Once upon a time…I came across a somewhat promising guy on my Coffee Meets Bagel app. He seemed fairly decent looking, but after matching up with him we couldn’t seem to get our schedules to match. Every time he wanted to meet, I was busy and vice versa. After a month and a half of back and forth texting/flirting, we finally meet up at a bar near his house.
I was actually shocked when I met him…
He was cute! Better looking than his photos – he was dressed in a long sleeve gingham flannel shirt and jeans. His hair was short but neatly cut. But best of all, his voice was deeper than mine, which is one of my only physical prerequisites for dating.
We got drinks and went to a corner of the bar to talk. It was a bit bumpy/awkward at first — I work on environmental policy and do research on gentrification and displacement. He’s a TECHIE/salesman who used to work in NUCLEAR energy for many years (his dad did it too) – he justified nuclear by saying that it’s “clean tech”. He does charity work with habitat for humanity and volunteers once a month at a soup kitchen to “give back”. He asked me why I majored in cultural studies, because – as he said – “Most of the people that I knew just did it because they didn’t know what else to major in during college”. I had to break it down to him that I’ve been doing community organizing and advocacy work with low-income communities for over a decade now.
Besides that rough start, we did have a good conversation. He’s smart, thoughtful, and interesting. He actually asked me a lot of questions about myself and my life, and I did the same. It seemed like an equal exchange – not like the other guys I’ve dated that never attempted to get to know me, let alone care about me or my life!
Anyway, I ended up getting pretty drunk. Before i knew it, it was closing time. We walked across the street to his house to keep hanging out, because I was way too drunk to drive home.
As I tried to leave around 2:30 AM, he came towards me and started kissing me. I have to say it was pretty hot. I mean, HE was hot! He was probably the best looking guy I’ve dated in a long time. I’ve never hooked up with a guy on the first date for many reasons, but sHieeeeeet I couldn’t help myself.
One thing goes to another and I end up on his bed, and, um, a lot of other things happened, short of us having sex. As a girl in an OutKast album once said, “Fuck that, I liked it! I was drunk and it was my birthday anyway” (except it wasn’t my birthday).
Well, for starters…
(This is going to sound SO NAIVE…because it is. I’m a bit ashamed of myself.)
First of all, there’s a reason why people always say that you need to make guys wait. Even if I wanted to jump his bones, hooking up with him just set the tone for the rest of his interactions with me – or rather, his expectations of what my interactions with him should be like. Once it gets physical, guys have a hard time remembering that there’s anything more to you than that. Their selfishness and their desired images of you trump all the rest.
Second of all, I let him do a lot of things I normally don’t let guys do. I gave him my real phone number. I sent him pics of me that need to be deleted (nothing with my face, thank gawd). I wanted to do things to please him and make him happy so that he’d stay interested in me (hook him in so that he wouldn’t want to move onto the next girl), but in the end I just played myself. If they want in, they’ll wait (besides, guys can’t get dates as easily as women can). They are more likely to give respect to those that make them wait and don’t get taken advantage of so easily.
In hindsight, I realize that a lot of guys will push and push until they get what they want – or until they run up against some negative consequences. Even the “nice guys”.
So yeah, I gave in too soon.
And yeah he’s cute, has a good job, seems like a really nice and caring guy. He takes care of his parents, he’s responsible, he can listen and hold a conversation. He’s attentive. But even those guys can be selfish and manipulative, even if they don’t realize it.
I now remember that people need to EARN their way into your life — that they have to earn your respect; or more importantly, that I have to earn their respect too. I forgot that I don’t have to justify myself to anyone even if they pressure me or make me feel guilty (wow, am I really in my 30’s? I sound like I’m 16). I also forgot that I have to show that I’m worth the time and effort and that I have a lot of other things to offer someone…
They say that you teach people how to treat you. He seemed like a nice guy. But in the end he’s just another guy that I just met on the internet. I guess I always learn the hard way.
(Well fuck it, if it’s going to be like this, I better get something positive out of it for myself.)