My headfirst plunge into the Nola dating world has featured a myriad of emotions, including painful awkwardness, incredible embarrassment, and sheer frustration. I have even, amazingly, experienced this trifecta of sentiments over the course of just two dates.
After my short-lived experience with Matt and a couple of other disappointing dates (note: strange arm-sleeve tattoos are easily concealable in profile photos), my best friend convinced me to switch dating sites. I think the primary rationale was that the new site (Match.com) required a monthly fee, while the first one (OKCupid) was free. The subscription requirement at least ensured that any potential candidate had access to a working credit card.
After navigating the site for a bit to figure out the appropriate protocol for online flirting and communication, I began making contact with potential suitors. After a few introductory messages, I set up a date with a guy who seemed interesting (we’ll call him Josh). We decided to meet up the following evening (better to find out sooner rather than later if there’s zero chemistry).
I was excited about my plans, so I texted the friend who had signed me up for the site to discuss the date. I encouraged her to check out his online profile and let me know what she thought. While texting her, I was simultaneously texting Josh about our plans for that evening. I took a break to go for a run, after which I resumed my communication with my friend, who had sent me several responses. She had asked to confirm the name of my suitor and I sent back the following text to her (or so I thought; see below):
Yep Josh! I’m at the gym so just saw these … I’m talking to two other guys who seem somewhat promising. I think Match definitely has better candidates based on the pics and profiles – good call! Let’s talk later for sure.
Two points of note: 1) This text has been transcribed almost verbatim (except for the name change), including the emoticon and 2) The text went NOT to my BFF but instead to my blind date, who I had not yet met in person.
Needless to say, I was mortified.
I felt myself silently mouthing “Noooo!” as the text went through while I sat there powerless to stop it. When the damage was done, I quickly sent several texts in rapid succession to both my friend and Josh. The texts to my friend used a great deal of profanity as I described my mistake, while those to Josh explained the unfortunate circumstances and my profuse apologies. Fortunately, he was nice about it and laughed it off. It appeared that a disaster had been avoided. I was still incredibly embarrassed, but at least he wasn’t offended by my immense faux pas.
Despite the inauspicious start, the first date went smoothly. Josh was nice and we seemed to get along relatively well. While he was a bit geeky for my taste, he was attractive and could carry on a conversation. A couple of weeks later, we decided to go out again. Josh invited me to a play, which I thought was a great date option. We grabbed dinner beforehand and went to see “Venus in Fur” at the new Southern Rep Theater location. It was apparent that the date was going well, so we headed to the Maple Leaf to check out some live music.
I was impressed with Josh’s choice of activities and enjoyed the outing. This guy has potential, I thought, so we made plans to catch a movie later that week.
Then, the day before, I received a text from Josh canceling our date; it seems he was “smitten” with someone else. He wanted to pursue this other girl and felt he had to be honest with me about why he was canceling.
While I appreciated his candidness (one of my recent dating tips), I was taken aback by exactly how honest he was. I was also momentarily insulted, but quickly got over the minor bruise to my ego. I was not meant to be with a guy who uses the word “smitten” to describe his feelings. Especially about someone other than me.
I learned two valuable lessons from this awkward/embarrassing/frustrating dating experience: 1) Always double or triple check your texts when juggling dates and 2) Sometimes if it doesn’t work out, it truly is a blessing in disguise.
Ms. Match NOLA writes about dating and relationships in New Orleans for NolaVie — and wants your input. Guest columns like the one above are considered. Send thoughts, suggestions, questions, observations and anecdotes on dating to email@example.com.