A Lesson in Digital Dating

I had my second phone conversation with The Gentleman last night. It wasn’t a spontaneous ‘I want to hear your voice’ talk like the first one. (though it was really nice to hear his voice again) It was more of a ‘we need to talk about something we’ve been texting about’ talk.

I won’t go into details, ’cause this could be about anything really. As we are getting to know each other while on opposite sides of the country, things about our pasts have come up in conversation. And something came up yesterday that bothered me. My heart sank and I jumped to conclusions before I knew the whole story. (My usual MO)

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Don’t do that. Don’t assume. Ask.

We agreed to talk over the phone that evening.

How to talk on the telephone 3

I spoke to a friend beforehand who helped me sort out my feelings and pinpoint exactly what I needed to know in order to make a fair judgment on the situation.

One great piece of advice she gave me is to really listen to my gut when he answered my questions. Do I get that sinking feeling? Does it seem like he’s making excuses?

And so, like grown-ups (whaaat?!) we had the conversation. And (while being well aware of the fact that he could be saying what he thinks I want to hear) hearing the whole story made me feel infinitely better and I really had nothing to worry about in the first place.

So there you go. Lesson learned. (this time) In a generation of tech-savvy daters, things can get lost (and/or misinterpreted) in translation. Sometimes all it really takes is an old school phone call.

Girl talking on the telephone

– A

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Mr. Nose Ring

This date story itself isn’t all that exciting, but it does bring up an interesting issue about something that I’ve encountered more times than I ever imagined I would.

But before I get to that, the date. Mr. Nose Ring is a piercer. In all fairness, he had a great job and then went back to school to get an even better job, but pierces to pay the rent while he finishes up his degree.

He is incredibly handsome, funny, and well spoken. I tend to have a thing for tall guys and I was pleasantly surprised that even though he’s 5’8″, I still felt petite beside him. (This is a lesson I will take from the experience and perhaps not be so quick to write off the shortys)


I guess you can imagine, working in a tattoo and piercing shop, he had quite a few piercings and tattoos, which I don’t mind. (though I definitely prefer tattoos to piercings)

Anywho, we had a couple drinks and laughed a lot, mostly about how accident prone we both are. All in all, a fun time and he was super sweet. But then the bomb dropped. He told me a story about cocaine.

WHAT is with Toronto boys and cocaine?! Or what is with me being attracted to guys who do cocaine!?! I honestly, don’t judge. If that’s your lifestyle, that’s your choice. But ultimately I’m looking for someone I can depend on and quite frankly, doing hard drugs doesn’t scream husband or father material. I’ve realized, especially after dating an alcoholic, that I won’t tolerate substance abuse so unfortunately (or fortunately?) it rules out quite a few potential suitors. half of Toronto.


I’d love to hear your thoughts. What’s your take on drug use? Is it a deal breaker or would you entertain the idea of dating someone who did something like coke?

– A

The Bearded Nerd

A Tinder Date

I love Tinder for many reasons: 

– low barrier to entry – people who feel that online dating has a stigma or that creating a profile on a dating site is too much work, will be more likely join Tinder because it’s easy and everyone is doing it

– less embarrassment, if you swipe right and they don’t, there’s less of the rejection factor

– based mostly on a physical attraction (you wouldn’t flirt with a stranger in real life if you weren’t first physically attracted)

I also have my qualms about it:

– based mostly on a physical attraction (there is very little to go off of in terms of having things in common or similar values etc.)

– not everyone is on there for the same reason and it’s difficult to gauge someone’s intentions* (it’s known as the “hook-up app” afterall)

– people use it as an ego booster or have no intention of talking to or meeting with people**

– unless listed in the teeny tiny spot for your profile, you can’t be sure of their height (though I find this is the most lied about quality, regardless of app/site)


 

With dating websites like Ok Cupid and Plenty of Fish (and I’m sure the paid sites as well), there are ways to filter out the riff-raff.

Looking for something serious? You can search that. Don’t want to date someone who does drugs? Check their Okcupid compatibility answers. People can and do lie, but for the most part, you can filter out the lifestyles that don’t suit you.

Lesson learnedOn Tinder, you have to ask.


I went out with The Bearded Nerd on a rainy Friday evening for drinks at the Oxley, awesome spot, two patios, great British pub atmosphere, and great beer and cocktail list.

First thing I noticed was his height, no more than 5’6″. This didn’t bother me too much, it’s not like he lied and told me he was 6 foot, just not my usual preference. We grabbed a couple drinks at the bar and chatted. I had decided probably in the first 10 minutes that it wasn’t going anywhere but the conversation was decent and the rain forced us into more drinks at which point I also learned a thing or two that would have been nice to know beforehand.

He mentioned he was also on OkCupid and that he usually screened dates using the compatibility questions. So we went through a few of the deal breakers. I don’t know if I’m a prude or closed minded or something, but I certainly was a little thrown off by some of these. Am I the only one these days that isn’t into the whole open relationship/poly or threesome thing?? You know, after a few years your sex life gets boring and you have to spice it up somehow right? With another person?? Ummmm….nope. (Not that I don’t think that’s ok, if you want that, go for it, but REALLY not for me) Also, I may have mentioned, I’m not into drugs. I’m quite against them. I’m not here to lecture anyone and everyone’s life is their choice but for me, I don’t want to be with someone who does drugs. He tried to justify his choices, but there was no point.

The cherry on top was definitely when we went to leave and it was still pouring with no chance of it stopping. He decided to take a cab home and I was off to the subway. My subway stop was definitely on his way, but he didn’t offer so I ended up running to the station in the rain and lightning….Guys, it’s just nice to offer, regardless of whether the date had worked out or not.

Anyway, all in all, aside from the sex and drug discussion and the semi-rude exit, I actually enjoyed my evening of conversation. But I have learned my lesson about Tinder. I need to ask the tough questions if I don’t want to waste my time.

P.S. Oxley makes a mean Dark n’ Stormy.

– A

*Some people aren’t clear about their intentions on dating sites either.

**Happens on all dating sites/apps, not just Tinder.

 

The Professor

Well the cat is out of the bag guys. I’m not perfect. Shocking, I know. I had a fairly decent date on Saturday night and I blew it. Mind you, even though the date itself went well, I wasn’t planning on a second anyway. But man, did I create an awkward situation.

Let’s back it up. The professor from Tinder. Nerdy, cute, successful. We went to The Beaver for drinks on the patio, had good conversation and then he walked me to the bus so I could “head home”.

Let’s back this up even further. I’m not generally the type to date many people at once. I feel weird even talking to more than one person I’m interested in. I also have a habit of becoming “attached” to a guy I’m dating/like quite quickly. So on the advice of a few friends, and in order to keep this blog interesting, I’m branching out and trying to meet more people. So, that night I had the date with The Professor, I also was attempting to make plans with The Chef (more on that when we have a real date)

Anywho, when I got on the bus and said goodnight to The Professor, I hopped off a couple stops later near The Chef’s restaurant to see if he was around. I really had to use the ladies room and was feeling parched so I went into Subway and grabbed a water. When I walked out who did I run into, but The Professor! I didn’t know what to say so I stammered “I had to grab a water” (I thought this line was comparable to “I carried a watermelon”) He said something about meeting up with a friend and we awkwardly left it at that and went our separate ways. I’m pretty sure he was also off to a second date but I had fully lied that I was going home. It was so awkward it physically hurt.

Lesson learned: I’m not very suave. And if you’re going to go on two dates in one night, make the second one on the other side of the city (or the planet) just to be safe.

-A

 

EDIT: My awkwardness wasn’t off-putting enough apparently. Got this message from the professor…

Curious, would you rather be told the truth (ie. there wasn’t a connection so no thanks) or a little white lie (I’m not ready to date)??

Also, who says “most happy”??

– A

Guest Post: Strike 3 and You’re Out!

T is an online dating graduate and good friend of mine. She often puts up with listens to my dating shenanigans and doles out sage advice. Without further adieu, our first guest post:

I had my stint with online dating before meeting my current boyfriend of one year (thank you Tinder!) and I have a few tales about bullets dodged. This guy was 0 for 3 on our first and only date, so we’ll start with him.
I met him on POF during the first year I moved to Toronto. It was my first real date since university and I was stoked! We were going to meet at C’est What downtown (great place for a date by the way!) and grab some dinner and drinks. All seemed well at first. He was as cute as his picture, funny, and confident.
We sat down to dinner and here arose strike one: “I’m a little strapped for cash. Maybe we can split the bill.” Now, I’m fine for splitting bills, but I always think it’s nice for the gentleman to at least offer on the first date. The offer alone is nice! If he wasn’t able to offer to pay, why didn’t he suggest we just grab coffee or a drink? I know this is a touchy subject with many – why should the guy pay on the first date? Why was his honesty and suggestion a strike? Valid questions, but I like what I like and I want what I want, as do the rest of y’all, so this, to me, seemed a little off putting.
On to strike two. After fairly alright dinner conversation and a poorly played game of pool, we decided to go for a walk and he offered to walk me home – very nice and chivalrous. Not so nice and chivalrous, the rather surprising and inappropriate question “What size is your bra?” and, before I could think of what to say, the even more surprising and loads more inappropriate reach and grab for the gals as we walked along a busy sidewalk downtown. I tried to laugh it off (silly 22 year old, naïve T. Ladies, if someone takes advantage of you like that, don’t laugh it off. Get right in his grill about respect and how violating you is not acceptable) and continued on with the walk.
At the next lights, the third and final strike. Dude whips out his phone and asks if I want to see his muscles. Before I could answer (he was big on that), he’s showing me a pic of him from the neck down in front of a mirror in a shiny blue Speedo. Allllrrrighty then. No second date there! He tried to talk with me more online and asked if we could have a rematch at pool. I said I wasn’t interested in a date, but if he wanted to go as friends I’d be all for it. Never heard from him again. *Phew*
– T

The Walking Contradiction

First of all, this guy was super sweet and actually was a friend of a friend so that fact that there was that pre-approval helped with the initial awkwardness.

We went on two dates and there wasn’t much of a connection so it didn’t work out. No big deal.

BUT, guys, why ‘o why do you tell girls you want to settle down and have kids when you still are partying until 5am and “once in a blue moon” doing coke?? That is not baby daddy behaviour. (not my baby daddy anyway)

If you’re still doing those things, go for it. I would never hold that against someone but don’t claim to be someone you’re not, or ready for a phase of your life you clearly aren’t.

Lesson learned: Guys, just be honest about what you’re looking for upfront and don’t just tell us what you think we want to hear. Oh, and don’t do coke please.

– A

The Talker

I debated this post’s title for a while. It was only one date but it was one of the worst dates I think I’ve ever been on. The warning signs were there when we started messaging but I ignored them. Ladies, learn from my mistake.

Even when we were just messaging, he was all over the place with conversation. I have my suspicions he had some form of ADHD. After messaging back and forth for about a day, we decided to meet up for a drink. I quickly learned he was living at home, had no job and no plans. He was 30.

Side note: I try so hard not to be judgmental but I have a fairly useless degree and I’ve still managed to get myself a decent job and an awesome apartment. I have a hard time feeling sorry for people when really they just can’t get their shit together. If situations call for living at home, or changing careers, I am fairly understanding as long as there is some indication of an end goal. Ie. saving for a down payment, going to school etc.

Aside from not being able to get a word in edgewise, this kid was cocky and mean. He talked about sex a lot which made me extremely uncomfortable to the point where I felt I had to outright tell him I wasn’t going to sleep with him. He was offended and continued to say something rude about “sticking it in” me. Guys, don’t do this. I could go on a rant about safe topics for first dates and getting to know someone and I will, but for now, my advice is keep your sexual preferences to yourself and don’t talk about it at all.

At one point he was talking about one of his ex’s (bad 1st date topic) and while he was trying to explain he had changed, he mentioned he was quite manipulative in that relationship. (Red flag? More like GTFO flag) I must have made a face because he probed me until I told him that his admission scared me a little. I shouldn’t have done that either because it set him off.

“If I’m going to have to work from a deficit with you, A, then this isn’t going to work. And in all honesty, the fact that you have allowed yourself to be manipulated in a relationship is pretty telling of the kind of person you are too.”

I was nearly in tears by this point.

I’ve only once or twice felt like walking out on a date but this one, I actually got up and walked out to the bathroom to collect myself before deciding to go back and finish the date. Hint: I should have left.

From that point on, I don’t even know what happened. He kept talking and I kept thinking about how I could get out. I walked him to his car and he kissed me. YA! The nerve! Not another word via text or otherwise.

 


 

Lessons Learned

Girls: If something is off even in the messaging, it probably is. Trust your gut. If you think you are in danger, get out. Don’t be afraid to leave a date. Have a friend on standby who will give you an “emergency call” if you send her an SOS text.

Guys: Hopefully you’re not like this guy. But learn from him, the topics of ex’s and sex are off limits. Also, slow down. Ask her questions. I get if you’re nervous and you ramble a little but if you’re interested in her, listen to her.

There are books about the art of conversation. Maybe I’ll find some good one’s to post.

– A