The Famished Guy

This gem of a guy came my way from the dating app I use the least – Tinder. Tinder is basically like the modern day “Hot or Not” and you go through people’s pictures and swipe right if you’re into them, or left if you’re not. The only info provided by default beyond their photos is their age, town, and the distance in miles they are away from you. Because of that, you don’t know much about them and it’s intriguing in a way. You’re just picking someone based off whether you find them attractive, so in an ideal setting, it could actually feel somewhat organic if you set up a date to meet pretty quickly, and then proceed to get to know each other the old fashioned way, rather than through profiles, questions, and messages.

After our brief exchange of messages on Tinder, The Famished Guy (TFG) asked for my phone number and actually CALLED me to set up a date. Let’s let that sink in for a second. These days the phone call is quite a rare, and much appreciated, commodity, so I gladly agreed to meet up with him after a quick and effortless conversation on the phone. I was actually thinking that it would be nice to go on a date with someone who was chivalrous (side note: how pathetic is it that I thought of him as chivalrous because he actually picked up the phone to call me instead of texting? the chivalry bar is quite low these days, apparently).

So I get to the hip restaurant he’s suggested as our destination on the date and time we agreed to, and quickly spot TFG from across the bar. Initially I am a bit taken back by his stature. He was MUCH shorter in real life than he had strategically made himself appear online I was expecting, and also a lot more stout. And the thing is, I actually don’t even care that much about looks and stature (though it wasn’t a mistake I left height off that list), but I don’t like being misled because it shows a lack of confidence on some level.

Anyway, I put all that aside because I figured it was too late to reconsider, take a deep breath, and walk over to say hello. Within the first few seconds, I am struck by his lack of personality and it becomes extremely apparently that this guy is very dull, that there’s no attraction from my end, and that I’m in for a very long first glass of wine. Right away he brags about how intense his workout from earlier in the day was, and how it’s left him completely famished and drained.

I glance over to the bar and notice there is a stool available, so I offer him the option to sit because of his depleted state. Fortunately, he didn’t take me up on that and tells me to go ahead and sit, and then finished the chair offering with, “But don’t be surprised if I faint.”

The next string of events happened so fast. The words he’d just said had barely sunk in before he was collapsing to the floor next to my stool, on purpose, in an attempt to look like he was fainting. I guess he thought this demonstration would be hysterical, but I just felt… shocked. Just before he completely hits the ground, a man sitting near me excitedly blurts out, “Oh my god, are you proposing!?!” loud enough that it draws even more attention from around the bar, just as TFG makes the final part of his descent and then is completely splayed out on the ground next to where I’m sitting. I was in a state of equal parts confusion, surprise, and embarrassment.

As if the whole situation was enough already, he looks up and replies from the ground, “No, this is actually our first date!” Nice recovery, TFG.

So that all took place before the first five minutes of meeting him were up, and I hadn’t even gotten to order the glass of wine yet. Against my better judgement, and mostly just because I didn’t want to seem like a total asshole, I decided to stay for a drink and give my nerves a chance to calm down. I felt like I at least deserved a free glass of wine in addition to the story from all that happened, but that turned out not to be the case either.

He started a tab for us and asked if I wanted to eat. I told him just to order whatever he wanted because I wasn’t too hungry, hoping that it might deter him from ordering food, but it didn’t. So I sat there with him for the next hour, during which I had two three glasses of wine, watched him eat a bunch of tapas and drink two glasses of wine, and learned several interesting tidbits about him, including:

  1. He was (is?) 37 and is “in transition”, so is currently living with his parents.
  2. The “in transition” part also meant he did not have a job at the moment.
  3. He was engaged to a 23 year old in NYC and had broken it off just a couple months before our date (or had she?).
  4. Two glasses of wine made him feel “really buzzed” (his words, not mine).
  5. He works out often.

Once he was finished eating and sharing his life story, I told him how tired I was and suggested we get the check. They quickly bring back the bill with his credit card run for the total since he had used it to start the tab. When it came, even though the check had already been paid, I felt compelled to play the “do you want me to help pay/say no if you want a second date” game that occurs on every first date. So, I offered up $20 cash to contribute for the tip, but also took out my card if he wanted me to pay more than that. The charmer then took me up on the offer to split the bill (though I’m not sure that’s exactly what I was offering since he was the one who ordered and ate all the food on our bill?) and insisted our bartender re-run his card and mine to split the check. At that point I was so ready to leave that I just decided to suck it up so I could get the hell out of there and this whole thing would be over.

As we neared the exit, he looked at me and goes, “So, where should we go now?”

That was the first offer that wasn’t accepted that night.

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Where It Began: Second Date Stud

OKCupid was the first online dating site I tried. I whipped up a quick profile, not knowing that creating a username with your first and last name wasn’t the best idea for anonymity. Before too long, I got a message from a guy who’s profile seemed to meet my first set of requirements – funny, tall, and attractive.

After a few messages back and forth, we moved our communication over to gmail and made plans for Sunday brunch. I remember feeling so mature for having a brunch date rather than a night out at the bar. I was both excited and nervous, but mostly nervous. Would he think I was cute? Would I be super awkward? Would conversation flow easy? It’s funny that most of my concerns were about myself going into the date.

The Friday night before our scheduled brunch, I was out for a few drinks with one of my girlfriends when my phone went off. It was Second Date Stud (SDS), and he asked if by any chance I was free for drinks that night because he had just gotten finished with drinks with his coworkers and found himself free on a Friday night. My friend had other plans after our drinks, so after those two glasses of wine, meeting up for more drinks with SDS that night sounded like a great idea.

We made plans with where to meet and before I knew what was happening, I was looking at SDS on the street outside the bar we picked. As soon as we exchanged words, I found out what his profile did not tell – he had a stutter. Not ideal, but I could handle it. So we walked into the bar and sat down at a table.

The bartender came over to offer us drinks and we each ordered a beer. When she brought the drinks back to our table, she asked if she could have a card to start a tab. SDS didn’t even pretend to reach for his wallet, so I went ahead and handed her my card. I don’t have a problem with paying or splitting the bill, but at least make an effort to reach for your wallet.

The awkward conversation that followed consisted of SDS talking nonstop about himself and not taking a break to ask me any questions about myself. I literally had to cut him off to get a word in edgewise, and as I was sitting there, I realized – you know what? I can hold a conversation, I was less awkward in person than I expected, and that just by being cool and normal I was miles ahead of this guy. One of my favorite telling parts of the conversation was when I asked him if he’d done a lot of online dating, and he told me that he had had a ton of first dates, but almost no second dates. Odd.

After the beer, SDS wanted to get a second drink, but I was just not into it so I said I had to get up early the next day and that we should just call it a night. The bartender came over and we asked for our tab, and as I was paying for both my beer and his, he huddled over the bill and said…

“Well now we HAVE to go on a second date since you paid for this one!” Is that how you think it works, buddy?

We parted ways with a really awkward and rigid hug, and before I took two steps in the opposite direction, I had a text from him. And then another. And another. Saying all the activities he wanted to do together the next day, and that he couldn’t wait for brunch on Sunday. Was he on a different date than I was? Did he really think that there was chemistry and that we’d be going out again?

The next morning, I had a total of 7 texts from him since the night before. I decided to respond bluntly, like my profile claimed I was. “Hi SDS. It was great meeting you, but I just didn’t feel any in person chemistry. Good luck.”

Hopefully since then he’s come up with a different tactic for securing date number two.