Like many online dating interactions, it started out as promising. We “liked each other” on Zoosk, a site that has given me many possibilities but — so far – has not led to a relationship.
At first match, it was the distance that gave us both pause. I thought geography might be the deal breaker, but it turned out to be something rather obscure and weird.
Intrigued? Stuff your face with a generous portion of black sesame noodle bowl while I dissect the latest online encounter.
Mr. P’s description of his waterside life, his sense of optimism, and his love of family, cooking, physical activity (a senior Olympics competitor), and overall carpe diem philosophy appealed to me. As a bonus, he’s 6’4” and pushes my “attractometer” buttons.
I was worried that his profile did not mention any cultural, musical, or artistic interests but figured I would probe for that. I started fantasizing about living on the river. On the somewhat negative side, he’s 5 years older than me. I focused instead on the fact that he’s in excellent shape and lives a healthy lifestyle.
In his first message to me, Mr. P brought up geography issues. On a good traffic day, we live about 90 minutes away from each other. He said he was willing to correspond and potentially move forward if I was. As mentioned, I was already mentally kayaking in front of his house (he wrote he had 2 kayaks) so I said, “I’m willing to carpe diem if you are.”
We continued corresponding — moving off Zoosk to personal email. I learned we had a work connection (from my pre-retirement life) but his focus was on something I found fairly boring and technical.
Mr. P sent me pictures- of his front “water” yard and some of his 7 grand children (he has 4 children). He promised to send more family photos.
At this very early stage of interaction, I wondered if there was too much about kids and grandkids. I wanted to know more about him. I decided to redirect the focus and asked him what kind of music he listens to when cooking and whether he has any favorite hangouts for live music.
Here’s his response (verbatim with casual punctuation left intact):
“You might find this strange, I forget to listen to music, I never listen to music while driving since it distracts my thinking…I am always thinking about business opportunities, my mind never stops. Being a bit ADHD makes me more of a one track thinker. When I do listen to music I need to focus just on the music….I must admit I like a lot of the current music, but don’t listen since it distracts my thinking. I am not a multi tasker, Whatever I am working on, I must simply concentrate on that, not that and music. It works out to be an advantage, since I can come up with some awesome solutions/conclusions.”
I was concerned about his comment that he is always thinking about business. I could (somewhat) understand what he was saying about not being able to multi-task but I couldn’t imagine a partner who forgets to listen to music since he’s so focused on generating business ideas. Mr. P didn’t answer my question about his favorite live music hangouts, which made me think that wasn’t important to him.
My dream of a waterfront life started to feel like it might be a rural nightmare with limited cultural opportunities (pause for dramatic emphasis).
Then Mr. P asked, “When driving with someone, can you talk to them?” I thought that was an odd question but answered, “Yes, I can. How about you?”
His reply: “Tough question, I can drive and talk, but add music and it gets too much. SO maybe this is a killer…best to know now before we waste too much time…what do you think, I like efficiency.”
I was taken aback. The fact that this was on his mind was almost as strange as the reality of the question.
I replied that, rather than killing this potential relationship, why couldn’t we stay “in limbo.” I suggested we refrain from emailing but one day if he happens to be in my area, we could meet for a glass of wine to discuss this deal breaker.
The notion that driving and talking with music in the background would be a “killer” seemed crazy to me. I had to get on my soapbox. I wrote him:
“I find online dating such a ‘reverse’ way of getting to know someone compared to the old fashioned in-person way. For example, we end up getting more information than we would if we met at a party. In the online world, both parties make judgements without the benefit of chemistry and body language.”
I wished him well. Later that evening, he replied:
“Happy hunting, we will never know what we might have missed, but then again the unknown is rather sexy me thinks.”
Hmmm, I’d rather have the known. It’s clear that, after a 24-hour flurry of emails, Mr. P is not the one.
I’m going to go multi-task now and listen to music while exercising and reviewing the saga with Mr. P. I won’t be thinking about business. Wait, have I ever thought about business?
Until next week, happy dating or not dating.