Dating: An Attempt

5 Mar

Actress Greta Garbo and Eric Von Seyffertitz in

“Wow. You look fantastic.”

GoFarther83 nodded with hopeful eyes and a genuine smile.

“Thank you.” I smiled back, unsure of how to react or what to do with my hands.

He looked a little different than I expected from his online picture. Though, to be fair, he was wearing sunglasses in that picture, so it was hard to see who he really was.

It was my first-ever Internet date and I felt unidentifiable anxiety, anticipation, contentment, and excitement. I didn’t know the protocol and that made me nervous. Do you just go up to someone and ask if you met online? Do you try a flirty opening line? What if they take one look at you and leave? What if they like you more than you like them and you don’t know how to reject someone you don’t really know?

I’d started writing messages back and forth with GF83 (whose real name is Adam) a few days ago. He initiated the exchange: If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would it be?

Since I haven’t been anywhere, I said the most unusual one I could think of, to mask my inexperience. Easter Island.

Exotic. I like it! What do you like to do for fun?

We then launched into a somewhat typical get-to-know-you conversation. It surprised me how Internet dating really did feel just like real world dating. It wasn’t the most passionate or inspiring opening conversation, but he seemed nice and talkative enough. Just when it felt like the time to wrap up, he messaged, You seem really interesting. Would you want to grab a drink?

How about Thursday? I typed back.

The bar was one of those former factory spaces, with concrete floors, high ceilings, a custom wooden bar, and biergarten lights draped in strategic locations among minimalist furniture. An array of mostly young people filled the space, and it was difficult to hear.

I squeezed myself into the crowded entrance and fished out my ID for the bouncer. A tall guy bumped into me while he studied his phone, then looked up, right into my face. It was GoFurther83. I was sure of it. He smiled, looking relieved, and we chatted for a moment about the awkwardness of being in this tiny space.

“Wow. You look fantastic.” I smiled back. “You want to get a drink?” he asked.

“That’s why I’m here.” I raised my eyebrows, imploring him to lead the way.

After we pushed through the bar, we shouted a couple of drink orders to the bar tender, and then settled in some leather chairs. We spent the first 15 to 20 minutes repeating some of the get-to-know-you prerequisites. I liked that he seemed to listen to me and he gave the impression of having his shit together. After awhile, though, I got bored – are conversations this repetitive on first dates with online people? It felt like I was repeating everything I had said to him online the other night. Maybe if I brought the conversation back to international travel, things would pick up.

“If you could travel anywhere right at this moment, where would it be?” I asked.

“Hm.” He thought for a moment. “Italy?”

“Really? That’s not what I expected from you.”

“We’re all full of surprises.” He winked and sipped his drink. “What about you?”

“You already know the answer to that.”

“Do I?” He cocked his head, mildly puzzled.

“Yeah.” I nodded. “I told you the other night.”

“How is that possible? I just met you.”

Wait.

What?

“Are you Adam?” I asked.

“No.” He gave me a perplexed look. “I’m Mike.”

Oh my god.

I was on a date with the wrong guy.

“You’re not the guy I met on OkCupid?” I asked.

“No? Are you meeting someone here?” He set his drink down, whatever chemistry we had between us quickly fading.

“Um, yeah, and I feel really bad because he’s probably waiting for me.” I stood up. “How did this happen? I thought we established at the door that we were meeting each other.”

“No. I just thought you were pretty and I wanted to have a drink with you while I waited for my friends to get here.”

“Well,” I took one long, last drink from my glass. “It’s been nice knowing you. Thanks for the drink.” I held up my glass at him, then rushed away, nervous that I had been responsible for standing someone up.

I hurried to a corner where I feverishly texted the real GF83. Are you here?

At the bar. Red tie.

Sure enough, there he was, looking exactly like the guy in the sunglasses from his picture. He was laughing with what looked like a small group of friends.

I pushed my way to him.

“Hi! I’m so sor—“

“Yeah dude, that was hilarious!” he laughed to the guy next to him, seemingly unaware that I was there.

“Hey, are you Adam?” I interrupted. He looked to me, almost surprised.

“Oh yeah. Are you Jenny? These are my friends.” He introduced me to the group, including a couple of women, then went back to his story, as if I weren’t there.

No matter. Watching this guy bro-up with his friends, I could easily see that he was so far from someone I wanted to get to know that I was relieved I didn’t have to spend two hours sipping a drink with him, pretending to be interested in whatever he had to say. I slipped away from the bar before he could notice I was gone, or really remember I was even there. I searched momentarily for Mike, but left when I couldn’t find him. Better luck next time, Jenny G.

I walked home in the cool night air, laughing at this evening’s mix-up and mishap, content in the thought of a cozy bed and beautiful view awaiting me, and only me, when I got home.

Jennifer

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2 Responses to “Dating: An Attempt”

  1. totallycaroline 03/06/2016 at 6:53 AM #

    Wow that is unusual! Don’t get discouraged, this kind of thing never happens LOL

  2. Lunar 03/07/2016 at 8:32 AM #

    Wow that’s a bit of an unusual twist! I’ve been on a few internet dates myself and that’s never happened before. But try not to get discouraged. Sometimes it takes a few tries to find someone you like. I met my current guy after my fourth date. 🙂

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