After five months of acclimatizing to life in a new city and a bunch of flirtations that ended up going nowhere, I decided to dip my toes into the local online dating scene.
I listed my body type as "curvy." Since I comfortably fill out a US size 14 and have had some experience of men being dicks about it, I didn't want there to be any confusion whatsoever.
Not an online dating novice, I was prepared for all types of OKCupid horrors. But I'm not sure what could have prepared me for this.
To my surprise, plenty of decent-seeming guys were keen to take the bait, and after a few days I found myself saying yes to an impromptu date with 38-year-old Eddy*, who was extremely eager to meet me. I didn't find him very attractive, with his somewhat puffy face and short, stout physique, but he seemed smart, funny and smiled a lot in his pictures.
From his profile, he seemed to have a healthy sense of humor about himself. Besides, I was open to "making new friends" and "the possibility of surprising myself."
Just to be sure, I checked his OKC answers to questions such as: "If one of your potential matches was overweight, would that be a dealbreaker?" (no) "Can overweight people still be sexy?" (yes) and "If you meet someone and they are everything you are looking for, except their body type, do you give them a chance?" (yes). We seemed good to go.
We talked and laughed for hours, and both concluded we were really hitting it off. I said yes to a second date. Charming computer geeks who do nerdy things like build their friends communist wedding cake toppers and *get* my type of deadpan sarcasm are a bit of a guilty pleasure, so I complimented myself for not being a totally shallow dick.
Being spontaneous and open-minded seemed to have paid off.
The chemistry between Eddy and myself was undeniably there. He flirted with me. He kissed me when we parted ways on date 2. On date 3, he introduced me to his best friend and roommate, took me to IKEA to help him pick out a new mattress, put the moves on me, and awkwardly/adorably tried to kiss me when we said goodbye 12 hours later.
On date 4, we got very cuddly, he invited me for a sleepover, (which I thought was too soon) and he once again kissed me goodbye when I left. Date 5 culminated in hours of cuddling and making out on the couch. It took me an hour to leave because Eddy "didn't want me to go." He also made sure to tell me that when we'd have sex it would need to be during the daytime when his roommate was away so we wouldn't wake him up with "banging noises." There was more goodbye-kissing.
I took all the cuddling and the kissing as an indication that he was attracted to me. In hindsight, I feel a bit silly.
Date 6 turned a little awkward when he announced, completely out of the blue, he would be traveling too much for his job to date me consistently. Not understanding exactly why or really even if he was suddenly trying to "break up" with me, I asked him if we should just be friends. Twice. Just to make sure he had a way out if he wanted it.
He didn't answer and instead kept going on and on about my sensuality, my wit, and how much he loved spending time with me. He then made plans to meet up with me again the following week. And once again kissed me goodbye.
Confused by his weird vibe and seeing as it had been six weeks, I figured I deserved some clarity. I wasn't trying to marry him, (I wasn't even dating him exclusively), but I did want to know where we were going with this.
A few days later, I decided to be brave and just ask. I was mentally preparing myself for a "You're nice and all, but we should probably just be friends," because I figured that was probably the worst that could happen.
In the "be careful what you wish for" category, his thoughtful response:
Somehow, his assumption that we would "be friends no matter what" after telling me I'm too fat to be attractive, coupled with the implication that there could perhaps be something between us in the future (whether that would have been after I'd put myself through a strenuous diet and exercise regime or after he'd had a personality transplant, I'll sadly never know) brought a foul taste to my mouth.
I should probably also point out my clothes still fit me the just as comfortably today as they did six weeks ago. I can therefore safely assume I haven't gained any weight during our dating misadventure. And even if I had, I would still have responded with this:
Actual bile was brought up by his subsequent reply:
I think I owe a big thank you to modern technology, for having block buttons on every single social media website making sure I could ctrl/alt/DESTROY him from my life forever.
Being lied to, used and manipulated -- this is all part of the dating game. Sadly, this no longer counts as shocking. What I do find shocking, however, is that being shallow, hurtful and insensitive is apparently no longer something to be ashamed of at all, not even for slightly unattractive men who are squarely in the "a little extra/chubby" category themselves.
I wonder if the lack of mirrors in his house is any explanation for his absurd level of arrogance. Perhaps he suffers from a special form of Body Dysmorphic Disorder that makes him look like Ryan Gosling in his troubled mind's eye. Maybe he went off his medication overnight.
The only thing I can be sure of is the fact that he was apparently hiding a God-complex behind his sad, late-night confessions of not usually being able to get any dates. For the sake of mankind, I can only hope this trend will persist far into the distant future.
Whatever the reason for his despicable behavior, I'm sadder for him than for me. I was engaged in a hot make-out session with an even hotter Estonian man a mere two days later. I have three more dates lined up over the next week. I think I'll be just fine.
*Obviously, by all means, don't stop dating guys called Eddy. This is not his real name.