My Tinder Adventure
This St. Patrick’s day (2017) I received a message on Tinder. “So I haven’t used this app in a while and I happened to see this — it’s a bit later but would you want to hang out sometime.” This seemingly innocent text failed to disclose the fact that the previous message had been from me saying “Happy 4th of July! Have any fun plans for the weekend?” and was dated…July 4th 2013. That’s right, this was one of the many messages I had sent during the Great 4th of July Tinder experiment when I was just beginning my single-lass explorations in dating.
So I did what any sane woman would do under the circumstances and turned to FB for advice/amusement. The comments came rolling in.
“Omfg I literally have this person.” The first woman said “It’s a woman. Still a jerk and a half tho lol.” I kinda agreed.
“Wow. That’s some delay. Avoid him” Said a friend from London.
“He might be playing some awesome ultra long game that no one knows about” Another Londoner replied.
“Such as what? Craziness?” The first asked.
“Maybe he was knitting me a sweater and couldn’t ask me out till it was done?” I pondered.
The first replied. “He sounds dodge. If you were my sister: Hell No.”.
(Lucky for him I, ever curious and prone to slightly impulsive decisions, was not his sister. )
Another girl friend posted “He probably went and had a relationship and that ended and he messaged you. Is it weird don’t think this is weird?” And I thought she was probably the closest to being correct. Plus, I was done with Pretty Boy and bored. So I replied.
3-years (as he will now be named) was fast to ask me out to drinks and we agreed to meet after work at one of my favorite bars in the West Village: The Otheroom. The facebook friends were quick to remind me to bring mace and let close friends know where I was going.
I ran late to our date, but he was nice about it and when I arrived quickly found a drinks menu and asked me what I wanted (Always a good start). He was a tall, lanky, black guy who worked in a job that was both technical and artistic. I wasn’t sure if the chemistry was there but the conversation was right up my ally. We ended up talking for 2 hours and then as I begged off as it had been a long day.
3-years did however ask me if I wanted to go on another date the following week, I still wasn’t sure he was my type but I liked the conversation so I agreed. Our second date was at The Flatiron Room (another one of my favorites). The conversation was again good, but he failed to pick up on the fact that my ‘hey I’m hungry do you want to grab a bite?’ actually meant I was hungry and wanted dinner. Instead he ordered the cheese platter to share. As we ended the night I was left feeling famished.
By the end I was pretty sure I wasn’t into him, so offered to pay for half of the cheese. He didn’t get the message, insisted on paying and as he walked me to the subway asked if he could take me to Delmonico’s for our next date. I had lived near the famous restaurant when I was with the EMF but he had never taken me (being a vegetarian) and at that time in my life I couldn’t afford it. I was very tempted to say yes. So so tempted. And then 3-years decided to kiss me goodnight. Now it wasn’t a bad kiss, it was a pleasant kiss but it had about as much spark as a kiss from the most platonic relationship one could imagine.
The next morning I was talking to a work friend about it.
“Of course you didn’t like him!” One of the Grip guys exclaimed, walking in ” He didn’t feed you!?”
“Who didn’t feed her?!” Another one of the carpenters walked in from the shop.
“Her date!” Said my friend
“What kind of date is that!? You gotta feed a lady.” Said the Grip
“But was it a first date? Because I get only wanting to grab a drink…” started the carpenter.
“Second date.” I filled in.
“Oh no, that’s not ok. You gotta eat. It’s important.” The Grip declared and exited the break room coffee and bagel in hand.
“I would have just ordered a Burger and told him to join if he wanted” said the Carpenter. Point taken fellas, next time I’ll just order what I want.
Later I told my roommate Ray* who made a face,”No food? That’s not just important! That’s a deal-breaker!” The verdict was in. The chemistry of Liz and Jack coupled with the lack of food meant I had to let him go.
The next day he got in touch with me asking about a 3rd date (dancing) and possibly 4th date (Delmonico’s) and I decided the nice thing to do was let him down easy. I texted him, “Hey, so I was thinking last night and I think my feelings for you are more friends based. You are awesome and I would hate to lead you on in any way. I’d love to go dancing as friends but I understand if that’s not what you are looking for.”
“Hey, I appreciate your honesty — though that’s not what I’m looking for.” 3-years texted back a bit after “maybe we can go dancing at some point as friends. Although, may I ask what makes you see me as more of a friend?”
I sighed, he had caught me just as I was starting to do yoga and I was in pigeon pose.
“I would ask that you be as honest as possible, without sugarcoating if that’s ok.”
I stared at the text and decided to stay honest but nice. Unwinding myself I texted back:
“Sure. I just didn’t feel any sparks when we kissed and it was a nice kiss, so that kinda tells me the chemistry just isn’t there for me. I totally dig our conversations but that chemistry I look for in a partner was missing. :/”
“Well if that’s the case I have to agree in part. It was nice, but yeah, it wasn’t magnetic.” Then why was he even asking me on a 3rd date! I read further.
“You’re still super cute, but yeah, just friends — maybe we’ll ‘chill’ when you return, but probably sporadically at best, hahaha.
Last Question: any thoughts as to why the chemistry may have been off? I have some ideas but would like to know yours.”
I glared at my phone, irritated that I had been interrupted in my yoga, and irritated at his tone. Then I re-read and thought about it. Clearly the man was trying to play this off like he knew what was going on with me saying no after 2 nice (if food-bereft) dates, but he actually had no clue and was probably feeling insecure because of it. I decided to push my ire aside be nice.
“Honestly, I think it’s just biology and pheromones and what not. Nothing to do with your or our conversation. I totally enjoyed our dates. I find that for me, if I don’t feel sparks from the first, it’s just never gonna be more than friends and if I do feel sparks there will always be sparks no matter what. And it’s a pretty instant sensation for me personally.”
“Right! Well as long as you’re truthfully not attempting to guard my feelings I can understand that.” Again with the insecurity!
I was brief this time, a downward dog was calling my name.
“Being totally honest. Sometimes it just doesn’t click for me!”
“Understood!” He texted back “Enjoy your trip! Maybe we can still get a dance in as friends after you come back from your trip!”
And that was that.
I thought about it after I finished my yoga and decided I had done the right thing. It was fun to answer and see if there was anything to the 3-years too late message. And even though there wasn’t anything there, I felt like I had answered a question without any harm to myself.
Further, it wouldn’t have been nice to go to Delmonico’s with him for a pricy date if I didn’t see things progressing, and it didn’t take that much out of my day or my time to give him some peace of mind. I was kinda surprised that he noticed the lack of sparks but wanted to continue…but I’m pretty cut an dry about these things and I know other people aren’t. Mostly, I think I treated him the way I would want to be treated if I was being let down easily and hopefully he understood that. It can be tempting to be short with someone when you don’t want to pursue anything with them, or just to ghost. But the nicest thing is to be honest and hope they get it. This guy did. And I think we both felt better for it.