Leigh

As in all things, timing is everything when it comes to online dating. People enter into the dating arena at all stages of relationship readiness and sometimes you don’t find out until it is too late that the guy you are interested in has no business being out in the dating world. This was the case with Leigh, my next date, who should have come with a sign that said ‘emotionally unavailable’ hanging around his neck. I was not, however, so lucky as to get a warning so I was forced to find out the hard way.

Leigh showed up in my daily email of suggested guys from Match.com and, after clicking on his profile, I found myself pretty interested. He was cute, owned his own real estate business and seemed to have a solid base of friends and family in the Seattle area. After my last date (a poor actor with questionable role choices), Leigh sounded alluringly stable and safe. I couldn’t tell yet how exciting he was but I was intrigued enough to send him a short email.

It was clear from our first contact that Leigh was totally, totally new to online dating. He asked me on our second round of messages what the whole ‘story’ was and what the ‘rules’ were so that he didn’t mess them up. I assured him that I didn’t believe in the whole ‘Swingers’ mentality of waiting a specific amount of days to call or initiate contact but rather that it should be easy and comfortable and not so rigid. This seemed to calm Leigh down a little but I could tell he was still just…scared and uncomfortable about the whole thing. We started emailing right before Thanksgiving but he seemed to disappear over the long weekend and I thought he had run off into the hills in fright. A week after the holiday, though, he tentatively reached out and I all but forced him to come and meet me for a drink. Some days, it seems, you have to try a little harder than others.

Leigh and I agreed to meet at a bar located between our two neighborhoods. He sent me an email the afternoon before our date to tell me that, watch out!, he had met with two clients that day and consumed two lattes so he was wired for sound. Things could get crazy! I have been warned of a lot of things but this was new. Hopped up or not, I was excited to finally get to meet Leigh.

As over-caffeinated as he might have been, I was fine with Leigh almost immediately. He was very nice, almost bland nice, had a decent sense of humor, was easy to be around and, once his drink kicked in, he wasn’t at all too amped. I asked about the spelling of his name since it was a tad unusual and he said that he was ‘named after Jerry Lee Lewis’. I took a sip of my drink so I didn’t blurt out that, what the hell?!?, those names are totally spelled differently, but Leigh beat me to it. He laughed and said, “I know. My parents had half of a good idea.” It was comments like that which made me like Leigh. He seemed all kinds of vanilla but then he dropped something like that out of nowhere. I was getting the slightest bit charmed.

I sensed trouble, though, when we started talking about the adventure that is online dating. Leigh’s whole demeanor totally changed and it was so, so clear that he did not want to talk about that subject at all. I didn’t want to be a jerk but such a visceral reaction had to have some story behind it. I insisted that we get another drink to buy myself time to figure Leigh out.

Leigh turned out to be a bit of a lightweight – apparently caffeine was not all he was sensitive to – and the story came crashing out midway through our second cocktail. Leigh had had the awful misfortune of recently getting out of a long relationship with a woman he thought he was going to marry but had turned out to be all kinds of mentally unstable. He looked like he was going to cry as he sat there, gripping his drink, and told me about the horrible time he had been through trying to end their relationship. Wonderful – I was going to be responsible for causing my date to have an emotional breakdown just to satisfy my sick curiosity. But, really, it wasn’t sick. I had some sort of right to know where he was at, right? Right?

Thinking fast, I recommended that we hold off on more drinks but rather get some chocolate cake instead. If sugar was the third stimulant in Leigh’s trifecta of chemical instability I was in for it but, thank you thank you, he seemed to get in a better mood. By the time we finished our cake, served with the coolest little milk jug that we both had to take pictures of ourselves with, I was feeling the slightest little crush on Leigh. Maybe it was ok that he was a little unstable and on the mend and maybe he just needed the guidance of a good girl like me. Danger, danger, danger, those thoughts.

As I drove home I wondered if Leigh was going to be ready for whatever the next step was in whatever type of dating thing we had going on but I need not have concerned myself. Mother Nature was deciding for us. Not two days after our first meeting, Seattle was hit with a huge snowstorm (for Seattle) and the city shut down. I was stranded at home for a few days, as was Leigh, and, without him, I am not sure I would have gotten through it. We sent each other fun emails through the day and spent what felt like hours on the phone comparing the food in our pantries to see who would starve to death first. But, really, all we talked about was snow and the weather. It did not get more serious than that.

The snow melted before we perished but then it was Christmas and then New Year’s and, before I knew it, it had been almost a month since I had met Leigh. It seemed like we both knew either the timing or the chemistry was just not right for us. I suggested, finally, that we meet for dinner and a movie in January and it was enjoyable and we even held hands and kissed but something was just…not…there. I am not sure if I was turned off by the hesitancy on Leigh’s behalf or we just didn’t have a spark and a click but, after that date, I just was not that thrilled at the idea of doing it again.

I didn’t hear from Leigh for a few months (apparently we felt the same way about our chances in love), but I did get an email from him asking if I was still dating and available and, if so, would I be willing to meet him for some video games and pool? I will admit that I got kind of excited at that email and, after agreeing to his offer, at the thought of meeting up with him again after a little bit of time. Maybe the months apart had been good for Leigh and he had been able to move on from his ex-girlfriend. A girl could hope. I was waiting in front of the pool hall and Leigh drove by in his brand-new, pimped-out Cadillac, waving. The guy could definitely make me laugh.

My hopes about Relationship 2.0 were soon dashed, though, after we got some food and drinks and hit the arcade. I just still felt unsure about Leigh. He was laughing and seemingly having a good time but there was just something distant and kind of awkward in everything we did. After about 45 minutes I just really wanted to go home. A date, in my mind, should not feel so forced. All of the signs were telling me that, no matter how much I hoped it might work out, it was just not in the stars for Leigh and me.

I did get an email from Leigh almost a year later, oddly enough, to tell me how much he loved my blog about online dating. He had even been at a party where they took turns reading my entries out loud. That blew my mind just the littlest bit but I was glad that, even though we weren’t meant to be in love, at least we could still be cool with each other. Through the wonders of Facebook I know that Leigh has gotten married and seems to be, from what I can tell, a pretty happy guy. I still have the picture of Leigh on my phone, eating chocolate cake, drinking his milk and looking all kinds of not ready to be in love with me. Even though it was disappointing at the time, I am glad it was just me he was not ready for.

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Just a reminder: I am going to be starting an online dating themed podcast in the next couple of weeks and I would love your stories, questions or advice to include in the show. Send them to dateswithkate@gmail.com!

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Published in: Uncategorized on October 31, 2011 at 3:30 am  Comments (1)  

Online Dating Comes to Real Seattle Radio!

If you have any interest in hearing my TBTL podcast regarding online dating on the real radio, rumor on the street is that it will be playing on 97.3 KIRO FM tomorrow, Saturday, at 2 p.m. Coolio!

Published in: Uncategorized on October 28, 2011 at 8:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

You know you want to hear it…

My dating adventures are about to be available for your listening pleasure! I am going to be starting an online dating themed podcast within the next couple of weeks that will include the stories of my dates, helpful tips, profile recommendations and whatever other topic occurs in the dating universe. I would love to have input and feedback from other veterans of the online dating wars. If you have met someone cool, have an unbelievable horror story or have a question that you want to ask, I would love to hear from you. Shoot me an email at dateswithkate@gmail.com so I can include them in the show.

Published in: Uncategorized on October 28, 2011 at 12:12 am  Leave a Comment  

Online Dating Podcast!

In case you missed it, I was lucky enough to get to be a guest on my favorite podcast today, TBTL, to talk about online dating. You may dig checking it out!

Published in: Uncategorized on October 19, 2011 at 5:36 am  Comments (1)  

William

A friend of mine once told me that the good part of staying in a rut is that you have less chance of running off the road but I got the wild idea to apply the opposite theory to online dating. It seemed like I had been going out with the same type of guy over and over with almost no luck so maybe I just needed to change things up and go totally outside of my comfort zone. Stable, financially secure, well traveled and, most likely, working at a technology company? Not this time! Next up in the rotation was a minimally employed, destitute, vehicle free actor named William.

I had already decided that I wanted to shake things up when I got an email from a very cute guy that lived in the heart of downtown Seattle. All of William’s pictures were black and white and very artsy and hip. There were definitely no ‘shots taken with a cell phone in a bathroom mirror’ photos in his collection. The actual written profile was pretty minimal – I knew only that William loved independent movies, the urban life, bourbon cocktails and acting – and that made him all the more intriguing. In his second email, William suggested meeting after work at a speakeasy I had never even heard of for a drink and, damn it all, I took him up on the offer.

As I made my way down a dark alley in one of the seediest neighborhoods in Seattle looking for the door to the alleged bar, I thought for sure William had completely made the place up so he could attack me and drag me away. Finally, though, I found the entrance and stepped inside. The place was tiny and there were only about seven people there, none of whom looked like my date. “Kate. Kate!” A less-than-attractive guy that easily had about 15 years on me was waving from a dark corner. No, no, please, no. William looked nothing, absolutely nothing, like his urban glamour shots but more like an old, short, sandal-wearing man with, it was getting better as I moved closer!, incredibly awful teeth.  Sweet mother of god.

I decided before I even hit my seat that the date was just something I had to get through and chalk up as a loss. It was going to be an unpleasant two hours, like going to the dentist, but I might as well just get it over with. I was so, so, so not attracted to William.  But maybe we would have a dazzling, friendly conversation. We both ordered cocktails and I tried to come up with something for us to talk about. I asked about his acting career and what he had done lately and he just laughed and said, “Oh, we haven’t had enough to drink for me to go there.” What? I kind of laughed and said something about, lucky me, being the girl unknowingly on a date with a porn star. William just chuckled, uncomfortably took a chug of his Manhattan and said, “Well, not exactly. So what neighborhood did you say you live in?”

Holy hell – I was on a date with an adult film star! I had wanted a little change of pace and that is exactly what I got, times infinity. By the time William dropped that little bomb, I could tell that he was harmless, albeit not the guy for me, and I got curious. This might be the only time that I was on a date with a member of the adult film industry so I was going to take advantage of the opportunity.

When we finished our first round of drinks, William asked if I was interested in having one more before we headed out.  I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to be murdered, he seemed safe enough, and I wasn’t leaving that bar until I found out the truth about his acting history. Halfway through the second cocktail I got him to spill the beans and, oh, my goodness, it looked like I was going to need a third drink.

William had indeed been in a sexually-themed movie and, although it had been shown at the Cannes Film Festival and was ‘tastefully’ done, the film involved relations with animals. Looking back, I am not sure how I kept a straight face as my date talked about his love scenes, artful ones, of course, with livestock, but I managed quite well. I have had men bring up all kinds of strange subjects on a date but this one clearly took the cake. The story behind the movie did actually sound intriguing but, honestly, did William just bring this up at family barbeques? That just might be the new definition of awkward.

I was absolutely dying to ask William how his other dates had reacted to his acting role but I was afraid showing too much interest would imply that I was tempted to go out with him again. The bill came and William threw down a $10 bill and asked if I would mind picking up the rest – he hadn’t gotten paid yet – and, actually, could he also get a ride home? Oh, right, right, he was a starving actor. I figured that I had gotten my money’s worth just for the story of our date so I picked up the rest of the tab and agreed to give him a lift.

After I dropped William off, I think I laughed the whole way home. Of course, OF COURSE, the first time I tried to deviate from my dating norm, I ended up out with a guy that had been naked with horses. Could the universe make it any more clear that I should stick with my own kind, as tedious as it might seem? At least the next engineer I ended up on a date with would seem delightfully boring compared to William. There is something to be said about ruts.

Published in: Uncategorized on October 17, 2011 at 2:57 am  Comments (9)  

Trent

As it is to vampires, daylight can be very harmful to internet dates.  A guy that can be all kinds of attractive and charming over a couple of drinks in a dimly lit bar will oftentimes, in my experience, lose those same qualities in the harsh light of day. The first date that I had with Trent was one of the best I ever had – it is a good sign if I don’t roll in back home until 5 a.m. – but, despite the initial buzz, Trent turned out to absolutely not be for me. Daylight can be so disappointing.

Looking back, Trent and I exchanged almost no emails before we decided to meet up for a drink. I knew that he lived near me, was fairly cute, had kick-ass taste in music and was really into sports but that was about it.  He seemed harmless, and cool, enough that I didn’t feel like meeting would be a waste of time so, when he asked, I agreed to meet on the following Saturday night. What the hell?

Trent was waiting for me at a table in the bar when I walked in and my stomach dropped a little. His pictures had made him seem kind of cute but, holy hell, to this girl, he was pretty hot, with short black hair, blue eyes, nice hands and broad shoulders. Check, check, check and check. I went from ambivalent to crazy-excited in about five seconds. Things were definitely looking up.

From the start, Trent was just…easy. I had no trouble talking to him, I was totally at ease, and it seemed that we had a ton in common to discuss. It was a great conversation and, if Trent started to emphasize his points by touching my arm, I was not going to complain. At all.  We finished our drink and Trent suggested that we change locations and try a bar he liked near his house. I was more than game.

Trent and I managed to close the next bar down. They had a jukebox and we played music for hours, trying to stump each other or play a song that the other person hadn’t heard. I was having so much fun, and just felt so comfortable and attracted to him that, when he Trent leaned in and kissed me right at the bar, I almost fell off my stool in a swoon. How had this night happened? Out of nowhere? Hadn’t I just met Trent five hours ago?

I liked Trent so much that, when the bartender told us that we were not allowed to play one more song, I accepted when Trent offered to play me some more music at his house. I don’t have many hard and fast rules about internet dating but, if I do have one, it would be not to go home with a strange guy on our first date. I kind of like being alive so this has always been a pretty strict policy and I was completely and totally throwing it out the window. As I drove to Trent’s house, I had a brief thought that those might the final moments I had before ending up in Trent’s crawlspace but, honestly, I didn’t care. I was too enamored. Danger, what danger?

I did not end up getting killed but rather had an excellent time listening to music, laughing, having a wrestling match and just totally digging being with Trent. I kept insisting that I was not a loose girl so I was absolutely not going to spend the night with him on the first date so I finally made myself, a test of true will, get in my car and head home at 5 a.m. It may have been a drive of shame but I didn’t care, not one bit.

I spent the next day grinning like an idiot. I could not wait to see Trent again. We exchanged a couple of emails and Trent suggested we become friends on Facebook. Again, I don’t believe in rules but, besides not going home with a guy on a first date, I would definitely add  ‘No Facebook’ to the list. It seems innocent enough but it is, in fact, the exact opposite. It is too much information too soon and is nothing but an invitation for disaster. But, as with my only other rule, I ignored the Facebook one and accepted Trent’s request. I went to his page, started to look around and, immediately, wished that I had not.

I started by looking at some of his photos and, sweet lord, they were almost all of Trent and his family and friends hunting. He had picture after picture that included him and bloody, dead animals! I thought I was going to be sick. The pictures that did not include carcasses were all of Trent and his friends in various states of inebriation, including beer bongs and at least five where Trent was full-on passed out. What, what, what? Was this the same guy? To get the awful pictures out of my head, I went to Trent’s main page and read some of the posts from him and his friends. Once again, bad idea. They were all about drinking and hunting with so much bad grammar and spelling and ‘Dude!’s” that my head wanted to explode. It was time to quit spending time on Trent’s Facebook page.

I didn’t want to rush to judgment but Trent had wanted me to see his pictures and read his posts. He was obviously not trying to hide anything and I was feeling almost instantly unattracted to him. If that was really how Trent was we were not going to ultimately be a match. Trent sent me an email asking if I wanted to meet him for coffee the next day before work and I agreed. It would be a good chance to reassess my Trent feelings without the cover of night and the influence of alcohol.

I arrived at our coffee destination first and waited for Trent who showed up, no joke, in camouflage cargo pants and big, black hiking boots. I almost gathered my stuff and walked right out. I am not against being able to blend in with the woods but wasn’t he on his way to work? This is what he wore just walking around? No, no, no – this was not the guy for me. We drank our coffee and kind of chatted but it was pretty awkward. It was pretty clear that whatever attraction we had initially felt was a one-time thing.

Trent walked me to my car and we exchanged a brief hug before we both left for work. Neither of us mentioned seeing each other again and, as a total sign, I was totally relieved. I was happy to see that we appeared to be in agreement on our now non-attraction.  I am still not sure how exactly Trent went from hero to zero but I was now adding a new rule to my short list. No first-date sleepovers, no Facebook and no getting excited until I had seen a guy in the sobering light of day.  If nothing else, it would keep me from dating vampires.

 

 

 

Published in: Uncategorized on October 3, 2011 at 5:22 am  Comments (7)