I received the following story from a FlirtySomething member. It’s a cautionary tale, and one most online daters can relate to.
“Randy was handsome, English, and his favorite movie was Ingmar Bergmanâ€™s Wild Strawberries. ‘Looks arenâ€™t important to me,’ his profile said. ‘Iâ€™m looking for personality.’ I emailed him, and he responded within the hour.
We moved quickly from email to phone calls to first date. He was as attractive in person as in his photo â€“ a full head of wavy red hair, rugged face with twinkling blue eyes. After a game of pool, he kissed me unexpectedly across the table. Nice. And that English accent. Doesnâ€™t anything said with an English accent sound classy?
Still, with all his attractive traits, something didnâ€™t seem right. I determined to meet him again, but to hold back on getting too interested.
We went on dates weekly for the next month. He was charming, interesting â€“ full of stories. He had traveled. He took classes, even one in watercolor. The perfect man?
There was one very strange thing about Randy. On each of our dates, when it was time to order drinks, Iâ€™d order something non-alcoholic. And every time, yes, every time, heâ€™d ask me why I didnâ€™t drink. Heâ€™d probe for reasons. It usually took fifteen minutes to convince him I really didnâ€™t like alcohol, as though he hadnâ€™t heard exactly the same explanation the week before. It was odd.
Finally, my intuition told me that despite all his obvious attributes, there was no connection. I met him at a local bar, and gave him the ‘this isnâ€™t working’ speech. It went well. We agreed to end as friends.
‘Now that weâ€™re friends,’ I said, ‘I can ask you something thatâ€™s been driving me crazy. Why is it that every time we go out, you ask me why I donâ€™t drink? Donâ€™t you remember from the last time?’
He paused and looked thoughtful. ‘Well,’ he said, ‘first, forgive me for my forgetfulness regarding your beverage preferences, but now that weâ€™re friends, I suppose I can tell you. Iâ€™ve been very busy these last few weeks. About the same time you contacted me on the dating site, two other women contacted me. Iâ€™ve been seeing all of you each week, waiting to see who I wanted to be with. Iâ€™ve slept with both of them, and I was just waiting to sleep with you before I decided who the winner was. And, I guess, alcohol consumption is usually a good prelude for that.’
I beamed. He looked at me in confusion.
‘What?’ he asked.
I could not relax the smile that I could feel stretching from ear to ear. ‘You make me so happy! So very happy!â€
‘But why?’ Iâ€™d just broken up with him: how could I be happy?
I placed my hands on Randyâ€™s shoulders and looked him square in the face. He had just revealed to me that I had escaped being one of the women in an unannounced sex contest. He was handsome and charming, and there was no chance I was going to sleep with him only to find out that he was sleeping with two other women while he waited to find out who was ‘best.’ Life was good.
‘Because Iâ€™m not dating you,’ I told him. ‘Because Iâ€™m not dating you!â€’
Actually, it’s kind of a pedestrian story in the online dating universe. Most of us online daters, especially, have been part of such a competition, wittingly and unwittingly. And it begs the following questions:
1. Do you think comparison shopping-for-the-best girlfriend/boyfriend is inherent in online dating?
2. When do you take your dating profile out of play? Should two people have a “taking our profiles out of play” conversation? Why, and when?
3. Have you ever broken it off with someone early on because they were always on Match.com or POF, even as you two were seeing each other?
4. Have you yourself been an online dating-aholic?
Please post all your favorite dating stories, hellish to hilarious to heavenly…on FlirtySomething.comÂ of FlirtySomething’s Facebook page today!