As I previously discussed in my Thanks for the Franks post, there are three categories of guys on OKCupid… and I can usually figure out which category someone is within the first five minutes of meeting them. To refresh your memory:
Category 1– The totally un-dateable weirdos and psychos lurking the streets of New York. This type is often initially disguised by quasi-impressive jobs and a smooth line or two.
Category 2– The men who only use OKCupid to find people to have sex with. Self-explanatory.
Category 3– The seemingly normal guys who I meet and am momentarily wowed by the fact that maybe, just maybe, OKCupid actually connected me with someone that I might like… until they tell me they just got out of a serious relationship and are looking for a rebound to get over their ex-girlfriend.
A few nights ago I went on a date with a guy named “Dylan.” Although I had immediately (and correctly) pegged him as a Category 3, in hindsight he was definitely creeping into the Category 1 column. Throughout the date, more and more red flags waved in my face until I was sorry I hadn’t just called it an early night. But based on his text message after I canceled on him the first time we were supposed to meet, I was afraid of what his response would be if I did it again. He had written: “That’s too bad. If you are actually serious about wanting to meet me, set a date.” It sounded like he was taking my cancelation personally, but I told myself you can’t read too much into a text message. When we did meet, I joked that I hoped he wasn’t mad about my previous cancelation and he told me that he HAD in fact been mad.
Red Flag #1: Random angry outbursts. In addition to his odd text, he made several negative exclamations throughout our date. The first was his hatred of rich people. He kept mentioning his poor upbringing and how he was conditioned to despise people with money. He also made a few comments directed toward women that were laced with enough bitterness to make me uncomfortable. He referred to his ex-girlfriend as a “bitch” which instantly made me lose any interest in him I may have had. Name-calling is not cute and it told me that in addition to being bitter and immature, he was clearly not over his ex. Danger. Walk away now.
Dylan had gotten to the bar early and was halfway through his beer when I arrived. I waited for him to make a move to order me a drink, but he just stood there blankly staring at me. He was pretty quiet from the start, but unleashed the dragon as the beer and Fernet began to flow. After telling me that he had recently thrown out his shoulder at a German Glitter Party (whatever the hell that is), he shared that he had just joined OKCupid and I was his first blind date.
Red Flag #2: Just got out of a five year relationship a couple months ago. This fun fact was revealed about twenty minutes into our date. I figured it out after he told me he was new to OKCupid and had just moved in with new roommates (tell-tale signs). Any time he brought up his ex-girlfriend (which happened several times) he began chugging his beer like there was no tomorrow.
Dylan didn’t even try to hide his disinterest in my job, but we found we were both passionate about writing. Unfortunately it’s hard for me to talk to OKCupid dates with whom I have writing in common, because the main thing I write is this blog. So when Dylan asked what I like to write, I had to give him a vague “personal non-fiction” response. He said “Oh god, are you a BLOGGER?” then went on to tell me that he went to college for writing and had just recently gotten a new job as a ghostwriter for some company executive. He didn’t like the job because he could only write in her voice. I asked him what he would rather be writing and he said that he wasn’t sure because he didn’t know what his own voice was. He wanted to start a blog and a Twitter account, but said he was afraid to write anything down because what if it didn’t sound as good as when he had first thought of it? Or, what if it wasn’t as good as something he had written before?
Red Flag #3: Projecting insecurities. It seemed like he had a lot of self-doubt about his writing, so I tried to tell him that he should just write it all down anyway and he would eventually find his voice. He told me I didn’t understand because writing is “just a hobby” for me. Then he asked why, if I had majored in theatre, was I not doing theatre? I told him because I decided that I didn’t want to make a career out of it. ”But why not? Why go to school for it if you aren’t even going to try?” At this point, I felt like he was trying to shift the focus off of his own personal failures and onto what he perceived mine to be. Settle down.
After another beer, Dylan started getting weirdly introspective– smiling to himself and giggling as if only he was in on the inside joke… with himself. He told me that it’s hard for others to understand him because he’s so weird and complicated. And he had apparently been worried about meeting me that night because he knew he would be an asshole and I wouldn’t understand. The more he talked about how weird and funny he is, the more I was convinced that he was just your garden variety disaster zone.
Red Flag #4: If a girl tells you she’s crazy, it very well may be true and you’ve been warned. If a guy tells you he’s “so complicated and hard to understand,” either he is a hot mess, he’s a Coheed and Cambria fan, or he’s gay.
The cherry on top of this charming date was when, at the end, I told him I hoped he had a good time on his first OKCupid date. He winced and said he didn’t like calling it a date. I said he would probably need to get comfortable with that term if he stays on OKCupid because that’s what most people call it. Although we weren’t “dating” (and never would be, thank you dear lord) it is technically a “blind date,” and we had set a “date” to “meet.” It was at that moment that I realized I am one of those ridiculous people who sometimes use air quotes in conversation and I really don’t know how I feel about that.
As we walked outside to where Dylan’s bike was chained, he put on his helmet and tightened the strap so tight his jowls looked like a muffin and I was afraid he was going to asphyxiate. He rode off into the night and I breathed a sigh of relief. That was exhausting!
I hate to be one of those girls that say this, but at least he ended up paying. I will sit idly by as someone I don’t know works through their quarter life crisis… but only if I am provided with some nice potable incentives.