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This story is a fantasy based on real people and actual events. The names have been changed to protect the not quite innocent and the blissfully oblivious.
As difficult as it may be to believe, the real story actually begins with the end of a relationship. But first, indulge me in a little back-story.
Fuck online dating sites. I hate them. They’re useless. They’re full of the undateable people, the ones you would walk by on the street and never give a second look to. Women like the crazy friend of the girl you’re trying to date that you hope your buddy will distract for a while. Or the obnoxious snot that your high school science teacher always matched you up with as a lab partner and you hated them for it. Or the uptight one that was a friend of a friend that you used to sit at the same table with at lunch that you used to say nasty things to just to get a reaction out of them. Yeah, they’re all there.
The websites themselves are all clusterfucks. You can spend hours browsing through the too heavy, the too short, the mentally deficient, and the batshit crazy. If you’re lucky you’ll find a profile of someone who seems attractive and normal, write them a witty message, and never hear back from them. As far as finding what you’re looking for, you may as well go shopping for a prom dress in the dollar store. That’s what it feels like most of the time. But please don’t get offended by my dim view of dating sites. I’m all over them.
I mean, when you’re a 40 year old single dad, a homebody with a small group of friends, what are your other options? Despite my struggles, I’ve heard plenty of success stories. So I figure if I’m lucky I might find someone I like, someone that doesn’t make me cringe when I look at them, someone that I can stand being with, someone that may not be looking to chop me into little pieces and hide them in their freezer, someone that can help me overcome the crushing loneliness I feel when I don’t have my daughter, and of course someone I can fuck when I’m horny, which even though I’m 40 is still pretty often. It doesn’t really sound like too much to ask for, does it?
Anyway, let me get on with the story. I was divorced for two years when I met Wendy. Two years! That was two years of trolling around the dating sites. Two years of debating whether or not paying for one of the premium sites was a good idea (hint: no), or waiting for the “free communication weekends” to try to blow through the nonsensical steps on Dr. Neil Clark Warren’s site and actually get into a conversation with someone, only to belatedly realize that she put down that she was a frequent smoker, even though I specifically filtered smokers out of my matches. Two years of hoping that the new message notification I just got on one of the free sites wasn’t from a girl in the Philippines looking to be a mail order bride. Of rolling my eyes every time I got a notification from one of the other free sites that someone wants to meet me, because of the hundreds of notifications I’d gotten already, I hadn’t seen one I’d actually consider meeting yet.
Sometime in the past year I stumbled across a new dating site. It was a site with a different concept than the others. It would send you a match every day. You could like or pass. If you hit like and she hit like, you were connected for 8 days. 8 days to chat and get to know each other. If you hit it off you could move on to talking on the phone or sexting or shopping for curtains or whatever floated your boat.
The biggest issue with the new site was that it had no sense of distance. I live in a small down close to Frederick, Maryland. The ‘big cities’ Baltimore and Washington were a long way off, yet 90% of my matches lived there. I wasn’t a city person to begin with, so the thought of driving an hour or more through heavy traffic to meet a match was unappealing and impractical. I had a full time job and a custody schedule. A long distance relationship just wouldn’t work, not at this point in my life. Sometimes I would like a particularly attractive or interesting match from one of the cities, just for kicks. Sometimes they’d like me back. We’d chat. They’d ask to meet. I’d politely decline. They wouldn’t understand. I’d feel like an ass. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Online dating sucks.
Despite it all, I did occasionally manage to connect with women sometimes. Over the last two years I’d met several women. Many never got past the first date. We’d meet at a diner or a Starbucks. We’d sit and chat for an hour. Sometimes it was pleasant. Sometimes it was awkward. A few times the woman couldn’t get away from me fast enough at the end. “Thanks for a nice time,” they would say once we were outside, standing a safe distance apart. Then they would turn and practically run to their car. No handshake, no friendly hug and certainly no goodbye kiss. My friends couldn’t understand how that could happen. I was 5’11, 165 pounds, with wavy brown hair and hazel eyes. I’m a good guy for the most part, funny and well-spoken, reasonably fit for my age. So why weren’t women interested? I’d shrug my shoulders. bakırköy escort It is what it is; I’d sigh, swallow my frustration, and move on.
If I made it to a second date there would be a different vibe. What happens now? I would think. Dating before I got married seemed much easier and I think it was because I had so much more free time then. Now I had to fit dates around my custody schedule, and usually the woman’s custody schedule too. When your schedules only match up one day every two weeks there’s an added pressure. Time was precious now. We had to make every moment count, and I could feel the subtle pressure. After most second dates I’d get a hug and maybe a quick kiss. I’d wander away wondering where all of the fast-moving women were. I never seemed to find them.
The few third dates I’d been on were even more awkward. I’d read enough about dating the past two years. Supposedly the third date is when a lot of people are ready to have sex. Not my dates, though. I may get a longer kiss, an awkward moment in semi-privacy while we clumsily make out for a few seconds. And that would be it. I hadn’t made it past that third date yet. The three third dates I’d been on were all my last. A couple of days afterward I would invariably get a text that they think I’m a great guy but it just isn’t working out. I could just about set my watch to it, and pretty much write the text for them. They’d like to be friends (nobody really means this), and that would be that. I’d be left wondering what I’m doing, or what I’m not doing, that was causing these relationships to end the way they were. But I’m digressing again.
So then one day my daily match was Wendy. She only lived a couple of towns over. She was a few years younger than I was. She was heavy but reasonably attractive. I liked her face. I clicked like. The next day I must have shown up as her daily match and she clicked like too. The app sent me a practically delirious notification. We were connected.
She immediately gave me her phone number. Whoa. That wasn’t the protocol. The 8 days we got to chat on the app was for our safety as much as anything else. 8 days to make sure the other person wasn’t crazy, or a Satanist, or didn’t know when they should use their, they’re, or there. Naturally I balked. I hate this app, she said. I hate it too, I said, but I prefer to get to know someone a little first. She relented, and we messaged back and forth for a day or so. Then she said, please, every time I open this app on my phone it crashes. Fine, I thought to myself, scrolling up through our messages to find her number. We’ll text.
Wendy worked in day care, chasing around a bunch of unruly toddlers all day. It worked for her because she was able to be with her son. The money wasn’t good, but her ex husband was good to her financially. It’s good that you have a good relationship with your ex, I remember texting her. I didn’t. I shared a couple of quick stories with her. You’re not supposed to complain about your ex, but sometimes I just can’t help myself. It’s my life, and I can’t hide it or pretend something different. She started texting me a series of “getting to know you” questions, what’s your favorite this, your favorite that. There were dozens of them. She must have been cutting and pasting them from somewhere. Luckily it was a slow day at work for me. I answered her texts when nobody was looking. I idly wondered how much time she spent texting instead of watching the kids. We were two adults, goofing off at work. You’d think we’d have known better, but sometimes the excitement of getting to know someone makes you forget about everything else.
It didn’t take us much longer to meet than it took us to figure out when our schedules would allow us to. Two weeks, maybe three. It was a Saturday afternoon. We picked a deli midway between us, about 10 minutes away from both of us. I never ate there but I heard good things about it. I showed up a few minutes early. She showed up a few minutes late. She looked like she did in her pictures, more or less. Up close it was clear this was a woman who spent too much time in the sun. Her skin was red and heavily freckled. She was about 5’7, and even for a large woman, her breasts were huge. I made a point of not looking at them. I can maintain eye contact, I thought to myself. I’d never been with big-chested women before, but a lot of the women I had been meeting lately were buxom. I didn’t want to be one of those guys who was staring at their chest when I talked to them. I was better than that, I thought to myself, my eyes involuntarily drifting to the hint of cleavage she was showing. Damn.
Lunch was pleasant. Conversation flowed freely. We got along great; however I did note two major red flags about her. One, she mentioned that she was much heavier when she was younger, weighing as much as 350 pounds and eventually losing a lot of weight. Like I said I don’t mind heavy women, but obesity was a different story, and people who lose a lot of weight can’t always keep it off. Second, she beşiktaş escort admitted to being a major pot smoker. I don’t smoke when my son is around, she added quickly… but sometimes on my free weekends with my friends… it’s so relaxing.
I’m not as uptight as I used to be, but I still have no interest in drugs. In fact, somewhere in the hundreds of questions I answered on my dating site profile, they ask about your views on drug use, and I made the comment, ‘if you hand me a joint, your name had better be Paul McCartney.’ So why didn’t I excuse myself right then and sneak out the bathroom window? Well, for one thing there wasn’t a window in the bathroom smartass. The truth is I guess that after two years of being single and getting nowhere my standards were dropping. Besides, I was having a good time with her, despite her foibles.
We finished lunch and felt like we should get out of the restaurant. “There’s a Starbucks a couple of miles down the road,” Wendy said to me, “If you’d like we can go there and hang out a while longer.” I agreed, and we got into our cars and I followed her there. I didn’t drink coffee, so I went to use the restroom while she ordered an iced coffee something something.
We found a table and talked for another two hours. I started mentally preparing for the end of the date. What do I do, do I hug her? Do I kiss her? Will she make it obvious what she’s expecting? Will she initiate? We walked outside and she walked right over to her car. She put her hand on the door. She looked like she was about to make a run for it. Wait, we had a better date than that. Why was she running?
“I had a really nice time,” Wendy said to me, and she paused. I studied her body language. Nothing about it said come closer to me, hug me, or kiss me. I stayed back.
“Me too,” I said, and I watched her open the door and climb into her car, then I walked away.
We texted again as soon as we both were home. You know, I really wanted to kiss you. I said to her. Why didn’t you? She replied. You gave me no indication that you wanted me to, I said. I figured you didn’t want to, she replied. Well, next time then, I said. Dating is hard.
Of course next time was two long weeks away. It was the next time I was free and she was free. We met for lunch again at the exact same place we went to the first time (it was her favorite) and then caught a matinee. After the movie we finally had our first kiss, outside her car in full view of everyone. I felt, well, something, which was good. It was anticipation, maybe? I had brushed a strand of hair away from her face, so I had one hand on her face and the other on her thick arm. I drove away thinking, okay, this is good.
Wendy had rearranged her custody schedule with her ex so it was three long weeks before we could meet again. This time she met me at my house and then we drove together to Ellicott City. We had lunch at a place someone recommended to her. We found a place that had old arcade games and ran around like children. We walked around the town. I wanted to be romantic and affectionate, but I couldn’t seem to find the right moments. We did hold hands while we walked around the town. Do I lean over and kiss her? We sat down on a bench on the sidewalk. Do I kiss her now? I finally did kiss her, awkwardly, because I got tired of waiting for the right moment to come along. I felt like I was sixteen again. However, I could hear a grumbling somewhere in the back of my mind. It shouldn’t be like this. I shouldn’t feel like I’m forcing myself.
Once we had our fill of the town we got back into my car and just drove around. It was one of my favorite things to do. I avoided the major arteries and took her on a scenic drive through the secluded country roads of rural Maryland. I know you’re thinking one of two things, either you’re thinking she’s too trusting to let me drive her out to the middle of nowhere, or that I did it on purpose in order to get her out to the middle of nowhere. Well, maybe she was naïve, but no, I didn’t have any ulterior motives. For all I know I was actually supposed to pull off into an empty field or something and throw myself at her. How would you know for sure that was something I was supposed to do in that situation? Do they have an app for that?
Eventually I drove us back towards our neighborhood and we picked an Italian restaurant for dinner. We got back into my car and I drove her to my place where her car was. She got out of my car and started walking towards hers. Wait, didn’t she want to come inside my house? I wasn’t necessarily expecting sex but I was expecting… something. Wendy took a few steps away and turned to face me. “I really had a great time,” she said, and I moved up to her and kissed her. I don’t know if I was confused or frustrated, but even the tingly anticipation I felt during our first kiss was gone. She pulled away and got into her car. I wandered back into my house, too frustrated to even jerk off.
We texted normally for a couple of days. Good morning, I always beylikdüzü escort started off saying shortly before I left for work. She would reply and we would make some small talk. I would invariably make some comment about the traffic after I got to work, or tell her about some crazy thing that happened during the course of my day. On Tuesday she didn’t respond to me after good morning, and I started to get the sneaking suspicion that something was wrong. The entire day passed in silence.
Finally about 8pm the text came. I knew it was bad news just from the size of the text. You’re a really great guy, blah blah blah, but I just don’t see this working out, blah blah blah, I sincerely hope we can be friends, blah blah blah. I’m not sure I even read the entire text all the way through. Who has the stomach for all of this breakup crap anyway?
I thought that I should’ve been upset, but it turned out I wasn’t. Not really. As much as I enjoyed spending time with her I found that I just wasn’t that into her. I realized that I was forcing the romantic moments, hoping to feel something for her. Part of me was downright relieved that I didn’t have to keep trying to push forward with this woman, the pothead with the weight problem. I texted her that I understood and that I hoped we could be friends too. Then I deleted our conversation. I figured that was it. That was the last I would hear from Wendy, except maybe to see her photo in my matches on a dating site once in a while. But like I said before, the real story begins with the end of our relationship.
I texted my closest friends as soon as I was done texting Wendy. My two closest friends are both female. One is a woman I’d known since college. We were always just friends. She got married and had a kid. I got married and had a kid. She got divorced and I got divorced. Why didn’t we hook up now? I know that’s what you’re wondering. It’s not something I can explain easily. The best explanation I can offer is if you knew her like I knew her, you’d know why.
My other closest friend is actually one of the women that I dated three times and then became friends with. It just didn’t work out between us, but we both said we wanted to be friends and meant it. She lived closer to DC and the distance was one of our obstacles, but whenever one of us was in the other’s neighborhood we would try to meet up for lunch or dinner. She actually got into a serious relationship with the next guy she dated after me, so I always teased her about how lucky she was that she dumped me when she did. Both of my friends were wonderfully sympathetic and optimistic.
In my spare time the next day I fine-tuned my profiles on the dating websites. I added a new selfie I took of myself, smiling in my car with my new shades on. I tweaked some of the essay language about who I am and who I was looking for. I tried to convey a hint of melancholy and depth of character. Whatever would get a woman’s attention, right? I eagerly kept going back to the dating apps again and again whenever I had a spare moment during the day. Was my new picture and profile getting any hits? No, no they weren’t. I sighed.
After dinner I settled into my recliner to watch the O’s game. About 8:15 I got a text message. I peered at my phone. It was Wendy. I really wasn’t expecting to hear from her again, but it wasn’t words; it was some kind of voice message. That was odd, I thought to myself. I didn’t know you could do that. Before I could even think about opening the message, my phone rang. It was Wendy. That was odder still. We’d known each other for two months, gone on three dates, and never spoke on the phone before.
“Hi, don’t listen to that,” Wendy said. She sounded out of breath.
“Umm… okay,” I replied.
“I was just messing around with my friends,” Wendy said. There was a pause. “So, how are you?” She asked.
“Okay, how are you?” I echoed, totally perplexed.
“My friends and I were talking about what kind of jobs I’d be good at and one of them mentioned phone sex operator,” Wendy said, the words coming out in a rush, “I just wanted to warn you what it was before you opened it.”
“Okay,” I said.
“Well, have a good night!” Wendy said.
“You too,” I mumbled, and hung up. I toggled back to the text message. It was a 7 second file. I hit play. “Oh, I want to wrap my mouth around your dick,” she said breathlessly, and then she dissolved into laughter, joined by her friends. The file ended. I stared at my phone in disbelief.
I mean, how did she manage to ‘accidentally’ record her voice and then ‘accidentally’ text it to me? I wondered. I shook my head. If life was anything, it was never boring, I mumbled to myself, and set about texting my friends about what just happened. My college friend’s reaction was typical of her. What a wacko, she texted. You’re lucky she broke up with you.
My other friend’s reaction was a little different. Maybe she’s telling you what she really wants to do to you, Danielle texted. I scoffed. Yeah, one day she says she just wants to be my friend, the next she wants to wrap her mouth around my dick, I replied to her. Yeah, Danielle replied, fuck buddies. Think about it, she continued, what are the chances she just ‘accidentally’ texted something like that to a guy she just broke up with? She’s either telling you what she really wants or she’s a complete idiot.
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