Tuesday, January 23, 2007

One of them

I've become one of "them." One of those online "daters" who is not actually available for dating. But there is one important difference--I know I'm not available. Not only do I know it, but I will tell. I can't pat myself on the back for this, though, because it's still misleading. Having an active profile and engaging in any type of conversation is bound to give the impression that you are available even if you frankly state the opposite.

I know I've dealt with my fair share of these folks and I've chronicled some of the encounters here. Remember the fellow who answered an email after a two month delay? What about the guy who exchanged daily emails with me, drunk emailed me and drunk dialed me, but would never agree to meet. I didn't bother to share the stories of the more mundane encounters.

These are the folks who feel the need to try but, for whatever reason, are not actually available to date. I could be due to impossible schedules, emotional scarring, recovery time from a break up--but these folks are not ready for a relationship. They will chat and email with you indefinitely, they might even call you, but when it comes down to it, you are never meeting one of them for a drink.

How do I know I've become one of them? Beyond my self-aware disinclination towards romance at the moment? The other day, I was contacted via the free site by a very appropriate man. My age (shocking), good looking, not creepy. I mentioned that I was planning to watch football and he asked if I wanted to watch a game with him. I did have other game watching plans, but it was a good idea for a first date. But I balked. I had no desire to meet him. I hemmed and hawed and he finally said, "Why don't you give me your number and I can call you this week and make a date for next weekend? Or you can get my number..." I immediately took him up on his offer and gave him my number. He gave me his, but with no expectation that I would call him. He said, "This is my number so you can recognize it when I call." How modern-proper.

You know how I feel about this? I seriously hope he doesn't call. I don't want to go out on a date with a stranger. I don't want to make an impression. I don't want to deal with it. I have no idea how I'll handle it if he does call. Will I get over myself and agree to meet? Will I screen his calls and never answer?  It's such an odd feeling to be one of "them." I hope it doesn't last too long.

Grateful for: offers.

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