Saturday, October 16, 2010

Dating Drama II

I would like to think that I am nowhere near shallow. I don't have a "type" that I look for physically, and there are no specific criteria for measurements, hair colour, eye colour, or whatever for the most part. While we all have our preferences (I will admit that I tend to be drawn to those who are dark haired and taller than me, for instance), whether or not I will give someone a chance is by and large determined by their personality and not whether they are considered hot and buff to the general population. Although, naturally, there has to be an element of attraction in order to entertain the notion of dating someone, I don't think there is any set combination of features that equals attractiveness. Everyone is unique and what is inside shines through to play a big part in what we perceive on the outside. Have you ever noticed that you can meet someone who is only marginally attractive and when you get to know them they become the most beautiful/handsome/attractive person ever? Or vice versa - you meet someone who makes your knees go to Jell-O and the more you find out about them, the uglier they become?

Keeping that in mind, I have recently experienced every Internet dater's nightmare...meeting someone who looks NOTHING like you thought they would based on their pictures (a word to the wise: be wary of side profile pictures and sunglasses, and always ask how recent pictures are). Admittedly, I was taking a chance with this guy, who was out of my normal comfort zone in regards to age range (older, as in ). I can only imagine the look that must have been on my face when he turned and saw me walking into the coffee shop where we met (deer in the headlights, anyone?), although I tried my utmost to disguise it and muster a genuine smile - hey, it's tough to put yourself out there and I know that! And I did try to look past the superficial elements...but there were a lot of them. I stayed for an hour and a half to chat with him, partially to be polite and give him a fair shot and partially because there was some interesting story swapping going on. I'd like to think that his personality would have counteracted the effects of the physical if he was someone I could really click with, but that didn't happen. He didn't seem to possess the character traits I am looking for in a romantic interest either, and some of his mannerisms were a bit of a turnoff.

So...then there is the escape route. How does one go about getting out of those situations gracefully? Luckily, I apparently looked tired when I showed up (which he commented on - gee, thanks!), so I was able to use that to my advantage. I somehow got myself out the door and to my car without having to encounter the awkward potential hug/kiss goodnight moment that seems to accompany most first dates in my experience (and thankfully does not ALWAYS manifest and is not ALWAYS awkward when it does)...and then came home to a very complimentary message from him, which was sweet and would have thrilled me if it were from someone of whom I reciprocated those impressions, but unfortunately necessitated a speedier extraction from the situation than I had anticipated. Due to the lack of interest on my part and not wanting to give false hope or allow this man to feel like he was making a fool of himself, I had to woman up and reject him upfront. I did this as truthfully, gently, and compassionately as I could muster, but it still wasn't easy. You never know how people are going to take those things. Thankfully, he took it well and we ceased communication amicably. Phew! I hope the guy gets what he's looking for, though, all the same...if what he shared with me was true, it sounds like he's been through a lot with women who have taken advantage of him...

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