When it comes to dating, I’m hyper-aware that as each person reveals a bit more of themselves, the conversation can take a turn at any moment. It could be one small piece of information or a series of discoveries which puts the individual in perspective. At this point in my life, I probably shouldn’t still be surprised by people’s behavior. I’ve lived long enough to know what we’re all capable of, myself included, but I’m often amazed, as I was when this situation went from promising to bat-shit crazy in less than twenty-four hours.
After matching, he immediately reached out to me. We talked standard LA stuff, but then he listed his favorite authors (so not standard LA) and sent me a link to a book he published, and my interest was sparked. After making me promise I wasn’t going to harvest his organs, he gave me his number and suggested I reach out if I wanted to. I did.
We exchanged some generic text messages. When he asked if he could call me, I said yes. He called with specific questions based on the limited information I’d previously provided, which I found charming. Since I know next to zero people from the deep South and I’m a sucker for accents, I found his even more charming.
My first impression, based on our hour conversation, was that he was honest, genuine, self-deprecating, and had a goofy sense of humor. When he asked if I’d like to get dinner or drinks, I said I’d like to grab drinks. We decided on a day, bar, and time, then with a laugh he said he hoped I wasn’t as crazy as he was. When I asked him to explain, he said all writers are crazy in their own way, then the call dropped. I assumed his phone had died because when I called him back it went straight to voicemail. I left him a message telling him I was excited to meet, re-iterated the day, time, and bar, and went about my night.
Ten minutes later, he texted me: sorry my phone died. A few minutes later he called back and asked when, where, and what time we should meet. I reminded him what we’d decided, but he had no idea what I was talking about. I looked at the caller ID to make sure I was talking to the person I thought I was. Unfortunately, I was. He eventually got it together, although it wasn’t clear if he actually remembered our previous conversation or if he was just pretending to. I choose to give him the benefit of the doubt, told him I’d text him the day of to re-confirm, then ended the call and went about my night, again.
A few minutes after hanging up, he asked for my last name so he could add it to his phone. I wrote back, then continued trying to write. When my phone buzzed yet again, it was because he wanted to know if we could be Facebook friends. I sent him a friend request, briefly looked through his photos, then went back to writing.
Next he texted to tell me he was listening to Joe Jonas’ new band. Not familiar with them, I listened to a couple songs, then asked if he had any other music recommendations. He offered up a band I already knew I didn’t like. I responded that I disliked the singer’s voice, then received the following message from him:
Well still looking forward to meeting up with you. Still trying to figure out what the fuck I’m doing out here. I have no idea what I’m doing. Don’t want to do shit that fucks with marriages, but I’d like to make friends.
Since I’m not married and it was completely out of context, I automatically assumed he meant to send the message to someone else, so I jokingly responded: I hope the married woman you meant to text this to has a way better personality than me!
This is what transpired:
Him: I don’t text anyone who is married. I had a girl from the Philippines who texted me and I sent her charity of $50 two years ago.
Me: What is this about: insert his own text.
Me: You just texted me that, see above.
Him: I don’t see that, it wasn’t me.
Me: Sends screenshot of our text messages.
Him: Oh yeah, that was at the bottom of something. Does it really matter?
Me: It didn’t matter, I thought it was funny you typed it in the wrong window, but now I just feel like you’re lying so it does matter.
The downward spiral included the following admissions: he hadn’t hooked up with another girl since “meeting” me, hadn’t had sex in three years, and that he wanted to rub up on me. Really all I wanted was for him to admit he meant to send the message to someone else and accept responsibility so I could go to bed. But he followed anything I said with nonsensical things that had nothing to do with anything, so I finally said:
I have no idea how we this got to this point. From my perspective you sent a confusing text that I figured you meant for someone else, so I made a joke about it. You can talk to whoever you want, we’ve never met, and I don’t need an explanation.
He apologized, I responded no worries, and just like that we’d crashed and burned.
People interpret the same knowledge differently. Certain facts can be deal breakers to some, yet insignificant to others. In this particular situation, there were numerous pieces of information I found disconcerting. Firstly, he didn’t remember our conversation. Secondly, he didn’t realize he’d texted me the wrong message. Thirdly, he refused to accept responsibility. And lastly, he lied about it. While some might take issue with the fact that he was planning on meeting up with a married woman, I’m actually more interested in what he revealed when he thought he was communicating with her.
When we spoke on the phone he sounded confident about his decision to move to LA from the South (after I was clear about my reasoning for being here), yet when he thought he was talking to her, he presented a different story. We all hide different aspects of ourselves, depending on who we’re talking to, so, usually it takes a while for the full truth to come out. Obviously, it’s preferable to know sooner rather than later who you’re dealing with, so I’m thankful for the fast reveal.
After one too many instances of men showing me upfront how terrible they are, I’ve never been more ready to be amazed by awesomeness, rather than ridiculousness. So, I’ll continue looking for a man whose reveals aren’t apocalyptic, but instead keep me coming back for more.