I begin to think that this dating site is not what it advertises itself to be.
At first I was very selective about who I contacted. They needed to be roughly the same age as me. They needed to live in roughly the same area. They needed to have some of the same interests.
I messaged one or two women. No response. I tried another few. No response. I began to panic a little bit, and so I lowered my expectations. OK – they don’t have to live in the same area, and a few years under or over me didn’t really matter. I began to message more. And more. And more.
No response. After 40 messages.
Hope placed a reassuring hand on my shoulder.
“….don’t give up….”
The days passed slowly until eventually I received a message.
“Janice wants to get to know you.”
My heart leapt. Finally!!
I checked her profile. She looked like a nice woman, and sounded fun. She had a few kids, and worked in a shop. She also smoked, and that for me was a bonus.
We began to communicate and suddenly our fledgling relationship took off at the speed of light. We swapped email addresses the first day, and telephone numbers the second. On the third day she wanted to meet.
“OK,” I told her. “Let’s meet up next weekend! In town. We will have some fun! Maybe grab a coffee, take a walk around the shops?”
“No. I want to meet tonight. I want to come over to your place.” was her response.
I felt a brief touch of fear. It was a Wednesday night. I had an early start the next day. I needed to get a haircut and maybe pick up some new clothes. I wanted to make a first good impression. I wasn’t ready to move things so quickly. And besides, what kind of woman wants to meet a stranger in a strange place without ever having met him before? Something seemed wrong.
Suddenly Hope was beside me.
“……Listen to yourself……”
I listened. No. It was too big of a risk. I didn’t know this woman. I was not ready to share my personal space with her. I wanted to meet in a public place with people around so that I could assess her properly, and give her a chance to assess me. For once in my life, I didn’t want to do something stupid.
“No. I’m sorry.” I informed Janice. “Tonight won’t suit. Can’t we wait until the weekend to meet up properly?”
She began to plead, and then got angry but I refused to budge. We were going to do this properly or we weren’t going to do it. Those were the rules.
Eventually she conceded. OK. Weekend it is.
I felt elated. I was finally going to get to take a woman out on a proper date.
I researched meticulously. I googled the city centre and made notes of bars, coffee shops, cafes and restaurants. I noted their closing times and their walking distances. I was going to approach this in a light and easy way. We would meet up and then just do whatever felt natural. She could choose. And I would pay.
I got a haircut and some new clothes. I cleaned my apartment from top to bottom. I felt infused with a new energy – a drive that I had forgotten that I possessed. For the next few days I found myself talking more and being nicer to people. Little things stopped bothering me.
I had something to look forward to. And it felt great.
And as the weekend approached, the butterflies in my stomach began to multiply and multiply. I had just left my comfort zone but I didn’t care. I began to remember what life really felt like again.