33 \ Chemistry.

August 2014
Chemistry is key. She said she liked indie rock. She was cute. Her profile was upbeat and funny and well written. We started chatting and we clicked. Quick. Witty. Banter. Super fun.

We had much in common. Connections to Europe. Connections to Texas. Parents. Music. We exchanged several long emails. Chemical. Very good. We graduated to the telephone. Even better. Long chats. Effortless. Exciting. Fun.

Then a lull. The holidays. Schedules. We later picked it back up. And we eventually met.

Okay, there were a few alarm bells that were ringing that made sense to overlook. The use of ‘lol’. Even once is too much. She lived in the burbs. I understand this can be out of necessity. But there was a bunch of good, and it was a bit of a thrill.

It was a warm Saturday evening. We met for drinks and dinner. She arrived. She looked like the pictures. But….different from the person I had been chatting with, kind of cheesy. And in person, the convo was difficult. Did not quite flow.

We had a drink, a bite, and then a good bye. We emailed, texted, chatted a bit after that but never got back together. In person, the chemistry just wasn’t there. The come down was hard – the disappointment that at what had appeared to be promising, was in fact not.

Two lessons learned. One – not wise to invest a large amount of time chit-chatting without meeting in person. Time investment. Emotional investment. It would take me a few more dates to fully get this. Get offline as quick as you can and see if there’s any chemistry there. Two – keep expectations realistic.

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82 \ Jess.

March 2016
Met 82 via OKCupid. She appeared attractive, interesting, direct, and also in the same line of work as myself. She also had a young baby. This is not something I was clamoring for. My kids are older – middle and high school now. But in the spirit of being open to anything, I proceeded. I would learn something at the very least. A few messages, some delays via busy schedules, child care, travel, etc, and we eventually met.

We met for coffee one day, both of us making a break from the day job. She was attractive in person, quiet, organized, a designer, had her stuff together. She was also into good music, art, creative, and had a great style. I liked her. We agreed to try and get together again soon.

Things got busy, we couldn’t get schedules to align, and our communication slipped. Her situation was challenging – working full time, single mom, infant, day care. It wasn’t the easiest to negotiate.

We ended up walking by each other one day about a month later. She was talking to a friend – work talk – so I didn’t interrupt. I did text her and said ‘hello’. We texted a bit. A few days later, we walked by each other again – this time we said hello, and had a chat. We would try again. And we did.

I met her after work soon after for happy hour. She asked if it would be okay if her daughter was there. Of course, I responded. This was a first for a date. But totally understand her situation and her reality. Her baby was super cute, about 14 months, and super happy, and very curious and very good. I like kids – babies make me smile. Do I want another one? Not really. But I’m very comfortable with them.

At some point she needed to go to the loo. “Do you mind watching her while I go?” she asked. Sure, I responded. She wasn’t gone long. And the baby was great. Thank goodness! She came back, and we were soon off. She must’ve trusted me. Or just really need to go to the loo. In any case, we hugged, said our goodbyes, and said we would see each other again.

I wasn’t sure. I liked her. She seemed really cool, and together, and interesting. But did I want a baby? Not top of the list. Indicative that 82 dates in, I’d met so few people that I could actually see being with that I’m considering a single mom with an infant.

We had a devil of a time getting schedules to work. We would try, not get it to work, and then it would fizzle. Run into each other, chat, then fizzle. Finally, by June, I invited her and the baby to my pool one Sunday afternoon after seeing each other walking. She texted at 3pm, day of, saying she was still on a client call. She very well could have been, or could have been blowing me off. I left it at that, and we haven’t seen each other or chatted since.

At some point I’m sure we’ll pass each other again. It’s a small town. And we’ll catch up and go from there.

93 \ Headshot.

August 2016
I met 93 via OKCupid. She was attractive, and we chatted a bit, but not long, and soon met for a drink. Tall, slender, a bit on the new age-y side. Let’s see where this goes.

She soon told me she’s an actress, not working, not able to find work, and looking to leave Austin within the month. What the fuck are we doing here then, I thought? We had a drink, some uninteresting chitchat, and then I ‘had to go’. I made my exit. Goodbye.

34 \ Texas Two Step.

September 2014
I met 34 via Tinder. We had a mutual friend in common, in fact it was 15. They were uncannily similar. Both in the same industry, similar looks, and builds. We had a few chats, a shared love for vintage cars, and soon arranged to meet.

It was a warm afternoon, and we met for a drink in the early evening. She was attractive, and drove a 50s Buick. She kind of had that 50s thing going on as well, which is not totally my thing – she wore it well. We had a good chat, and it was easy and comfortable. We were around the same age, and we had plenty of common ground we could cover. At some point we had a lovely kiss – we were obviously getting on quite well.

We decided to move on the the next place – we went to go see a country band and do some dancing. She was into the 2-step dancing scene. I wasn’t, and part of all this dating was about learning something new, right? So off we went.

There are a few places in town that have their regular acts, and their regular dancers that show up and do their thing. Couples, and singles. She was giving me the lowdown as we watched – who the regulars were, what they were like, and a bit of back story on some of the characters. Everyone was quite good. I was a bit petrified, but still game. We had a go on the dance floor. I was not that good. We kept running into people. She soon escorted us off.

“C’mon,” she said, and we went to an uncrowded area near the back. She proceeded to give me a dance lesson. She was very patient. The 2-step is a very simple dance, yet I was having a hard time getting the knack of it, which is unusual since I’m a muso and plenty of rhythm. In any case,  we spent a good 20-30 minutes, muddling through in the back. At some point, we made our way back into the fray, and she began to dance with the regulars (which she was one of) as they came and asked her. I of course was totally cool – but did feel a bit inadequate due to my dodgy two-stepping. Which I think is natural. But it did change the mood of the evening.

It was time to go – it was a long date. The mood had changed, we were getting tired, and things had gone a bit strange. We went outside to our vintage cars, and kissed goodnight. It was an awkward kiss. Nothing like the first. And we went our separate ways.

But I did learn to 2-Step. Sorta.

77 \ MCM.

January 2016
I originally met 77 in her furniture shop. I had stopped in one Saturday afternoon. She said she was open by appointment, but I’m welcome to look around. She was very nice. Beautiful. And had a very young baby with her. She made me nervous, she was so attractive.

Sometime later, I ended up seeing her online, first on Match, then OKCupid. She was newly divorced, and yes, very much my type. I messaged her. She remembered me coming into her shop. She thought I was cute. I was in! She wasn’t quite ready to meet people. Blast. We later messaged each other. Still not a good time. Then finally, many months later, it was time. Eventually, we met.

I called her to arrange to meet. There was something a little off. She liked wine, so we met at a wine bar. I got there first. She walked in, and she was much as I remembered. Slender, elegant, high cheekbones, full lips, beautiful. She sat down.

She was very shy. Timid. Cautious. Chatting was laborious. This seemed a very different person from the person I met in the shop over a year earlier. Divorce can change someone, that is obvious. She was a single mom now, keeping that young baby nearly full time. She had shut her shop. She was working in a smoky bar up north. She painted what sounded like a bleak picture. I did my best to make it fun – again, she was keeping her cards very close to her chest.

There was something she was hiding, I sensed. I told her as much, jokingly, that she had a deep dark secret. She thought it very forward of me to ask, and she asked what I thought it was. I answered, somewhat kidding, that I thought she used to be an erotic dancer. Nailed it. I let her know I wasn’t judging at all, we all have our pasts, it’s actually kind of cool and funny. We carried on with our glass of wine, and it all had gone a bit strange. She was taken aback by my directness. I’d rather be direct than mess about and talk around things. Not always easy to do but worth striving for.

We texted later that night, and talked about seeing each other again. But we didn’t. There was too much going on there, a lot of work, and I believe if you can’t be open and willing then you are not in it. Lovely as she was.

75 \ Cigar Box.

November 2015
I met 75 one Saturday morning via Tinder. She was in town from LA. A few messages, and we arranged to meet that evening.

I had planned on meeting some friends, so I suggested we meet at a bar downtown. Unbeknownst to them, my Tinder date would be meeting us as well – she was also out and about with some friends – what could possibly go wrong?

My friends arrived after I did – a couple, whom are very aware of my singleness, and another single girl friend of ours, who may or may not fancy me, but the feeling is not reciprocated – we’re friends. I let them know what I had been up to, and that a Tinder date will be showing up, along with her friends. To say they were curious is an understatement. I don’t typically put my friends in this type of situation – it certainly won’t be a dull evening.

They arrived after we had ordered our first round, 75 and two of her friends. Hello’s and introductions were made, and had. She was attractive and tall. Around my age, possibly older. Good style. Her friends seemed cool – all creative types. This was actually a really good way to meet a date – almost like a ‘normal’ offline meeting. You get to meet them, get a sense of their friends, and the pressure is off just a bit.

Drinks were had, and much chatting. I tried to divvy up my attention between the three of them, to be a good host, to be polite. I’m sure her friends were also intrigued by this situation. My friends were slower to engage – perhaps a bit cautious, perhaps a bit voyeuristic.

My date was successful and in design, like myself. Also an indie musician, like myself. Canadian. I liked her. More drinks were had, laughs were had, lots of chat, and eventually everyone else made their way, leaving just the two of us. By this time we were a few drinks in (cigar box’s), and sat quite close to each other. The bar was emptying, the lights dim. We made out. We had another drink. It was closing time. She suggested we go to her hotel. I thought that was a very good idea.

This was a first. A complete Tinder hook up. That’s what’s supposed to happen on Tinder, yeah? I had been (and continue to be) using dating apps to find that someone to date longer term – and not as a way to hook up – I’m really just not a hook up type of guy. I find those shallow connections just too, well shallow. Believe me, sometimes I wish I could be shallow and hook up – things would be so much easier.

We made our way to the hotel, a nice new one downtown, and up to her room. Hot, tipsy, passionate sex. She was a woman that knew what she wanted. Super fun. In the early hours of the morning, same again. I had to get going – I had to let my dog out – I hadn’t planned for a dirty stop out. We said our goodbyes, and I was off.

I text her later that day. She was meeting one of her friends, before going off to the airport. I offered to meet and give her a ride. She thought that would be great. Why did I do this? Why not leave it as a one night stand? I liked her, why not. Even if I was the one night stand, I had nothing to lose.

We met, with her friend, and everyone was a bit hungover. We chatted for a bit, and then I gave her a ride. We kissed at the airport, and she was off. We’ve texted once or twice since then, and are friends. She was a woman, on a work trip in Austin, on Tinder, looking to hook up. And did she ever. A Tinder fling. Good fun.

55 \ The Darkness.

April 2015
55 and I met for a drink and a bite to eat. She was close to my age, and was stylish. She was direct, and seemed slightly jaded. We connected over music. Great music taste, and she went to watch bands.

We talked and while we got along well enough, there was this cynical dark side just lurking below the surface. I thought a friend for shows would be cool – through all this dating finding even a few friends would be worth it.

We vowed to stay in touch, and called it a night. And we did stay in touch. For a bit. I sent her a few follow up emails. She sent a few back. Then, one beautiful Saturday spring morning – an email that had a line that was something like “I’m so tired of the depressing fucking state of America”. That’s not quite it – maybe I’m blocking it out – but it was so dark, and I never replied.

I did run into her recently, outside a show. I recognized her, and said hello, we met on a date. She said “It couldn’t have gone that well, then”. And I smiled, and carried on my way.