What happens when two people who blog about sex/dating/relationships meet on that holy of holies, OK Cupid?
Well, I’m not quite sure yet.
Neither of us knew that the other blogged, but she wrote to compliment one of my favorite movies, the Devil’s Backbone by Guillermo del Toro. She said I seemed benign (her mistake), which apparently made me a good candidate for a first internet dating experience. She warned me in advance that she was not interested in a boyfriend, which was just fine by me considering my own recent break-up; a few messages later, we agreed on a time and place for our not-a-date.
This was a particular leap of faith for me, as she had no clear images of her face on her profile (because, to be perfectly honest, if you’ve got the right cheekbones, everything else is negotiable). And people without photos of their faces annoy me (because it sucks to show up for a date, see that they have the wrong cheekbones, and then spend the rest of the hour or so gritting my teeth). But the composition and lighting on one of her two photos was so evocative that I decided to take the leap anyway.
To my chagrin, she took this whole not-a-date thing a little more seriously than I…. She sauntered in twenty minutes late, hot and sweaty from a day’s work and the ensuing subway ride, wearing a tank-top, cut-offs and no makeup. Which is not to say she wasn’t smokin’ hot (and with the cheekbones to boot), but rather that I suddenly felt a tad overdressed.
Her first Internet date and/or not-a-date? Don’t worry… I’ve been at this seven years… you’re doing fine. You write for a very well know publication? About relationships, no less? Goodness me. Recently had your heart broken? Sounds like we’re on the same page.
Now, unlike me, she is eminently googleable. If I had wanted to, I could have read most of her grad school publications, not to mention the more recent pieces for her employer. It took a supreme effort of will to spend the next day immersing myself in her words. Besides being more than a little creepy, doing so would take the fun out of the first few dates. Because isn’t that much of what they’re about? Almost like a striptease, you take off one piece of emotional armor at a time, in the hopes that when you have stripped bare, you don’t find yourself skewerd on the other person’s lance. Seeing someone emotionally denuded tends to be a little freaky… but if you learn these things in context, something previously unfathomable to you may suddenly become reasonable.
The other thing I’ve leaned from nascent relationships past is not to instantly ‘friend’ her on every freaking social-networking site that I’m on. (One lovely comedienne politely chided me about that a few years back.)
As for not-a-date #2? Not officially established yet, as I’m in Texas at the moment busy learning how to be a cowboy, but it seems like things are on for after my return next week.
Thus, lessons worth imparting to the young:
- If she says it’s not a date, it’s not. Unless it is one.
- Don’t Google before or after. Save that for once you’re officially dating or even later. Like when she recommends it. See here and especially here for more eloquent arguments against Googling a date.
- Wait until date 2 or 3 before friending her on Facebook. Because, really, there’s only a few possibilities here:
- You didn’t have sex, and there is no second date… in which case, why do you want to be friends with her on FB?
- You did have sex, but there is no second date… in which case she’ll unFriend you anyway.
- The second date is going to happen… but as with the whole Googling question above, best to let things get sorted out a little more before you enmesh your lives.
- When she asks, how does this rate in the scale of first dates via the internet? Â Don’t even pause to think, just say it’s in the top three (or maybe five, if you’re an asshole).
- Last, and most importantly: Don’t blog about the girl before the second date. Clearly, I haven’t learned this one yet.
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