I’ve gone on my share of dates over the years. Sometimes you have an amazing connection, while other times you may not feel that spark, but the person you’re with is just fun to be around. With the latter, you may become friends, otherwise you both cut your losses and move on. There are instances, however, when you meet someone and begin trying to figure out how quickly the date can end. That was the case this time.
It had been a long week at work, and I was looking forward to the weekend. I had started talking with a new guy online and we decided to meet up Friday night for one of my favorite pastimes – shooting pool. I wouldn’t say I’m an expert, but I can definitely hold my own. During our conversation, he mentioned that he had his own pool cue. I was excited at the thought because it made me think that if he owns his own cue, he must play often. If he plays often, he’s probably pretty good, and I’m the type who would prefer to play with someone better than me in the hopes that I might up my game.
We both arrived at the pool hall at the same time and ended up greeting each other in the parking lot. Upon meeting him, I realized that while you can find someone’s pictures attractive, they don’t always seem the same in person. Maybe it’s how they carry themselves. Maybe it’s seeing them at a different angle. Maybe it’s their personality. Most of the time it’s the whole package that just tells you it’s not a fit. What’s weird is that I know from experience that you can have great chemistry with someone online, via text, and over the phone, but it just doesn’t translate in person. I’ve been on both sides of this coin, so I know what it feels like. It’s not something I can really explain, but when the mutual connection is there, it’s obvious. When it’s not, you know it pretty quickly. It became very apparent in this situation that the attraction was one-sided…and I was on the wrong side.
We walked into the pool hall, him with his case in hand, and we quickly found a table towards the middle of the room. We talked for a few minutes and decided to start our first game. It didn’t take long for me to realize that owning a pool cue does not automatically mean you are skilled in the ways of billiards. I’ve been playing on occasion for several years now, so I typically study the table, think about how one shot will set up the next, carefully aim, and hope for the best outcome.
My date couldn’t have been more the opposite. He awkwardly walked up to the table and, without much aim or planning, quickly made each shot. He fumbled with the cue a few times, almost dropping it. He missed the cue ball a few times and just didn’t seem to be very confident in his playing. All this came as a surprise given he had his own billiards equipment with him. Part of the way through the second game, his cue tip broke, which got him pretty flustered. He took the cue and just threw it in the garbage.
What made this encounter more awkward was the fact that after his shots, he would come up to me and put his arm around me in an affectionate manner. I really couldn’t have been more obvious with my body language that I didn’t reciprocate his advances, but he didn’t seem to be paying attention. Each time he’d attempt to be close, I would conveniently find an amazing shot to take from the other side of the table. I didn’t do this in a rude manner, but I was very surprised he wasn’t reading my stiff, closed off stature. I guess I was doing my best to be perfectly clear that I didn’t feel the same. The conversation was a bit awkward as well. Maybe it was his nerves, which I get, but, again, lack of confidence in a man is something I have a hard time with on a date.
We played a few games, and then he suggested we switch to darts. I was ready to go home, and had been for a while. In all honesty, I was actually pretty tired, but I wanted to be nice, so I agreed. He seemed like a decent guy, but unfortunately that extra something just wasn’t there for me. After a few games, I told him that I was really getting tired, as it was approaching midnight, and was ready to head home. If the night wasn’t awkward at that point, it was about to take a nosedive into the land of awkwardness.
Despite the fact that we’d been chatting, sort of, all night, he said he’d like to just talk for a few minutes. Ugh! I just wanted to go home already! They have several couches all around the pool hall, so we headed towards the ones near the bar. I was hoping this would be short-lived, as I was pretty exhausted, but I was willing to give him a few more minutes of my time.
We sat down on the love seat, him to my left. Before I could say anything, he grabbed my legs and laid them across his knees. He then took my hand to hold it, but did the “interlocking finger” manner, which seriously caught me off guard. Then to top it off, he laid his head on my shoulder. He was all cozy and comfy, and I could not have had stiffer posture unless I was petrified. I felt a bit bad for the guy, as he obviously was looking for a connection with me. The problem was, it just wasn’t there…AT ALL!!
After about five minutes of this insanity, I mentioned again that I was really tired and should be heading home. In a very disappointed manner, he sat up and removed my legs from his lap. We gathered our things and headed out the door. He walked me to my car, and I managed to dodge a kiss goodnight. Again, the guy was nice, but I just wasn’t feelin’ it.
I got home a little after midnight and sent him a text to let him know I made it. I said, “Thank you for a fun night. You’re a fierce competitor.” I figured that was my way of saying thank you, but not giving the hint of another date. I crawled into bed and zonked out.
Twenty minutes later, I was startled awake when I got a text from him that said, “That’s good to know.” I briefly looked at it and put my phone back down. I was out again in about 30 seconds.
Twenty minutes after that, I was startled awake again when I got a text from him that said, “I’m free Saturday afternoon or Sunday evening if you’d like to get together again.” I honestly didn’t read the text then because I was just too tired and figured he’d fall asleep soon too.
TWENTY MINUTES LATER – it is now after 1:00 am – I was startled awake for the last time by him with a text that said, “But I don’t know if you want to see me.” It was then that I realized that I was unfortunately going to have to let him down easy or he was not going to stop. Through sleepy eyes, I texted him back to tell him that I really appreciated the offer, but I just didn’t feel the same connection that he obviously did. I said that didn’t mean we couldn’t hang out again, but I just wanted to be clear of my feelings. I was hoping that would be the end of it.
THE DUDE BLEW UP MY PHONE!!!
I got text after text from him.
“What do you mean you don’t feel the same connection?”
“There’s got to be something wrong!”
They kept coming. I replied back and said that there was nothing wrong. Sometimes it just doesn’t translate in person.
He insisted, “What’s wrong?! There’s got to be something wrong! I was married for eight years. I don’t understand.”
I very calmly replied back and said again that there was nothing wrong. I told him that I just didn’t feel the same attraction for him that he felt for me.
His response floored me!
He said, “No attraction?! Good luck finding better!”
I replied and asked him what he meant.
He said, “Ummm…you’re not all that! Good luck!”
I stared at my phone like Ferris Bueller would stare right into the camera.
If I’m being honest, I had a bit of a chuckle at this one, but I was so beyond tired at that point that I put my phone down, turned it to silent, and zonked out.
I guess I can now rest assured that I don’t have to put too much pressure on myself moving forward since I’m not all that. Whew!