I occasionally publish a collection of “Hairy Tales from Online Dating.” This is because, while we hear some stories of happy romances that began with an online “like,” the odds are that you need to be prepared to meet, if not kiss, a lot of frogs.
Reader #1– “I’m late-40s, working in beauty services, have a very good figure, and dress attractively.
“I went on a dating website and gave my postal code. To my surprise, the first person who answered lived only blocks from me.
“We met at a local bar and he ordered a beer; so I did too. Within the next 45 minutes, he drank four beers, went to the bathroom as many times, spoke only about himself, and asked me nothing about my life, interests, work, etc.
“By the time he returned from his last toilet visit, I’d gotten my bill, paid it, and said a cheery “Gotta’ go now” as I left. He didn’t pursue any connection, for which I was grateful.
“On another date that originated from the same dating website, the man showed immediate interest. He took me to a nice restaurant that had dancing, which I liked, but his approach was over the top.
“He had a face-in-your-space way of chatting to my mouth. When he asked me to dance, his hands went everywhere and he held me so close I had to literally break away.
“He, too, was a more-about-me guy, and obviously older than the early-50s he’d claimed online. He described cars, boats and fantastic jobs he’d had, yet he wore a suit that looked three sizes too big. I didn’t date him again.”
Reader #2 – “I’m a man who’d been chatting online with a woman who acted like she was interested in me. We agreed to meet for coffee, and though sparks didn’t fly, it was pleasant and she agreed that we should next try a real date.
“Things were going nicely, we’d had a drink each and ordered a meal, though she only asked for an appetizer.
“Suddenly, she said she didn’t feel well and had to rush off, she’d take a cab. I stayed as the food was arriving, and paid the bill.
“When I phoned her later to see how she was, I heard a guy’s voice in the background and her saying “Shush” before her fast goodbye to me. I believe she met up with him when she left me.”
Reader #3 - “From seeing my profile online, the man’s text said he was sure we’d be a great match. I said I’d be happy to meet him when I returned from an overseas business trip for which I was leaving in two days. He teased that it’d be a shame to miss out on something that could be more important for both of us.
“He wanted to see me the next night. I said it was impossible; I only had tomorrow night after work to pack. He offered to come over and help me. I guess I finally thought that his persistence was flattering.
“We were to meet at a restaurant. When I got there, he kept texting rapidly on his phone.
“I said, “Don’t I look just like my profile photo?” He said, yes, put down his phone, and looked uncomfortable.
“I asked, “Are you in a relationship?” He answered, “Sort of.” Me: “Do you spend weekends together?” Him: A slow nod. Me: “So this was just comparison shopping.” Another nod. I left.”
Reader’s Commentary Regarding the woman who wants to keep her own name but her fiancé won’t agree (Dec. 29):
“I wish to add another angle to the married name game.
“I think that everyone should keep their own name, but arrangements have to be agreed on regarding under which parent’s name the children will be listed on their birth certificates.
“With the current rate of divorce, if a woman kept her own name, it’d make things easier.
“Presently, after a divorce, the woman keeps the man’s name.
“From my personal experience, my ex-wife decided that I was no longer worthy of her, and so I, in turn, felt that she was no longer worthy of my name.
“I wanted my name back. She never agreed to it.”
Ellie – It’s possible to change a surname. However, resistance sometimes relates to a person’s reputation having been built on that name, or wanting the same name as one’s children.
Tip of the day:
Online dating can resemble online shopping – some great values, more lemons. Choose carefully.