Le sigh. I have taken a break from both Tinder and Bumble (another dating app: similar to Tinder with the swiping business, though if you match with someone, the woman has 24-hours to start a conversation, the man then has 24-hours to respond, and if he does, conversing without a timer begins) in that the apps are on my phone taking up storage space and I am no longer exercising my thumbs.
I only go on Tinder now if I’ve been superliked and my phone pushes the notification—my curiosity obviously being piqued. Which then after satiating said curiosity, I typically exclaim (to myself and not said superliker):
No way. No how. No thank you. #NotInterested
I remain hopeful; ever the optimistic. I think it’s important to continue with the online efforts, but when you feel it. And right now, I def don’t feel it.
My feelings, or lack thereof as the case may be, culminated with chatting to people I’m interested in, but the chats turned into month long conversations, and well, it’s not what I’m looking for (I have enough friends I text with). I’m not afraid to be direct and ask a fella out, it’s happened, but I’m really looking for a man to take the lead. And so, I take a break until my attitude changes.
It also maybe, kinda, doesn’t help that my last date was a total and utter disaster. Want to hear about it?
Hear about it:
Let’s call him Derek. Derek asked me out right away, though I dug this tactic (read the above), I had hesitations due to his very blunt, direct questions without so much as a “Hi”(people act like we all know each other—where are the manners? WHERE?!).
Still, he came across as an athletic deep thinker. An artist even. I remained intrigued and gave him the benefit of the doubt. Tinder feels like a lot of doubting benefits are given. We met in my hood for a drink. And unfortunately, upon seeing him waiting outside, I just knew he wasn’t for me. There wasn’t anything in particular that made me think “no”. He’s cute, no doubt. But sometimes you just know, and I knew. The awkwardness commenced right off the bat.
With a big smile, and a lot of warmth, and even a hug, I said, “Hi, how are you?”
And then, I received a very dry, unenthusiastic, “Good.” Maybe even with a shoulder shrug to suggest, what other response is there?
WTF. Now, I’m too nice and too concerned with what others think of me to have ended ‘the date’ right there. Can you end a date before it’s even begun? Are their rules in this? What’s the etiquette, the protocol? Whatever it is, I am not privy to it and I need to be.
And so, instead, we entered the midtown hipster bar. It was loud and active. I felt all sorts of introversion wash over me. This was not how I wanted to spend my time.
I ordered a chai tea, he did the same. I found us a seat.
I find in the awkwardness of this, my masculine qualities amp up—that is to say, I take the lead. And like I said, I can, but I don’t like to. We shared a lot about camping and his running. It felt like pulling teeth at times, trying to coax details out of him. And in all this silence and the pain of the awkwardness of it all, I became SUPER awkward. I get really fidgety when there are lulls in the conversation. And then I talk a-mile-a-minute when I have something to contribute, which is mostly just saying anything so there isn’t silence. To top all these agitated feelings off, I felt like everyone in the bar is looking at us, sussing out whether or not this is date one, before settling on the fact that it’s clear as day we are indeed on a first, not good, date.
My tea was gone in no time.
Perhaps 30 minutes in, maybe more? Heck, maybe even less! I have the courage to say, “So, my tea is finished, and I have a few things I need to get done tonight…”
Derek a little surprised (perhaps I misread how bad I think this is all going?), asked if he could walk me home.
Why, oh why didn’t I say “no, thank you”? Or better yet:
I’m needing to be alone right now. And walking home, for me, is an alone kind of activity.
Because. Because I am me. And I’m nice. And I really like to keep things awkward.
And so, we walked north up Yonge ever closer to my hood. The convo was a little less awkward (because, you know, being mobile has its advantages as opposed to sitting opposite one another with NO distractions). We get to the last intersection before my place. He has to cross the street. I wait for the light to give him the go-ahead. Too polite for my own damn good.
But who cares about politely waiting for one’s street light to signal ‘cross’. There are far more awkward and annoying moments in life. Like, going to give someone a hug goodbye, that doesn’t stay as just that, but somehow deforms into—I still have yet to figure out how this all went down—a… MOUTH KISS. NO bloody clue how. This of course brings to mind my crush, Iliza Shlesinger and the following (refer to 40:30):
I pulled away. He stammered and said something about how he wasn’t expecting that, and he leaned in for ANOTHER kiss. To which I said, “I was going for a hug.”
I have never felt so humiliated for someone I don’t know. Derek’s face fell, or so it seemed, because the next thing he asks is if I really want to go home, and wouldn’t I rather continue to hang out?
I shook my head.
White walking man appeared on the traffic light. We said our goodbyes.
I walked calmly to my part of the street corner—the part that is out of sight from where Derek must be at by this point, visibly shaking my head, and RUN LIKE THE damn WIND. I called Tina to whine about the awful awkwardness. The awkwardness of Derek, the awkwardness of me, and ultimately the compounded awkwardness that resulted from every moment starting with, “Hi, how are you?”. I shuddered and squealed, relishing a small bit at the, “guess what just happened to me?” story.
I feel heebed out now, still trying to understand the moment that a leaning in for a hug turned into a full on mouth kiss.
I like to think I have fairly high emotional intelligence and that I’m decent at reading people and situations. And I’d say that I am (emotionally intelligent and decent at reading people and situations). But this? This. This leaves me questioning my very existence.
Ha. Not really.
That’s the way it goes. The nature of dating. Sometimes you hit it off with people you are interested in, or not (interested in). And sometimes you really don’t hit it off at all. There are so many variables and permutations.
The next day I received a text from Derek. He mentioned how that was the most awkward first date, but that he wanted to take me out and see if a second date played out better. I (politely) said no thank you, and best of luck with his running. He replied figuring it was a no, and wished me luck with whatever I had going on that weekend. And that was that.
I’m looking forward to when the variables are all in my favour.
Until then, I leave you with this: