I always go on a dates hoping I’ll have a great time, feel a spark with the other person and see a potential for more fun dates. Who wants to go on a date and feel like it was a waste of their time and that watching paint dry might have been a better option? So what do you do when you’re on a run of dates that aren’t going to be even flickering a match, nevermind lighting a fire anytime soon? As my Mum says “”meh” is not what we’re looking for”.
Still stinging a little from the Canadian DJ debacle and only being helped to a point by the Lumbersexual therapy, I had another month of not dating before deciding to slowly get back into it but when I did, I made a conscious decision to open my mind and consider people I may not have previously swiped right (yes) for. Specifically “quieter looking” guys.
I know, how can you tell a guy is quiet from a few profile pics? Trust me, you just can.
I’d always said I never had a type. Apparently I do, though not so much physically, more personality-wise. Generally, I’m attracted to men who are confident and outgoing, extroverted, loud. My ex-husband was like that, Canadian DJ was the same. I blame my Father (I blame him for a lot) – he was that way and it’s true what they say about you being attracted to what you know and what you grew up around.
With that in mind, and knowing that those traits I’m attracted to are often displayed by narcissists (good choice), I decided that maybe someone quiet would be a good change. I’m an introverted extrovert so, while it wasn’t what I normally went for, there’s something appealing about a guy who can say a lot without saying much and doesn’t need to be “on” all the time.
So bring on the quiet guys! Wait, does that mean I need to tone down as well?
The first date in my new “quieter” phase was an Irish guy – not a nationality I would typically date – and he was definitely a little more on the timid side than I’m used to when we first met. After a few drinks though, he loosened up and I saw a glimpse of what he was no doubt like with all the Irish friends that he had in the city. We went on a couple of dates but after each the only response I could really come up with was that it had been “fine”. Physically he was smaller than I’d have liked. I don’t have a height issue, just as long as I don’t feel bigger than a guy. No girl wants that.
After a couple of “fine” dates there really wasn’t enough of a spark to continue, we hadn’t even kissed, and we just sort of stopped texting. A few weeks later, while I was out for drinks with an Irish friend who knew him, we somehow, magically, coincidentally ended up in the same (Irish) bar as he and a friend. Funny that… As the night went on drinks were had, dancing was done and a kiss was exchanged.
By the end of the night, I’d had enough gins to think that him coming home with me was a good idea (I blame gin for a lot too).
We got home and both promptly passed out but in the morning he was definitely up for continuing what the kissing had started the night before. And, well, there’s really no way to put this delicately, but when it comes to discovering the intimate details of someone, he fell way short. And thin!?
That unsavoury surprise coupled with the hangover and with memories of Lumbersexual’s near perfect attributes still pretty fresh, plus the fact our dates hadn’t even been that good meant there was a sudden engagement in my diary that I needed to be getting up and ready for, and Teeny Irish Peen (as he later became affectionately known) needed to vacate the premises.
Is a poorly sized (and shaped – seriously it was pencil like!) penis reason enough not to see someone again? Yes. Yes it is.
A few weeks later I had a date with a wind power engineer from Eastern Canada and I realise now he never got a nickname, that’s how badly the date went, which is unfortunate because I think my friends and I really could have done great things with that profession for the basis of a name.
Regardless, his passion for his work and hobbies similar to mine encouraged me to set up a date with him. I knew from our texts he was definitely on the quieter end of the spectrum and although it hadn’t gone great with Teeny Irish Peen, that didn’t have anything to do with him being too quiet, I was still optimistic that it could be a good option for me.
We met for a happy hour drink after work and the date itself was, again, fine. We talked a lot, although definitely me more than him, and we had enough commonalities to make it an easy hour and a half. But was I excited? No. Was I desperate to spend more time with him? No. Would I have rather been at home, bra off, watching an episode of Friends for the 100th time, eating ice cream and painting my nails? 100% yes. And as I walked home at 6.30pm on a Friday evening, I realised that “meh” was definitely the only way to describe that date.
Just as I had that thought, I got a text from another guy I’d been messaging for the last few days asking what I was up to that night. Now, I really had learnt my lesson after the horrible day of two dates, but this was different – I hadn’t planned to see both of them on one day and I really didn’t want to be sat in again on a Friday night, even if I had already been on a date earlier.
With that argument settled in my head, I arranged my second date of the night.
He’d been fun in messages but fell into the category of “could be hot, could be not” from his pics. You know, like some angles are great and he could be quite attractive and then others make you question why he chose that pic? Those are always nerve-wracking to go and meet but you’ve just got to expect the worst and hope for the best!
When I met him, he was probably about in the middle of the scale of worst case to best case, worked in finance, had recently moved to Vancouver from the US but seemed to have had every job under the sun and wasn’t sure finance was really his thing.
It’s funny how as you become older (wiser?, more cynical?, more boring?) a potential partner’s occupation becomes a big deal. I hate that it’s even a factor and that we make judgements based on what someone does for a job but, for me, it talks to passion and drive and compatibility. If you’ve been a bartender at the same place for 10 years, first of all I like that we’ll probably be able to talk for hours about gin but soon after I’m wondering if you have any goals for career development and I know that the lifestyle of someone working nights in a bar doesn’t really fit with my Monday to Friday, 9 to 5.
So career/occupation/job, call it what you will, does need to be a consideration. And someone unhappy in their job is definitely a bit of a red flag for me. Or, to be clear, someone unhappy in their job who will tell you all about how shit it is but isn’t doing anything to rectify that. Similarly someone who’s had a number of different jobs. Now, if it’s because they’re actively searching for their passion but haven’t found it yet I could get on board with that. Lord knows not all of us know what we want to be from a young age, or even an old age! But if it’s because you just can’t stick anything out long term and you get “easily bored”, I’m probably gonna pass.
It’s fair to say, then, that him questioning a career in finance, while telling me how awful his boss was and listing all the other 50 jobs he’d had in his adult life was a definite turn off. The big city also seemed like it was overwhelming him, and Vancouver isn’t even that big, which doesn’t exactly sit well with me, I’m a city girl at heart. I don’t even acquaint myself with the ‘burbs, remember?
I decided to cut the date short after just two drinks, not least because of the job chat but I also absolutely hated the bar he’d chosen. I’m now in a place where I feel more comfortable communicating where I do or don’t want to go, but back then I was still finding my feet with going on first dates and the quick turnaround from suggestion of date to actual date that night had caught me off guard re arrangements hence why we ended up somewhere that any time I’ve been in it has only made me want to leave.
As I walked home that night I thought that maybe quiet guys weren’t for me. None of the 3 dates had provided me with even a single proper belly laugh nor did I feel genuinely wowed by the conversations. None of them assumed the role of leader on the dates and I realised that’s not just what I not like but what I need also. I need someone who’ll tell me when to get my head out my ass, challenge me, tell me I’m wrong. I didn’t get the feeling any of them would do that.
I’m not saying you can’t do all of those things if you’re a quiet guy, but after my sample size of 3 I decided that maybe it wasn’t the right direction for me.
To close the loop on my quiet guy phase, I texted Wind Power Engineer from the first date that night to say thank you for the date, as I always do when someone has paid. He replied with “it was great to meet you too but I think we’re on different pages.” I was a little confused as to what he was referring to, and with the drinks from the two dates piling up I decided to not try and work it out and instead wrote back “hahah, this is awkward, I don’t know what you’re talking about and I can’t tell if you’re joking”. He replied “you and me, we’re on different pages, I don’t think it would work and I’m not joking”. This actually gave me the biggest laugh of the night. We were so different that I couldn’t even tell when he was properly giving me the brushoff and in fairness, it proved his point entirely.
At least in the sense of knowing we would never work, we were on the same page.