My luck with app dating has not been particularly fruitful, and as I sift through the sea of shirtless selfies and bizarre bio’s (the most recent winner being, “I only Bumble when I 💩” how charming!) it’s hard not to wonder why I even bother. Boredom? Hope? Loneliness?
I recently matched with Steven, an East-Coaster living in my neighborhood, who had a dog and seemed like a pretty nice guy. Instead of the usual, “Let’s grab a drink,” he asked to meet at the dog park.
I'll admit it, meeting up with a stranger without the comfort of dim lighting and a numbing beverage is both refreshing and terrifying. I’d consider myself pretty outgoing, but app-dating has brought out anxiety in me that rivals walking into my middle school cafeteria with nowhere to sit. The thought of walking aimlessly around a dog park asking strangers if they were “Steven from Bumble” was almost too much to bear.
Before I could spiral into a black hole of self-pity I figured well, if this totally goes to shit, at least I can play with some cute dogs! I found Steven with his dog Kayla, he was cuter than I thought and seemed pretty nice. He asked why I hadn’t brought the dog from my profile picture. I said it was from a previous relationship and that my ex had kept the dog.
Minutes later an adorable pitbull ran over and I started petting her, albeit enthusiastically, and briefly chatted with the owner. I went to ask Steven a question, but he immediately interrupted me saying, “Whoa, if you could have loved my dog that way maybe we could have had a chance.” I was so confused. I waited for him to start laughing and say he was kidding, but instead, he added, “Oh, come on. So if we were at a playground and I introduced you to my kid but then this other kid came over and you were like yeah, your kid’s cool, but wow! Look at this kid! This kid’s amazing!” what would you think?
I was horrified and replayed the scene in my head. Had I been too enthusiastic about the other dog? I told him that I did like his dog. But he continued, “I’m no psychoanalyst, but if I were I’d say your love of pit bulls is more about your inability to let go of your past relationship.”
My jaw actually dropped. How could this guy come to that conclusion within 10 minutes of meeting me? I was annoyed and I hoped he’d change the subject but we just stood there in silence until I laughed and said, “Well, this is pretty uncomfortable!” He stared at me for a while and then looked at the ground, “Do you want to leave?”
To be honest, I did want to leave, but the thought of walking away seemed premature. Had I completely missed something? Was I really being rude to his dog or could this just be one big misunderstanding? We walked his dog and talked about… well, I’m not totally sure what we talked about because most of the time my thoughts vacillated between whether or not I should pet his dog and whether or not I was a terrible person.
When we parted ways he said, “I think this went really well,” and kissed me on the cheek. I walked away feeling totally ill about what had just happened but at the same time, I also wondered if this might just be some funny story of an odd confrontation that we tell on our wedding day.
For those that may have read my post about the “Serious or casual?” guy Jason from Bumble, I’d like to update you about a notification I received on a different app that said, “Jason likes you!” Sure enough there he was, the same Jason. So I wrote to him, “Serious or casual?” and I was immediately unmatched… again!