My dating profile had been live for all of maybe three days and I got my first e-mail. ‘Weeeeee! This site rocks! I’m going to have my hands full with dates and I’m gonna have to fight them all off with a stick!’ So naive. So adorable. So wrong.
By all accounts, this lady was kind, mature, professional, interesting, successful, originally from a far away land, possessing of a very sexy accent, and not at all what I expected. So we calendar a lunch date to start. (Someone once told me that the key to meeting new online dates is to schedule them at lunch. Lunch dates have a strict one hour time limit so if your date is creepy, boring, ugly or just plain old not your type, you have to be outta there in less than an hour and back to work. 'Nice to meetcha but I gotta get back to the office!' No muss, no fuss.) As it turned out, though, lunch was pleasant and our conversation was easy. Great, let’s move on to a dinner date!
Our dinner date was pleasant and our conversation was easy. We take a walk after dinner and it's fucking freezing outside. The wind is so fierce that I'm thinking of changing my name to Dorothy and flying off to Oz! Hmmm, but this does create a great opportunity to initiate closeness. So I put my arm around her and she around me. Ahhh so nice. Our walk doesn't last long, despite being close we're still fracturing our teeth from excessive chattering.
So we decide to head off in search of post-dinner libations and as she unlocks and opens my door, I start to do the lean. You know the lean: a deep lingering glance into each other's eyes and a move 45 degrees inward towards a kiss. (You never want to go the whole way for a first kiss. There's the potential of surprising your date, rejection, or worse: teeth to teeth contact.) So I lean ... 45 degrees and hold. ... aaaand NOTHING! Wait. What?! No reciprocal lean? Now, I'm not always great at reading clues and my dating intuition barely graduated primary school but I have NEVER done the lean only to be left hanging. So now I'm scratching my head and talking my bruised ego off the ledge of the world's tallest skyscraper.
We jump into her car in search of a watering hole and a stiff drink. I tell myself that the date's not over and maybe there's still another chance for a reciprocal lean. We find a wine bar and order a couple of glasses. We're sitting close, very close; there's flirty touching, light embracing and coy laughter and I'm starting to rebound from my momentary rejection.
As she drops me off, I suggest a movie date the following weekend. There's an outdoor showing of "Jaws" in the park. I can pack up a picnic of cheese, bread and sangria. As I'm sitting in the passenger seat, I'm thinking this is my last chance for a kiss. I tell her that I had a really wonderful night, that I'm looking forward to our movie date and then I move in towards her. She comes in and gives me a ... hug. Really? A fucking HUG? Umm... alrighty then. Now I'm calling the bruised ego suicide hotline.
Days pass and three hours before our movie-in-the-park date, I receive what I can only describe as an "Oh shit! I can’t do this! panic e-mail".
Aww fuck. Seriously?
So I respond, "No worries. I think you’re great and if you ever want to hang out as friends, I’d be happy to do that. If not, then be well." This has since become my typical canned response to most of my parting ways communications. Not. Even. Kidding. I practically have this saved as a template for future use! In this case, though, I actually meant it. I love having strong, successful, interesting women in my life, and at that point in my limited dating experience, I was just naive to actually want former dates as friends.