Guest Column: Dating Online Series. Prospects?  by Ms. Jennifer

New Orleans. I thought I had my future figured out. I know, dumb. I was going to “grow old” with Michael. I was so certain of the fact that I spent five years doing everything I could to make sure nothing changed. It wasn’t until it was over that I was able to look back and see how controlling I was because I was afraid to be alone. I figure if I was totally committed to the relationship he would have to respond in kind, right?  I means it’s only fair. I would be so devoted, how could he EVER leave me, but he did.  Betrayal, especially when you’ve been faithful, is the perfect way to become a victim. And, yet, it’s complicated because the betrayal is real. But this is a topic for a future article, because I have a hot date with Jared.  

I’m learning in my new online dating life there are at least two types of men in my experience. There is the Michael type. Unavailable, hard to get, aloof and then there are the Jared type, hyper attentive, a hint of being needy, who after a few messages or a phone call suddenly start acting like my boyfriend. Uh?   

Do you know how many times I’ve heard “hello, gorgeous ” or “hello beautiful” and never even met the guy?  I have never opened with “hello handsome.” This is ALMOST as bad as the dead fish photos.  Who EXACTLY thinks this is hot?  Okay, I get (as a potential new suitor has tried to explain to me) this is some sort of masculine statement. I mean I get that, but do you want to see me holding a Barbie doll or wearing a pink apron as a statement of femininity?  Maybe that’s not fair, but it seems a pretty archaic, doesn’t it?   

How about a new definition of masculinity, but whose definition should we adopt? Certainly not this white chick’s.   But I can say with certainty that this chick does NOT want to see a dead fish or, God help me, a dead deer on someone’s profile, but I’ve digressed as I have a tendency to do.  

Anyway, the cool guys do one of two things.  They are not hyper eager they make you wait to act too cool to care OR they meet you and then disappear.  Do you know how many times that has happened to me?  I kid you not I talked with one guy (while I had a long lay over at an airport) for four hours.  We couldn’t wait to get together and had a date set up for when I returned. The day before our date he told me his father had just gone into the hospital (and over the phone he told me his mother had died recently) so we obviously postponed our date.  About a week later, I checked in on him but didn’t hear anything. Now for those of you who are thinking, ‘oh dear, maybe something really bad happened’ (I confess having this same thought), but I saw him back online shortly after that and I reached out to him again and he never responded.  Since we never met I don’t have to think, ‘maybe he found me hideous’.  

Then there was the police officer, turned actor, that I went out with but before that we talked on the phone for FIVE Hours.  I remember because I told him about Mr. Four Hours and we decided to beat my record.  Mr. Police Officer was very attentive and flirtatious over lunch, but then he kept coming up with reason he couldn’t meet after that. Then, I saw Mr. Police Officer Turned Actor, back on a dating site and sent him a message asking him what happened and, what did he do, he blocked me.   

Apparently there is an epidemic of people who want a one-shot phone call or one date and then they have to go fishing.  It’s not even about getting laid, it’s something else. Is it the chase, the rush of someone new? But they lose interest and move on faster than a McDonald’s drive through. I don’t think these men are giving a whole lot of thought about their actions, do you? 

And then there are the men who want some sort of  instant artificial attachment – they want to start texting me every day before we even go out. This investment– to quick and easy (or too slow and impossible) is out of alignment, people!   Online throws people into some strange virtual Twilight zone.  Maybe people just don’t know the “rules,” but isn’t there just common sense… like if you didn’t know me yesterday or haven’t even met me then don’t start acting like I’m your girlfriend.  Please. 

I met Jared online. He was the super attentive type. Before we even met he was all over me, electronically speaking. When he sent me some photos of his high-powered office, he told me I was “spot on” in my observations:

  • You are very accomplished and take pride in your achievements (as you should be).
  • You are very organized.
  • You might be a little anal.
  • Love the family photos it shows another side of you.
  • You might be a neat freak.
  • The military does not have much budget for office furniture, or its’s your spartan attitude and or your appreciation of how taxpayer money is spent.
  • You love your hometown of New Orleans.

Jared  followed up with more photos of “Da Gurls” his 60 plants showing the heart underneath his military uniform. He also pointed out photos in his office of his two deceased young adult sons. I don’t know what happened, it didn’t seem the time to ask. 

Every day, Jared would check in on me until the big day for our first date was upon us.  I put on my “date dress” something more artistic, rather than fashion forward, for our lunch date.  Prior to this he was telling me things like “in a meeting until 1:00” …he was being considerate. 

We decided at the last minute to meet for lunch for future reference. There were no surprises since we had shared current photos of ourselves.  Lunch was enjoyable and pleasant.  He let the waitress know there would be a big tip for her if she got it right.

Over our meal we discussed many things and then hit on race.  He announced he only dates “Caucasian women” despite his families objections, particularly his sister and mother who can’t understand why he can’t date a Sistah?  She asked him. “Why do successful Black men want to date white woman instead of keeping it in the right house?”  Jared told me he didn’t care….did I? His sister and he had been having that same argument for years and no one was budging.

Now prior to our impromptu lunch date we already had scheduled a date the following day and even before that he had asked me to the Endymion Ball and, just in case this Yankee didn’t understand, that coveted ball was for the rich and famous.  Wow, maybe I was finally going to make it into Southern society after all!  Scarlett O’Hara move over.

But not so fast, I suggested to Jared that we get to know each other better but he reassures me there is nothing to worry about – we’re cool. I suggested to Jared that if we we’re going to go to a ball that he tell his family he was dating Jenqueksha for if he mentioned Jennifer that might be a giveaway that I was white. Really? We laughed and on our way towards my car, Jared requested me to leave a message on his phone from Jenqueksha, which later I seriously do.   

Ah, but something didn’t seem quite right. The next day he asked if we can postpone our date. Family reasons. He’s helping his sister who has a dance company (so I can’t join despite the fact that this “sistah” can shake her ass) and he now had to play bartender. 

No problem. I haven’t quite figured out yet that we are done.  I mean family is first, but then radio silence. And when I ask him a few days later what he’s doing over Labor Day weekend? He said, “Be with you at some point and time.”

Uh? 

 I DON’T GET TO KNOW WHY.  And more importantly, I don’t want to care.  Why waste my time wondering what happened?  Like maybe I should have dyed my hair, or wore the sexy dress instead, or he wasn’t amused (despite the ass shot and he noticed I didn’t have your typical white ass!) when I had to climb through the passenger side to open up the driver’s door since my key won’t unlock the driver’s door after someone broke my window. 

I can guess all day long, but swipe me means swipe, I own you nothing, no explanation required, but keeping it real means what exactly?

“Not to worry,” I tell myself. I need to get ready for my date with Travis this afternoon. He’s an artist and this time I need to cool my jets because he’s hot!