TBT: The Hooks

Name: Connor*

App: Tinder

Situation Duration: 5 Months

What Happened:

After a few unsuccessful first dates I found myself back on Tinder swiping away. Everything was business as usual until I came across Connor’s profile. I had known Connor from high school and always thought he was cute. Tall, smart, funny, dog person, and had a really nice set of hands. (I like a man who can palm a basketball, come at me). Immediately I swiped right thinking nothing would come of it.

Then one night while out for margs I got the notification. I MATCHED WITH CONNOR. HOLY SHIT BALLS. I may or may not have done a small happy dance in the restaurant. My friends convinced me to message first and it just went from there.

Connor and I’s first date was at my favorite spot in NH. After making jokes at some guy’s expense at the bar, I apparently made a decent impression on him. We went out again, and again, and again until we were seeing each other every week for about 5 months.

I’ll admit. I didn’t just fall for Connor. I fell fucking hard. He checked off all the boxes on my “list”, was a genuinely good person, and never made me feel stupid for the way I viewed the world.  We connected on some unique things that I may not “look for” but are welcomed bonuses.  Also he would remember all the small, weird shit I’d say and could make me laugh all the time. (And best sex. Hands down. Holy shit. No joke, I would give a kidney for that).

After about 3 months of this I wanted to know where it was going. After all, we were seeing each other every week and I didn’t know how to answer the “Do you have a boyfriend?” question at bars. We went out for dinner and while we were parked in his car on the way back he referred to me as “the girl he’s been seeing”. I responded with:

Oh, we’re dating now?

“Oh? Casually seeing?”

No that was a genuine question. What is this?

“I don’t know. I don’t want to lead you on but I also don’t know if I want a relationship right now”

Want to just do what we’re doing for the next 2 months and figure it out?

“Sure”

And then we made out. A lot.

I was okay with his answer…at first. His last relationship ended with him finding out his girlfriend cheated on him. I completely get that he had some shit to figure out. But I’m also a fucking nut job and love to ruin things.

I couldn’t stop thinking about it. What was I doing? Why did I like him so much? Should I break up with him? How do I even break up with him if we’re not dating? But he was a fucking fantastic person and I was happy when I was with him. SHIT.

I of course, never said anything. After another few months of great dates, wonderful conversations, and several rolls in the hay, I never heard from him again. (Excluding Snapchat)

The last time I saw him we got drinks, hung out at his place, fucked, and I was there until the afternoon. I left and that was it. I wanted him to reach out so bad. I felt like it was no longer my place to keep setting up dates if he didn’t really want it. Who knows, maybe he was waiting for me to reach out and that was my mistake. Both of us were just as capable of sending a text and I was being petty. I should have just done it, asked him point blank what was up, and gone from there. But I didn’t.

About 2 months after we had last seen each other I decided to move to NYC and I still held out a sliver of hope that he’d reach out. I even drunkenly snapped him on my birthday and texted him the next day to apologize hoping it would start a conversation. It didn’t. I invited him to my going away party as a last ditch effort. Not to start anything with him but more to close that door. He went up to the lake instead…with a girl…who he’s now dating (so much for that whole not wanting a relationship thing. BUT I DIGRESS).

By far, this has been the toughest “relationship” I ever had to get over because there was no definitive end and we only had positive experiences together. It’s not like I could blame it on the fact that we fought all the time, didn’t have anything in common, or had terrible sex.

My one regret was not having the balls to be honest because I got nothing out of keeping my feelings to myself. What would have been the difference in my life if I had said something and the feelings weren’t returned vs my life now? Fucking nothing. I didn’t say anything and we still ended up not talking.

The question I get all the time is if I’m over him. Yes but no (This one Jason Mraz song explains it so much better than I can). If he called me right now, you can bet my pathetic ass would pick up. At the same time I’ve realized that given the current circumstances of both our lives, it won’t happen so there’s no point in staying on his hook. If we’re meant to be, it will happen either in this life or another but I’m not going to lock myself away in a tower waiting for something that isn’t possible.

But most importantly, I see he’s happy and it would be incredibly selfish for me to reach out and ruin that. It may suck sometimes to look back on and accept, but it’s reality. As strange as it may be to say, I’m oddly happy that he’s happy. We both were put through the relationship ringer in 2016 and to see that he came out on the other side gives me weird, bittersweet, hope for myself.

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Situation #3.2: The Wedding Date

Name: David*

Location: Johansson’s – Westminster, MD

What Happened:

I hadn’t heard from David since the wedding until, by weird coincidence, I was going to Maryland that coming weekend. He hit me up on Facebook and congratulated me on a competition I was in a month prior. We chatted for a little while and I let him know I was coming down to Maryland in a few days. He invited me to go to a beer fest with him and a few of his frat brothers. I was planning on going to DC with my friend so I just let him know that we’d play it by ear.

My friend and I finished in DC earlier than we expected and she agreed to drive up to where David was at because she’s the best and supports my skanky self. We met David and his friend at a bar and it was very clear that David was trashed. Like the kind of trashed where you can’t really keep your eyes open.

We had a drink in the upstairs part of the bar and tbh I was mostly talking to his friend since David was not quite with the program. We headed to the downstairs bar for the next round and David sits next to me. He clarifies for himself that I’m:

  1. From NH
  2. Went to school in Maryland
  3. Live in NJ
  4. But work in NYC

Big things happening, guys. He held my hand, started asking how often I make it down to Maryland, and how far Maryland is from where I live. What made this kinda awkward was that the four of us were sitting on one side of the bar with a bunch of his frat brothers on the other side so it felt like we were in a fish tank. David kept trying to kiss me (I mean I kissed him back but this kid had some trouble with aiming) and stroked my back. My friend and I had plans back in Baltimore so it was time to go. David did his best attempt at a kiss and I headed out.

About 10 minutes into the drive back to Baltimore, I got a call from David:

Hey, I wish you didn’t have to go. I’d go to Fells with you tonight but I am in no place to drive…Thank you so much for coming out though…I’m joking but not really, you need to invite me up to New Jersey in the next two weeks…I wish you didn’t live in NJ. If we were in the same state I’d be all over you but that’s how it usually is. The guy is into the girl but she’s not into it…I wish you didn’t have to go. You should come back…I should go back to my friends now. Talk to you later

WELL HOT DAMN A BOY LIKES ME. We texted the rest of the weekend and he called me that Monday night which I wasn’t expecting. He also found me on Instagram and liked nearly all my posts. Apparently he creeped the shit out of my profile. When we were talking on the phone he mentioned that in one of my photos I was at a Red Sox game but tagged it “#GoSox #OrioleMagic” and it’s not possible for someone to be both a Sox AND Orioles fan.

Almost weekly we had at least one phone conversation but if I’m guessing correctly, one of us was buzzed if not drunk on each call. Except one…

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TBT: The First Date

App: Bumble

Name: Miles*

Date Location: Strange Brew Tavern – Manchester, NH

Location Review: 3.0 Stars – If you’re a beer person, absolutely recommend. There’s tons to choose from. It’s great for week nights but I wouldn’t recommend for weekends. You end up in a room which looks like a frat house basement and run into people from high school.

Date Duration: 4 hours

What Happened:

After my 6-year relationship ended I had no idea what to do. I never “dated” since my ex and I got together in high school then stayed together through college. All I knew was that while I lived with my parents and only hung out with female friends, I needed a way to meet men.

I downloaded dating apps and one night was swiping through Bumble. I matched with Miles* and we began chatting. Based on his photos, he was pretty cute, outdoorsy, and liked to stay relatively active. I asked him out and we went from there.

Little thing to note, we had talked A LOT on the app. Since this was my first attempt at dating I wasn’t sure when to bring up a date or if he would do it himself. So we had already covered a significant amount of ground before meeting up.

After nearly peeing myself from nerves, I made it into the bar. He did not look like his photos. I could bench press him. But hey, he seemed like a nice guy and I have no idea what dating is so FUCK IT.

He was really sweet. He found out that I co-hosted a morning radio show and he told me that he listened in that morning. Also when he found out that I love Straight Outta Compton he listened to the soundtrack on a trip up north with his friends.

But after a few drinks, I kinda knew this wouldn’t go anywhere. He had that “lives with his mom” quality and since we already covered so much ground, had nothing else to talk about. Because I didn’t want my first date to be a bust, I went full Resident Assistant and pulled questions out of thin air.

Despite him making a “Wow, we had such a great date since it was 4 hours” comment, I never heard from him again and I was so happy about it. I had done the impossible. I went on a first date and didn’t get murdered. I did something I never thought I would have to or even could do. But I did. And it opened a new door of my life. THANKS MILES.

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Encounter #4.2: The Struggle

App: Tinder

Name: Shane*

Date Location: The Cuban followed by drinks at The Brass Rail

Location Review: 4.5 Stars – So. Good. Had more red meat than poultry options and was a little pricey. But, incredibly flavorful food. The bar afterwards was fine, definitely would be cool for brunch.

Date Duration: 3-4 hours

What Happened:

I went against my instincts and agreed to a second date with Shane. Maybe I’m just a huge bitch, he was nervous, and this time will be better. More so the first thing but FUCK IT. I’m getting food out of this deal.

I met him at the bar and headed to our table. Within 3 minutes I wanted to leave. We were going over the same things we talked about last time and this asshole wasn’t giving me anything to work with. I felt like I was back in my Resident Assistant days having to fake interest in what residents were saying and having to have at least 3 questions in cue for the awkward silence.

This caused me to get a little tipsy. Whenever there was an awkward silence I took a sip of my drink. There were quite a few awkward silences in the first 20 minutes and I got 2 drinks down before our meal came out. Oops.

The food was bangin’. Definitely wouldn’t have been a place I’d normally go to because of the price tag but that chicken was so flavorful and tender. This was the moment I realized that I’m a food digger.

After we ate he noted how early it was and that we could get drinks before heading out. THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN MY OUT. But I like drinking so I agreed. In a search for conversation starters I asked what his type was and somehow this led to a touch of antisemitism. He was talking about his hometown and how the Jewish population has increased. But then he followed it up with how because of the Jewish people the town has gone downhill, there are all these tax issues, and “it’s a real mess”. UHMMM. Kay. Time to go.

We finished our drinks and I was walking back to the train station but he stopped me. He insisted I take an Uber with him since we were both heading in the same direction and the train takes so long. Okay fine. I didn’t get the murderer vibe, he was being nice, and I would be home a little sooner.

We chatted the whole way home but in the back of my head I was wondering how this was going to go down. We kissed last time so it’s probably going to happen again and I had no plans to invite him up. When we pulled up to my place I tried to scoot but he went in for the kiss. 5 second make out. He offered to walk me to my door and by that point I was halfway out of the car. I insisted I was fine and I booked it over to my door as the Uber drove away with Shane.

He texted me that night saying that he good time and thanked me for “being such a good date as always”. I waited until the next morning to drop the bomb, or as I like to call it Nagasaki-ing*.

I recognize I fucked up. If I’m not into someone I really shouldn’t waste their time, kiss them, and text them. But I learned something from this experience and that is everyone is full of shit. I know myself best and I’m an asshole. If I don’t like someone after 5 minutes, I won’t like them after two 4-hour dates.

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*Nagasaki-ing: Sending a text to break something off, deleting all chats in apps, and blocking a person’s number so as to drop a bomb and fly away blissfully.

Encounter #4.1: The Struggle

App: Tinder

Name: Shane*

Date Location: Low Fidelity – Jersey City

Location Review: 4.0 Stars – Hand-crafted cocktail bar with options that won’t intimidate and has corn hole in the back.  Quite the gem in a shithole.

Date Duration: 4 hours

What Happened:

Once again, I started this date on the fence. I couldn’t tell how attractive he was by his pics but we had decent banter going so the possibility was there.

Shane was a shapeshifter. There were some angles where he looked really good and some not so much. He was over 6 ft which helped his case and fun fact: is blind in one eye. What really got me was that he lived in Jersey City and was only a 10 minute walk from my apartment. Pretty much everyone I have met in NYC shits on NJ and thinks Jersey City is insanely far when it’s 40 minutes away (it can take 1 hour to go from the Upper West Side to the Upper East Side. JUST SAYING).

The thing with Shane is that he was boring AF. One sentence answers, not particularly funny, and didn’t ask too many questions. I can’t carry the whole team on my back, bro. Despite that, he was fine. Did bring up that he makes 6-figures which rubbed me the wrong way, but was fine.

I think my standards for a good first date are very different from other peoples’. Just because we may spend a decent amount of time together doesn’t mean it’s good. I may want to dip after 5 minutes but the opportune moment doesn’t come up until 3 hours later. Your girl plays the long game.

But this was the case with Shane. We were finishing our last round and he says, “Wow, we’ve been out for 4 hours. I’d say this went pretty well. I had such a good time..Let’s do this soon blah blah”. If by well you mean I got drunk from chugging my drinks during the awkward silences, then yes. It went swimmingly.

Once again though, I did shit I shouldn’t have. We were walking in the same direction to go home and I may have made out with him on the corner. Typically I’m not a first date kiss person never mind with someone I’m not into, but god damn it’s been awhile and Mama needed something to hold her over.

Too many times I’ve heard the story of, “When I met my husband for the first time I couldn’t stand him. But for whatever reason I gave him another chance and now we’re married”.  Keeping that in mind, we texted for the next few days and since he could keep decent banter I agreed to a second date.

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Situation #2.1: The EMT Zombie

Name: Gary*

Location: An Ambulance

What Happened:

Back in February I was seeing a guy pretty regularly but we weren’t set in stone. One night it was my turn to pick the date. In my infinite wisdom I chose roller skating.

On the date I fell, fractured my arm, drank enough vodka to take the edge off, and managed to fuck the guy twice that night. (How I didn’t get wifed after that, I’ll never know). The next morning I woke up in a lot of pain and couldn’t rotate my arm but damn it, I got shit to do so I went to my little sister’s competition.

While at the competition, I had a physical therapy friend manipulate my arm to see how bad the break was and I passed out from the pain. While I was down they called the ambulance and the most beautiful EMT came to my rescue. So beautiful that I thought FUCK IT and said, “Wow you’re really attractive”. To which he responded, “Thanks, you’re also really attractive”.

We flirted the entire way to the emergency room and he came in to check on me after I had my X-ray. Being the creeper she is, my physical therapy friend found him on Facebook, had me friend him, and we talked the whole weekend.

It turns out Gary used to be in the Army, married young, has a baby, but mom is out of the picture romantically speaking. Despite all this I figured he was hot and if I ever wanted to end it I had the baby as my out.

We talked and talked and talked and then POOF. Never heard from again. Okay, whatever. We never went out anyways and he has a daughter to take care of. (Yet he still to this day likes every single pic I post on Insta)

6 MONTHS LATER

Boy comes back from the dead.

I had been out of state and was blowing up social media with all the photos. He messaged me to ask what I was up to, how I’ve been, the whole thing. And then POOF. Never heard from again.

I also like being a ghost. But only on Halloween.

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