Encounter #76.1: Navy

App: Tinder

Name: Kurt*

Date Location: Dovetail – Charlestown, MA

Location Review:  4.5 Stars – Drinks were great. Food was tasty. Would 1000% go back.

Date Duration: 6 hours

What Happened:

Kurt appeared to be cute in his profile and was someone who not only could keep a conversation going on the app but, he kept it interesting. He asked unique questions and it seemed like he truly wanted to get a sense of who I was, my values, and what I was looking for. Not bad.

He gave me a date and place to meet and when I saw the menu I was pretty excited. I don’t normally drive down to Boston during the week but for that menu, I could make an exception. He beat me to the restaurant and as I approached him it looked like he put some real effort into his appearance that day. My dude had a fitted button down, nice pants, whole thing.

Overall Kurt was really kind. He grew up with a single mom and very much respected women because of that. He had an interesting history and it was clear he really had to bust his ass to get where he is now. He used to do video editing for a local college back in Denver but with COVID had to shift gears and decided to join the Navy.

Despite that, there was just something off. I didn’t know if he was just an awkward person or if it was because he was from the midwest but it just wasn’t working for me. He also had an interesting dating history in that he didn’t have any whatsoever and he did tell me that he was a virgin. Nothing wrong with that but, just not something I am looking to jump into.

He walked me to my car at the end of the night and we hugged good bye. Because he was so nice I felt like I should text him rather than ghost. I said my piece, let him down easy, and that was the end of that.

Encounter #72.1: Mr. Brown

App: Tinder

Name: Stanley*

Date Location: River Bar – Somerville, MA

Location Review:  4 Stars – We just drank so not sure how it is food wise. Was close to a parking lot and faced water so that was really nice.

Date Duration: 4 hours

What Happened:

After the trauma of a date the night before, I needed a win. Stanley came off very high energy and fun based on his profile alone and looked like Sterling K. Brown so I was down for whatever. He asked me out for drinks and took the time to find a place with parking so that only got him extra points.

When he walked up, he looked just like his photos and really did look like Sterling. It was wild. I had just come from a baby shower so I was a bit more dressed up than usual. He gave me a hug and immediately went in with, “Damn, look at you! Baby isn’t even born yet and you already stunting on that kid.” I was sold. This was going to be a fun date.

Talking to Stanley was freaky easy. We both love to just shoot the shit so there weren’t any awkward pauses. From what I could tell, he had his shit relatively together. Because of COVID, he had to move back in with his family but he signed on a lease and was moving out by the end of the summer. Stanley went to Boston University and was also a former RA so we had plenty to talk about there and he also worked in marketing. Just endless things to cover.

We were there quite awhile and I wasn’t sure if he was into me or not. Yes, conversation was there but we’re both bullshit artists. Was he just talking to talk, or was there something more?

At one point he reached across the table and tapped my hand while he was talking. Okay, promising. I pushed my hand a little closer towards him and he took the bait. Hand was held. Houston, the ship has landed. Apparently we looked cute together because the waitress kept stopping by and going “Ugh, you guys are so beautiful!” and shit like that.

It was getting late so Stanley held my hand and walked me back to my car. I thought he was going to go for the kiss but instead we had an oddly long hug. When we broke apart he asked if he could kiss me. It was alright. I was coming off the Air Man from a few weeks earlier so in comparison, it just didn’t have that same magic.

We texted here and there in the weeks after but with it being summer, neither one of us was ever free and the spark died naturally.

Encounter #71.1: Guns Blazing

App: Bumble

Name: Ryker*

Date Location: Tiki Rock – Boston, MA

Location Review:  5 Stars – For being a theme bar, this place is pretty damn good. Drinks packed a punch and food was tasty.

Date Duration: 4 hours

What Happened:

Going in to this date, I was excited. Conversation with Ryker was easy on both the app and text. Also his resume going in was pretty impressive. He was a Master Electrician (hello 6-figure salary and ability to fix shit), owned his own home, had a Burmese Mountain Dog, and was just down for fucking anything. Like really, he suggested a ton of shit for our first date and it was all super fun stuff. Also, he made me a quick playlist and his taste perfectly aligned with mine. Life was good.

He suggested going down to Boston and offered to pick me up and drive me down. Although I appreciated the sentiment, I didn’t want to get murdered. We decided to park in East Boston and then meet take the T to the bar.

This is not a huge deal for me. I take public transit all the time. It was though for him. He revealed in the first 10 minutes of meeting that not only has he never been on a plane, he has never taken public transit. This is weird AF to me. You may be thinking, “But Laura, what if he’s from bum fuck nowhere?” He wasn’t. This kid grew up 20 minutes north of Boston. Super weird. He also went on to say that he grew up extremely sheltered and then kept skirting questions about his family. Interesting.

We got to the bar and he insisted on us actually eating which was super refreshing. I got wined and dined. Drinks, apps, entree, whole thing. Over dinner, the red flags began to pop up. He told me about his job and may have included too many stories about him cussing out his employees. Then there were stories of him telling his friends to fuck off. Kayyyyyy.

I forget what we were talking about but he said, “I don’t like rules. That’s why when Biden got elected I went out and bought a bunch of guns so he couldn’t take them away.”…HOKAY. Lots to unpack here. I get that not everyone agrees with my views on this but, I am not a gun person in general but I know that some people are and that’s fine. However, buying a gun because Joe Biden is going to take it from you is just not a reason I can entertain.

I said something to the effect of, “Ohhh okay. Just so you know I’m liberal AF”. To which he replied, “I’m sorry. This is why I don’t like talking politics. I don’t want to do anything to lose you.” Oh this just got 50 shades weirder. Honey, you don’t even remotely have me. Slow your roll. We’re 40 minutes into our first date.

At this point in time, the City of Boston had a policy that you could only stay at a restaurant table for a maximum of 90 minutes. So please keep in mind at this point in time, I had downed easily 4-5 in under 2 hours.

We left the restaurant and since we were so close to the waterfront decided to walk over and chill on a bench. In the 2-block walk over, several things happened.

  1. He held my hand.
  2. He licked my hand
  3. He said, “Shit. Now you’re going to go home and tell your friends that some guy licked your hand”
  4. I thought to myself, “I am definitely going to go home and tell my friends a guy licked my hand”
  5. We were talking about ventriloquism and how not even an ex I dated over a year had seen the tapes. He then asked how big his dick was. Not sure how those two items were correlated, but it happened.

At this point, I was so happy I was drunk because I have no idea wtf I would have done sober. I imagine the date would have ended much sooner.

We made it to a bench and he thought it was a good idea to lay on me. Just no. We were talking about my job search and moving plans and I said that I wanted to move to Boston. He then asked if he’d have to sell his house. I DON’T FUCKING KNOW, RYKER. SOUNDS LIKE A PERSONAL PROBLEM. Also, I DON’T KNOW YOU.

He kept pressing me on why I wanted to move back and I explained that someone close to me had been raped and I was needed back in the northeast. He then asked if she was drinking when it happened. Excuse me? Then he asked if I had been raped. Double excuse me? On what fucking planet is that an appropriate question to ask? To top it off during this period of time, he kept going on and on about how he wanted to find his forever person and get married. I imagine if you stopped asking women if they’ve been raped and licking their hands, your odds would be much better. But I digress.

We sobered up and got back on the train to get to our cars. Now I don’t know what fucking possessed me but, since it was clear he hadn’t seen shit in his life we walked a little bit in East Boston since you get the best view of the Boston skyline. Once again, he started asking me highly personal questions this time about my last relationship. I mentioned that it was really hard for me because as an anxious person who really needs physical touch, it sucked that my ex never wanted that type of affection which would just make my anxiety worse. Ryker went, “Really? I don’t see that from you. You seem to hate being touched.” Nope. Just by you, my dude.

At this point I figured since he had asked me so many personal questions, it was my turn to prod for funnies. I asked what happened in his last relationship and he really didn’t want to answer. I pushed again. “Well, aren’t I just going to find out eventually?” Check mate.

He started by saying that he really doesn’t like telling women this because then they don’t want to talk to him anymore. Off to a great start. From what I gathered, it seemed like the relationship he had with his ex was toxic in general. He said she would hit him and, “I would never put my hands on a woman but plates were broken.” Jury is out on that one but that paired with the cussing out of friends and employees was the nail in the coffin.

Whatever happened with this girl has bled into other relationships. He was dating someone else for a bit, the ex reached out to this girl to tell her about Ryker, and then that girl broke it off with him. He made a point to say he wouldn’t tell me the ex’s name because once that comes out these things start happening. Feeling V SAFE, rn.

He walked me back to my car and we hugged good bye. By the time I got home I got the text asking how he did and if I wanted to see him again. I felt bad. On paper, the resume was there, the guy clearly wanted to meet that special someone, and he was willing to do anything to get that. But it was a no from me. Nagasaki’ed.

Encounter #70.1: Turkish Delight

App: Tinder

Name: Hugo*

Date Location: Hops N Scotch – Brookline, MA

Location Review:  4.0 Stars – Food was really tasty and the menu had a lot of fun stuff. Cocktails were also good and atmosphere was warm.

Date Duration: 2 hours

What Happened:

Hugo got through on a “How Hot Can I Bag” technicality. His photos were promising but I will say lower res. Once he opened with the lyrics to County Roads I let him slide.

Going in, things were pretty good conversation wise. He grew up on the Greek/Turkish coast and was very career motivated. He seemed to like what he did for work, was good at it, and was looking to buy a house in the next year or so. Love an established king.

He was quick to make plans which was much appreciated. He beat me to the bar so I got a good look at him as I walked up the block. Not exactly what I expected not gonna lie. Not bad but, thought he’d wear something besides a hoodie and sneakers. Also looked like one of my friend’s dads. Weird vibes.

The conversation was fine overall. He asked a lot of questions about me which was a nice change for once. He did tell me questionable stories though. Got a lot of stories about being angry, calling friends out, that kind of thing. In that same breath he also apologized for literally ANYTHING. We got boneless wings and while he bit into one, a drop of sauce fell on his jeans. Not a huge deal. He was low key freaking out and kept laying on how sorry he was. No idea what his last relationship was like but, that’s not my vibe at all.

It was raining and I had an hour drive ahead of me to get home so we called it a night. He walked me to my car and in the walk over it was very clear that he was way more into me than I was him. He kept touching me and I was so happy I was wearing a face mask because I did not want to have that awkward good bye kiss situation.

We got to the car and I saw that he wanted to do it. He kept bringing up how much fun he had and I recognized the look in his eyes. Mama wasn’t having it. Gave an awkward hug and did not remove the face mask until I was in the car with the door shut and locked. Honestly, best fucking part of the face mask area. Gets you out of so many uncomfortable interactions with men.

We texted for a day or two after since I was on the fence on if I really didn’t like him. He slipped a few stories that further cemented the anger thing and I Nagasaki’ed the guy.

Encounter #66.1: Trip to Nowhere

App: Bumble

Name: Asher*

Date Location: Stillwater – Boston, MA

Location Review:  4 Stars – All I have to say about that menu is wow. Absolutely delicious from start to finish. Just wish parking was slightly easier to find.

Date Duration: 2.5 hours

What Happened:

During lockdown, I would visit one of my good friends at her apartment in Boston. After the break up, I was a sad fuck and wasn’t ready to date. I was ready though to make fun of men’s shitty profiles.

Every time I visited we would fire up my accounts and she would swipe for me to see what on earth was out in the wild. One of her finds though wasn’t too bad and stuck beyond the weekend. Asher and I texted here and there and despite the fact that I left him on read for days at a time, he asked me out to dinner.

I wasn’t sure what to expect. The photos were pretty all over the place but on paper it seemed like he had his life together. He was in his early 30s, worked in finance, and owned a condo by The Garden in Boston. Not too shabby. He also went to University of Maryland so we had a lot to talk about when it came to ways to consume Old Bay.

He beat me to the restaurant and although I was happy he looked like his best pic, I wasn’t completely sold. I figured I had already driven down there, maybe there would be a spark or something.

Asher wined and dined the fuck out of me. Like wow. Drinks, apps, entree AND he brought up dessert. Tbh I can’t remember the last time a man had taken me out like that. For that, I give him credit.

Everything else though just didn’t work. Despite being in his 30s, he was still quite attached to the fraternity he was in in college. It wasn’t just “I keep in touch with my brothers” or, “Most of my friends came from the frat”. Every single story this man told was from 10+ years prior with these guys. Somehow everything under the sun could somehow tie back to this shit.

What was weird about Asher was that despite having some fun stories he was such a grump as a person and we were just polar opposites. He hated traveling and didn’t see the appeal of it. Never in my life have I met anyone who was fine with never seeing or experiencing anything different. Blew my god damn mind.

After a few hours I was very much over it and made some excuse to go. He paid for the whole thing, walked me to my car and even brushed the snow off which I appreciated. We went on our separate ways and never spoke again but, I was back out there. I mean I fucking hated it and went back on a break from dating but, I was treated like a fucking lady and it was kinda nice.

Encounter #18.1: Deflate Date

App: Hinge

Name: Jon*

Date Location: Zack’s Oak Bar & Restaurant

Location Review: 4.5 Stars – Great brunch menu, reasonably priced, and had healthy/clean options. Sweet potato quinoa bowl was on point.

Date Duration: 2 hours

What Happened:

The week I met Jon I had 3 dates scheduled. Out of all of them, he was the one I was most excited about. He grew up in the same town my uncle lived in, was a Pats fan, tall, dark hair, went to Cornell, traveled a lot, and got a zombie virus from the permafrost in Alaska. HOW FUCKING COOL IS THAT? Clearly he was smarter than me and I found it so fucking sexy. What also played in his favor was that he was going to be in NJ earlier that day which meant I got to be on home turf. Fuck. Yes. Leave 15 minutes before I’m supposed to be there? SOLD.

I picked out a brunch spot and the stage was set. This was the day I was going to meet my future husband. He walked up to the restaurant looking cute as fuck, his voice was nice, we got a table, and OH MY GOD HE WAS SO BORING.

I asked about how he contracted a zombie virus and all he had to say was, “Yeah, it was crazy. There was something in the ice. I just had to get antibiotics. It was fine”. He travelled a lot and rode motorcycles in Vietnam. “It was cool.” I felt crazy for asking him all these questions but he wasn’t elaborating or even volleying questions my way. WTF, you went to Cornell. Why is this so difficult?

What really dug his hole was his career/life ambitions. Despite having accomplished great things, it didn’t seem like he had much coming down the pike. He took a random teaching job for the hell of it, regretted his college major of archaeology, and lived in Brooklyn. Okay, the Brooklyn thing wasn’t bad. What was bad is that he had lived there for 3 months, hadn’t purchased a bed, and was sleeping on a deflated air mattress. Very sexy.

We were going to the same train station and walked back together. We were also on the same platform but didn’t know. We said the goodbyes, hugged, and he asked where to go. I told him track 2. I was on track 3. So we stood on the platform, awkwardly apart, in silence.

He sent me the Jack Chop video the next day of a Massachusetts guy with a hard-ass Boston accent. I sent him Shit Boston Mothers Say. The day after he texted me saying he watched the Super Bowl with Eagles fans. I gave my condolences. Day after that he sent a video of Philly fans rioting. I left him on read and never heard from him since.

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Encounter #6.1: Sweet Home Ala-Boston

App: Hinge

Name: Josh*

Date Location: Stout NYC

Location Review: 3.5 Stars – Definitely a cool spot if you’re into beer. The Brooklyn pumpkin was pretty good considering it’s a craft beer. (Hop-y beer is icky)

Date Duration: 2 hours

What Happened:

After having a streak of less than successful dates, I figured I’d give Hinge a shot. Out of all the dating apps I’ve used so far, this one is the most user friendly. The profile layout is very clean, allows for conversations starters outside of “Sup”, and there is no swiping. You either like a photo or answer or hit the “X” at the bottom.

Josh had Red Sox photos on his profile and I was sold. There’s nothing like finding a fellow New England fan in NYC. We talked Patriots, began texting, and made plans for the weekend. He had to work that Saturday morning so I met him for afternoon drinks. He walked up, looked like his photos, and wore a suit. I could work with this.

However after the first 5 minutes into the date I knew that not only did I blow it but, we were not going to work. I ordered a beer and the bartender asked if I wanted the sugar rim. She mentioned that the staff had been making jokes about it since the beer came in. I then said, “Oh yeah, I’ll take the rim job”. The staff laughed. My date did not.

We covered the usual first date questions: “Where are you from, What brought you to NY, Do you like your job,” etc. Because I’m awkward as fuck I kept making jokes which weren’t landing which only made me want to over compensate and do it more. Great going, Laura.

That being said, this was another case of feeling like I was carrying the team on my back. He wasn’t particularly talkative. (Granted, I was making the most awkward jokes so I can’t really hold that against him).

The one thing he kept asking was if I was planning on staying in NYC for awhile. I’ll be honest. I had no fucking clue. Some days I absolutely loved living in the city and some days I just wanted to leave. That may have played a bigger piece than I initially thought. After texting him consistently for a week, going on the date, and ending on “This was fun, we should do it again”, we never spoke again.

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