Jesse and James
I met Jesse on Zoosk. Jesse’s first message to me was straightforward: he was a 32-year-old art therapist looking for a lasting relationship. I must admit that he hardly stood out when we started messaging back and forth. In addition, I was nervous about the fact that he had gotten out of a five-year relationship only six months earlier.
But he sounded like a courteous, smart and passionate person, so when he asked me out, I felt it would be unfair of me to say no simply based on his recent romantic history and inability to stand out online. I said yes, but I steeled myself for a long, awkward date of hearing about the ex.
James, on the other hand, stood out right away. The first chat that James sent me consisted of a witty and hysterically funny joke about my favorite TV show, Battlestar Galactica. He then proceeded to tell me about himself through referencing various story lines and character arcs from the show.
He was a 26-year-old engineering student, flutist and part-time barista who, like me, loves science fiction shows and murder mysteries. Somehow James and I ended up chatting and playing online scrabble against one another well into the night. We spoke every single day for a week before finally deciding to go on an actual date.
James and Jesse
James and I decided on dinner followed by bowling. Dinner was okay, though our conversation didn’t seem to flow quite as smoothly as it had in text form. He also checked his phone a few times, and that’s one of my biggest dating pet peeves. He was quite funny, though, and by the time we left to go bowling, the date was looking up.
In the bowling alley, the date plummeted to its death.
Here’s the thing: I’m not and have never been the kind of woman to lose intentionally to spare her date’s ego. I mean, that’s juvenile, right?
James didn’t seem to think so. The first couple of frames were a lot of fun and flirting…until the margin by which I was beating James started expanding. His jokes were gone, and he started making sarcastic remarks about almost everything I said. His expression turned sulky, until we stopped talking altogether. I couldn’t even make it to the end of the first game before dashing home. We haven’t spoken since.
A few days later–though I wasn’t feeling very positive about dating and almost canceled multiple times–I met Jesse for our date.
I am glad I did.
I was honestly shocked and delighted by how much more charming, vibrant and confident James turned out to be in real life as opposed to his online Zoosk persona. He was more handsome in person too, and he had a such a vivid way of telling stories so you felt like you were watching a movie through his narration.
And you know what? The ex didn’t even come up once.
Our date lasted four hours, and we’ve already made plans for a second one.