Not A Jane Austen Novel

I’m following the advice from a writer on the dating site. He has some pretty valid points to make, I must admit. He figures that women ‘delete, next,’ far too easily. He points to a ‘Sex in the City,’ character, Charlotte, who meets her future husband and despises him immediately. But, he persists in wooing her. And look what happened to her. She realizes after about the sixth date that he is, indeed, perfect for her.

“Give the guy six dates,” is his advice. “No one is perfect. You are not! Give him a chance and you may be as pleasantly surprised as our friend Charlotte was.” So I’m heeding this sage advice.

Recycle Man and I have gone on four dates. I don’t count five years ago when we went on three and I decided he wasn’t compatible with me. After many, many dismal dates afterwards, seeing his face on this new dating site I joined was like finding an old comfy t-shirt in my underwear drawer. Look how cozy it fits and it’s all broken in too! So we corresponded. We went on four dates, all of which went pretty well enough. I can tell that the chemistry is there, but do not want to go any farther until I (we) are sure there is a future.

“I’m not into recreational sex,” I inform him in my usual bold way.

“Neither am I. I can wait.”

And so we are.

There’s such  danger in getting too hot and sweaty too soon. On our third date we became very cozy on the couch and I reluctantly pulled away and declined any further advances. I saw him differently. I felt my defenses collapse and all his little nuances that I was questioning disappeared. I know he felt the same way. When he turned to leave he said, “I love you!”

I love you?

It was really sweet to hear him say that and I know men need so little from women to feel that. Sex turns us into Jello.

“He’s such a hockey fan, Elaine,” I moaned to my childhood friend who has been married since she was 18. “If he and I ever live together, it’s really gonna bug me to come home to that ‘He shoots, he scores!’ racket on the TV.”

“Tell me about it. I’ve been putting up with hockey since I married John. And I hate that Don Cherry! And with John if his team loses he’s all depressed, so depressed he can’t eat. And then he takes it out on me! I freaking hate it. But I put up with it.”

“Well, I’m thinking that it would be tolerable if he watches in the spare bedroom. I could fix it up for him, with a comfy chair and everything he needs while he watches and just keep the door closed. I would do the same for him when I’m watching for the umpteeth time, ‘Bright Star,’ or the Academy Awards. We don’t have to like the same things, but don’t force our interests on the other. Right? Are you there?”

In the meantime, Recycle Man and I are both still on the site and although I don’t ask if he’s dating anyone else, I am corresponding with a couple men who have written letters to me. I received one yesterday from Cow Town, fondly nicknamed due to the world famous rodeo that the city hosts every year. For two weeks of the year the city goes crazy with heavy drinking and the wearing of cowboy hats.

He wrote me a letter and intrigued that it was from my hometown, I firstly checked his profile. It was one of those profiles that is written in a preachy manner. A lot of guys write like this. (Women do as well according to my ex-roommate.) You know — the kind of attitude that it’s my way or else. He wrote that if a woman feels the need to block her phone number when she calls him and doesn’t trust him, well then she can just look elsewhere.

“Really?” I thought as I went to his email and opened it.

He wrote simply:

Perfect men are not born but they might be molded. Good luck.

Obviously something in my profile irked him and he felt the need to write what he did. I responded with:

Thanks for that! And here’s one for you: No need to be insulted if a woman protects herself by blocking her number on the first call to you. She is only following simple rules of safety for women. It’s just the world we live in. And good luck to you, Cowboy. 

I waited.

Finally a response:

Protection from what? All men are not what you think. I’m certainly not a cowboy just an engineer good luck

If this were a Jane Austen novel, there is just enough tension that she’d put the two of us into a romantic entanglement. But, alas, it is not that: it is the Cyber World and I did what most women would do: delete, next. In the Real World, I would never have corresponded with him at all.

This is Adrienne, still reporting from the trenches, in the world of cyber dating.

 

Read more Adrienne, click her tag.

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