Not long ago I wrote a post about giving OKCupid (an online dating service) a try and being quite pleased with it compared to some of the other options out there, and I had a few comments from folks asking if I’d gotten any dates from there yet… which normally would have struck me as a little premature since I’d just signed up and created my profile just two weeks prior to writing about it. But, to my extreme delight… the answer is, yes– I did indeed meet someone super-cool on OKCupid and made plans to meet!
Four or five days after I set up my profile I got notified by OKCupid that someone had given my profile 4-5 stars… and I didn’t even realize that you could give a profile stars! I’d gotten a fair number of visitors since setting up my profile, but I suppose this is how someone kinda nudges you and says “hey, I kinda like what I see.” Anyway, I went and checked out her profile, saw a picture of a lovely woman, and then began to read her profile. It was surreal… so many things we had in common, she almost seemed too good to be true, but then I realized– I suppose this is what OKCupid is set up to do, match up people with similar interests. My age, divorced, has kids, similar tastes in music and a love for live music, similar tastes in TV shows, movies, likes to go to festivals, the vibe from her profile felt so similar to mine, on and on… so I went ahead and gave her profile five stars back!
OKCupid then said something like “well, you’ve shown interest in each other… why not send a message?” Well, why not indeed? So I sent her a message… and then a little chat window popped up from her– I didn’t even realize we could chat on here! So we chatted a bit before I had to go, then she answered my message, and then we went back and forth with the messages a few times, then exchanged email addresses and cell phone numbers, moved over to emails and texts and pretty much were in daily contact until one Thursday evening when I thought… well, she obviously likes my profile and likes corresponding back and forth… I realized it would probably be pretty easy to just coast along like that for a while, but… why was I on OKCupid to begin with? The answer: to find someone who might be interested in me as more than just friends, so I decided to go ahead and ask if she’d like to go on a date and meet on the following Monday.
She was up for a date, but said she had plans Monday. She’s a big fan of Bruce Springsteen, and she had tickets to go see a documentary called Springsteen & I that was showing at this cool dinner & movie venue called CinéBistro where you can order a yummy dinner (or appetizers) and adult beverages you enjoy while you watch a movie in their big comfy chairs. However, she didn’t have anyone yet to go with, so she asked if I wanted to go? Sounded fun to me, I offered to pay for dinner and we called it a date.
A date! The notion thrilled and scared me both. I mean, it had to have been nearly 20 years since I’d gone on an official “date,” and even then I couldn’t really recall any specifics as to when that might have been. Prior to my ex and I getting together many years ago, I was the master of the “hang out/pseudo-date” and very rarely was so bold to flat-out call it a date. Is it any surprise all too many of those encounters ended with me in the Friend Zone? This time I wanted to make it clear– while a new friend who shared as many interests as we did would certainly be very welcome in my life, my first intention was more than that.
The whole weekend I felt like I was vibrating at a different frequency from everyone around me, and was pretty sure there must have been a goofy smile on my face constantly. I must have been super-annoying to my friends. The undercurrent of nervousness was pretty much overwhelmed by my excitement though, and when Monday rolled around I could hardly concentrate on work waiting for the time when I could drive out to meet her.
I pondered what to say or do when we first met. How novel and new this all was– we’d had this great connection online, gotten to know each other in a lot of ways already before we even met. I mean, it was sort of a blind date, but we weren’t entirely blind– we’d seen each other’s pictures, read each other’s profiles, checked out each other’s questions, and sent a bunch of emails back and forth. She was like an odd mix of a good friend I had the hots for and a total stranger. What do I do when we meet? Hugs or handshakes? Do I kiss her goodnight?
I quickly realized I could overthink myself into a total tizzy, so I just settled down and tried to just roll with it.
We met about 30 minutes before the show outside the movie place, and then went inside and chatted a bit before they seated us. Any sense of nervousness melted away almost immediately and I felt totally at ease with her. The friendship we’d built on common interests and emails made it completely comfortable. We ordered Cobb Salads and beer, and then watched the movie. It was a really good film– lots of humor, great musical performances, and it left me regretting never taking the opportunity to see a Bruce Springsteen show before. He’s obviously a great performer and musician.
Afterwards, even though it was quite late she was amicable to going around the corner to a nearby restaurant/bar and grabbing another beer or two to talk some more. The time flew by and it grew quite late, and we finally headed back out to our cars. We talked about getting together again soon… and there was a brief moment where I thought she might want me to kiss her goodnight! Was I reading that right? I certainly wanted to kiss her, but I felt a moment of panic when I realized just how long it had been since my last “first kiss” and worried my game was so off, so rusty, that I was misreading the signs. I went in for the safe hug instead… and drove off kicking myself just a little bit.
Still, overall I thought the date went extremely well, and we texted each other when we got home saying how much we enjoyed meeting each other. I was curious if some of the chemistry and flirtation that had been going on online would change a bit now that we’d met in person, but to my delight it did not.
We’ve gotten together twice since then, and we’ve discovered that it’s going to be a bit of a challenge finding time to spend together– she’s just as busy as I am and has a really full life of her own. Which is fine– there’s no need to rush things, it’s been nice just getting to know each other bit by bit.
I will say that I’m now a big believer in OKCupid. A program that can match me up with someone like her is alright in my book!