Ghosts of dates past: Can’t start a fire without a spark

I think I will work on occasionally posting a story from the archives. This means dates I went on long ago or not so very long ago, but that for better or worse, shaped my dating perspective.

I have been playing some Tinder. For those unfamiliar, it’s a ridiculous app where you look at someone’s photo(s). If you think they are reasonably attractive they get a heart. If not they get an X. If I heart a guy and they heart me back, we are notified that we are a match. 97% of the time that’s it. But sometimes, a conversation begins. I have been out with 2 Tinder matches. Here’s the cautionary tale from one of those:

A few months ago, C and I messaged on Tinder for a while. He was funny. And thought I was funny. It was great. Then he gave me his number and we texted on our phones. We texted about sports, and our days, and all kinds of things. Daily. For 2.5 weeks. This should have been a huge red flag, but I chose to ignore it. Why wasn’t this guy calling me? Or asking me out? I wondered… And wondered…

Are you done?

I chalked the not-calling up to the way the dating world seems to work these days. No one actually speaks on the phone anymore, it’s all texting all the time. Which is sort of a problem – remember this guy? So I finally say, “hey, I think that we should probably actually hang out in person sometime.” He agrees and we set a date to go to trivia on a Wednesday night.

Finally the day arrived. I was very excited. I couldn’t wait to meet this guy who was obviously the man of my dreams. I got there a few minutes early and grabbed a cocktail. Then he showed up. He wasn’t quite what I was expecting. Kind of schlumpier than what his, admittedly a bit hazy, photos seemed to indicate.

Then he started talking. At first I couldn’t quite place what was going on. He sounded a bit off, but it was loud and I thought I might be imagining things. Then he said something about being from the “east side,” and I thought that he must be from the east coast! Of course! So I ask and he says no. The east side of St. Paul. Oh. Then I finally realize. It’s a speech impediment. Like, a pretty serious one. And as I’m leaning in to try to understand what he’s saying, I catch the breath. This guy needs a root canal, I think. Or at least some listerine.

Trivia starts and I am regretting agreeing to something that requires such a commitment of time. The questions start. It does not go well. I felt like I was in school and trying to coax a correct answer out of my study partner, who is chronically totally wrong. About every question. That I do actually know the answer to. Ugh. It was not good.

Finally it was over. We got our score. I paid for our drinks while he was in the bathroom so that we wouldn’t even need to have that conversation. Walked out, had an awkward hug and went our separate ways.

This was supposed to teach me a lesson about never going out with a guy that I haven’t talked to on the phone. I have since broken that rule on every date I’ve gone on, except with E. Huh.