About three years ago, a couple friends and I decided that we would give E-harmony a try for a year. We weren’t meeting guys at church and we each knew a couple who had met through an online dating website.
After about three months, I had emailed back and forth with a few guys and had even talked to one guy on the phone a little bit. I had just started talking to one guy (let’s call him M) and he told me that because he had two children, it would probably be kind of tough to meet in person. I was fine with the because I am able to express myself a lot better in writing than I am on the phone or in person with new acquaintances. Plus, it was really important to me to become very good friends with someone before a relationship would go any further.
We had been emailing back and forth for about three weeks when I got an email from M and he informed me that his parents were coming to town to visit and they could watch the kids if I wanted to meet up with him. I agreed to meet because I was trying to give this whole online thing a chance and taking a step like this was good for me. He then asked me for my phone number so he could call me before we met up.
When I hung up the phone after that phone call, I knew I had made a mistake. The biggest clue was when M told me that he had been on E-harmony for two years and this is the first time he had talked to someone on the phone. BUT, I wasn’t going to stand the guy up and I wanted to still give him a chance. I mean, I am awkward on the phone when I first talk to someone.
We had agreed to meet at a restaraunt at a local mall. We were going to have dinner and then afterward, walk around the mall and chat. So, Friday night after work, I headed over to the mall with the plan that one of my co-workers was going to call me at 9:00 (when the mall closed) to make sure everything was alright.
M and I sat down to dinner and he proceeds to tell me that his parents really want him to get married and they have been paying for his E-harmony membership for the past two years (by the way, this guy was 40). And then the conversation just got weird. Because M’s parents paid for his membership, he let them see all of the pictures and read the email conversations. He told me that as he was showing his parents the pictures of me that we online, he came to the full body shot and his dad said, “Is she naked.” M. then started telling me that his parents practically had us married already and he wouldn’t be surprised if they tried to follow us around that night. (Guys, please note, these are NOT the things you want to say to a girl when you are meeting her for the first time). There was also quite a bit of conversation about money (and how he didn’t have any)
We finally made it through dinner and M. started talking about what a great cook his mother was and how she had brought these amazing cookies with her for he and his kids. And then he pulls out some cookies wrapped in plastic wrap and said that she told him he could bring some as long as he promised to share them with me. This little stunt has earned this guy the nickname of “Cookie Boy” with some of my friends.
As we were leaving the restaraunt, M. says (loud enough for several people to hear), “Dessert was the cheapest part of dinner.”
We decided to go ahead and walk around the mall a little bit. M asked me if there were any stores I wanted to look in. I said, “No, I don’t like to shop and I especially hate to window shop.”
We made one turn around the mall when he asked me if he could go into the Apple store to look at a new product. In retrospect, I don’t know why he wanted to look at this because with all of the talk at dinner, I knew he wouldn’t be able to afford it. So, we went into the apple store so he could window shop.
After this, we sat down on one of the benches and he asked what I thought. The conversation went something like this:
M: “So, what do you think?”
Me: “What do I think of what?”
M: “Do you think this could work? I thought this went really well.”
Me: “As I’ve been saying, I really want to take things slow and before anything happens, I want to develop a strong friendship.”
M: “Oh, I totally agree.”
Intercom: “The mall will be closing in ten minutes, please make your final purchases.”
We got up to leave and M asked me what I was doing the following Tuesday (which happened to be around Valentine’s Day). I actually had plans for that day. He told me that a local restaraunt was having a couples dinner thing. He then asked me if I liked Astronomy. I told him he wasn’t really into it and he proceeded to invite me to the observatory to watch a meteor shower with him and his kids. He couldn’t remember exactly what night it was so he was going to email the information.
When I got to my car, I called Shannon and told her that I had made it and proceeded to tell her all about the night I had just had. We still laugh about this night.
An hour after I got home, I had an email from M telling me that he really enjoyed our time together and he wanted to pass along the information for the meteor shower to me. He suggested I come to his church and he and his kids and I could go out from there. He then told me that he really wanted me to meet his kids and asked if I could come to his apartment for dinner and to watch a movie.
I had to tell him once again that I wanted to take things slowly and going to church with him and, especially, meeting his kids were really huge steps in a relationship that I wasn’t ready for. He told me that he was used to the one wanting to take things slowly so this was weird for him.
Nothing more ever came of this. I ended up telling him that I didn’t feel this was something I wanted to persue and I have not heard from him nor seen him since.
While one of my friends ended up marrying a guy she met on E-harmony that year, I just ended up with a couple of stories. But they are some pretty good (bad) date stories.