How many times have I deleted and reinstalled Tinder and Bumble, no for real…I need somebody to keep track. I have such a love/hate relationship with the dating apps. Yes, I have tried many, Christian Mingle (guess what…not everybody is a Christian, that was a curve ball). Match.com (no matter how many times I changed my settings, 50-year-old men still were able to contact me…that’s my dads age by the way).
After about two and a half years of dating sites and dating scenes you develop a numb half hostile half hopeful view on the world of dating. The excitement of “it’s a match” wears off and the thrill of your first message welp, that fades just as fast as the conversation itself does.
Back in 2016 I didn’t have the same knowledge or resentment that I have now. I still had the excitement when I matched with a dude along with the thrill when I received that first message. I matched with this guy, we shall call him Chuck. I chatted with Chuck for about 2 weeks (one to two weeks is my standard chat time before a first date) and he seemed really nice. He was very cute, and he was respectable…. I thought I was golden!!
You know, it’s funny…our whole lives we are taught about stranger danger. Our parents warn us about the man with the candy or puppy, they worn us about the danger of meeting people online in AOL chat rooms. Here I am, an adult…doing exactly what they said not to do.
I will say, my parents didn’t raise a completely naïve woman. I had Chuck meet me out when I was with my cousin, her boyfriend, and an old friend. We made plans to meet at a restaurant across from my cousin’s house. He didn’t know that we would be hanging out there, you know having a couple drinks to take the edge off my first online date. I sent him the name and address of the restaurant and told him that I was nearby. We made plans to get there around nine, but I told him to just let me know when he was there and then I would meet up with him.
Drinks were flowing and we were all laughing and having a fun time when I noticed that 9:00 P.M. had come and gone with no word from Chuck. I thought that was odd, so I sent him a friendly hey what’s your eta text message. To my surprise Chuck responded that he had been at the restaurant since nine waiting for me.
I was a little shocked and slightly embarrassed, but in my defense, I did tell him to text me when he was there. So, I rally my group and we walk across the street. We find a high top at this cozy Irish establishment and I wait for Chuck to come over. I look around, but I don’t see him and after about ten minutes have passed, I just assume that Chuck has left.
We all just assume that he got annoyed and left and continue to talk when this guy walks up to our table and just stands there. He doesn’t say anything…. he just stands there.
I look at my cousin and then at the random guy and say hello and proceed to ask him if he is Chuck and he says yes. Cool. We are off to a good start here…. not awkward at all!! The waitress comes by and takes our drink order, Chuck has a drink but as I order mine, he makes no offer to put it on his tab. I find it slightly odd that as conversation is happening, Chuck doesn’t make a whole lot of eye contact with me. He speaks to my cousin and friend just fine…. but me not so much.
I thought it was really sweet when he turned to me and said that I was so much prettier than my pictures (if you don’t know me, you should know that I am like the least photogenic person on earth). As sweet as that might have been, it didn’t make up for the fact that he was not communicating with me. I am big on eye contact and conversation, so not having it returned made me feel extremely creeped out.
After about an hour, maybe an hour and a half, my cousin and her boyfriend got in one of their usual fights (thank the lord for this timing). I wasn’t sure how I was going to bail on this whole set up, but I figured I would use my cousins’ emotions to my advantage, sorry girl. She was really upset and crying and stormed out leaving my friend, Chuck, and myself alone. I told Chuck that things were really bad and that I had to leave, I extended my hand for a hand shake…. yes, I said a hand shake…. I also said my creep-o-meter was going off. He shook my hand and I said it was nice meeting him but that I had to go.
Now. Normally when somebody does that, it’s an indication to start walking away. Nope. Not Chuck. He stood there, staring at me…. little did he know that the whole eye contact thing was a little too late. Now, sometimes when I am put in an awkward situation, I just start to look for an escape plan, I get really short with my words, and I definitely put a wall up.
If you think things couldn’t get weirder…. you’re wrong. Standing at the door I was not sure how to make it clearer that he should go now, I really didn’t want him watching me walk right across the street to my cousin’s house, so I said, “Okay well this was fun, bye now.” ….and then I high fived him. Yup, I high fived him!! He asked where I parked so that he could walk me to my car, but like I said, my mama didn’t raise no fool and I answered with, “which way did you park”. He pointed south so I said I was parked East and my friend and myself walked away.
My cousins house, if you were wondering, is south. But there are apartment buildings to the east. So, because Chuck creeped me out so much, I found an open door to an apartment building, and my friend and myself hid in there for about ten minutes. When we thought it would be clear, we walked back over and to my cousin’s house.
Now, hiding in an apartment building waiting for a dude to leave your area may seem a little extreme. But here is the thing. This was my first online date, EVER!! Also, I operate heavily on my intuition and amazing ability to read a person. No part of me was comfortable with this guy and I trust my instincts 100%.
Chuck and I did not talk after that.
My cousin and her boyfriend broke up because that night she found out he had been cheating on her.
My “old friend” was my cousins now ex-girlfriend who was a little cray cray, but I tolerated her because she was dating my cousin.
I continue to trust my intuition and to make my safety a top priority in this crazy dating world, but I don’t give up, I keep on keepin on because hey what can I say, this is my reality.