I tried eHarmony. In truth, by time I’d met Jason, I’d dated men from Match, OK Cupid and eHarmony. I drew the line at Tinder, which was silly considering several of my friends are now dating nice, normal people they met on the notorious hook up site.
eHarmony was a weird, off-putting experience that provided two strange stories worth sharing. Most men I met were as advertised: marriage focused. Unfortunately, this rang true on the first date when we barely knew each others’ names; the idea of anything more than a second date was terrifying. One brought printed photos of his nephews and asked how many children I wanted. Another suggested I wouldn’t need a career after marriage. Several recounted the numerous ways their ex-wives were awful.
This is where Captain Obvious would say, “You did not have great online dating selection skills.”
The problem with these eHarmony dudes was this: they were great online. Most were exceptionally smart, had good jobs and yet could not make eye contact. They were patient enough to complete the lengthy questionnaire required for participation in this site, but not enough to wait for a second (or 100th) date to ask if I would be keeping my maiden name.
The first fail was simple, and scary. We met twice — once for dinner and once for lunch. He was attractive, charming and in graduate school. Our dates happened to be in early February. When I went to the restroom on our second date, he found my wallet, wrote down my address, and used it to hand-deliver a dozen roses on Valentine’s Day the following week.
I came home to a bunch of flowers on my doorstep with a note from a man who I’d never invited to my home.
And that was the end of that.
This experience made me write down a few rules for online dating:
- No alcohol. As must as I wanted a glass of wine on those exceptionally awkward first few dates, I couldn’t let my guard down. I did not know these men, or if what they’d shared online was true.
- No specific contact information would be provided unless necessary. They did not need my address or workplace unless we were well down the dating path. (Come to find out, my response to love letters mailed to the office is being repulsed. Embarrass me professionally and you’re fired.)
- If he spends any time discussing previous relationships with violent language, make up a reason to leave. Also, if he is rude to the service staff, it is only a matter of time until that’s you.
- Let someone know where you are going and a bit about who you are meeting. My friends Mini and Adam received countless texts that read something like, “Pita Jungle, Bob, Match, blond, 7 pm, 1st date. Wish me luck!”
- Don’t ever leave your purse at the table.
The second guy made it to a fourth date. He was handsome, polite and while shy — seemed to have great social skills. Oh, how little I knew. We met for lunch and again for dinner. I was really enjoying getting to know him. Finally, I offered to cook him dinner and he came over for Mexican food and margaritas. I’d soon regret that tequila. As I cleaned up the dishes, he went to his car for something he brought me. The gift was actually a sex questionnaire (sextionnaire?) — and a lengthy one at that. Unemotional, as though he were and anthropologist interviewing a member of some newly discovered Amazonian tribe, he patiently and methodically started down his list that included inviting devices and other individuals into a bedroom he would never, ever see.
It is a little more difficult to escape a date when he is sitting on your couch. It took a bit of effort, but I got him out of my house, locked the doors and thanked God. This nut job would contact me months after finding my blog — convinced I was sending him secret messages through my posts.
The knitting posts had nothing to do with how much “I wanted to be tied up,” you weirdo. Sometimes a baby sweater is just a baby sweater.