Chick On a Date

adventures in online and offline dating

You Never Can Tell

What’s the old saying? “You can’t judge a book by its cover”? True, and you also can’t judge a man solely by his online dating profile.

I have a confession to make here: I’m sometimes kind of a bitch when it comes to this dating thing. If I don’t like your pictures, or if you strike me as boring, I’m probably not going to go out of my way to talk to you much. I mean, I’ve completely blown off a lot of guys…and I’ll bet some of those guys are pretty great in person. I just wasn’t bowled over by something about them that I saw online.

But here’s the thing. I was doing this to a guy recently, kind of just ignoring him. Somehow we gotten to the point where we had exchanged phone numbers and everything, but we hadn’t met in the flesh yet. That’s probably because I just wasn’t all that excited about him. His photos were okay, but nothing really exciting. His profile was decent, but nothing really stood out to me. So every time he asked to meet, I would either make up an excuse or really be busy doing something I didn’t want to change.

But then one day I said, “What the hell” and we hung out for a while. And guess what? I really liked him. I mean, he was way cuter and smarter and funnier than I would have ever guessed. He made me laugh, made me think, and boy, does that guy have gorgeous eyes. I didn’t get ANY of that by looking at him online.

So this guy has forgiven me for being a bitch at the start and we are going out again soon. I’m pretty happy about that, because I could have ruined this whole thing before it even began. Lesson learned: no more judging a book by its cover. I’ll at least read the first chapter from now on.

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Separating the Men From the Boys

Lately, I’ve been changing lanes — biding my time in the slow lane instead of whizzing down life’s highway (isn’t that a song?) in the passing lane. Yes, I know that metaphor totally sucks ass, but it does describe my dating life recently. For a while there, I was going on way too many dates again. You know you’re dating too much — especially too many first dates — when you can’t remember who you saw on Wednesday and which guy has kids and which guy doesn’t like horror movies. I’m never going to meet anyone of substance if I look at it like a race, now am I? So I’ve slid my wheels into the far right lane for some slow and steady dating, taking one day and one guy at a time.

Slowing down is definitely the right thing to do, but I noticed a couple things when I was dating all the time. There are men, and there are boys. I’m not talking about age here. A guy can be a 50-year-old boy, for sure. Similarly, a 32-year-old can be a mature man. From my observations, here are a few of the differences:

1. A boy gets pissed off if you have plans when he wants to see you. A man realizes you have a life and has a backup plan in place.

2. A boy wants to jump into a “relationship” after two dates. A man realizes it takes some time to get to know someone — and he is willing to put in the time.

3. A boy spends a lot of time bitching about his ex(es). Yes, on dates. His bitter rants get old real quick. (If you haven’t dated for a while, this is very, very common. And very, very annoying.) A man knows that everyone over the age of … let’s say 15 … has an “ex story” and may have had their hearts broken too. He concentrates on the here and now and the woman he is with, not the one he is no longer with.

4. A boy thinks he has to be macho all the time. “Emotion? What’s that? I’ve never cried in my LIFE. And yeah, I’ll eat that pepper; I KNOW it’s the hottest in the world.” A man gets a tear in his eye at a sad movie and if he’s afraid of heights he is okay with confessing it.

5. A boy wears Ed Hardy shirts and sports perfectly messed up hair. He thinks he’s hot shit. A man wears paisley on a first meeting so you can spot him in a crowd, and he is pretty happy he still has hair. His self-deprecating sense of humor is endearing.

6. A boy gets angry and calls you names when you let him know you’re not feeling the chemistry. A man knows you’re not gonna be a perfect match with everyone you meet and is gracious when you cut him loose.

7. A boy drinks way too much on the second date. And he’s not a fun drunk. A man has a drink or two and takes note of your drink of choice so he can remember for next time.

8. A boy expects you to like exactly the same things he does. He may even make fun of you for not liking something he does. A man celebrates your differences and likes to show you new things. He’s open to exploring your interests, too.

9. A boy is always looking over his date’s shoulder for a cuter/cooler/hotter chick. A man looks his date in the eye and makes her feel like she’s the only woman in the world.

Slowing down has allowed me to get to know each man (or boy) as an individual. I’m giving the people I date some time so I can learn about them instead of feeling they are all interchangeable. Cruising along in the slow lane has taught me to be patient and allows me to spend more time with a guy before I make up my mind about whether he’s the right one for me or not.

Maybe I’m finally a woman instead of a girl.

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Why? Just… Why?

Sometimes I wonder why I try.

In my online profile, I point out a few things that I believe, think, feel, value…whatever. Some of these things might be deal-breakers for some guys, and I feel there’s no use wasting each other’s time if we really have major philosophical differences. Some of those things include:

  • I’m a vegan
  • I’m liberal (politically)
  • I love animals and believe strongly in animal rights
  • I am a teacher
  • I love art, literature, museums, theater, film, and dance
I’m not radical about any of these things. I believe in “live and let live.” I’ve dated omnivores, and I’m fine with it as long as he respects my food choices as I respect his; I don’t mind if a guy isn’t a big reader (although my most successful relationships have always been with men who like to read); and I won’t force anyone to go to the opera or a ballet if that’s not their thing. I enjoy a man who brings something a little different to the table. I try to understand his interests and maybe join him in some of them if he doesn’t mind. I think that’s fair and open-minded, don’t you?

But there are some things I just couldn’t live with. And some guys just don’t give a damn.

I just received this message from a potential suitor:

“Hey beautiful! I would love to get to know you. You don’t like hunters and I want to know why. I hunt and it is lots of fun. I do it for sport. Do you understand how fun sports can be? Museums? No thank you. But I will take you shopping, even though I don’t like it. Where do you like to shop?

 I just bought a [sic] awesome leather jacket to ware [sic] on my motorcycle. I do not like to read and think that must be boring. You need a man like me to get you out and show you how to really live!!!! What kind of dancing do you do? I would like to get together for a glass of wine soon if you would like. You seem like a great woman!!! PS: I vote republican always.”

I did not change any of his wording.

I rest my case.

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