All right, so here’s something kind of stupid.
I kinda sorta ‘met’ a guy online last week.
I won’t get into details regarding how it happened, other than to say that I was sitting in my living room, bored, and messing around on the internet. Before I knew it, I was considering sending off an email to a stranger who intrigued me because of common interests. I waited a couple of hours, walked the dog, got ready for bed… and decided to hit send. I honestly don’t know WHAT came over me.
I do not want to start dating.
I don’t think so, anyway. I’m kind of confused. I really like not having the stress or extra responsibility that comes with having a (sigh) relationship of any kind. I love living alone, even if it does get lonely sometimes… but being lonely in your house isn’t the same as being lonely in your LIFE. Two different things. I am not lonely in life.
But I also have a little knot of fear deep inside of me that I might not ever be with anyone, again, ever. I’m not trying to sound like a fatalist here. I’m being honest when I say I’ve grown so comfortable without dudes in my life, that I could realistically see this phase lasting for a very long time to come. And there remains a chance that I’m never going to experience something really nice, ever again.
“Something really nice” being, of course, love. I don’t want to go my whole life without feeling it with an equal partner.
And so, I start to get curious, and weird about it. I behaved kind of spur-of-the-moment last week, and me and the guy have started a little communique on e-mail and now on the phone.
On one hand: this is good practice for me! My first baby-step out of my comfort zone; learning how to talk to a new boy again. I can’t say this is flirting, because it doesn’t feel like it. But so far, the guy appears to be decent and we have some interesting things in common. He is very random and loves animals (is in school to be a vet tech, in fact); he’s into most of the same music that I am, which is nice for a change; he can quote MST3K and, awesomely, “Adventures in Babysitting”; he wrote and illustrated a children’s book; he loves ‘odd little dogs’ like Chinese cresteds and pugs; he likes spending time with his nephew, who he is teaching to skateboard. We’re the same age, and live in the same town. He’s not into sports (but he does hike and snowboard). Personal score: I found out the other night he has dark hair, and it’s long. What can I say…longer hair is my thing.
We’ve talked on the phone for an hour and a half straight. He asked a ton of questions. He apparently was trying to feel it out if I was promiscuous or not (HA!) and if I carried a lot of baggage. I noticed he doesn’t swear. So far, nothing he has said has been weird.
There’s one or two problems, though.
One: he hasn’t shown me a decent photo of himself. He says he just doesn’t have any. We friended on Facebook and he has one stock-photo profile photo, and that’s it. He is really mysterious in this regard, and it’s just a little off-putting. I mean, it really isn’t about his looks and if I will consider his face a dealbreaker or something, because that’s really not the thing that bothers me. What bothers me is who, among us jokers in this internet-connected generation, doesn’t have at least one or two photos of themselves on a social networking website? Even my most stoic or anti-establishment male friends have multiple photos on their pages. It doesn’t feel normal, for some reason, you know? It makes people suspicious, like what are you hiding? I don’t want to feel suspicious of my new maybe-friend.
Two, people very close to me have told me they are alarmed by this new development. I usually share EVERYthing with my family, and this was something I kept to myself for about 4 days or so. I don’t know why. I think it’s because I didn’t want to look like I was trying to DATE again. And I was ashamed of meeting him on the internet. Now, I know lots of people meet on the internet, and it happens every single day. But not everyone meets the way we did, which was not on a dating site or anything like that. The shameful site we met through has an iffy reputation (don’t worry, it wasn’t killerdungeonslaves.com or something; I remain as prudish as ever) and I can’t imagine anyone seriously getting anything decent out of it. Not in this way. I did a bad thing and blurted out a very silly little lie about how I met him to my family when I told them last weekend. I didn’t plan to lie, I just did it. It wasn’t far from the truth at all, but I couldn’t lie for long. I told them the truth yesterday, and it didn’t go well. I know I did something very uncharacteristic when I told a lie. I DO NOT LIE. And yet, what did I just find myself doing? And why? It’s really not that bad at all. In fact, I know that it’s probably more common than I think to contact people on this site in this way. I wish I could explain, really, why I lied, but it only makes me feel more like a weirdo. All I know is I had to confess about my minor lie because I couldn’t carry it around anymore. I do feel like a jackass, though.
I hate feeling weird to my family, and for no good reason. Have you ever just told a little lie, and not known WHY you just did it? It’s so strange. Ugh.
And let me be clear that it’s NOT the guy himself that is leading me to lie. Not at all. In fact, I would happily forward all of my e-mails to close friends who wanted to know more about this mysterious, no-picture-having geek I’ve met out of the blue. Nothing he’s said has scared me off, or alarmed me, other than his frank questioning about my dating history on the phone that night, and that’s just because I’m not used to people being so blunt and unafraid of asking the difficult questions–and then staying to hear the difficult answers. It was actually refreshing.
I do wish he’d send me a good photo or two. I flat-out told him to send me a picture last night when we were IMing and he did, but he explained that it was about 5 years old, and it was taken while he was skating, so you can’t really see his face. But at least he sent it, even as I teased him, saying things like, “so you’re horribly scarred, right?” and “I got it, you’re a ghost!” and there was nothing off-putting about what I saw. He seemed very… average-sized, normal and not at all scary looking. I wish I could make out his face, just because. Admit it– it IS a little odd that a 35 year old guy would not have a recent photo of himself. Even if he is a guy who is not actively looking to go on dates, because he apparently isn’t. This whole thing of us meeting is just as random to him as it is to me, except technically he made the first ‘move.’ Also out of curiosity, boredom and a fleeting desire to meet new, likeminded people.
And so, all of this leads me to THIS:
On Friday night, I am supposed to meet him at a Starbucks. He’s going to bring his portfolio and children’s book to show me. After that, we will walk either to the bookstore or the record store nearby. If things are still going well and we don’t loathe one another and have to run away, we’ll go see some bad cult movies (Flowers in the Attic! Ahh!) at the independent theater nearby. I see it as being very one-step-at-a-time, and he’s not being pushy. He’s told me he is looking forward to meeting me and talking some more, and he seems genuinely excited about it. In passing, he told me I was pretty (he saw the Facebook photos…probably any and all of them, I’m sure… eeek) but that was the most suggestive thing he has said. I’m not getting the sense that he is a serial killer, or a pervert, or a sexual deviant or any other bizarre incarnation my imagination could come up with. If anything he could possibly be fairly religious. I can’t tell yet.
So why am I so unsure that I should go through with meeting him on Friday?
I’m strongly considering cancelling. Or re-scheduling so we meet over my lunch hour or something, so there is a set beginning and end to the meeting, and it’s during daytime. My best friend has told me she thinks this whole thing is “creepy” and doesn’t approve of me meeting anyone online… and because her opinion means the world to me, I have to pay it some heed. She’s worried that he’ll hurt me, or murder me. Don’t laugh. It’s a legitimate fear of hers, and I know she is reading this. I can’t begrudge her for her opinions. I know she loves me and wants me to finally, one day, be happy with the right guy. But she just doesn’t want me to meet a total stranger, at night, without friends nearby or something. She can’t be here to do it herself, but tells me she’d feel a LOT better if one or more of my friends could find a way to be there, someplace in the background, as I meet him. Because, like anything in life, really, you never know. True. But… I just don’t know what to do! I’m not really scared to meet him in person. I don’t get why my best friend would be so dead-set against this meeting. We’ve kind of gone back and forth, sort-of arguing about it, and I think we both understand one another and there are no hard feelings, at least not on my part, I know that for sure.
This is just new for me. The last time she had a strong feeling about someone not being good for me, it was regarding X. And over time, I came to understand exactly why she felt that way and agreed completely. I don’t like disagreeing with her, or doing something she’s raising her eyebrows at. It feels awful.
Is it a bad idea to meet someone in person, when that someone doesn’t give you any real photos of himself? I really want to know your thoughts, bloggers. I could really use the input at this point, because my head is a little fuzzy right now.
Oh, and just to give you more detail about how we first got in touch with one another: it involved doing a search on a phrase and finding someone pop up who shared that quality. That’s it. And we both kind of felt intrigued that there were two of us out there, the same age, same town, both dog lovers. At the very least, this could be a casual acquaintance friendship. No harm in that. I really do miss having guy friends, as I have lamented before. Even better if he is a guy friend who might critique my work, and I could critique his.
I’m not going to imagine this going beyond that. I’m not ready for that, after all.
I’m just meeting a guy for coffee. That’s OK… isn’t it? Or, is it? HELP!
(PS: I found out a friend will be at the same location that night for another movie, so I’m going to ask him to look for me; scope this situation out, either from afar or if he wants to, he can come up to us. That’s good. But first, I have to decide that I’m going to go through with meeting the guy in the first place.)