Flash forward to a few days ago, when he popped up out of the blue. Surprise, surprise.
He claimed that he got sick of the site so he never got back to me. Fair enough, except for the fact that OKC allows me to see when other users are active. So — false.
I didn’t bother to respond. Apparently one day of no response was much too long for him because I just got another email tonight: “Soooo???”
My response: “No thank you.”
Sometimes you just have to be straight with these dudes.