The dates that went on during December of 2016 are hard to tell in anything resembling a “chronological order.” I was going on something like 7-8 dates a week – one time even 3 in one day. I was giddy with choice, and loving every second of it.
One of the people I went out with during this time was Alien Girl. She sent me a text one morning that she’d “had a bacon for breakfast,” and I decided she must be an alien.
It just sounded like something an alien in disguise would say. Like, “Ah, what did I have for breakfast, you ask? Umm….. [SEARCHING HUMAN CULTURAL DATABASE] Why yes, I had a bacon.”
Me: I’m going to tell her I know she’s an alien
Cute Boy: Oh my GOD do not do that. She’s going to think you’re a weirdo.
Naturally I ignored this advice and sent her the following text.
Cute Boy: HOW DOES THAT SHIT WORK FOR YOU!?!?!?!
It became this adorable running joke throughout our texts and conversations.
She was so cute and silly and charming. I had giant heart eyes pretty fast.
Which, I suppose I should tell you more about Alien Girl than the fact that she is clearly from Mars. She was married to a man, poly, and had a 2-year-old daughter. She was very active in the kink community – so was her family – and she had hilarious stories about going to kink parties where her mom was present and how incredibly awkward that can be.
Our first date was, of course, my One Move™ – taking her to my favorite coffee shop. The place was packed and we sat in two little chairs in a corner next to the brightest lightbulb in the world. It was some kind of “artistic” lamp that looked like plumbing fixtures with a bare lightbulb sticking out of it. But it was right at eye level and it was miserable.
When I tried to turn it off, I found a price tag saying if you wanted to purchase the art from this local designer, it would be over $100. For some pipe fittings and a really annoying lightbulb.
Alien Girl: So this guy was… have you ever seen an online dating profile where you take one look at the guy’s picture and you just KNOW he’s an asshole.
Me: lol did his picture have a bunch of dandelions shoved into his beard.
AG: Haha no, but I know who you’re talking about. Yeah. I slept with him.
Me: W H A T
AG: It was just a one-night kind of thing.
AG: He wasn’t very good.
Me: Yeah he awkwardly asked if I was going to spank him, out of nowhere, in the middle of a conversation about cake.
AG: Yeah it doesn’t actually get much better from there.
Me: Good to know…
Our first date was cut short because she had to do something afterward (which I knew before it started), but conversation went so easily and she was just as cute and sweet in person as she was through text, so I was excited to hang out with her again.
Our second date was to go Christmas shopping at the mall. And… things were strange from start to finish.
First, her car wouldn’t start. I offered to reschedule for another day, but she said her husband could drop her off at the mall instead.
When she got closer to the mall, she said that they had to bring their daughter with them, and instead of driving all the way home, her husband was going to sleep in the car with their daughter while she shopped with me.
By the time she got to the mall, she said he was going to walk the wall as well, but would be on the opposite side of the mall and not bother us.
We went to two stores by ourselves before we ran into him.
He was a huge, burly guy who took up a lot of space. I don’t really know how else to explain that kind of personality – where they are loud, talkative, expressive, commanding, and just… they take up a lot of space in a room or a conversation or a party. They crowd out other people just by being who they are.
He introduced himself and said he’d leave us alone and go do his own thing… then walked about six feet away and decided instead he was going to walk with us until he found a bathroom, since it was in our direction.
Then he decided… nevermind, I’ll walk with you all the way to the food court, but then we’ll part ways.
Thennnn he decided he’d get food and have Alien Girl watch the baby while he went to the bathroom, then he’d come get the kid and they’d leave.
But by the time he got out of the bathroom, he’d decided to just eat with us.
This whole process was bizarre. Alien Girl repeatedly told him to go away, in silly/flirty/non-forceful ways… “Okay, me and MY DATE are going to go to the food court now,” and “You have to go away so I can shop for you,” and “I thought you said you were going to be on the other side of the mall,” and “Okay, there’s the bathroom… I’ll see you in a few hours, haha…”
He’d look like he was going to go away, but seconds later be right by our side.
And instead of quietly tagging along (the polite thing to do, imo), he talked the whole time… to his wife. He didn’t talk to me at all. And the conversation wasn’t the kind where I could join in. He brought up people and events I’d never been to, household chores, bills. He was just out for a lunch with his wife and like. I don’t even know why I was there?
I basically made weird faces at their toddler the whole time, because I was about as relevant to the conversation as she was.
Finally, they had both eaten (I didn’t eat anything because I had thought we were just kind of dropping him off. I thought he was going to go away eventually.) and there was a perfectly good opportunity for us to part ways!
Which he, of course, did not take.
Instead, he wanted to walk with us clear to the other side of the mall to join us in our shopping. This wasn’t done in any sort of “Oh are you sure it’s not a problem?” Kind of way. It wasn’t even in a “Hey can I tag along with you” way. He just decided he was going with us, and that’s what was happening.
His wife had given up trying to make him leave, since he clearly wasn’t listening to her half a dozen attempts already. Instead, she tried to awkwardly interject me into the conversation with him.
It was an abysmal failure.
I continued to be an awkward third wheel on my own date.
Finally we parted ways and I went home, relieved to have finally escaped that weird and awkward situation. When she texted me later, I told her I hadn’t expected him to be there and it was a little awkward trying to spend time with her when he was there. She was very “I know… I didn’t think he’d be there… he said he’d stay in the car… I kept trying to tell him to go…. Next time it will just be the two of us, promise!”
I now have a policy against dating people who have glaring issues in their other relationships when I meet them. It never works out. If they can’t maintain a healthy relationship and open line of communication with one partner, there’s no way they’re going to be able to pull off having more than one.
But… I was wrapped up in the spirit of DATE ALL THE PEOPLE! And she was so much fun when she wasn’t around him. Soooo… we went on a third date.
It was… bland. We went to this board game bar downtown and had fun and talked a lot, but we never quite crossed the threshold from friends to romantic. Which is a really weird thing that’s hard when you’re dating girls, at least in my experience.
The dynamic when two people of the “opposite” gender hang out alone together is automatically romantically coded, and you have to intentionally work against that to make it a friendly interaction, even if you don’t have any feelings for the other person. Society forces a romantic context on everything you’re doing, and a lifetime of living in this society means a lot of is is in your subconscious as well. But when two people of the same gender spend time alone together, the assumption is first that it’s a platonic, friendly interaction, and you have to intentionally work to push it in a romantic direction.
I’m sure someone who understands social dynamics a lot better could explain this, but in practice, I find that comfortable conversation and easy banter lead much faster to a romantic vibe when I date guys as opposed to when I date girls. Too many of my dates with girls have ended in a big shrug, like “Well, we make decent friends?” Whereas with guys, they tend to get romantic/flirty feelings that I have to shut down because I know we’re not going to be a match.
The funny part is that Cute Boy messaged her on a dating app while we were on the date. She and I had opened our apps to compare matches (welcome to polyamory, everyone) and she had a message from him.
His opening message said the two of them had a lot of similar interests, and her response was “We do! In fact, we share one very similar interest in particular….” And I sent him a picture of her holding up her phone with his message on it.
He was so embarrassed. She and I were cracking up and taking turns picking on him over messages for a while, until he insisted we get back to our date and not let him interrupt any further.
(You know, like a good partner does when encroaching on another partner’s date. AHEM.)
I’m bad at dating girls, and I wasn’t sure HOW to push things into a romantic direction, but I liked her well enough as a person and enjoyed spending time (alone…) with her. I decided I was going to try to kiss her before she left, to see if we could go from “friends to friendlier” as one of my ex-boyfriends likes to say.
So we walked out to her car, and my entire heart was in my throat. It was hard to swallow. I was so bad at this, and didn’t know how to just… make it happen… when that romantic vibe hadn’t already been percolating for a while. I made awkward conversation with her, then paused beside her car.
“This was really fun!” She said, opening her car door.
“Yeah it was!”
I stepped toward her, moved closer into her space, gearing up for the goodbye hug moment. Maybe I could turn it into a lingering embrace, pull away slowly, and say something sweet when our faces were close, or–
“Good night!” She got in her car and slammed the door.
Her car was on and she was pulling out of the parking lot before I’d even had a chance to wave and step back.
Cute Boy and Alien Girl texted all night that night, and part of the next day. I was texting her, too, but our messages were drifting, with longer and longer spaces in between them.
“She’s kind of… boring,” said Cute Boy. “And she expects me to drive the conversation. Like we’ve exchanged over 200 messages and I don’t think she’s asked me a single question.”
I felt kind of defensive of her – she’s not BORING, she’s SWEET – but to kind of test his theory, I stopped propelling the conversation forward. I stopped being the first to text her every morning, and didn’t follow up with messages hours after our conversation dropped. I didn’t ask her dozens of questions or send her impromptu pictures of my dogs.
And very quickly it became obvious that she hadn’t been texting me hardly at all… she’d only been responding when I messaged her. And didn’t really hold up her end of the conversation beyond reacting vaguely to things I’d said.
So I let it drop. It tapered off, faded away into nothing.
*fade to black*
*white text appears on the screen*
Six months later…
I started exploring a kink that I was kind of tentative and shy about. I wasn’t sure if I was really into it or not, and had a lot of beginner questions and misunderstandings about how it was done and what all of the terms meant. I was mostly exploring this through an app called Whisper, which lets you be anonymous and talk to other anonymous people. I met a really kind person on there who was helpful, answered all my questions, and suggested local groups that I could join. She told me to look her up on Fetlife and gave me her username. And…
It was Alien Girl. (You knew where that was heading.) I sent her a message like HEH HEH HEH SOOOOO FUNNY STORY. Lol. We laughed at the coincidence and didn’t really talk about the fact we’d dated for five minutes and then ghosted each other. She kept answering my questions and offered to help me navigate kink parties and local group gatherings if I decided to go in that direction.
But, you know… that’s a story for another time. 😉