I think dating apps only work for some people, and whoever those people are they’ve been preselected for this fate because every single time I hop back on one of these downloadable dating pools it’s an epic fail. I try my best to come in open each and every time. I don’t let past experiences taint my ability to find someone as equally done with the dating scene as I am and looking to connect with someone genuinely. I sincerely go into it believing there’s a man tapping away, creating a profile the same time I am for the same reason I am.
So there I was, downloading yet another app and trying one more time to see if I could catch me something — or better yet, get caught. It took a few days and a lot of “Hi” with nothing else after I said hi back before I met Dean. He was cute enough for me to chat with him, funny enough for me to continue chatting, and consistent enough for me to give him my phone number. He was also urgent enough to want to meet and see if our app-to-phone chemistry could stretch to in-the-flesh chemistry.
By the time we decided when and where to meet, we knew the kinds of foods each other liked and what our love languages were. Dean would send me articles he’d think I like or memes to make me laugh. It was cute. I was going to meet Dean in a cute Brooklyn neighborhood after work for drinks. That morning, I put on my tried and true bright pink wrap dress. I wore it with sneakers and brought along a date shoe option. But honestly, I’ve given up the ghost on heels, so I pulled the lock block heels out of my bag and tossed them back in my closet. Chances are, we’d take a walk and I wasn’t going to be struggling with the balls of my feet.
Dean and I messaged each other a couple times that day. I had a shoot so my makeup was done. I planned to arrive to the spot early so I wouldn’t be hot and sweaty when meeting up with Dean. I messaged him, “Hey, I’m all done at work. I’m about to go around the area where we’re meeting up. Did you want to maybe grab a bite too?”
Dean hit me back as I was headed to the subway. “I’ll see you at the spot you mentioned. I can’t come earlier. But if you want to grab a bite, you should.”
When I got to the neighborhood where Dean and I were meeting, I passed the bar where we were getting drinks and popped into a restaurant. “Cool. It’s been a long day. I’ll just grab something quick. See you soon.” I had about an hour and a half before I’d meet Dean.
I grabbed an empty stool at the bar, made fun small talk with the bartender about what I was about to do. He smiled and drank the story in, but he was curious, “Why isn’t that man taking you to dinner?”
“Oh, it’s just drinks tonight. It’s the first time. I’m fine with that. No long committed hangouts in case it’s awkward. And if it’s not, we could always extend it. It’s smart,” I told the bartender.
“It’s calculated!” He laughed and tapped my hand. “I’m just playing girl!”
I ate my tapas at the bar and continued to chat with the funny bartender until it was coming close to the time to go meet Dean. I got a text from Dean, “Hey, you know what? I didn’t even think to ask earlier, what are you looking for?”
My eyebrows could tell a whole story at that moment. I could feel my stomach stepping up to the edge of the cliff, about to jump. It’s like I could anticipate the drop. “What am I looking for?” I wrote back.
“Yeah, like me, I’m not looking for anything serious. I was hoping we could just have fun,” Dean wrote back.
Those words should and would normally be more than ok with me. Especially because at that moment in my love life, I wasn’t looking for anything serious myself. “We could just have fun,” I said to myself. It really could have been fun. I went to the dating app and looked at Dean’s profile again. He was that kind of dark complexion that would make Jesus blush. His athletic build was more than obvious in his fully clothed pics. He didn’t even need to add in his fitness and hiking pictures, but he did because he wanted us to know that he was a man’s man who loved working on his body and being outside and…roarrrrr.
I looked at the time, Dean and I were supposed to be meeting in 5 minutes. “Are you asking me this from outside the bar? Or are you still home?” I texted.
“I haven’t left my house yet. I’m not far. I would have been a bit late, but now I’m thinking, I don’t want to waste either of our time, you know. So what are you looking for?” Dean asked.
His whole message made my hair follicles twitch — all of them. I rolled my eyes at the message, put the phone down, and waved the bartender over to me. “Can I get a drink menu?” I asked.
“Oh, you’re bringing Mr. Man here instead? Oooh!” He said, giving me two menus.
“Just the one.” I handed the other back to him.
“Oh? You canceled?” He asked, nosily.
“I’m canceling. He still hasn’t left home. He was going to be late and is telling me five minutes before he’s supposed to be here. But then he asked me what am I looking for–something you think he’d be more likely to ask earlier, but he’s asking on his way out the door, late to meet me. I just don’t like any of it,” I said, making sure I had my facts straight.
“Me neither. First round’s on me,” the bartender said, turning to make me a cocktail. “Tequila?” He asked.
“Yup and lots of it,” I laughed.
I messaged Dean back, “I’m looking for someone who is more considerate than what you just showed me, even if all you wanna do is ‘have fun.’ That’s all I wanted too, but even in having fun, I’d like someone to show me respect. Take care and I’m sending a cash app request for the money I spent tonight.”
“What? Cash app? Are you serious?” Dean wrote back as if I said nothing else.
“Yes, I’m assuming you would have at least paid for just the drinks we were going to be having? Or maybe I shouldn’t assume that considering you weren’t even going to feed me.” I ended the message with a laughing emoji.
“I was definitely not feeding you, which is why I said just drinks. I’m glad I dodged this bullet. You’re probably the type that believes in equal pay and all that, but wants a man to pay for everything.”
I blocked that man before I could even finish reading the rest of the message. And I deleted that dating app.
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