Saturday, February 10, 2007

0 for 2

Telecom Tom sent the following email yesterday:

Hey Dolly, I really enjoyed meeting you on Wednesday. I was not expecting to talk with you for 3 hours, and I know it could have easily been 4. Strangely, I don't think we had that spark, though.I don't know why, since you are smart, fun, and adorable. It's a mystery. Anyway, thanks for taking the time to drink and talk with me on a cold winter night, and have a great time in [country I'm visiting next month].

Which clearly means Tom was not looking for a female version of himself to go out with.

It's never fun to get emails like that, but truth be told, I was a bit underwhelmed myself. However, I would have considered a second date to see if any chemistry would develop, because sometimes these things don't happen right away. When I first met Ex David, I wasn't attracted to him initially, and had we chatted for a mere hour or two, would have remained uninterested. However, some time into the fourth or fifth hour of conversation, I realized a spark was building. That doesn't mean it would have gone the same way with Tom, though, and I respect his decision not to take things further.

My other date was fairly fun, but less-than-spectacular. He showed up twenty minutes late, with no apology or excuse, was in jeans and sneakers (I don't mind casual, but a little effort is nice), did not offer to buy me even one drink, and I did not find him at all physically attractive. The conversation was fine, but I didn't want to kiss him, or even befriend him, so it's not going to go anywhere.

I was saying the other day that online dating has never produced long-term positive results for me, so I don't know why I expect it might this time. Actually, I don't. I went back online to get my mind off of Barman Ben, and it worked. The problem is, once I begin the cycle of dating, I can't help but hope that it will lead somewhere. The false starts have a way of wearing away the optimism a bit. Only a little, though.

If this week has affirmed anything, it's that I am much happier when focusing on outings with friends or my own interests/projects. When I'm out with Willow or Polly or Podcast Penny or any of my other friends, I don't need to meet a guy in order for it to be a fun night; I inherently enjoy their company and the mini-adventures we have. Neither my heart nor my ego is at risk for being bruised (provided I avoid Cozy Bar). I would quite like things to stay that way, at least a little longer.

I'm not going to make a general statement, the way I have in the past, of whether I am taking a break from dating, or getting back out there, or whatever. I'm still cautious, but still optimistic. The magic will happen when it will, not when I want it to.

Luckily, there's a hell of a lot for me to be pleased with in the meantime. Now it's time for me to make myself look fabulous for my night out with Willow...


CoatMan said...

Dolly: Aww, a disappointing outcome, but at least he was gracious and gentlemanly about it.

Vicious said...



Damsel Underdressed said...

Well, thank God he didn't play games. At least he just came out with it and didn't just mysteriously disappear. He had the decency to tell you he didn't really feel it. I think it is a positive thing.

Aphexcoil said...

I guess I'm in the minority when I view that e-mail as a more positive one. It sounded more like he was unsure of his success with Dolly and was looking for a reason why Dolly wasn't more receptive towards him during the date. He even says, "I don't know why, since you are smart, fun, and adorable."

I'm not sure about the majority of men, but I wouldn't call a woman adorable unless I found her very interesting and charismatic -- which is something I'd definitely want to pursue via another date to get to know a woman better. He even started out the e-mail with "I really enjoyed meeting you." Not enjoyed -- but really enjoyed.

I must be in the minority -- but that e-mail sounds more like a guy trying to get some clue by throwing out a question in the form of subtle observations about the date.

The e-mail sounded like he was unsure of his performance during the date and not Dolly's.

Oh well -- 0 for 2 it is. However, it is a really big city with plenty more opportunities. No sense dwelling on this one.

Anonymous said...

I still like your attitude! So yay!

jake said...

aphexcoil, your interpretation of the email is really strange. He clearly said that there was no spark. And if the feeling is mutual on Dolly's side, there really is no need for her to think up some "deeper" interpretation and then deceive herself.

And why would you describe a guy meeting a woman on a date as a "performance"? Was he doing magic tricks for her?

Unfortunately I don't think you're in the minority, though. Too many people see this whole "dating" thing as a ritual where the guy has to impress the woman, rather than what it ought to be -- two people being themselves and seeing if there is chemistry.

Anonymous said...

aphexcoil, you are out there man. really out there. all the guy was doing was was telling her he didn't want to see her again in a mature and kindly way. he knew he was rejecting her, but he wanted to do it in way that would somewhat spare her feelings by pointing out her positive attributes. he was just being a decent, stand up guy about it and he was very obviously not trying for another date.

Constant Dater said...

I'm glad that guy sent a straightforward e-mail. I've made a friend this way recently. However, I have to fight that the little mean voice in the back of my mind tha tells me it's because he didn't think I was "hot" enough. (My neurosis.)

And OMG, I think I met the same underwhelming slob-date that you did. Except that as he slackered in, I walked out 'cause I knew it would play out exactly like that and I didn't feel like wasting the time.

Aphexcoil said...

Well, perhaps I am completely wrong about the e-mail. Then again, I don't get e-mails from guys too often after going on a date with them. Just another example of my over-analytical mind trying to rip a deeper meaning out of something wit only superficial depth.

Constant Dater,

I remember meeting a woman once at a bar on a first-date. She had friends with her at the time -- which is something I found to be really inconsiderate. Long story short, within a minute or two of meeting, she suddenly gets sick and her friends have to take her back to her apartment.

Now, I'm not stupid so I can read between the lines. The weird thing is that I had previously never had anything like that happen to me. I've been on bad dates, but nothing so "in your face." I still had fun that night (and actually talked to her friend a lot) but on the ride home I asked myself, "what did I do wrong? Did my breath stink? Did I have toilet paper stuck to my shoe?"

Bottom line is that sometimes two very interesting and fun people can be totally incompatible for no good reason. It is hard not to take rejection personally, but after going on dozens of dates, I have come to learn to live with it. It happens.

V said...

Dolly it seems you might be putting too much optimism and expectations in this whole online dating thing. That's why you might be getting disappointed left and right by sucky guys. What are you wanting out of online dating anyway? Do you even have a specific goal?

Pargolo said...

Dolly -
Maybe use online dating as fun and practice, don't expect much other than the chance to practice the art of conversation (which is becoming a lost art, i think); and be content in the knowledge that you will run across someone in the right way and time? I dunno. I've had similar experiences with online dating, and I have a pretty rich life, so I'm not sure that's an avenue I want to pursue.

Anonymous said...

I think Tom is auto-rejecting himself. He doesn't think he is going to do very well, so he is taking himself out of the action.

Aphexcoil said...

I think Tom is auto-rejecting himself. He doesn't think he is going to do very well, so he is taking himself out of the action.

That's what I was trying to articulate previously. Thanks for summing it up in such a neat and concise way. My thoughts paralleled yours.

tony said...


can i send you an e-mail i got after a first date along with a paragraph explaining the date circumstances and ask your advice??

Dolly said...

Sure, email away.

tony said...

OK thanks,

I just wrote something and it's a little long and it seems too hard to omit details without omitting important content so as to keep everything anonymous. Is there an e-mail address I could send it to?

Dolly said...

My email address is in my profile:

Hugh Ristik (aka secondarysight) said...

I don't know if aphexcoil's analysis applies to this particular situation, though it is important to keep in mind that sometimes guys will auto-reject themselves.

jake said:
And why would you describe a guy meeting a woman on a date as a "performance"? Was he doing magic tricks for her?

Unfortunately I don't think you're in the minority, though. Too many people see this whole "dating" thing as a ritual where the guy has to impress the woman, rather than what it ought to be -- two people being themselves and seeing if there is chemistry.

Sure, dating should just be a completely natural thing. People should just be able to go out, just "be themselves," and see if chemistry develops. If you find success this way, then good for you, but for many people (if they are shy, neurotic, introverted, inexperienced with the opposite sex, or didn't develop good social skills), it ain't that simple.

Dating is a performance for both people, and especially for the man. Both people have to impress each other to some degree, and men usually more because women tend to be more selective. The only question is whether it's a good idea to worry about these facts during the process. I completely agree that to the extent that you avoid worrying about them, you should, but that's not possible or practical for everyone. Instead of looking down on people who don't feel they can be 100% genuine in dating situations, we should sympathize with them and try to offer them practical solutions.

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