Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Assbackwards On-line Dating

Posting a profile on a dating site is a tremendous act of optimism.  When you do it you're thinking about all the possibilities - all the good things that might happen because you've made it known that you're available and looking.  Few people post a profile with the expectation that it might turn into a bad experience.

I've been fortunate enough to have had nothing but good (or at least, respectable) experiences with on-line dating.  Yes, I've been ignored and rejected plenty - even by totally average guys who say they're looking for someone like me - but overall, I'm pleased with my dating experiences so far.  Hopefully this post won't mark the high point.

One of the big negatives of on-line dating is something that I never thought about when I first posted my profile: attracting the interest of guys who completely do not interest me.  I try really, really, really hard to be open-minded; I'm very aware of how it feels to be ignored and rejected.  However, it's still impossible to avoid rejecting others.  The good news is that I figured out a pretty solid way to deflect unwanted suitors: I tell them I'm still legally married.  It works like a charm!  Without fail they disappear, never to be heard from again.

I'm sure a few readers will berate me for lying on my profile by listing my marital status as single when I'm still legally married, but you know what?  Too bad.  Someday, probably sooner rather than later, I'll get around to getting legally divorced, but I'm not going to file those papers and start that expensive headache just so I can be 100% legit on a dating site.  Given the choice between getting a divorce when it suits me, or listing myself as single, I've decided to do the latter and I don't regret it. At a minimum it gives me an easy way to give the guys who don't interest me a polite send-off.

To be sure, my actual marital status has caused more than one interesting prospect to flee.  Lying is not all gravy.  But I haven't felt like I've lost a fantastic prospect yet.  And, as if I needed any more encouragement to lie, a surprising number of potential matches have been willing to meet for coffee even after I tell them both my marital status and my living situation.  Are they desperate or do I look that good when pixelated?   Probably neither.  I think I tend to attract open-minded guys.

I may sound sick and depraved but I really do like the fact that I can easily deter almost any unappealing Romeo without personally rejecting him.  On-line dating can be so cruel.  Is it wrong of me to appreciate a little assbackward kindness?  (Please don't answer that question.)


So there's this one guy who has me puzzled.  I first messaged him more than two months ago, not really because I thought we'd make a good match, but mostly because we're the same age, he has three kids near my kids' ages and he came out about three years ago.  Normally I'd consider those things to be very appealing but there were a few others aspects of his profile that didn't feel right to me.  Also (and I hate to admit this but it's true) his pictures were a turn-off.  Not so much because he looked unattractive but mostly because it seemed like he was trying to hide his body.  In one picture he was crouched down, perhaps trying to hide a big stomach.  In another picture he used some kind of special effect that blurred everything except his face, which had an odd expression.  Looking at his profile, I kept wondering "Why would he chose those particular pictures?  Are they the best he could find?"  But in the end I decided I wanted to hear about his post-hetero dating experiences more than I cared about his somewhat odd pictures and profile, so I messaged him.

He replied within 24 hours, which was nice, and we traded two inconsequential messages thereafter.  Then I asked him if he'd be interested in meeting, purely as friends, to talk about balancing the old hetero life with the new gay one.  He said, "That would be great but I've got a really crazy work schedule for the next few weeks.  I promise to get back to you when things slow down."  I told him no problem.  A month went by and I kind of forgot about him, assuming that he either wasn't interested, had met someone that preoccupied his time, or, was a work-a-holic who would never make time for a stranger.  Then he emailed me out of the blue and said, "Thanks for your patience. I do want to meet but I have more deadlines hanging over me.  Would it be ok if I got back to you in a couple more weeks?"  I said, "No problem," but I was thinking, "WTF!  Why are you stringing me along when all I want to do is meet for an hour and BS about being a gay single parent?"

Here's where it gets interesting (well to me, probably not to you) after about a week the guy sends me a short but chatty email.  I reply.  A few days later, he replies.  And so on and so on. It's so weird but literally, the gap between each of his emails got shorter and shorter.  I took that to mean that he was sincere and he really did want to meet, but the whole way he handled it seemed odd.  Why let seven weeks go by with almost no contact and then start an e-friendship?

I've stopped trying to understand what this guy's game is.  Everything he says appears to be very sincere and on his profile he specifically says he doesn't play games, but when I just consider his actions and not his words, I feel like I'm being played somehow.

And yet, the more he emails, the more I'd like to meet him.  I still doubt that we'd make a good romantic match but perhaps we could be friends.  I just wish I knew why the hell he can't spare an hour after more than two months.  Any thoughts about how I should read this guy?


  1. Your whole marriage was built on lies. You even lied when your future wife asked you if you were gay. And now you're using lies to find men?

    1. Yes, the last 19 years of my marriage were built on a lie. As soon as you decide what that lie was, please let me know.

      And yes, I'm using lies to lure unsuspecting men into a monogamous committed relationship. The plan is to build up their trust enough so that when I blind-side them with the truth they won't feel tricked. I'll let you know how that works out.

      This comment reminded me of something that I forgot to say in the post: I've really enjoyed being rejected because my situation is "too complicated." I'm not being sarcastic.

      I can only remember two guys who said they didn't want to meet for coffee after I gave them my full disclosure. Everyone else wanted to meet. After meeting, it was clear to me that none of them was a good romantic match. Even Erik, who I sort of liked, wasn't a good match because he's not into monogamy. My situation has turned out to be an excellent way to avoid that awkward end-of-date moment when you talk about whether you'd like to meet again. The guys tell me my situation is too complicated, I say ok, they wish me the best, and that's it. None of that is uncomfortable and neither of us feels personally rejected. It really is a nice "out" for the men who want to meet me.

  2. Don't read anything into anything. You don't really know much about this guy and his life. Timing is everything these days. I get so busy sometimes, I can't get back to people that I really want to. Sometimes my projects go on for months at a time, and then, as it happens, I move on, and forget about some dude that floated my boat, way back when.

    Just go with it, and move on to to someone who has the time when you have the time, and try not to read too much into the whys and wherefores.

    1. You're right Jack.

      But I must admit that I like to think about the whys and wherefores. I don't think I can give that up.