One of the JDate© emails I received recently was from a guy who thought he was my perfect match. One of the comments on that post suggested that he was only interested in sex. I thought the comment was right and my further contact with him supports that view.
After I responded to his initial email he sent me his phone number and asked me to call. A couple of days went by and I did nothing. On Sunday, I was online, and he IM'd me. We chatted for a while and then he asked me to call him again. I was shy about it and gave him my number. After he called, the conversation was slow to get started. That can happen and it doesn't necessarily mean anything bad, though I don't think it ever means anything good.
[Note: if it's hard to start a conversation, that's almost always bad. If it's easy to start a conversation, that's always good, but not necessarily an indication of relationship potential. However, since good rapport is a relationship essential, being able to hold a decent phone conversation is important.]
He said, "um" a lot. His opener was, "Ask me anything you like!" There is no surer way to shut me up than to start with that line. Every thought I have flies out of my head.
He tried again with, "Let's play a game. You can ask the other person any question, no matter how personal, and they have to answer."
I said, without hesitation, "I'm not comfortable with that game. I don't know that I would be willing to answer those questions. I don't want to play."
"I'm just trying to get to know you."
"I think we should just have a conversation and the things we care about will come out naturally." [Note: Why do I have to explain to so many internet guys how conversation works? What planet are they from?]
He starts asking me some mild, un-intrusive questions that are easy to answer. My chattiness emerges and I figure, once I get going, he'll participate and we'll be fine. But every time there is a moment for him to chime in, there is silence. He says, "I don't know what to say. I don't want to ask you the wrong questions." I try to ask him questions, but he doesn't elaborate much. I talk more. He is quiet. I say, "Do I have to keep asking you questions? Are you ever going to feel comfortable chiming in?"
He demurs and says he's still getting comfortable and will answer anything I ask. Sigh. He'd mentioned delaying a camping trip so I asked him, "How often do you go camping?"
"One night a year." One night a year? That's your answer? Not, "once a year" Not, "I really like to go camping, but I don't go as often as I like"? Weirdo.
There was also his remark that you needed to be really open in these conversations, "You have to find out as much as you can about the person so you can decide if you want to go forward."
"I think you have to see if you get along well enough to know if it's worth it to share all the intimate details. Why would I want to tell you everything about me if we don't even get along?"
"I…um, uh, um, guess so. Maybe."
[Note: As should be obvious to from reading the blog, I love to talk. I often tell a lot about myself with no compunction at all. But telling a lot of stories doesn't necessarily mean you know me. And trying to take a shortcut around all the hard work of listening to stories is lame. If you don't want to listen to my stories, forget it. It won't work. I'm delighted to listen to your long, personal stories too. I'm not so interested in plumbing the depths of your soul in our first phone conversation.]
Then, he seems to either have memorized my profile or to be referring to it as we talk, and he asks, "Under the thing about smoking you have: 'Non-Smoker, Occasional Smoker, Smokes Regularly, Trying to quit.' Is that right? What's that about?"
"What's it about? I don't care if you smoke. It's not important to me. Well, if you smoked a lot, I might bug you about it, but it's no big deal. I've dated a smoker and it doesn't bother me."
"I don't smoke."
"I smoke occasionally. Like a cigarette a week. Or less. Usually, if I'm out and having a beer, I might smoke. It's something I picked up in college--the habit of smoking and drinking. But I'm not a big drinker so I don't smoke that much."
"About you smoking, I'm against it, because, you know, it's not healthy." I'm expecting condemnation, or a request not to smoke around him, "But if you're going to do it, can you do it around me?" Whoa. Not expecting that. I seem to have a lock on the fetish market. "I find it…sexy."
"Um. Sure. I mean, if I'm going to smoke anyway."
Later on, I get this, "Are you a high libido girl or a low libido girl?"
"I'm not sure I'm comfortable talking about that with you. And you need to define your terms." He said, based on the opinion of a married female friend, that three times a week was a good amount. I said, "I can't answer your question directly, but here's a little story that should tell you what you need to know." The story:
When I was going steady with vip-ex, my grad school and most serious boyfriend to date, we fell into a pleasant little domestic routine. Most days after school we would go to his house (it was closer to campus) and he'd make dinner. We would eat in front of the tv while watching the Simpsons. I'd clean up and he would study. He would continue to study in his room and I would watch tv in the living room while pretending to study. (It's amazing how little I studied in grad school.) At 11:00 pm we watched "Law & Order" on A&E. I would fall asleep during the last five minutes and wake up when the theme music played and ask, "What happened, what happened?" Vip-ex would tell me if the trial was won or lost and we'd trundle ourselves off to sleep. (There was one time we BOTH feel asleep before the conclusion of the show and never found out what happened. That still makes me chuckle.)
Given these circumstances, we rarely had sex on the weeknights. He complained that we weren't having enough sex. He said it was because I didn't like sex as much as he did and I wasn't as interested. I said he didn't know what he was talking about--that I liked sex just as much as he did, but I liked to be awake while having it. I made a few suggestions. "If you want to have more sex, we need to go to bed earlier. I'm too tired if we stay up and watch Law & Order every night."
"But I really like to watch Law & Order."
"Me too, but do we have to watch it every night? Maybe we could have sex in the morning. When I'm awake. I like that."
"You always want to have sex in the morning. It's weird. I'm not interested in the morning. No one does that. It's strange."
"We could have sex earlier in the evening, after dinner, before Law & Order."
"That seems awkward."
"We could make a plan, decide ahead when we will have sex. Make time for it. Make a date."
"You want to plan to have sex? Sex should be spontaneous. That won't work. That's weird." This from the guy who only wants to have sex in the bed, in the bedroom, after dinner, at night, with the lights off. Sooo spontaneous.
"What do you want from me?" (Whenever I tell this story, I have to ask myself why I was with this guy for so long. He sure didn't make it easy. He did have other good qualities, but we don't have time for that right now.)
I also suggested that he let me take the initiative for a month. He was pressuring me so much to have sex that it was a turn off. I felt guilty when I said no but it got harder and harder to say yes. "A MONTH? That's too long. We'll never have sex again!"
"What about for a week? Let me take the initiative for a week." He agreed to that.
(Are you wondering how it worked out, did we have more sex? Good God, how should I know. This happened something like nine years ago! As I recall, taking the initiative helped and we did have more sex. I think we tried earlier in the evening too, at least once.)
I said, "So, do you think that answers the question?" Silence.
"Um, uh, maybe…" He was sure he wanted to meet. He said he would call me.
After we got off the phone, I thought, "What a weirdo!" It wasn't so much that he wanted to watch me smoke. Whatever--that's harmless. Or that he cared about my libido--it could be an issue. But it was all so cart in front of the horse. I don't want to talk about my libido with someone until I'm sure I want to have sex with him. I don't want to know about his sexual preferences until we're going to have sex. I don't even know if I like this guy, let alone if sex is on the table. It's an awfully intimate conversation to have with someone you haven't met. Not to mention that this someone had almost no ability to express himself. My main impression of him after our conversation? Creepy.
When he called me on Monday night to ask, "Are we still going to get together or have I scared you off?" It wasn't too hard to say, "No, I don't think we'll be getting together. But thanks for calling. I'm flattered." He said goodbye without asking for explanations or trying to win me over. That's something to be grateful for.
Grateful for: weirdos.