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As promised in my previous post, included herein are the juicy details on the 5 dudes I dated during “phase 2” of my online dating saga.

As you already know, I started dating a couple weeks after Texas and I broke up in August. I already mentioned Dude #1 (programmer and bass player; possible chemistry) here and Dude #2 (Peeta Mellark look-alike; absolutely no chemistry) here. Those were one & only dates.

Dude #3:

Our first and only date was in late August. We met on OK Cupid. 29 years old. He lives and works in the south bay yet generously offered to drive up to San Francisco to meet me for drinks one night in my neighborhood. We had palpable chemistry. He was very attractive and so sweet and engaging; we just could not stop talking. As the bar was closing down, I invited him back to my place. Not only was he an awesome snuggler (he spooned me in a teddy bear hug all night – be still my heart!), he was great in bed. We had sex twice. I drove him back to his car the next morning before work. A couple weeks later, he wanted to get together again and suggested coming over to my place to relax and watch a movie before I had to pick up my kids. This ultimately meant we would only get about 2 hours of rushed time together. I had a hard time understanding why he was up for driving 2 hours to spend so little time together.

Something about it didn’t sit well with me. Not only had Texas returned from Burning Man and my heart was with him, I was put off by his offer to come to my place. I wasn’t a “sex on-call” girl. He’s a nice guy and in hindsight I’m sure he wasn’t thinking about that… but for a 2nd date, I didn’t think “Netflix and chill” plans were appropriate.

I canceled the plans. Additionally, I knew that he ultimately wouldn’t be available as often as I needed in order to pursue something meaningful. (He was very busy with work and was in the process of opening up his own business. Add to that his geographical location and it was clearly just not meant to be.)

We checked in with each other a few times and then I didn’t hear from him again. Until two weeks ago. Surprise! He sent me a text out of the blue 2 months later wanting to know if he could ask me a personal question. Weird. Turns out he wanted to know if I’d been experiencing any problems down under, as he’d been to a few doctors and hadn’t yet been able to get an accurate diagnosis for his “bumps”. I was the first person he’d been with in a few months and he hadn’t been with anyone since. Holy shit. No, I hadn’t been having issues. I was also confused, as we’d used condoms. I asked for further information and, as it turns out, he probably has folliculitis as one of his doctors thought. I had it once before, long ago, and contracted it from a hot tub. He said he’d been using the hot tub at his gym a lot lately. Well there you go.

I told him I was sorry he was experiencing health problems, wished him a speedy recovery, and that was that.

Dude #4:

We went on 3 dates before he disappeared into the ether. We met on OK Cupid. 38 years old. Financial guy from South Carolina. Funny, cute, and engaging. We went bowling on our first date. He insisted I looked like Kate Winslet. Second date was a gorgeous afternoon in Mission Delores Park swilling beers with two work friends of his who were newly engaged. He wanted to pretend for them that we’d been dating for a long time, which was both sweet and charming. (We were good actors.) On our third date, he made me dinner at his place. He cooked and served an impressive pesto chicken with mashed potatoes. I brought wine. He served mint chip ice cream, my favorite, for dessert – a little tidbit he learned from my OK Cupid profile. Awww. We had sex for the first time afterward. He wanted me to stay overnight but I didn’t feel comfortable with it so I went home. We kept in touch for another week or so and then he dropped off the face of the earth. Last text he sent he said he was going to a wedding reception; I told him to have fun. Maybe he met his future girlfriend there?

Dude #5:

We went on 3 dates. Met on Tinder. 29 years old from Wisconsin. (What’s with all the 29 year olds, anyway? 3 of the 5 dudes were 29. Bizarre.) He had lived in Asia for 3 years and had been in the bay area just 1 month when I met him. Cute, dark-haired Brazilian with killer dimples, snappy European dresser (cardigans, scarves, awesome leather shoes), and was a very engaging conversationalist. He loved that I was a writer and spoke some Mandarin. Our first date was at a beer bar downtown, 2nd date was at a seedy bar in the Mission, and 3rd date was dinner at a German restaurant. We always had an awesome time. He was very gentlemanly and polite. For example, we didn’t kiss until the 2nd date… and only after he’d sweetly asked my permission. (Awww!)

We had a few long telephone conversations. I could tell he was very deliberately feeling out our compatibility.

We were quickly moving toward an exclusive relationship. He made it clear he wanted exclusivity with me. I questioned our age difference (what if he wanted kids?!) and his geographic location (he lives and works 1 hour from San Francisco in the east bay). He explained he wasn’t yet sure he wanted his own kids for various reasons and said his geographic location could always be changed. This was certainly promising.

Then Texas and I started talking about rekindling our relationship. I couldn’t mislead Dude #5. It wasn’t fair to him. I knew that after I returned from my birthday trip, I would have to break the news to him… and I was dreading it.

Dude #5 and I had plans to see each other for our 4th date a couple days after I returned from the trip. I wasn’t sure if I should cancel the date or follow through and tell him the news in person. Ultimately, I of course canceled the plans, not wanting to waste any more of his time. I thought it was the kinder thing to do and I have no regrets. I told him I had just returned from a trip with my ex-boyfriend and that we were going to give it another try.

He was not happy with the news. He said, “This stings a bit, if I’m honest.” I felt guilty. I was a horrible person for doing this to him. I had no business dating others when I was still hung up on Texas.

He asked for an explanation and wanted to know why I chose Texas over him. I told him there was no comparison; I had history with Texas and we had strong feelings for each other. It was nothing personal.

In the end, he said he understood. He wished me happiness, saying that I deserved it. What a nice guy.

And so concludes phase 2 of online dating, bringing the total number of men I’ve dated since splitting from Mars in August 2014 to 55.

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