The Online “Meet” Market

japanesemapleLast weekend, I made arrangements to meet a guy from online for the first time for breakfast.  Not usually my preference, since weekend mornings are usually sacred time for me.  It’s the time of the week where I get up and move at whatever pace I feel like which is unhurried, unrushed, unpressured, slow and relaxed.  This is important to me, since the rest of my week is usually packed so full with deadlines, activities, demands and noise.

Saturday, I woke early and was on the road for a three hour drive to an  All Tribes Pow Wow.  I attended with a friend who is very good looking, very intelligent, well educated, okay beyond well educated,  funny and basically almost perfect and who is someone I will never date.  He is a very good friend and like a brother to me.  Dating him would be like, well, ewww!  But I could attend a Pow Wow with him and did. I can also travel with him, and have, with no concern for my safety or well-being.  Boundaries are firmly in place and were clearly discussed. In many ways, I think a good romantic relationship has to have these elements of a good friendship in order to be successful.  When we get together, we talk like schoolgirls.  He, about who he’s dating, me about who I’m dating (I was pretty quiet this time, well, okay, maybe not so much) so it is no wonder that after leaving early in the morning to drive up to the Pow Wow, it was sunset and I’d not started on my way home.  By the time I did arrive home I was just not in any way willing to get up and rush out to meet someone I’d had two conversations with on the phone.   I cancelled, with the plan to resechedule if he wanted to.  I left it in his court not really caring one way or another if he persisted or not.  Well he persisted.  *Places a check in the “Good for him” category.*

That reschedule occured this afternoon.  It was the most agonizing ordeal I’ve experienced since the first time I met someone from online.  I really hate it when I have to carry the conversation.  I am plenty capable of it, but I am not comfortable doing it.  I’d rather listen to others share their story.  But, this person had no story.  He’d never been married.  He didn’t travel, didn’t do much, except take walks with his dog. Of course, he put on his profile he was trim and fit…but he wasn’t…not entirely.  And, of course, he’s looking for the firm little body, but yet he didn’t exactly sport the male version of that.   I totally don’t mind guys going for the firm little body…don’t get me wrong…I get how men are wired…but what’s good for the gander is just as good for the goose.  Don’t expect what you’re unable to provide yourself. That’s all I’m saying.  Anyway, it all makes ya wonder. 

And, here’s another thing.  I hate going for walks on the first meet up.  Here’s why.  You can’t size up the other person too well because you are too busy walking and watching where you are going.  So much of me taking a person in is sizing up how they move.  How they roll.  What their demeanor is like.  The eyes, the smile , all this is important.  This is difficult to observe on a walk especially when your are as uncoordinated as I am and must concentrate carefully on putting one foot in front of the other on level ground.  You also can’t really talk face to face to them.  So, while I think a walk is an ideal thing to do the second or third time around, it isn’t my pick for a first date. That being said, I got enough information in the first three seconds to know this was not someone I was going to spend much more time with.  So the walk really was a non-issue.

The online meet market is just not that fun any more.  It’s still every bit as busy…just more exhausting than anything…these days.  I can see myself folding this hand for good pretty soon.

First Dates and Moonlight–More From The Friendship Files

I finally wheedled the story about Mexico Friend’s First Date with her Husband out of her.  Here it is:

Mexico Friend and her husband had quite the chemistry in the early years of their relationship.  Of course, Husband was irreversibly smitten the minute he saw her.  (We are all irreversibly smitten the minute we see her.  She really is an attractive woman. And she’s really nice.  In fact, she’s in the Makes Me Sick category.  I had to video tape her this week and as I was reviewing the tapes I was reminded just how much she Makes Me Sick.  The rule about the camera adding 10 pounds did not apply to her!  On the other hand the rule about the camera adding 10 pounds tripled with me. How fair is that?  See?  Makes Me Sick. But, I’m doing the ADD thing again.)

Husband knew what he wanted the minute he saw Mexico Friend.  He never let her phone grow cold and it wasn’t long after they met that they were on their first date.  It was a cold winter’s eve with snow on the ground.  The two of them went out for a nice dinner.  Great food, good wine, wonderful time together with chemistry catching the place on fire between them. 

After dinner, they decided to go for a drive in the snow.  Somewhere out in the country they pulled off on a lonely little unpaved side road.  In fact, it was probably more like a path.  There they were, alone, secluded, nature’s beauty all around and their young 20-something hormone’s raging, fed pretty well by the wine and the chemistry.  They decided to get to know each other even better.

Before long, they were in horizontal hold and things had heated up making it impossible to see out the windows of the vehicle.  That didn’t matter, because the sights they both wanted to explore were inside the vehicle. They were both thoroughly enjoying this Getting To Know All About You Game and they were just really getting in touch when  Mexico Friend opened her eyes for just a moment then opened them again. “There’s something shining in the window,” she commented. 

“It’s probably just the moonlight shining in,” her date responded in muffled short amorous breaths. Clearly, he wasn’t interested in anything but continuing the Getting to Know You game.

Mexico Friend glanced at the extremely fogged up window again, “I think that’ s either a really large moon or it is very, very close.” Relunctantly, Mexico Friend’s Husband slowed himself down and looked up.  He wiped off the window and jumped in shock.  There staring back at him was the face of a woman in her 50’s.  Apparently neither of them heard the woman drive up, turn off her headlights, get out of her car and tromp through the snow to the side of the vehicle where she stood staring in at them in their mostly nude state enjoying each other. How long she’d been there neither of them dared guess, but they knew what she’d seen was definitely the rated R version.

They scrambled to pull on their clothes as quickly as they could, and after dealing briefly with the strange woman who claimed this deserted path led to her house, they got out of there fast.  

As I listened to Mexico Friend retell this story, I noted that she broke one of the cardinal dating rules which is No Sex On The First Date.  When I questioned her about this she said, “Yeah, we did.  Two weeks later we moved in and six months later we were married and we’ve been going like that ever since.  We’re still like that today after 15 years of marriage and two children.” 

As I sat briefly pondering these words, she continued, “When you know, you know.  There’s just no question.” 

In looking at these two, I have to give them a spot on my Happily Ever After List.  These two have fun, humor, friendship and chemistry and they’ve kept it alive through the stresses of having children, job changes, job losses and tight finances and home remodeling projects.  In spite of it all, they are as in love as they’ve ever been.  I love these two because they provide for me a real life model of  many aspects of the kind of relationship I want.  These two have been able to weather life’s marital and financial storms for a decade and a half.  They’re doing more than just staying married, they really enjoy each other and they nurture their relationship by doing the fun stuff and staying in touch with each other as often as possible.