I begrudgingly signed up for online dating on a Sunday. I wanted to try it so I could knock it all I wanted. Good guys are hard to come by, dating sucks and I needed an excuse to give up. Within hours of signing up, I had received dozens of messages, mostly “hii beutiful” and grammatically incorrect sexual solicitations. My thirty-day challenge suddenly seemed insurmountable. Okay Cupid, throw me a bone here…
By Monday morning, I had received my first kind, respectful and interesting messages. A Middle Eastern doctor proposed marriage. Pass. A bearded hipster droned on about indie music and nothing more. Yawn. Then a man with a thin mustache and imaginary cat messaged me. I was amused.
“It’s always pleasant to find another person who loves reading! That’s a rare thing these days. What was the last book that really sparked your interest? -William”
And so it began. He had uncovered the secret key to my heart: books. The silly moustache, meat-free diet and Mr. Meowmers didn’t even faze me because we had a shared interest. He and I could talk for hours about books and art and psychology.
By Tuesday, we had exchanged numbers, talked over the phone and disabled our online dating accounts. We were kind-of, sort-of, officially off the market. We talked on the phone for hours at a time and texted sporadically, aptly balancing “OMG I’ve always wanted to date the fe(male) version of myself!!” with a tad bit of feigned “Eh, I could do better…” Within a few days, he had invited me to meet up in person for dinner. I was, unfortunately, a culinarily sheltered child so meeting up for Vietnamese sounded a but pho-reightening.
A week later, on the following Tuesday, I scheduled him in between work and an evening meeting. I only had an hour, which gave me an easy out if things didn’t go too smoothly. (First dates never do.) I arrived at Un-Pho-Gettable and nervously paced outside the building, staring out into the parking lot trying to guess which car was carrying my date. My (incorrect) guess was a silver Scion toaster. After a few minutes of killer anticipation, a tall man in a jeans and a dark dress shirt strode up, smiled, and offered me a hug. I smiled, nervously, trying to look simultaneously friendly and fiercely independent.
We were seated across from one another and, after several minutes of indecision on my part, we ordered our soup. We oscillated between in-depth discussion and awkward pauses in conversation. I was too nervous to eat and I could see William pacing himself, likely starving in the process. We talked about psychology and theatre and terrible first dates. He paid the bill and I fumbled awkwardly in my seat. As I hurriedly rushed off to my meeting, he invited me to meet up for coffee later that evening. I scoffed to myself. Two dates in one night…who does this guy think he is?
“It will be late,” I stated, “so I can’t commit to anything.” I was still going for hard-to-get. Yet, I could not stop thinking of Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome throughout my meeting. I called him as I drove home. “Hey, umm…are you still at the coffee shop?”
First Date, Part II went incredibly well. His jaw dropped when he asked what I’d like to drink and I replied “20 ounce hot soy chai.” That was his drink of choice, also. He accused me of stalking him. I laughed it off, nervously hoping that he was just joking. He wasn’t.
We talked over coffee until the place closed at midnight. Not wanting the night to end, he asked what there was to do in BFE. I laughed as I explained that the only thing open that late was Wal-Mart. So, we wandered through the redneck superstore, hand-in-hand, laughing hysterically at the creepy Fur Real kittens and terrible rock star Halloween wigs.
We drove back to the coffee shop, but still not ready to part, we walked through an adjacent neighborhood. I had never held hands with someone eleven inches taller than me and it took me some time to adjust. We walked in silence for the most part, occasionally exchanging shy smiles. As we approached his car, he stopped. He placed his hands on my hips and leaned in for our first kiss. For a second I was dumbfounded. I’m not normally down for kissing in dark alleys on first dates with ridiculously handsome men. But I guess there’s a first time for everything.
He grasped my hand and politely opened the passenger door of his car. I climbed in. Rather than driving me back to my own car, he leaned over the gear shift and kissed me, slowly and then with increasing fervour. Within a few minutes, we teleported to the back seat of the car. Entangled somewhere between polite innocence and passionate attraction, our heavy breathing was interrupted every few minutes by, “I never do this. There’s just…something about you.”
Midway through our hot and heavy make out session, I pulled away slightly and paused for a moment. “Have you read The Five Love Languages?” The color drained from his face instantly, as if he had seen a ghost. Fuck, I thought to myself. Don’t you know better than to say the “L” word in the middle of first date face-sucking?
I shifted my gaze, awkwardly trying to avoid the situation or pretend that nothing had happened. After what seemed like an eternity, I muttered something of an apology. He continued to stare at me, eyes wide and mouth ajar. “Hold on for a second,” he said as he slowly maneuvered away from my body. I’m still perplexed as to how he shifted his tall frame enough to reach under the backside of the driver’s seat, but that’s exactly what he did. “Look,” he said, holding a book inches in front of my face. “I actually brought The Five Love Languages tonight to show you.”
They say that when you meet “The One,” you will just know. At that moment, even without words, we knew. Whether fate, coincidence or a lifetime of preparation paired with the opportunity of a lifetime, we knew. Each of us had found our other half and a love to last a lifetime.
We met online. Please don’t listen to him. He is going to tell you elaborate stories about stalking and plotting and a lifetime of desire. These plot twists are entirely unfounded and untrue. I swear. We met online, and that’s all there is to it.