Last night I went on another Match.com first date. We met for dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant in Arlington. He was a gentleman—kind, gracious, smart, and even (sometimes) funny. He was definitely put-together (possibly borderline metrosexual), donning a blazer over a sweater over a tie over a button down shirt. These things aren’t necessarily negative–he’s just not the typical guy I’m normally drawn to. The truth is, I can’t fault the guy for much—I’m just not sure yet, after only two-and-a-half hours of conversation, whether or not there is a spark. Time will tell.
This post isn’t about last night’s date, though. It’s about the moments leading up to last night’s date.
You see, I met said date on the ever-interesting Match.com, a site I’ve grown to both love and hate at the same time. We were matched ages ago (in online dating language, that’s two months). The email conversation went back and forth, and he seemed like a great guy. Just before Christmas, he mentioned “meeting up,” guy-speak for a non-committal attempt at asking a girl out. I obliged, and emailed back with my phone number, saying, “I’d love to! Just give me a call and we’ll set something up.”
Well, he never called. The emails continued. A couple times, I even wrote my phone number again after my sign-off, thinking he might need a reminder. A nudge, as they say.
Still, no call.
The emails faded over the holidays due to our busy schedules, and then picked up again a few weeks ago. He mentioned again that he’d love to meet up. I mentioned again—as casually as I could muster—that he should give me a call to make plans.
A few days later, I got a text from him. Yes, a text. The 32-year-old asked how my week was going.
This 31-year-old wrote back, “Going well!” Double sigh. “How are you?”
And this started a text conversation, similar to the millions of text conversations going on between
high schoolers middle schoolers (elementary schoolers?) across the nation. The conversation lasted days. I was getting impatient, but, at the urging of friends, decided to cut this guy some slack. He could just be nervous, after all.
Then, finally, somewhere between an “LOL” and an emoticon, we made plans to meet up for dinner last night.
We made eye contact and he said, “Oh, hi! I was just texting you to tell you I got a table by the window.”
As I removed my coat and sat down for dinner, I found myself half listening to him and half mentally writing my next blog post, centered around this question:
What has happened to the art of the pursuit?
My friends tell me it’s dead. They say today’s generation of men have lost the ability to walk up to a woman and strike up a normal, clean conversation without resorting to cheesy pick-up lines or prepping with heaps of alcohol. They say they’ve lost the ability to call a woman to simply chat or to ask her out, because texting is “easier for everyone.”
And with these changes come others. And let me tell you, today’s man sure has changed. He skips holding hands and goes straight to grabbing ass. He skips delightful conversation and goes straight to dirty talk. He skips the waltz and goes straight to bumping and grinding.
Alas, I digress. The truth is that my date last night was a gentleman. He wouldn’t dare do any of the things I just mentioned. But, in my eyes, he had fallen short in the pursuit.
Email and text can’t replace conversation. Especially (I repeat, especially) in a dating context. To all the men out there: Believe me, women find it incredibly attractive when a man initiates a telephone conversation, when he calls when he says he’ll call, and when he shows up when he says he’ll show up. The simple things really make a gal’s heart flutter.
Do you think I’m overreacting here? Some of my friends do. They say, “Ruth, just give him a break… it takes a lot for a guy to text,” or “This is just how it is in 2012.” From my perspective, though, these same girls are usually the ones who end up in “text relationships.” You know, the relationships where 98 percent of interaction happens with two thumbs and a keyboard.
Truth is, if he wants to, I will absolutely go out again with my date from last night. I know from my own experience that first dates can be awkward and aren’t necessarily the make-it or break-it regarding a couple’s potential.
But if he does choose to ask me out on a second date, I really hope he calls me to do it.