Encounter # 81.1: The Therapist

App: Bumble

Name: Allen*

Date Location: Sweetgreen & Yvonne’s – Boston, MA

Location Review: N/A – It’s fine. Food was good but not a religious experience by any means.

3.5 stars – Had a warm, intimate aesthetic and the cocktails were good. Just pricey on food

Date Duration: 6 hours

What Happened:

I don’t know if Bumble knew I was desperate or just wanted to throw a bitch a bone but, I was offered Premium for a discounted price. Normally I don’t believe in paying for dating apps but I figured for $15 I could hedge my bets. If you’re a Bumble fan, the premium may be worth it. Not really for seeing who already likes you (apparently fuggo men with no solid job are what I attract) but, for the filters.

Did I swipe through all men in the Boston area who wanted a relationship, were over 5’7″, between the ages of 27-34, and voted liberal? Yes. Very quickly. But it was nice having the app do all the sifting for me.

During this period I matched with Allen. There wasn’t anything on his profile that particularly stood out but he matched the requirements and conversation on the app was decent. We exchanged numbers and texting was kept to a minimum which was fine but he did follow up a lot to be sure we were on for that Saturday.

He worked as a therapist for families and young adults specifically, young men. One night he called me between clients and we chatted for about an hour and it was good. Just very easy and he gave me an insane amount of lay-ups for jokes so I wasn’t going to complain. We also went over the itinerary for the date that weekend and he suggested dinner/drinks in Chinatown, go shoot pool, and then maybe hit up this bar he thought looked cool if we were up for it. Solid ass plan. Seemed like a good date.

The plan was for me to meet him at Downtown Crossing. I beat him there and he called me to tell me he was running late because of an accident. Fine. There’s a Macy’s. I can entertain myself. He called me again about 10 minutes later saying he was close but that it would probably be easier just to pick me up. I mean weird. I don’t normally get into a car on the first date but figured fuck it, he’s a therapist. If I died, it would be newsworthy and destroy his career. What did I have to lose?

He parked and walked over to me. Solid 5. Nothing amazing lookswise, but not horrible. Definitely have done worse. Once we got in the car he asked if I was fine with going to Sweetgreen. I mean sure but that is not Chinatown nor is it really a date place. That is a quick lunch with the girls between meetings spot. I wasn’t going to be a pain in the ass though so I agreed.

He didn’t want to go to the one in Downtown Crossing though so we drove over to the one in Copley. Why? I couldn’t fucking tell you.

In the car ride over, he kept teasing me because I didn’t know where anything in Boston was. I had only moved there a few months ago BUT OKAY YEAH WHY AM I NOT THE MAYOR?

As we were driving, the area looked familiar so I asked him if there was a nightclub nearby. Then the following conversation took place:

“Yeah, Royale is around the corner.”

“Cool, that’s what I thought.”

“I performed there once. Remember the video I showed you?”

“…what video?”

“The one of me break dancing.”

*Hands me his phone and makes me watch a 7-minute video of said performance*

Then he kept referencing his “crew” and I was too stunned to speak. I got the ick. I got the ick HARD. There is something about a 34-year-old, 5’7″ white man telling you about his passion that is break dancing. I was dying. At one point I asked him if they wore any special type of shoes. His answer? “Nah, just a pair of kicks. Oh! I mean sneakers.” Vomit in my mouth.

We got to Sweetgreen and if you’re not familiar, it’s more or less salad Chipotle. Right before we got to the register he says out of nowhere, “Do you mind going dutch on this?” Double ick. If I liked him, I may not have cared that much but there is something about a man suggesting salad on a first date and then not offering to pay that rubs me the wrong way. If we were at a Chili’s, whole different story. I’ll pay for my half. But a fast-food salad place? Seemed weird.

Despite all that ick, the conversation was good in that I got to talk about myself nearly the entire time. I tried asking him questions and he’d either skirt them or just give me a basic enough answer to satisfy me and then talk about me again.

At some point, he asked if I liked art so next thing I knew I was being carted to the South End to look at some galleries. Not really my jam but, I was nowhere near my train station to go home and I had nothing else to do. When we got there, the ick progressed. Maybe he is illiterate but, all these places had signs saying they were closed. And yet, Allen would go up to every door and try to open it which felt embarrassing for no reason.

We found one gallery that was open so we chit-chatted between artists’ rooms. He kept dodging my questions though. At one point I asked him if it was hard dating as a therapist since you can see so many red flags so early on. All he had to say was it was only hard to date another therapist because it would get too clinical. He then threw in that talking to me felt like talking to a normal person. I clapped back that it was because of my mental illness.

At another point, I asked if he owned his own practice or was working for someone since he mentioned he started his own business. Instead of answering my question, he handed me a business card. I mean that didn’t answer the question but thanks?

Speaking of business cards, in nearly every single artist room we went into this man would ask for the artist’s card. This made no sense to me because if you can’t afford to pay for my mediocre Sweetgreen, I don’t think you can afford a $5,000 painting. BUT I DIGRESS.

As we left the galleries he asked me about dating in NYC and in NH. I told him NY was hard because I wanted to get married and have a family and no one else did. I was raised a certain way and that was what I wanted. Then he asked me how I was raised in a tone I knew very well. It’s a tone I hear every other Tuesday. That is the tone my fucking therapist uses. Fuck. This.

He then asked me about my previous relationships and said in that fucking tone, “It sounds like you really cared about these people.” NO FUCKING SHIT. If I am letting someone inside me that much, yeah. I’m probably going to care a bit. We were dating.

When we got back to the car he mentioned getting drinks and I was trying to angle to go home. I said I needed to get back to my car before midnight so it wouldn’t get towed so I had to be mindful of time to get the train. He then insisted that he would drive me back to my car and refused to take no for an answer. He said, “I like opportunities where I get to assert myself as a gentleman.” No idea where that energy was when I got my salad but there was no way around it. I was locked in.

We ended up going to the higher-end bar he mentioned in our phone call and he made a point to cover my drink. The bar itself was cute. He was not though. He got drunk after 1 drink. ONE. And then he said he was a lightweight. Well no fucking shit but also if you knew this, why would you slug a drink that fast? No joke, I was maybe 1/4 through mine and I tend to chug. He also kept trying to lean towards me or touch my arm and I was recoiling into the woman next to me.

At this point, he was slurring his words slightly and then started telling me why men are emotionally unavailable. Allegedly, it’s because they feel if they open up they won’t be seen as useful so they end up abandoning themselves. Bitchhhhh, I am not the person to have that conversation with. Just need to read one of these fucking posts to know how I feel about men.

He then asked if I wanted to go salsa dancing after I finished my drink. No. I was fucking done with this marathon of ick. I hit my limit so I made up some bullshit that my Advil I took post-COVID booster was rubbing off and I needed to head back. He agreed to take me home and then took SO LONG to walk to the front door of this bar. I swear the universe went into slow motion for a minute. Then, as we were leaving and I could see the door to salvation he stopped. And you know what this fucker did. HE ASKED THE HOST FOR THE BAR’S BUSINESS CARD. WHY? WHAT IS THIS MAN’S OBBSESSION WITH BUSINESS CARDS?

In the car on the way to where I parked, he asked if I felt more romantic or friendship vibes. I didn’t want to be a bitch to his face so I said I really didn’t know. He said the same. I said, “Oh, that’s FIIIIIINE”, a bit too loud because he then made a comment that I should say it a bit louder for the cars behind us to hear.

He went on to say, “I think we should keep exploring this and see if we can figure out if it’s friendship or romantic. So, I propose we go out again and be mindful of physical boundaries. Keep it to just hugging and see how it goes.” BARF. So fucking clinical. If you have to say that, it’s not a romantic connection in the least.

He dropped me off, we hugged, and I didn’t hear from him the next day so I thought I was in the clear. 3 days later he asked me to hang out again and I, politely, shut that down.