I’m fully aware how out-of-practice I am in the dating department, so I specifically chose eHarmony because of their guided communication process. It's less scary. Not like Match where you generally meet up right away. I'm not ready for that.
I need a barrier.
Now, barely a day goes by that I don’t receive a request to communicate from a guy. And I decline almost ALL of them. It’s not that I think I’m that great, because if recent history has taught us anything, um… I’m not.
It’s just that if I'm certain I’m not interested -- based purely on a 30 second assessment of his profile and pictures -- I don’t want to waste his time. Or mine.
Anyway, about 2 weeks ago, I heard from a guy. Let’s call him Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the US Federal Reserve banking system. “AG” was 44, 6’1”, and owned a home in Forest Hills, NY. Never married, no kids, worked as a “US government securities compliance examiner,” whatever that is, and classified himself as someone who was good at managing his finances. I should hope so!
If the pictures were to be believed, he had blonde hair (which I don’t typically go for), nice teeth (which I do), and was as cute as a 44-year-old grown man can be. Despite the fact that he loved the Rangers, Dave Matthews, and dogs, like someone I once knew, I decided to reply.
First, we exchanged multiple choice questions and answers. Mostly stupid stuff like, if you were to go on a dream vacation, would it be to a cottage by the sea, or to Paris, or a sandy beach, or hiking? (I'm allergic to hiking.) Then we traded our top 10 relationship must-haves and can’t-stands. (Can you guess what mine might be?) Finally, we sent short answer questions, like what is your best physical feature? (My rack -- kiddiiiing -- my smile.)
Finally, it was on to open communication. At this stage, we were still emailing through eHarmony so no contact information changed hands. But he seemed nice and normal, so I moved forward.
I won’t describe what happened next, you’ll just have to read it for yourself. Here is our email exchange, unedited:
Thanks for your responses so far during these initial stages. It's been great getting to know you...and I'd love to find out more. I know you said you had written up a response to my second question (i.e. What are the most important interests/activities/beliefs you want to share with your partner? Tell me your thoughts on kids/family, living near/around NYC, music/dancing, sports, PDA/intimacy, pets, vacation, politics, and religion) but that it would not fit.
Let me know your thoughts on those items, especially intimacy. I ask about that specifically since I see that among your ten must haves that you do not have either passionate, affectionate or sexually knowledgeable. What is your opinion and desires when it comes to sharing affection and passion with your partner. An unreserved physical expression of feelings is part of the necessary communication in a long term relationship. I want someone who also wants to be able to freely express their attraction (verbally and physically) to her partner. And I'd love to know about the other issues as well.
Hope to hear from you soon,
Thanks for your note. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you too! I have to be honest, though, I’m a little uncomfortable discussing intimacy in depth at this stage. I wouldn’t list anything overtly sexual as a top 10 requirement in the person I date mainly because as a woman, I think that message attracts the wrong type of guy. I purposely selected “Chemistry” instead. I agree, both physical and emotional intimacy are critical to a lasting monogamous relationship, but it takes time to build that trust.
If you don’t agree, that’s totally ok, but then perhaps we aren’t a match. If you can understand my point of view, then please write back and I’d be more than happy to answer the rest of your questions.
While I don't want to make you discuss anything that makes you uncomfortable, I was looking for general attitude toward intimacy (affection, verbal and physical exchanges) with your partner. If it is something that is not important to you, then at least I know that before I decide anything about a chance for us. If you are on board with me on this issue, then we should move forward and talk on the phone.
As much as chemistry may include intimacy, I wish to specifically address it since I want to be able to be unreserved with my partner when it comes to expressing my high regard for her. I understand trust is needed to enable both persons to express themselves and that you do not want to attract the wrong guy, but since honesty is needed from day one, I just want to make sure we see eye to eye on this topic.
I understand that you wouldn't be verbally or physically intimate with any person early on, but I'm not into holding back feelings (especially verbally)...it's my way of always being honest.
Care to share any more details? Feel free to call me at 917-XXX-XXXX whenever you have time.
Thanks for writing back. I guess I feel like I have told you generally what my attitude towards intimacy is -- I think it’s important. I’m a fan. But now I have to be blunt -- I’m put-off by your fixation on this topic. Particularly when we don’t even know the most basic things about each other, like where we grew up or if we have any siblings. Passion, intimacy, chemistry, whatever, develops over time. Or it doesn’t.
Thanks for your number, but I really don’t care to share any more details on this topic. I wish you good luck with your search.
Okaaaay. So was it wrong of me to be totally weirded out here? Was I too harsh? Am I the jerk for not wanting to discuss this?
Personally, I think I should have turned this into a drinking game and taken a shot every time he said the word “unreserved.” I'd have been shitfaced after the first paragraph. What does it even mean, anyway?
tags: dating, polls