After Dick Pic Joe, the next guy I met on eHarmony would have to be better. (I use the word “met” loosely here, since I blocked Joe before ever meeting in person after one creepy comment too many.)
Among the granddad bods (and faces) and many, many men who lived at least an hour away from me, which I don’t consider a dateable distance with LA traffic, there were a few appealing possibilities. One was a tall Asian guy who lived in Brentwood and was an exec at a major media company. We’ll call him “Michael.”
Michael appeared to be smart, handsome and fun. He did exhibit a couple of possible douchebag warning signs – a picture of his fancy car and a couple pics of him with celebrities, including Common – but not so many as to appear to be a total DB. (I’ve learned in almost a year of online dating that pics with celebs are almost as de rigueur as tiger pics, which I still don’t understand the ubiquity or importance of).
Michael was younger than me by eight years, but my rule is that I will go 10 years in either direction – up or down. The truth is, almost all the guys online, and especially on eHarmony, seem to be either significantly younger or older than me. My own age demographic are apparently all married with kids or currently divorcing their wives but haven’t gotten online yet.
After communicating through eHarmony, Michael and I exchanged numbers and began to text. He asked me what my favorite food and drinks were, an innocuous enough question, and he didn’t try to steer the conversation to sex or send me any red-flag pics, Dick, dick or otherwise.
He asked me when I was free and I gave him a couple of options, including the next night, a Thursday. We were texting back and forth, and then he tried to FaceTime me when I was in the middle of making dinner. I’d worked late and didn’t want to pick up the FaceTime as 1) I was trying to cook and 2) I don’t like to have our first sight of each other be on FaceTime as I don’t think I look good on it. I texted him saying I was in the middle of making dinner and I couldn’t FaceTime but I could talk, but instead of calling he continued to text. He told me to call him when I was done cooking, but when I asked how late was ok, he said:
I’m going to bed soon because I’m going to equinox early in the morning.
Then: I have a hot date tomorrow.
Then: Have to clean the condo!
Then: And pick up things I’m making for dinner!
Mind you, he had not yet actually said he wanted to meet the next night, much less invited me over for dinner.
I played dumb, texting back: Who’s the lucky lady? And what number date is this?
He responded: Lol
Then: We have a date tomorrow.
Then: It will feel like it’s our third date. (3 red heart emojis)
I responded: You think I’m coming over???
He replied: I’m planning on making dinner since it’s later and doing champagne on the outdoor patio with Italian
I’d previously told him that champagne was my favorite drink and Italian one of my favorite foods.
I tried to stay polite and positive and salvage the situation: That does sound like a great third date. Let’s do that for our third date.
He responded: Would still like to do champagne on the patio and then get sushi. (Sushi was the other favorite food I’d mentioned.)
I took the direct approach: I’m sure you’re a great guy but I need to get to know you before I feel comfortable coming over.
Then: This is eHarmony, not Tinder. (Winky face with tongue sticking out emoji)
He responded: It’s understandable
Then: : ) (He couldn’t even be bothered to use an emoji now)
Then: When was your last relationship?
Then: How long have you been on eharmony
So he was going from trying to get me to come over on the first date without even directly asking to questioning me about my relationship history and not that subtly trying to find out when the last time I had sex was. (As though that correlated to my last relationship, ha!)
I responded: Thought eHarmony was all about getting to know someone and moving slow, like the whole long question and answer thing.
Then: I really don’t want to have a long convo over text. If you want to make plans to go out, let me know.
He responded: I’m not into moving slow just do do that, which I assumed meant “I’m not into moving slow just to do that.”
Then: I think that you should let things happen naturally
Jesus. How many times had I heard that one?
I responded: It’s not normal for me to go to a guy’s apartment I’ve never met for a first date.
His reply: 7:30 is meeting later than usual for a weeknight
I guess that’s true . . . if you’re past retirement age.
Then: This is why I asked about sexuality
One of the pre-written eHarmony questions he’d sent me as part of the guided communication process was about how passionate of a person I am or how much physical affection I like.
I responded, though I don’t know why I was bothering by then: We haven’t even met or spoken yet.
To which he replied: I tried to FaceTime tonight you refused
Once again, I employed the “block caller” feature on my phone. (Good thing there’s no limit to the amount of numbers you can block. Thanks, Apple!)
Would the end of my conversation with Michael be the beginning of finding someone decent on eHarmony? Or would all the guys be indistinguishable from Tinder?
The main difference between the swipe apps and eHarmony was I was now paying to be disrespected by possible suitors.