Sunday, October 30, 2011

I'm back, baby

So, after a six month hiatus, I've finally decided to return. Why, do you ask? Dating. After a couple of stories that seemed particularly shareable, I've decided to resurrect the blog. Hope you enjoy.

So, back in August we had a hurricane here in NJ. I opted to spend the day in to avoid any drama on the roads, and found myself on a new dating website a friend had told me about. Full disclosure, I had my first date that night, and he left my place the next day at 3pm. ;) But that needs its own blog post and I feel like I should ease back into this whole blogging thing. So, back to the site. I've been busy dating ever since...going on a couple dates a week when I've been in town. This blog post is dedicated to once such date.

First, the stats. "D2" (I'm going on a second date with D1 this week, so more about that another time) is 43 and a Princeton PhD in religious studies (though self-admittedly not religious). He describes himself as follows (excerpt):

I'm an easygoing, thoughtful, confident, drama-free & sincere guy with a subtle and witty sense of humor. Or so I say. Although I'm opinionated and will tell you what I think, I have a lot of opportunity to debate at work, and I'm looking for a woman to have more peaceful, playful, and affectionate interactions with. Although if you make me laugh while doing it you can generally get away with anything. Being able to crack each other up is pretty essential and I'm kind of all je ne sais quoi about humor compatibility theories. Don't even tell me that's not a thing. I admire people who do not judge other earthlings for doing "obviously" crazy things or thinking thoughts that are "obviously" misguided, but who are curious about them, or at least ironically speculative.

Sounded good enough as a start. So, we went out a few weeks ago, and had a nice enough time. Didn't blow my socks off, but it was fun enough that I agreed on a second date. I was headed out of the country for a few weeks, I told him I'd reach out when I returned. I reached out once while I was gone to stay in touch and it was well received. So, a few days before I returned we made a date. Literally three days later, I had an opportunity to meet up with some friends for drinks and, frankly, that seemed more enticing. So I did a bad thing. I sent an email and said something to the effect that I had "double booked" myself and wondered if we could reschedule.

Now, perhaps I could have made up an excuse, rather than just saying "oops" (yeah, I actually wrote that). But I didn't. We'd been on one date so it seemed unneccessary, and I'm not prone to explaining myself. I mean, the third word in this guy's profile is "easygoing".

Holy shit. Drama! This guy writes me back a thesis (which I deleted and now I wish I hadn't). He goes on and on about how when I want to date a man and not a boy, I should call him. "what do you take me for, a 26 year old sitting at home?" "You couldn't even bother giving me a lame excuse?" Now, at first I thought, what an asshole. But I tried to be mature about it, and re read it a few days later and tried to look at it from his angle. But, ultimately, I pretty much decided that there was no way I'd go out with this guy again (can you say "high maintenance"?) but, more imprortantly? I wanted him to learn a lesson not to be so f*ing high strung.

So, I wrote back. An equally lengthy message which apologized that he felt disrespected (his words), that I had misbooked a flight for the weekend and didn't even think to explain (a complete lie :) In the end I wished him luck in finding someone who better meets his communication needs. His reply:

Hi Jo,

I just wanted to tell you that I really appreciate this reply (I did receive it twice, btw, so I also appreciate your follow up to make sure I received it). The difference between the initial one and this one is night and day, and it does boost my assessment of you. So thanks, and apology accepted.

I'm not sure if I've scared you off, but if you think you might be interested in keeping the communication open, it's probably useful to distinguish three issues. The first one is your schedule, which I admit I'm not happy about, but, as you say, is your life. I could work with that one alone, if I were otherwise confident that something that we had set up was solid. That makes the other two issues -- communication about setting up plans in the first place, and cancelling (for any reason, but accidentally double-booking is especially unfortunate) -- all the more important than they would be otherwise. See, my schedule tends to be full, so a last minute cancellation might mean waiting another week before we could find a time - even more if there is a long delay between emails trying to set that up.

So, now that I know you are certainly *capable* of communicating clearly, and now that you know how important these things are to me (especially given your schedule), I'm wondering if you're interested in working with that?

Whew, sorry that was a little long-winded. Enjoy NC.

p.s. BTW, if you see me moving my location around, don't be alarmed - I'm trying to confuse and shake off a crazy stalker. First time for everything.

Ok, so I'm getting closer to teaching an important lesson not to jump to conclusions about people. So, I replied that I'd been going back and forth about what to say. That I really respected that he clearly knows himself and his needs (I don't), but that ultimately I didn't think we'd be a great match. I added a note about the fact that I was taken aback by the tone in his original email. His final reply:

Hi Jo,

The "stalker" seems to have subsided; she sent me two extremely long stream of consciousness msgs that just looked batshit crazy and were only vaguely related to my profile, but related enough to know they were not cut/paste jobs.

RE: the rest, I understand; that's totally fair. I have a bad habit of writing emails with hard sounding tones when I am a little annoyed; I need to work on that. I probably should have tried to find a time to reschedule and then tried to communicate some of this in person in a more lighthearted way, rather than the approach I took. Based on your last two emails I think I seriously misjudged you and therefore shot myself in the foot. I need to be a little more comfortable with uncertainty and a little more patient with people I don't know very well while I'm getting to know them. This shall be *my* learning experience.


Mission accomplished. Maybe next time he'll think twice about freaking out on someone for trying to reschedule a date a freaking week in advance. So, that's some of what I've been up to...making the dating world a better place. One man at a time. Hasta, sabbaticaljo