I Still Hate Dating
His first email said, “Hi gorgeous.” I looked at his profile and was as unimpressed by his foreign relationship with proper spelling and grammar as I was with his not-so-easy-on-the-eye physical appearance. This didn’t surprise me; I’d come to expect such on BlackPeopleMeet (BPM). I swear, this online dating site’s commercials oversell its product. But as I said in my previous post, “I Hate Dating – Part 1”, I’ve adhered to the advice of my friends to do what has become convention – pursue love online. This post highlights my encounters on BPM.
I didn’t respond to his email. He took that as a challenge. Over the next two weeks, he followed up with similar emails lauding my “beauty,” saying that he’d like to get to know me. After the first week, he even remembered to introduce himself: “I’m Will.” I continued to ignore him. Perhaps indicative of his name, Will persisted, finally sending his number saying, “Call me.” I’d had enough of Will. I decided to send him my “template” rejection email. It’s a message I usually reserve for men who send lovely emails of interest, but who really don’t tickle my fancy. I’d put my PR skills to the test in tailoring this message so as to avoid sounding insensitive or unappreciative of any man’s advances toward me. Some men have even responded thanking me for said message, with one writing, “That is by far the best rejection I’ve ever received.”
Will was not having that. He immediately responded cursing me out as if I’d asked, “Is it in yet?” He said I was ugly, called me “a f**k**g Internet slut and then blocked me. I showed his email to my friend Avril who I was visiting at the time in DC and we both had a hearty laugh. I was game for some more fun. Clearly, Will had forgotten that he’d given me his number. I told Avril that I was going to grant him his wish. Surprisingly, he answered my blocked call almost immediately.
Me (In my purest Bajan accent): “Yuh know who is a slut?”
Me: “Yuh muddah!”
As Will stammered with a response, I told him who I was and wished him a great day. His tongue was still tied when I hung up. Avril and I doubled over in hysterics, “I bet he doesn’t try that again,” she said.
Unlike Will, Frank immediately caught my attention. He’d sent a warm note complimenting my profile and photos; his equally impressed me. Frank was originally from Alabama and said he looking to show a New York woman what it meant to be treated by a southern gentleman. We exchanged numbers and he was quick to call. Our first conversation was pleasant and promising. But after two weeks of courtesy calls and texts, Frank had yet to ask me out. I reasoned his busy schedule with two jobs was a factor, so I remained patient.
At week three, I informed Frank that I was traveling abroad. He said we definitely have to meet on my return. I texted him when I got back. Frank responded that I must let him know when I wanted to take him out and he’ll arrange to suit. I explained to this “southern gentleman” that I’m old fashioned in that regard and I prefer for a man to call and ask me out on the first date. He said, “It’s 2013, get with it,” to which I stated that I was unwilling to waiver from my position.
I didn’t hear back from Frank for several days. Then, one night he texted asking how I was doing. I said I was doing well, but up sleepless. He took that as an invitation, “Do you want company?” I said, “No.” Again, Frank disappeared. A week later, out of the blue of he texted: “Can you send me a couple full body pics?” I re-read his text and thought about my 33 photos on BPM – from head shots to full length, what more could he want to see? I felt my face morphing into a Kevin Hart expression, and was tempted to respond with some of the comedian’s colorful adjectives, but settled for “Huh?!’ That was the end of Frank. Dude couldn’t even ask me out for a cup of coffee but requesting exquisite works of art? Stupse.
Just when I was about to give up on BPM, I got an email from Abe. His was well written, seemingly sincere, and made me want to know more about him. Abe was seven years my junior. His age and physical appearance – even at six feet tall with with a dimpled smile – didn’t appeal to me, but what he said in his profile did. Plus, my friends often say that I’m too stereotypical when it comes to a man’s appearance – all of my ex-boyfriends have almost the same physical features. I’ve therefore been making a concerted effort to focus more on a man’s characteristics and how he treats me and less on his looks; although I’ve found that I still need to be physically attracted to him.
I decided to give Abe a chance. I liked that he was doing progressive things with his life. He’s a former marine, who after serving, returned to college and is about to finish his degree, he’s in a great career working for the City, and like me he’s originally from the Caribbean and very family-oriented. Abe is smart, funny, assertive, thoughtful, kind, practises great hygiene, loves my sarcasm, said he was seeking a serious relationship and not into serial dating, and was totally doting on me from the time we started getting acquainted with each other.
I should have detected it from my first phone conversation with Abe. I’d missed his first few calls, so when I saw him calling as I stood in Times Square with my beloved 11 year-old nephew Nicholai, I answered. I told him I’d have to call him back since I was out with my nephew. He complained that I was hard to reach. I explained that my nephew was visiting from Barbados and only with me for a few days. That seemed to appease him, but he insisted that I call him the next day, also suggesting that we text in the meantime. Before hanging up, he said, “I’m going to make you mine.”
We met for the first time at a Dunkin’ Donuts in my Brooklyn neighborhood and then went for a walk. It was a lovely evening, the connection was very organic and we both said we felt as if we’d known the other for years. Any reservations I had from our first conversation were now gone. In the days following, Abe and I had spent a great deal of time together. After two days, he actually said, “You know you’re mine, right? You know I’m your man?” I said that it was much too soon to determine that, but that I liked him and really wanted to get to know him. We talked over the phone and texted daily.
On a Monday morning, we made a date for the upcoming Thursday. But over the next couple of days, I got no texts, as I’d come to expect from Abe, and the one call he returned was on the Wednesday at 2 a.m. saying he’d been sick all day and in the ER. He finally called on Thursday afternoon – date day. I missed all seven of his calls. I tried to call him back that afternoon and again around 6 p.m. He never answered until about 9 p.m. Abe immediately started shouting, “Where were you all day? Why were you not picking up my calls?” I first asked him to stop shouting and attempted to explain my day. I got as far as, “Well, we’ve actually not really spoken since Monday and,” before he interjected screaming, “This is too much, have a goodnight.” And he hung up on me.
I sat there thinking that I must really be rusty with this dating thing, that something was wrong with me. I spent the next few minutes trying to figure out what I could have done differently, reflecting on our courtship, every conversation, every moment together. And I realized how lucky I’d been. . . Lucky that it was only a week and half since I’d met Abe, because heaven knows, one more week of that bat crazy, obsessive man and I might not have lived to tell y’all the story! Yup, I hate dating.
~ I Keep it Irie ~