One of the bigger lessons I have had to learn while internet dating, and I am not sure I have completely gotten it down, is that there is a big difference between coincidence and karmic destiny. Sometimes it seems that the universe was trying to prove that a guy was the perfect match for me but, in the end, fate wasn’t really trying to tell me anything at all. Sven and I seemed to have a cosmic connection but, as disappointing as it was, really we just had a few things in common. And he gave such good presents…Damn it all.

Sven first emailed me because he recognized a picture on my profile taken in Kauai as somewhere that he had been. I looked him up and checked out his photos and immediately got kind of excited. He had a photo of a hibiscus that was, down to the color, the exact same as one that I had taken, framed and was currently sitting on my bedside table. Ok, that was kind of weird. I wrote Sven back an introductory email and, among other things, mentioned our similar love of flowering plants. He wrote right back to tell me that he had taken that at a hotel in Kauai and gave me the name of the place.  It sounded familiar because I had stayed at that very accommodation several times and, what do you know, it was where I had snapped my picture! Now I was really getting excited. What were the chances of that happening? The only obvious answer was that Sven and I were meant to be together! Of course!

Once I stopped jumping up and down about that message from the dating heavens, I proceeded to learn a few more things about Sven. Not only had he grown up in the town I was currently living but he had lived only 100 yards away. He still lived so close that I had maybe passed him at the grocery store. Actually, I was sure that had happened since we were meant to be together. Sven eventually saw my last name and we learned that our grandfathers had both come over from neighboring countries – his from Norway, mine from Sweden. Well, our children would have fair skin and we would probably end up living in Ballard, a Norwegian Seattle neighborhood, but, fine, that was fine. Sven was divorced and a single dad which, albeit kind of big things, were the only differences I could find between us. Meet. We had to meet. Sven felt the same way so we attempted to find a time to introduce ourselves.

The very first opportunity Sven and I had to meet up for a drink was, unfortunately, that next weekend which was my birthday. Next to Christmas and Valentine’s Day, birthdays are the worst for creating some kind of weird dating expectation. I had never even met Sven so I didn’t want to feel like he had to take me to some swank dinner or get me presents or even a card, for that matter. I was meeting my parents for an early dinner the night before my birthday so Sven and I agreed to meet up for a cocktail after we were done. Perfect. He couldn’t buy me dinner since I would have already eaten. We were both off of the weirdness hook.

I walked into the bar at 10:00 p.m. and there was Sven and, sitting in my chair, was a birthday gift. I didn’t know whether to hug him, shake his hand, open the gift – it was a little awkward – but it was SO nice. We sat down and ordered a drink and, very low-pressure, I opened the gift and the card. I was very impressed. He had gotten a very neutral card, written a friendly message inside and the gift bag contained chocolates and some lotion. Sven had played it even better than I could have imagined. It was incredibly thoughtful to get me a present and card but he hadn’t written or bought anything that made me feel weird. That was an incredibly thin tightrope he walked and I was touched that he had managed to not fall off.

Once the introductions and gift-giving were taken care of, Sven and I were left with nothing to do but talk and sip cocktails. It kind of hit me at that point that I really didn’t know much about Sven at all. Our emails had been pretty brief and you can really only say so much about hibiscus plants and Kauai. We were able to make conversation but all I can really say about it was that it was fine and, likewise, Sven was fine. He was cute but not exciting-cute and he was funny but not sarcastic/witty-funny. I was kind of getting the feeling, too, that he felt the same way about me and I didn’t blame him. It was turning out that Sven and I had almost nothing in common.

Sven walked me to my car, gave me a hug and asked if I would be interested in having dinner with him sometime. I swear I could tell from the way that he asked that he wasn’t exactly sure that was what he wanted to do but he was thinking it could be kind of an ok idea. I said sure and he said he would get in touch with me that next week and we could work something out. I honestly did not want to see him again – there was nothing wrong with him but there was nothing really outstanding, either – but I thought of that Kauai photo and our close living proximity and decided to go for it. Take that, fate! I see how you work!

The next week, Sven and I met at a local Italian restaurant and, I feel comfortable speaking for him, had a very boring and unremarkable dinner. Whatever spark is necessary to turn friends into more-than-friends was definitely not present in that restaurant. Our second meeting was causing that to become very clear. It was so disappointing! We had seemed so destined! The cosmos were so obviously trying to align us! But, sadly, that was not the case. Sven and I finished our dinner, headed separately to our respective cars and that was the last I heard from him. I did see him and his daughter at the local farmer’s market three months later and almost laughed out loud. He and I were both carrying one bag of kettle corn and one bag with exactly three apples. It did cross my mind that this was another sign, right? It had to be! But then I remembered those drinks and that uncomfortable dinner and just kept walking. Sometimes a hibiscus is just a hibiscus.




Pierre R. Delafleur

Mal. Misc. 3 – 5144A-10D

Everett Dist. – 07-29-10

Published in: Uncategorized on October 7, 2010 at 6:02 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I am ALWAYS believing in/looking for/counting on/disappointed in the “signs” ~ so sadly, I am not the only one. Loved this, Kate!!

  2. I can relate to this all too well. I’ve been on so many dates that were amazing on paper, and forgetful 5 minutes after they ended. Damn chemistry! Why can’t love just be logical?

    Loving the blog, but would love it more if someday it ended with you falling in love and being swept off your feet.

  3. Well, the important thing is that you’re all basing it on this generic term you’ve come up with called “chemistry” that is supposed to make you immediately fall in love. I’ve found that even if there is chemistry and the girl is flirty/grabbing my hand/trying to get me in the sack by the second date, she will find another reason to dump me by the third (I’m actually sure it’s been the fact that I haven’t put out on the second date).

    Yes, I’ve been on match for awhile and yes, perhaps I am growing bitter about getting dumped time after time without even being given a chance or an even remotely good reason. And then called and texted by the same girls for the next few months.

    I read this entire blog today, though–like all of the summaries of all of the dates you have listed–which I suppose you could take as a compliment. But I don’t compliment you on your obvious effort to find a reason to dump every dude you meet!

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