surprise! - the unexpected addendum
Because I went into the online dating experience with very few expectations and a desire not to hurry anything, I’ve always been a little surprised at how briefly I actually used my active membership on Match. I subscribed on Sunday, 7 February 2010, and about six weeks later, Wildcat Guy and I decided to try an exclusive relationship. Fast forward to 2012 and I’m still amazingly thankful for my friends’ persistent admonitions to try online dating and for the blessing of such a wonderful partner. But it seemed reasonable to feel like the Match chapter in my life was closed, right?
Then I got this text message:
“Hi, [sleepeybear], are you still on Match? I’d like to chat. [Older Man]”
Last Wednesday. More than two years after I closed my Match subscription. In fact, it took me a second to remember exactly who Older Man was.
And since I don’t think I ever mentioned Older Man, I should probably share a little background. He and I “met” a couple of weeks into my online dating experience, and we also had a few phone calls. I remember thinking how amusing it was that, after I’d put so much effort and consideration into my desired age range, the two men I was talking with most seriously were either younger (Wildcat Guy) or older (Older Man – and by older, I mean 16 years older). However, I enjoyed talking on the phone with Older Man and it was interesting to realize we had some common life experiences. But after a couple weeks of phone conversations, our schedules never really lined up to allow for an in-person introduction and things fizzled from there.
I don’t remember being too disappointed, though – he lived about thirty minutes away, and the two times we’d tried to get together had both felt like moments of convenience for him – as in, “hey, I’m going to be in your area, so I’ll call you to see if you’re available when I'm passing through.” Sure, that seemed sensible, and yet when neither of those worked out, he stopped calling. I took that as either a loss of interest or an unwillingness to make the effort that I was looking for – something as simple as, “you know, [sleepeybear], since the spontaneous approach doesn’t seem to be working, maybe we should plan something a little more purposefully?”
So even without any formal closure, I was okay with how that one turned out. I had prepared myself for the possibility of talking with appealing guys that things just didn’t work out with. But I don’t think there was anything I could have done to prepare myself for hearing from one of those guys more than two years later. Because seriously? How do you respond to something like this? For me, I decided to aim for graceful, brief and polite:
“Wow. While I’m flattered you remember me, I’m in a relationship…so no more Match for me. Best wishes to you, [Older Man].”
And I genuinely was flattered. Who wouldn’t be? I left a strong enough impression on a guy that he decided to contact me more than two years later after being overseas for a while. We just won’t talk about how it was also a little bit strange that he would still have my phone number (in his phone? in his email?). In the end, even though it wasn’t me, I do hope he finds his someone…and fingers crossed that this will truly be the last chapter of my online dating experience.
I might cross my toes, too…just to be safe.
Where I am: home
What I'm reading: Alice Waters and Chez Panisse by Thomas McNamee