30 January 2016

Mr. Comfortable and the Uncomfortable Second Date

When you last left your hero (that's me!) she was contemplating the offer of a second date with Mr. Comfortable, fellow-user of the dating app Bumble.

And when I say I was offered a second date, I should say he had sent me one or two texts the next couple of days, having officially asked for my phone number so we could take our conversation over to real, actual texts. The actual difference? Only the intimate detail of my actual phone number, giving him the power to, well, call me if he so desired. I am forever grateful to my iPhone for taking the pressure off of giving a man my real phone number by allowing me the power to block him if his attention becomes unwanted. I think I can speak for all women (and many men) when I say ABOUT DAMN TIME.

Anyway, that tangent aside, he had sent me one or two texts, and then one evening, when he found out I was getting home from my work trip that night, he asked if I wanted to come over to his place so he could cook me dinner.

Um, no, person-I-have-only-met-one-time-before-this. I do not want to go to your apartment for the second date. I value my life.

And yet, I did it anyway. I forced myself into a situation where I was uncomfortable because I had promised—no, instructed—myself that I was required to accept date #2 with this guy. In retrospect, accepting date #2 didn't mean I had to put myself in a situation where I didn't feel safe. I should have negotiated the terms of the date. A simple

>> I'm exhausted from work, but how about we go out for lunch tomorrow?

would certainly have sufficed. But alas, I was on the spot and had to make a decision and so I agreed. I then immediately began texting my mother, my roommate, two close friends, and my entire tumblr friends list to inform them of what I was doing, when, the guy's address, the code phrase, and the appointed hour someone needed to call to make sure I hadn't been murdered, kidnapped, or raped.

You think I'm joking? The code phrase was "How's my cat, Wendy?" (Hint: I do not have a cat.)

Sadly, this is the world we live in. Dating for women is scary. It's unsafe. Frankly if you're a woman and you don't agree with me, this is not a matter of opinion. You're living in blissful ignorance, and I hope it doesn't ever get you killed.

So already, really, this Mr. Comfortable had a huge strike against him because he put me in a situation where I felt completely unsafe. And things only went downhill from there. For starters, when he greeted me he was wearing a T-shirt and track shorts. And no, he did not change. That's what he was honestly wearing for a date. For a second date. If that's what it looked like when he was supposed to be trying to impress me, I was genuinely concerned about what it would look like when he was comfortable.

In the same theme, dinner was fine, but a little underwhelming. Personally, if I'm inviting someone over to cook for them, that's me pulling out all the stops. I'm trying to wow him. So something reheated from Trader Joe's? Well, it was fine, I guess. But again, a little underwhelming.

And then finally, I'm pretty sure Mr. Comfortable and I ran out of things to talk about after date #1. Conversation was forced. I was bored and awkward and literally counting the minutes until it would be polite for me to leave.

In hindsight, I had a code phrase for "Help he's a serial killer!" I did not have one for "Help! I'm bored to tears and I wanna go home!" Next time.

All-in-all, it was just a bust. I was frankly shocked when I ended up hearing from him again because I was sure he knew how badly it had gone, too. On a related note, one of my New Year's Resolutions involves being more direct with people, which means no "ghosting."1 So I sent Mr. Comfortable a very direct, very polite message wishing him a happy New Year and telling him

>> I don't want to lead you on so I'm just going to say upfront that I don't see it working for us romantically.

and he didn't start sending hate speech back at me, so I call that a win. I know from personal experience how bad it feels when someone ghosts you, and I also have always felt incredibly guilty every time I've been guilty of it myself. Also, guys never seem to take the hint. I'm not replying to you BECAUSE I DON'T WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU ANYMORE. (Please watch the movie He's Just Not That Into You for more on this subject.)

So Mr. Comfortable just wasn't the guy for me. He wasn't a serial killer or an asshole, fortunately, just incompatible. But some day he'll meet a nice girl who wears sweatpants 24/7, and they'll live comfortably ever after.

Me? I'm looking for someone a little less Chill.

1 Ghosting—a show of disinterest; to completely cease responding to any of a person's attempts to reach out to you digitally, i.e. not answering calls, acknowledging voice mails, replying to texts, or answering facebook messages

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