Category Archives: Dating

Breakneck Speed Dating

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared any dating stories with you guys! There’s a reason for that… as I shared here, I’ve made virtually no effort to date anyone over the last several months. A couple of weeks ago, however, in a fog of weekend boredom, I spent four hours chatting with a guy on an online dating site. It started off as a simple hello, but he turned out to be a great conversationalist and we were talking well into the wee hours of the morning, only stopping when our eyelids were drooping. We ended the conversation with plans to go for a hike the next morning and see if we had as much fun in person.

I found him at the agreed-upon meeting spot, his pooch in tow (ALWAYS A PLUS!) I made fast friends with the dog first, and then we set out for a two-hour trek in the woods. Initially a little skeptical of being alone for two hours with a guy I’d never met before and with no quick way out if he turned out to be crazypants, I relaxed upon meeting him. He was chatty, interesting, and had a casual demeanor with me that made me feel immediately as though I’d known him for years, and we didn’t run out of conversation at any point.

At the end of the hike, I found myself disappointed that it was over, and I suppose he’d been thinking the same thing, so we went to get coffees and drove down to the beach to sip and chat some more. There he kissed me, and we ended up spending nine (!!!) hours together that first day. When we parted ways finally, I felt like my life had just been flip-turned upside down and I was floating on a cloud. I couldn’t believe the ease that I felt with him; it immediately seemed that I had an established boyfriend.

Again, it seemed the feeling was mutual with him, and on our second date, he made a tactical error. He must have been feeling close to me and felt comfortable sharing information that you would normally not disclose on a second date. After a casual question asking how long he’d had Kira his dog, I was bombarded with the following:

  • He’d just gotten Kira back from his ex two weeks prior.
  • Kira had been with his ex because she had “stolen” the dog when they broke up and tried to use Kira as leverage to get back together.
  • When that didn’t work, SHE HAD HIM ARRESTED. With handcuffs, and he was escorted away from their place in a cop car! For physical harassment? The story he told me: When he wouldn’t agree to stay together with his ex, she lost control and began physically lashing out at him. To keep her from hitting and punching him, he wrapped his arms around her to immobilize her until she calmed down. She called the police afterwards saying he’d physically restrained her. I actually believe him that this was just a desperate manipulative ploy that she pulled in order to regain some power, and I don’t think he physically abused her, but still… RED FLAG.
  • This all went down a mere 6 weeks ago.
  • Due to the recency of this situation, he actually was still couch-surfing with his buddy following moving out of the apartment he had shared with his ex, and would be moving into his own place the following weekend.
  • Oh yeah, and crazy ex is HIS CURRENT WIFE. Due to divorce law in Canada, he can’t file for divorce until they’ve been separated for one full year. 6 weeks down, 46 to go!!!
  • On an unrelated note but just for kicks to add to this barrel of laughs, he does a lot of marijuana. Like, A LOT. Daily.

Any sane person would probably run away kicking & screaming, but I have always had trouble processing overwhelming information in the moment that I encounter it. So I deferred to my usual tactic of Smooth Things Over And Deal With It Later. I spent the next little while reassuring him that it was okay, and he kept confiding in me the finer points of his breakup with this woman. Eventually I succeeded in changing the subject to a lighter topic, and we had some dinner and wine and fun. I shoved this bonkers tale onto a dusty shelf in the back corner of my brain for later examination.

When he’d left and I had some time to reflect on the mess I’d gotten myself into, I thought back to the details of our conversation about his breakup with his wife. He’d assured me he was over her, which was very plainly not the case. What he meant, I think, was that he had no intention of getting back together with her, which I believe… but the sheer emotion that arose while he was hyper-focused on talking about this relationship made it crystal clear that this really lovely guy was just at the beginning phase of dealing with the fallout from his separation. And he had no business whatsoever being registered on an online dating site. Not only that, but I’d noticed an awful crassness to his language while he was worked up about this story. Listen, I sometimes have quite the sailor-mouth myself, and I have a pretty high tolerance for swearing… but it was literally 2 curse words per sentence and really gross ways of describing things. I was offended and that’s quite a feat!

On the other hand, none of this erased the connection I’d felt with him. After running it by a couple of close friends, I decided that I could possibly deal with the horrible timing of our meeting if the swearing turned out to be something that happened only because he was upset, and was never directed at me in anger… and if he could agree not to ever do any pot around me.

So I very cautiously approached a third date a few days later, and the pot-smoking came up in conversation. I asked him to please not do it around me, and he said it wouldn’t be much fun for him if he couldn’t smoke up and then watch a movie with me or relax in his own home with it. And that was that. There were about ELEVENTY BAJILLION great reasons not to date this guy, and I was willing to consider it anyway, but that one? Dealbreaker.

It started and finished so fast, now it seems like a crazy surreal dream. But it did remind me how nice it feels to have someone in your life that you relate to that way.

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My Heart On a Roller Coaster

Yesterday was a beautiful day in Vancouver – sunny with clear blue skies, and the first day this year that felt warm enough to go without a jacket. My roommate and I decided to take her dog for a walk at the local off-leash dog park.

While we were there, we passed these two guys about my age walking their dogs. They smiled at us. One of them in particular really caught my attention. This was an unusual occurrence… it wasn’t just that I thought he was cute, though I certainly thought so. There was something more than that. There was an immediate jolt of energy that stayed with me after he walked away.

We saw them again walking back in the other direction. We’d caught up to them. They said hi to us and we said hi back. All four of us were all smiles but I was still particularly drawn to the taller baldie with the Mr. Happy tshirt. I started gushing to my roommate about how I wanted to talk to him as soon as we walked away.

As we were finishing the walk and loading the dog back into the car, they came over and chatted with us. I commented on how cute his dog was. He responded to me, “he’s well-trained to only approach cute women!” We both laughed. Then they headed off to their car and we drove off in our separate directions.

I immediately regretted not saying more, wishing we had a way to contact each other. This is not something that happens to me, EVER. I didn’t want a guy with whom I had seemingly electric chemistry (and a mutual love of dogs and weekend hikes!) to walk on by. So I did something I considered bold and very out of character: I posted a note to him on Craigslist Missed Connections. I didn’t expect to hear from him, but it was all I could think of other than going back at the same time the following week and hoping to see him again.

The craziest thing happened: he saw my message and he wrote to me! I’d written the message for “Mr. Happy” and he included a photo of his tshirt to prove it was really him. He’d been thinking about me all day too, and also wished he’d left with a phone number. He randomly decided to check Missed Connections before going to bed and was thrilled to find my message there.

My heart literally soared with excitement. I had managed to text my sister and my roommate in the 3-minute space between reading his first message and the second one that followed, which read, “I’m hoping you were the one in the driver’s seat because I can’t get that smile out of my head!”

I was in the passenger seat.

Cold as Ice

State of my heart, winter 2012/13: FROZEN. ROCK SOLID.

Where we last left off, I was all butterflies and batted eyelashes over Firemedic, who subsequently disappeared into the ether without a trace after skipping town on a 2 week vacation out east. I wasn’t invested in him enough to care much.

Following that, I got really into my book club and preferred hanging out with my friends for awhile. I was feeling utter boredom wasting hours of my life on bad dates where I know 30 seconds in that it’s never going anywhere. Why can’t there be a socially acceptable way to take one look at the guy, shake his hand, say “thanks but no thanks” and everyone can just walk away without spending a penny or hurting any feelings? Riddle me that. EVERYONE would be better off for it.

Shortly after this dating malaise began, we entered the holiday season, aka Dating No Fly Zone. (I contend that it is bad planning to purposely seek out a fledgling relationship immediately prior to awkward family festivities and multiple expensive gift giving occasions.) This period extends from just after Canadian Thanksgiving through to just before Valentine’s Day. I’ve stopped caring entirely that I’m single, I’ve read a lot of great books and spent some good quality time with my girls. I have zero desire to go on a date that I don’t have a good feeling about, just for the sport of it.

Despite all this, I do get notifications from online dating sites from time to time that DragonSlayerXXX winked at you! Bbm_me69 wants to meet you! Groove*thang has sent you a message! So I click through to the site and check out these dudes’ profiles. I nearly fell off my chair last week when there was one that actually seemed… sweet and normal? He was a 36 year old divorced guy with a golden retriever, a bunch of photos, NONE OF WHICH INVOLVED SHIRTLESS CELL PHONE PICS REFLECTED IN A CLOUDY MIRROR! and we had a bunch of interests in common. He wrote me a message that demonstrated he could spell and string sentences together coherently, and promptly asked me out for coffee after I replied to him.

Should have stopped while he was ahead. Here’s the rundown of ridiculousness that ensued:

Upon accepting the coffee date, he asked me if Tim Horton’s was okay. Uh, fast food, dude? You’re inviting me to the food court? Why not roll out the red carpet and spring for McDonald’s? I seriously contemplated not responding after this, but against my better judgment I suggested we could do better than Timmies. We went to Starbucks (his choice out of 3 that I gave him).

He asked me when I showed up if I’d like a drink. The phrasing suggested he was paying. Then he just… didn’t. It got momentarily awkward at the counter, and then I pulled out my wallet to buy my own drink. He then made noises like he might add a drink to my order that I was buying. But he finally opted to order nothing, claiming he didn’t want “any of that sugary crap in his system.” I asked him what his usual Timmies order is. It’s a double double.

We exchanged some riveting conversation. Highlights:

Him: “So… I see you’re an Aquarius! Your birthday must be coming up soon!”
Me: “Yup, in a couple of weeks.”
Him: “You’re really an Aquarius right? Like you’re not on the cusp of Capricorn are you?”
Me: “Nope, pretty solidly in the middle of the Aquarius camp. Why?”
Him: “Oh, because I’ve dated too many Capricorns and they’re all fucking bitches and crazy. I won’t date them anymore.”

*******************************

Me: “I have a friend who took a palmistry course and she read my palm recently. I thought it would be fun but didn’t expect much from it, but she had some crazy insights that she couldn’t have known any other way.”
Him: “That’s bullshit.”

… awkward pause …

Him: “Oh but if you close your hand like this, the number of creases at your thumb tell you how many kids you’re going to have.”
Me: “I’ve never heard that before!” Showing him my closed hand… “How many am I going to have?”
Him: Visibly turned off. “Looks like zero.”

*******************************

Him: “Yeah I had this girl back to my apartment on the second date a little while ago, and she was so weird. She was so hung up on cleanliness.”
Me (alarmed): “How so?”
Him: “Well, like I’m kind of messy, and I’d just cooked a big spaghetti dinner the night before, so I had dirty dishes piled up in the sink and there were crumbs and stuff all over the kitchen counters. And I never put laundry away, I hate it. So I have laundry piled everywhere in my place. I use my ironing board to dump all my clothes on, I never fold them. She was making fun of me for the clothes all over the place.”
Me: “Huh. Sounds like maybe you two were a bit of a mismatch on the housekeeping front.”
Him: “Yeah. And then when she came back for the third date, she looked around and was like, wow, you still haven’t cleaned up huh! And I told her that’s just how my place is. I asked her if it bothered her. And she said yup, it’s kind of dealbreaker actually! And then she LEFT! Right at the beginning of the date! Crazy bitch. I am who I am. I’m not gonna change myself for some chick I barely know.”

*******************************

About 20 minutes into our coffee date…

Him: “I bought two guitars a few weeks ago. I’m teaching myself to play. Hey, you know what? I feel like playing right now. I need to practice. I don’t even have a coffee to drink. Come on back to my place, you can meet my dog, I’ll play you Mary Had a Little Lamb on my guitar!”

I thought he was kidding and laughed it off the first time with a joke about his song of choice. When he suggested it twice more, I told him I wouldn’t be going back to his place on a first date. He kept pushing two or three more times to come back to his place so he could practice the guitar. Is this some sort of euphemism for sex I’m not familiar with? Back off buddy. Dudes with a sense of entitlement who don’t respect boundaries certainly don’t get anywhere with me, and I already didn’t like him by this point. I tossed back the rest of my coffee and told him it was clear that I was coming between him and his precious guitar practice so I wouldn’t keep him any longer. He seemed offended, but he left. First time I’ve ever gotten out of a terrible date in under an hour! 35 minutes, aaaaannnnnnnd out. Anyone else find his double standards hilarious?

Ohhhh and the clincher… he has the same name as my horrible ex-fiance. Beware of men named Chris, nothing good can come of it!

So, yeah. Not really interested in dating right now unless there’s reasonable grounds to believe I’d have more fun than if I stayed home curled up with a great book.

Dating Redux, Summer Edition

I’ve been dating a little over the last few months. I’m hesitant to discuss it sometimes because I feel like the perpetual single girl who only ever finds temporary Gentleman Friends, and I’m not quite sure how I ended up here! I would very much like to have a cuddle-buddy/assumed Saturday night date/person that I make soup & tea for when they’re sick/emergency contact that isn’t my dad. But I won’t find them without some dating shenanigans. Of which there’ve been a few since May!

  1. Richy Rich the financial advisor: We met on POF and bonded over our mutual ability to spell circles around the other fish and geek out on insurance products. We met for coffee at 8pm on a Tuesday. He showed up in a suit & tie, having come directly from work. He was nice but talked nonstop about how successful he was. Half an hour in, he told me he had to go because he was scheduled for a 10k training run that evening for an upcoming marathon. Who works till 7:30, goes directly to a first date without adjusting your dress at all, then directly to a 10km run late at night?! He said I was nice but he didn’t think I could keep up with him. Lucky for me, I had no interest in trying!
  2. The Bobblehead: We met on eHarmony and flew through the 4 stages of communication in one day, no messing around. He gave me his email right away and asked if I wanted to meet up. I did, and we had dinner at a local restaurant. He was really interesting, though I was disconcerted by a habit that he repeated several times throughout our date: I would answer a question of his with my opinion or a story, and when I’d finished speaking, he would pause for an awkwardly-long period of time in contemplation of what I’d said with an amused smirk on his face, before finally answering. Also, I could never get over how big his head was. You might think I meant his ego, but alas, I mean the actual circumference of his head.
  3. Bore McSnore: This one was from OKCupid. He was artsy and had written passionately about photography exhibits, music and films he loved. Had some great photos there too, as well as an admission I should’ve treated as the warning it really was that he is “a bit of an introvert.” We met at a beer tasting room, and while getting ready I got that familiar pit in my stomach that feels like a bad omen. OMG, how does my gut always know if a date will be awful? He showed up 15 minutes late and didn’t smile once. I have never worked so hard to keep a stilted conversation moving along… and he made no effort whatsoever. I left starving, realizing within the first 5 minutes that ordering food would have prolonged the date for far too long. Inexplicably, he seemed to want to order second drinks, but I made excuses about needing to head home, settled up, and headed directly to a nearby restaurant where I regaled the server with the tale of my Most Boring Date Ever. I ordered mini-corn dogs and apple pie to drown my sorrows, thinking things were looking up. But then the corn dogs were mediocre, I dropped one of them on the floor, and they forgot to put in my dessert order. Least satisfying date night in my entire relationship history.
  4. Cafe Owner: Oh, this guy. I’m still shaking my head. I met Mr. Cafe at the new coffee shop around the corner from my house about 3 months ago. He’s adorable and always made a point to talk to me and my friends when we came in. After several visits, I had quite the raging crush on him that I enjoyed for what it was: a fun excuse to spend too much on coffee that would never amount to anything. Until I found his cafe’s Facebook page and liked it, and then he friended me from his personal account, and we started talking and he asked me out to a movie. We had one super fun evening hanging out outside of his work, and then it quickly became obvious he wanted me to be his booty call girl. He threw a toddler-style temper tantrum over text message when I made it clear that he couldn’t have his cake and eat it too. I miss the coffee & scones at his cafe.
  5. And drumroll please…. Firemedic! The only guy I have eyes for right now. He’s a firefighter & paramedic, works crazy shifts, and lives an hour away from me… which is tough, because I would like to see him all the time if I could. We have some amazing chemistry. Our first date, we had dinner. God, he smelled so good, I remember that specifically. He talked nervously about himself a lot, and then caught himself and made a joke about it at the end, which I found totally adorable. We went out on his speedboat for hours with a couple of his friends on our second date. There were hotdogs cooked over an open campfire, and swimming in the lake. YOU GUYS, HE SAW ME IN A BIKINI ON OUR SECOND DATE. And I felt oddly comfortable with this! Third date: night market and fun street food. We couldn’t say goodbye when we got to our cars, and stood there talking in the street for 45 minutes. He came over and watched movies with me at my house on our 4th date, and we finally kissed. Here’s hoping date #5 is soon.

There you have it. I’m very hopeful that Firemedic will limit my need to come up with any monikers for other dates for the foreseeable future – I really like this one! He may put out fires, but he generates all sorts of sparks here 🙂