The Dating Game Part III

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So, I may have chickened out of going to the Anti-Valentine’s Day happy hour, but I did have dates last week to make up for it! OK Cupid landed me my first two dates off the new site, back-to-back Thursday and Friday. This new site shows your “match rate” with the other person, and it makes me think about how they come up with this information. You answer a series of questions about all sorts of topics and they determine your match rate by how many answers you provided that were the same. The question is: Do they only match based on commonalities, or do they mix in some healthy differences?

 I’m all for having things in common with my significant other, especially liking Texas Country Music, but I believe you need a healthy mix of differences to keep the spark lit, bringing something new and challenging to the table. I want to be able to learn from the person I’m with, have them teach me things that I didn’t know before we met, and vice versa. However, it is very important to have certain things in common such as religion, political views, future wants and desires, and family values. When these categories don’t align, it can cause very serious challenges in the future of your relationship. That topic brings me to the first of my experiences from these two dates.

 The Man in Question

On Thursday night, I went out with a very sweet, intelligent man. He was in his mid-thirties and had a very interesting job (which to respect his anonymity I will not disclose). We met at Irene’s just off West 6th, which is a cute little bar where Lucy’s Surfer Bar used to be. When he arrived, the first thing I noticed was that he was well-dressed, but thinner and more metro than he appeared on his online profile. He had come straight from work and was wearing a well put together charcoal suit. I still thought he was attractive, and we seemed to have quite a bit in common when we were chatting through the site previously, so I put my initial biases aside to give him a fair chance.

The conversation was actually entertaining. I was very interested in what he did for a living and how he became involved in his field, so I asked him a lot of questions and enjoyed hearing his answers. We talked about a lot of topics, and seemed to agree on many important things. One thing that initially threw me for a loop though was the fact that his drink of choice for the night was a rosé. This was just the first of a few weird signs. After having an intelligent, interesting conversation I still couldn’t help but feel only a friendship vibe with him. At this point I knew it wasn’t going to go any further than that night, but he was so nice that I didn’t want to just abruptly end the date and hurt his feelings.

We ordered another round and carried on more conversation. Then the subject of traveling came up. I love to travel and this is something I have made, and will continue to make, a priority. He said that he liked to travel as well, but he had no want to ever travel outside of the United States. Hmmm… that’s a very strange, close-minded comment after he had seemed so open-minded in previous discussions. He said that there are enough diverse, amazing things to see in the U.S. to basically last a lifetime. He didn’t understand why people would ever want to travel to “poor, dangerous” countries like Thailand, Brazil, or Puerto Rico.

Of course, I had to challenge this statement.  Why wouldn’t someone want to learn about different cultures, open their mind to different ways of life, and visit countries that are basically a time capsule of history? I want to travel to places that haven’t been completely tainted by modern technology, where the art of conversation is still alive, and texting and social media haven’t taken over. Places where you meet people who don’t value money and monetary goods over family and friendships. After hearing my side, he conceded my point and we agreed to disagree.

 That’s where things started to get interesting. To change the subject, I asked him what he liked to do on the weekends. His answer: Antiquing. He said he loved Mid-Century Modern specifically. It was after this comment that I started to put things together. He has a gay best friend with whom he frequents the gay bars, he loves to watch RuPaul’s Drag Race, he dresses way better than I do, and the more he drank, the more effeminate his mannerisms became. One of two things was going on here: either he is gay or just an extremely effeminate, straight man. Either way, I am attracted to strong, masculine men, so now I definitely, without a doubt, knew it wasn’t going to work.

He then worked up the courage to tell me that he really liked me and he would like to see me again. That sinking feeling set in, and I knew I had to let him down easy. He was an extremely kind man, so I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. I apologized, telling him that I didn’t feel like I was the right person for him, but I truly enjoyed the conversation and getting to know him. As he asked for the check I offered to pay for my two glasses of wine separate from his drinks. There was an awkward waiting period while the bartender tried to figure out our tab, since evidently no one actually opened one for us, and I tried to make pleasant small talk to pass the time. Like a true gentleman, even though I requested separate checks, he still insisted on paying for my wine.

At the end of the night, we walked out, I gave him a hug, told him that I enjoyed meeting him, and wished him the best of luck with his search.

Stay tuned for date #2…

 

“No matter how long it takes, true love is always worth the wait.”

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