My perfect match on OKCupid just happened to be living halfway across the country, but it wasn’t long before we ditched the app for texting, talking on the phone, and Facetiming. I couldn’t imagine finding a stronger match and the feeling seemed mutual, but it was so bizarre when he finally flew out to visit me.
We aligned on everything. Both rooted in our faith, we had long discussions about guns, abortion, race, sexuality, and more. I believe that we were both honest about where we stood and we respected one another’s thoughts and opinions. Our upbringing had little in common, but our adult experiences and perceptions had brought us to a place where we wanted all the same things.
We covered all the major topics by phone and had nothing to talk about in person. Hours after he flew in, we were awkwardly sitting across from each other in the food court at the mall and I just had to break the silence. I asked him if there was anything that surprised him or was different about me in person. He said that 5’3″ wasn’t nearly as short as he’d been imagining. Insert awkward laugh. And when I asked him if there was anything he was waiting to discuss until we were face-to-face, he had nothing.
We’d taken our time. I believe we talked for about six weeks before he came out to visit, probably just three before we’d discussed him buying a ticket. But that was the only talk we had about feelings—”Just wanted to say that I’m really interested in you and was wondering if you’d like to meet.” We didn’t have pet names for each other, never spiced things up with a round of phone sex, none of that. We stayed clear of the intimacy and it was a refreshing approach to dating because I fall fast—like, as soon, as he calls me babe, I’m hooked.
There was no clear interest, attraction, or affection. We didn’t greet each other with a hug, hold hands while we walked through the zoo, or smile at each other from across the table like we were actually having a good time. In fact, the only physical contact we had his entire trip was an awkward side-hug when I was practically kicking him out of my car at the airport.
We did almost nothing I’d planned. I’d racked my brain for over a week trying to plan fun things for us to do. We’d decided he’d watch The Notebook for the first time with me and we’d bake a blueberry pie—all at my parents’ house because he insisted that my roommates be home at my house. None of that happened. We went to the zoo and he dismissed every other idea I had despite having approved our tentative itinerary by phone. Instead, I drove him around to different coffee shops he’d found on Instagram.
I probably could have driven him home with all the driving he had me doing. Imagine every day for five days straight ending the night at the gas station as you refill your tank. This wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if you’d ended your date with a kiss or more, right? My city isn’t even that big—how on earth was I putting nearly 190 miles on my car each day?
He wanted to spend his time alone. I was driving around all day because he’d made it clear he’d rather Netflix and chill solo instead of hanging out with me. He’d start his day with the complimentary breakfast at his hotel, I’d pick him up and we’d do something for lunch and hit up another Insta-worthy coffee joint, and he’d ask to go back to the hotel for the rest of the day. In the meantime, I’d sit around at my parents’ house at his beck and call, waiting for his text to tell me he was hungry and wanted me to pick him up for dinner, after which he’d request to be taken home immediately because he was tired and had a long day.
He didn’t have the courtesy to tell me he just wanted to be friends. I can actually pinpoint the exact moment he started to distance himself. He’d often initiate the conversation about who would move where if things worked out. He worked from home and had no reason to go to the office, and I was just starting a career in marketing so it made sense to me that he’d move to the Midwest. But when I brought up how much he’d love my hometown, I think the idea of commitment freaked him out and we were never the same. I think we could have really enjoyed each other’s company if we’d both decided to be friends.
He’d sneak away at dinner. He would legitimately scarf down his food and then disappear to the restroom. I felt so embarrassed everywhere we went, wondering if wait staff could tell that my date wanted nothing to do with me. Regardless of where the restroom was in relation to our table, he had this perfect timing where he’d somehow magically appear when I was on my final bites, and then rush me to grab my purse so we could leave.
I never heard from him again. Surprised? I was. As I was giving him the boot at the airport, he thanked me for being so generous with my time after telling me that if he were going to do long distance, he just wanted to be sure it was the right thing. It must have never dawned on him just how selfish and inconsiderate he’d been to me. I was expecting him to have processed through that on the plane and apologize once he’d landed, but it’s been almost two years and he’s probably exploring coffee shops with someone else—at her expense, of course.
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