What drew me to 2? Still new to online dating (well, dating period) at the time it was a well written OKCupid profile, and while she seemed to look different in nearly all of her pictures, there was enough there to reach out. (I would learn the picture thing is a tell-tale sign of well, all is perhaps not what it seems – but not in this case.) She seemed to be a seasoned dater – meaning, single for a good while, accustomed and comfortable with online dating. After several really good emails we used the chat feature on OKC. Excellent banter – we really clicked. Funny, and fun. New to Austin, and I arranged to pick her up from her place downtown. (I didn’t know it was a thing not to pick people up on a first date – uh, which I still don’t apparently – it worked out fine – we had clicked pretty well).
She walked up to the car and, like 1, wasn’t quite as portrayed, but was confident, positive, and projected poise and grace. A hello, arms around my neck, a kiss, and off we went.
A lovely spring evening, we grabbed a bite between drinks and brisk chit-chat. We effortlessly navigated SoCo, and each other – we had a good bit in common. We hit several spots, and at the end of the evening, into early morning, I dropped her off at her place. We chatted, with that slow kind of walk that signals you don’t want the night to end, and then made out. Excellent kisser. We made out for like 20 minutes. Tingling, electric, warming, satisfying. Making out rules. We said good night, and went home.
(I would later learn that an hour, or two, tops, was the norm for a first online date – well, told by friends that had done the online dating thing – but, early on especially, my dates seemed to go for hours.)
I wasn’t going to call 2 again. She was cool and bright and chatty but I wasn’t physically attracted to her. She had some food things. I have some food things as well but hers were quite intense. At this point I was looking for Ms Perfect to ‘date’ or have any type of long term ‘relationship’ with. Which was ridiculous as I was a mess, barely 3 months out of my marriage, but I would at least like to get a bowl of queso and a margarita with no bother.
I found myself at Whisler after work the following week, needing a drink. She had texted me a few times since the date and I had responded a bit reluctantly, coolly, but not calling it off or anything. I wasn’t equipped to ‘break up’ at this point – didn’t really understand the state I was in. Were we ‘going out’? ‘Seeing each other’? ‘Casual dating’? I had no idea what all that meant. Remember, dating for the first time since 1994.
We were texting and, a few bevvies in, it seemed like a good idea to visit. She was working from home. I should come over. I did. We made out a good bit more. The Mopac trains screeched by, strangely soothing. I had to go. I didn’t want to go any further, knowing that would fully send the wrong signal. That I was already sending. A few days later I would ‘end’ it. I brought her breakfast tacos on my way to work – she had never had them – and that was my way of saying goodbye.
I like 2. Cool person, and we connected on many levels. Friend material for sure. (At this point my thinking was quite binary – either dating material or not. I think it’s difficult to go back to ‘friends’ status once you have started a ‘relationship’ with romantic intent. It would take me a good while, up until recently, to figure this out.) I wasn’t physically attracted, nor really ready for any of that. We ended up having lunch a few months later. It was good to see her – and I had made the right decision.