Well that didn’t last long.  I was feeling certain urges, and since I’d heard talk of it I figured I’d try Hinge.  I’m only a few days in and so far I’m not a fan.  As the tagline says, there’s no swiping here.   You fill in your stats, post a half-dozen pictures, and choose three questions to answer.  The questions are things like: “Worst fad I ever participated in,” “A fact people are surprised to learn about me,” “My ideal first date is” or “I’ll fall for you if” etc.  When someone likes your picture or answer, you can then message with them.

Unfortunately there’s no About Me and most people’s answers are generic and uninspiring.  So while I  come across many I find attractive, ultimately I have nothing to say to them.  I need more to work with than basic pictures and “I like to have fun and laugh.”  I’m also seeing many of the same faces from Bumble.  Some of them I’ve even seen since I started online dating, which was several years ago.  At least I’m not the only unlucky one out there.

But if you dig long enough you find a couple of prospects.  I ended up with six, and I met one tonight.


She lived only a few miles away so I picked out a wine bar at a nice halfway point.  I had a seat at the corner of the bar and thumbed through the drink menu while I waited.  She walked in a few minutes after I arrived and she looked just like her pictures.  Nice.  After we got our drinks I led her to a table in the back where it was a little quieter and more private.

We talked for an hour and a half, but despite asking about her family, her job, her life goals, her gym routine, and whatever else I could think of… I can count on one hand the number of times she asked me anything at all about myself.  I even left a number of gaps in the conversation to give her an opportunity to do so.  Instead I had to keep volunteering information.  I realized this about halfway through, after which it started to annoy me.

Finally at 10 I announced that we should get going because they were closing (which they were).  We walked outside and she lingered there.  I wondered for a wild second whether she wanted me to kiss her, but I doubted that.  I hadn’t gotten any sense at all that she was interested in me.  So I just gave her a hug, said nice to meet you, and trotted off.  I said nothing about meeting again.  And that was that.

So.  Online dating.  Same shit, different day.  I still have five other prospects, but there’s only one other serious contender and that conversation is rather one-sided too.  No reason to expect things to be any different in person.  It’s just really hard to find someone I click with and where the banter is fire.  Like I said in a previous post, it’s 1 out of 100 matches. I’ll give Hinge another week, by which point I’ll likely delete that too.

In other news, if you haven’t seen my previous post I’m doing an Ask Me Anything.  If there’s anything you ever wondered about me, head over there and drop me line.  I may collect all the questions and answers into a future post.  And if you want to participate, please comment on that post instead of this one.  That way it’s easier for me to keep track of all the Q&As.






That could have gone better.

I keep swearing I’m done with online dating, but I’ve had Bumble running in the background all this time.  So I’m still swiping through, matching with a bunch and chatting with a few.   There were a couple I hit it off with and they seemed keenly interested in me.  I wasn’t sure how much we really had in common.  However, I’m fairly confident in my abilities now, so I decided to take each of them out.  Not to mention it’s been two months since I’d been on a date and I want to keep the engine warm.

I unmatched with Girl No. 1 because she was too much of a fussbucket with her schedule.  She said between 4:30 and 6:30 on weekdays was best for her – after that she had to be home with her dog and she “wasn’t great at going out on school nights.”  Then she said she was busy on the weekends. Not to mention she lived 30 miles away.  Had she lived closer I might have tried to accommodate her, but it seemed more trouble than it was worth.  Next.


Onto Girl No. 2.  The subject of burgers came up, so our first date was a no-brainer.  However, like Girl No. 1 she also lived 30 miles away, so I gallantly offered to drive to her area.  She arrived just before I did and I met her inside the door.  I approached the date with trepidation since her pictures didn’t include a clear full-body shot, but I was relieved when I saw her.  She was hotter in person than I expected – so much so that it made me a little nervous.

Unfortunately she didn’t seem as impressed with me.  Things got awkward.  While our online banter was light and fun and a touch flirty, our real life conversation was anything but.  I kept tripping over my words, and then I found myself second-guessing having food on a first date. I seemed to have a mouthful whenever I wanted to speak, and she would silently wait for me to swallow each time.  It also didn’t help that we had little in common (as I suspected). Try as I might to keep things going, I had no choice but to fall back onto the staid topics of work/school/family and “what do you do for fun?”  Zzzz.

She was clearly restless by the end of the hour. Jimmy legs under the table and fidgeting all over the place, plus a couple of glances at her phone.  Then I choked on my last bit of drink.  Once again she sat there in silence watching me splutter and whack myself on the back.  My airway finally cleared a couple minutes later, by which time my eyes were streaming and I’d accidentally knocked a couple of condiment bottles to the floor.  More awkwardness.  I cut my losses and called it a night.  The date was not salvageable and I was making a horse’s ass of myself.

I walked her outside, said “nice meeting you,” gave her a hug good night and we went our separate ways.  I kicked myself all the way back to my car.  A bit of forced awkwardness is inherent in online dating, but what the hell was that?  I’ve had some bad dates in the beginning, but after further experience and then losing my virginity, I didn’t think I’d ever again end up feeling like the dog who caught the car.  Better luck next time – along with a little more vetting.

When one of my friends heard I went on another date, he shook his head and said, “Man, that’s gotta be rough on you.”  I thought he was referring to my multitude of rejections, but he was referring to my wallet.  He assumed I was treating all these girls to expensive dinners, and when he found out I wasn’t he said, “Dude, no wonder you’re struggling then!”

Yeah…no.  I’ve done a few dinners on first dates, but it’s ridiculous to splash out on every first date when you don’t even know if there’s a connection yet. If you don’t like someone, you don’t like someone.  Spending 45+ bucks on a meal isn’t going to change things, and even if it did then why would I want to be with someone like that?   But had I listened to him I’d still have the same string of bad dates, except now I’d be out 2-3 times the money.

Then again, it made sense for him because he never went on online dates.  He met all his girls in real life and actually ended up marrying the literal girl next door.  I’m still trying to go on real-life dates myself.  It’s a completely different dynamic (and how I finally found success).  But I haven’t met anyone else that way yet.

I’ve been to some more Habitat for Humanity builds, where I ran into the same two girls from last time and confirmed they indeed have boyfriends.  Of course.  I’ve been on a few more hikes through Meetup, but the ages skewed into the 40s and 50s.  I also have a couple of St. Patrick’s Day party invites.  I’ll see some old faces, and hopefully some new ones as well.  And finally, I’ve applied for a passport and it should be here any day now.  I’m still working my way around the lower 48, but I want to start exploring internationally as well.  Good stuff.


…from an Italian restaurant.  I rarely do dinner on a first date, but I did tonight with The Singer.  She was the second of the three girls that canceled last Tuesday, so I shall adjust my counter once again since we successfully rescheduled.  The Singer is my second Tinder date.

We got there at the same time and she was even cuter than her pictures.  I liked her from the start.  I gave her a hug and we went inside.  We got a table in the back, and since it was Sunday night it was fairly quiet and empty.  Perfect.  I felt a bit more relaxed, comfortable, and in charge of my words than I was on the last few dates I went on.

This actually happened to be the same place where I’d gone on my first date ever.  But at that time we were just high schoolers getting pizza and soda.  This time it was a sit-down dinner, and the place had been completely remodeled so it was almost like being there for the first time.  And I dare say this date went much better than that one.  If you remember that post, you’ll know what I mean.

Anyway, The Singer is a music teacher, an operatic singer, and a choral director.  We had plenty to talk about with our combined musical backgrounds.  And then I found out we share a mutual love of waterfowl.  Major bonus points.  I know what we’re doing on our second date.  If there is a second date.  While things seemed to go pretty well, I feel like I already know how this is going to end, which is the way it always seems to end:  I’ll get in touch with her in a day or two about a second date and I’ll get the usual “Well, I had a fun time and you’re a really nice guy, but…”

Sigh.  But we’ll see.  I could be wrong.  I’ll know soon enough.

In the meantime I’ve been keeping in touch with The Comedian.  I don’t feel any particular attraction to her and I’m not sure what else to talk about either.  So I don’t think this is going anywhere.  However I have a new prospect who just gave me her number on OKC, so I’ll contact her tomorrow and see what happens.

First dates:  34
Second dates:  3
Third dates:  2
Cancellations:  9
Stood up:  2
First kisses: 2


Best date yet.  Of course, the bar wasn’t set terribly high so that’s not saying much.  It still went really well. However, there was just one small catch: she lives three hours away.  We’d actually started talking on OKC a long time ago but I never pursued anything due to the distance.  Then she found a boyfriend and left the site, but we added each other on Facebook and kept in touch.  When I found out she was recently single, I seized the opportunity – especially now that I’m on a traveling kick.  I asked if she wanted to meet and she was all for it.

So there we were, pushing a shopping cart through a grocery store.  I was reminded irresistibly of Dating Fresh’s first date with The Marine, but we had to get cheese and snacks for our trip to the winery.  Apparently a lot of people bring food to the vineyard so they have stuff to munch on while they drink.  Good idea. But loading up on food for a date?  I love to eat and I love a girl who loves to eat.  Major win already.

She picked the winery (we were in her neck of the woods, after all) and they had a neat outdoor pavilion with heaters to keep the 45-degree chill away from us.  For the next three hours we sat at one of the little tables and swapped stories and jokes.  I was amazed at how much we had in common.  She was like the female version of myself.  We’d both spent more time on OKC than we cared to admit.  We had the same complaints and observations about others’ dating profiles.  We’d both made up fake profiles as the opposite sex in order to do research.  We’d both been on a massive spree of fruitless first dates.  We both had crazy ex stories.  We had the same foul mouth and sense of humor. We had a shared disgust over people who can’t put their phones away for five minutes.  Neither of us liked dogs or were pet people. Neither of us liked or watched sports.  We liked the same fall/outdoor activities.  We liked the same snacks.  We had the same food allergies.  We both have a borderline unhealthy obsession with a favorite animal.

Needless to say, we hit it off pretty well.  The staff chased us out at closing time, so we ended up going bowling and then getting more food.  After six or seven hours together we finally called it a night.  She had work early in the morning and I had a long drive back home.  We stood there slightly awkwardly in the parking lot.  I told her I had a lot of fun and she concurred.  Then I said she should come visit me next time.  She received my invitation with trepidation; she had enough trouble navigating her own part of the state, let alone coming all the way down to where I live.  But she said it would be nice to get together again.  Yeah.  Coming from a girl, I know what that means by now.  Means it’s unlikely to happen.  However, with her it doesn’t really matter since there’s the aforementioned distance thing.

Still… I wanted to kiss her.   I dithered about, but in the end we just hugged and went our separate ways, each telling the other to get home safe.  Going for the kiss is something I obviously need to work on.  And that was that.  We’re still going to be in touch but I don’t expect much further to happen.  But who knows.  In the meantime I have two more dates set up for this week.  I’ve also heard back from Melody.  I had asked her what she’s looking for and she told me “I am looking for something.  But I’m looking for it to grow out of a friendship.”  Yeah.  I have no idea what to do with that, apart from interpreting it as yet another “not interested.”

Looking for “something.”  That’s a little vague.

First dates:  24
Second dates:  3
Third dates:  2
Cancellations:  3
Stood up:  2
First kisses: 1
Sexual experiences:  0.6


It’s been almost an entire year but I finally went on another OkCupid date.  I really didn’t think I’d be back, but I’d been feeling especially good about myself lately so I felt like giving it another go.  It took me a few days to get the hang of messaging again.  The first batch I sent out were all duds.  Before long I cleared out the cobwebs and I started getting profile views, then responses.

There were further kinks to work out when it came to moving from messaging on OKC to going on a date.  I jumped the gun on the first few attempts, as they went nowhere.  So I relaxed a little and finally snagged one.  Her name was Melody and she was a musician like myself. Turns out we played the same instrument.  That alone gave us plenty to discuss, and she said she enjoyed talking to me and wanted to know more.  Bingo.

I asked her out for drinks the other night at a bar that happened to be just ten minutes from her house, so I couldn’t have picked a more convenient spot.  She looked better than her pictures and she was a lot more talkative than I expected.  In fact she was talkative to the point where she hardly asked me anything about myself, which bugged me.  I had to volunteer any personal information, which I took as a sign that she wasn’t that interested in me.

After an hour and a half she called it a night because she had to get up at 5:30 the next morning for work.  I walked her outside and gave her a hug.  I was just about to say good night and “it was nice meeting you” and leave it at that, but then she made noises about getting together again.  Oh.  Well, if she truly wants to see me again, maybe it’s worth exploring the possibility.  I’m just not sure about her.   We’ve been texting intermittently ever since but have been unable to agree on a day.   She’s also busy as all get out and doesn’t seem to have much time for dating and relating, which makes me wonder what she’s really looking for right now.  Perhaps we should have discussed that on our date?  I suppose I’ll bring it up on the second date.  If there’s a second date…or I could just ask her in the meantime.  In any case I’m back on OKC seeing who else I can find.  I have another first date set up for Sunday, and I have a third girl I’m hoping to get together with next week.

In other news, life is still great.  I’m busy eating, working out (gained back four pounds already!) and spending evenings by the fire with a cold beer.  In fact, on the way home from my date with Melody I came across a shitload of firewood that someone had put out to the curb.  And I don’t know if I’m getting old or what, but I was actually a little more excited about that.


First dates:  23
Second dates:  3
Third dates:  2
Cancellations:  3
Stood up:  2
First kisses: 1
Sexual experiences:  0.6


I was nervous about meeting Shorty, more so than any other girl I’ve met thus far.  It didn’t help that the evening was off to an inauspicious start and I hadn’t even arrived yet.  Instead I was stuck in traffic.  I ditched the highway for the service road, which was only marginally better.  Finally I passed the source of congestion: there was an accident.  In the shoulder.  All three lanes of traffic were clear, but everybody – including those on the service road – had to stop and look.  Why?  Because people are stupid and that’s what they do, no matter how long I laid into the horn to express my displeasure.

Once I got back on the highway I did my best to make double time.  Unfortunately I ran into another rolling roadblock, i.e. a driver from Virginia.  Every driver from Virginia that comes to NY decides to get in the left lane and go 60.  Tip: when you’re in NY, don’t get in the left lane and go 60 when the speed limit is 55.  You either go 75-80 or you GTFO of the way.

At some point during all this hubbub I managed to call Shorty and tell her I was running late and why.  Thankfully she was understanding.  I only got there 15 minutes late.  She met me outside and we hugged.  First non hand-shaker in a while.  However my physical attraction to her was a bit “meh.”  Nonetheless I had resolved to give her a chance.  That was despite the fact that she was such a fussbucket trying to find an appropriate restaurant to go to.  She Googled every one of my suggestions and changed her mind every time she offered one of her own.  Sheesh.

Anyway. We were seated, we were wined and dined, and between my glass of red and the three hours of sleep the night before (too keyed up) I was getting rather silly.  Enter offensive jokes.  Fortunately she was of the same mind I was, and not only that but she was the first girl I’ve met that didn’t want kids either.  Home run!  Score!  Schwing!  There were a couple of things during our conversation that gave me pause, but more on that later.

Dinner was over, and afterwards we somehow ended up at a Starbucks.  Sigh.  Even though I’ve sworn them off, they still seem to find me.  And even though we’d been together for two hours at this point (JBlondie, take note), we were still a bit nervous and awkward around each other.  It was also getting a bit late so I suggested that I walk her to her car.  Smooth.

Soon we were standing next to her car, and I shuffled my feet a bit and asked whether I could kiss her.  Indeed I could.  So I grabbed her and pulled her close and we kissed.  And kissed.  And kissed some more.  She tossed her pumpkin crappuchino or whatever the hell it was so she could grip me better, and I heard it splatter somewhere in the parking lot.   Our vertical wrestling match went on for several minutes until we finally ended it and said good night.

It was a bit… underwhelming.  I dunno, it felt like I was kissing myself, I don’t know how to describe it.  But she just about told me that things are only going to get more physical from here on out.  So needless to say, we’re going on a second date.

First dates:  19
Second dates:  1
Third dates:  1
Cancellations:  3
Stood up:  2
First kisses: 1
Sexual experiences:  0.5



A last-minute change of plans postponed our date to Sunday afternoon, along with a change of venue. I suggested a local nature preserve and she was game. Once again, I was impressed – I know very few people who would be into that sort of thing.

She looked even better in person. Photos did not capture the intensity of her eyes, and she rarely lifted her gaze from me. (Perhaps I looked better in person too?) And normally I’m a fast walker with a “slow-walking people need to GTFO of my way” mentality, but she was in no rush whatsoever. We ambled along so slowly we were nearly at a standstill, except for the moments she wobbled off-balance because I had her in gales of laughter.

I figured we’d be there for an hour-and-a-half at most, but we stayed for nearly three. We had great conversation and lots of laughs, and when it came time to finally part we just stood there grinning stupidly at each other. We arranged a second date right after we both said we’d like to see each other again. Then we went our separate ways. I may or may not have turned a cartwheel once she was out of sight.

Three days later she canceled our second date.

She said she hated to do it, but school threw her a curve ball and now she’s going to be really busy with a project that just came up. So we’ll have to postpone our second date for a couple of weeks. I’m not sure whether I believe this. To be fair, she did warn me that her schedule as a grad student doesn’t give her much free time (she’s in school 35 hours a week). But I can’t help feeling that I’m getting the brush-off. I haven’t responded to her message yet. I’d like to think that we’ll indeed have our second date, but only time will tell.  I’m not going to worry about it, though.  In the meantime I’m going to try to line up some more dates, especially now that I seem to be on a roll.

In other news, it took two-and-a-half weeks but I’ve finally put Crush out of my mind, and a good thing that is.


First dates:  3
Second dates:  0