Thursday, December 8, 2011


There are few things more nerve-racking than a promising first date. We girls spend days, weeks, or even months chatting with a boy we like, getting to know him, checking our email five times a day, jumping every time the phone rings, in the hopes of hearing from our latest crush. We're busy, modern women, mind you. We don't have time to sit around waiting for him to contact us. Just like we don't have time to get our eyebrows threaded or our toes painted. Yet, somehow, when that first date starts creeping up on us, we make time.

Then we obsess with our girlfriends over every message exchanged, every detail provided, searching for clues about his personality, his past life, whether he's a potential match for the future. We scrutinize each outfit we own, our hairstyle, our choice of manicure, praying we impress the hell out of him. Why we suddenly doubt our own fabulousness is beyond me. There's just something about starting a potential new life with a potential new partner that shakes us up a bit. Wavers the confidence with which we usually carry our high heads. Like I said, nerve-racking.

So imagine my surprise when a guy I've exchanged only three messages with asks me out! Three??? I hardly know him. Sure, he's got a great profile and a nice bunch of photos but people lie all the time and barely anybody looks like their pictures. I only just jumped back into the dating game. I'm not ready to meet someone so soon. Am I???

The answer from my girlfriends is a resounding YES. Get back out there. Throw caution to the wind and go. Have fun. Why wait a month for someone when this guy is asking you out right now?!?!

Ok. I'll do it.

He wants to meet for lunch today! I don't have time to pick out the perfect outfit, color my hair, get my nails done. (Scream. Sigh. Slump shoulders.)

So what? If he likes ME, he likes ME. Guys don't really care what you're wearing as long as you look good because then you'll feel good. Come at them smiling and they're happy as can be.

Fast forward 3 hours, 2 wardrobe changes, and 1 inside out umbrella...

I am wrapped up tight in my swanky new trenchcoat, wearing my fab new dress, on my way to coffee with NotEasyBeingGreen. It is raining cats and dogs and I wonder why I bothered blow drying my hair at the last minute. We meet under an awning in midtown where I'm hiding out from the awful weather and he enfolds me in one of those huge bear hugs that big guys are great at giving. In one fell swoop, I go from shivering on the outside to toasty warm on the inside. He's sweet and chivalrous and protects both of us from the elements under his umbrella (since mine is clearly broken) while we walk to the closest coffee shop. He keeps one arm around my waist "to make sure I don't wander out into the wetness."

I am surprised how quickly he's put me at ease as we chatter away down the dark city streets. He holds doors open, pays for drinks, pulls my chair out, listens intently when I talk. He's an absolute gentleman, full of genuine compliments and intelligent conversation. Has his own business, great apartment, Irish charm. He's travelled the world, earned two Master's degrees, and speaks several languages. He's perfect...on paper.

There is nothing wrong with him. Honestly, nothing at all. I tried for almost two hours to find a flaw, something, anything to pick apart, make him memorable. Waiting for him to say something stupid, waiting for the other shoe to drop. But there were no shoes in sight. He's normal. And kinda boring.

For all the visions of sugar plums dancing in my heads as he spoke of frequent flyer miles racked up hoping for a partner to lavish them on, I knew in my heart it wouldn't be me on the plane with him. His suit tailor made in Dubai, his shoes hand crafted from China, his black wool coat personally styled from Ireland. They all seem like pipe dreams, a million miles away. What I need is right here, right now. I need chemistry. I need spark. I need an irrefutable attraction and it's quite simply missing. All the money, new clothes, and Park Slope apartments in the world can't make up for that.

I know what you're thinking. I whine when they're crazy and now I'm complaining that this guy is totally sane? But I'm not. I liked him. I really did. He was the kind of guy I could see myself being great friends with. Crap. Why can't I make myself feel something for him???

He gives me another bear hug good-bye at the end of the night and says he'd really like to see me again. Perhaps next time we can do dinner? Convinced that first impressions aren't always right, I smile in agreement, looking forward to spending more time with him. Maybe getting to know him better will change my perspective?

Fast forward 3 hours, 2 hot chocolates and 1 train ride home...

Me: I had a really nice time tonight :-)
Him: Me too. Would love to do it again soon.
Me: That'd be great!
Him: Sadly, I'm leaving for China on Friday.
Me: Oh...for how long?
Him: A month. Maybe more.
Me: Oh...
Him: I'll call you when I get back?
Me: Sure. Have fun in China. PS: Don't order Chinese food there. I think they just call it food! ;-P
Him: Cute. See you in a month.

Option A) He really is going to China. For a month.
Option B) He is going to visit his wife. And kids. In prison.
Option C) He has no desire to see me again and was just being polite.

I've been dump(ling)ed.

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