When I find myself in those conversations, I can't help but throw Dr. Warren a bone. No, I did not find my soul mate on meMarmony, and I am tired enough of their hoops and dead ends that I can pretty confidently say I am done with that site for good. But the truth is, I actually met several perfectly nice, very decent, entirely normal men on meMarmony who would likely be excellent boyfriend or husband candidates for any number of women who are not me.
In fact, I can honestly say I have no horror stories from my stints on meMarmony. I could even almost say my experience was fully weirdo-free. Almost. And then I remember The Virgin.
Online dating is a constant learning experience, and The Virgin was the first guy to teach me that meeting sooner rather than later is the best plan. Via e-mail, The Virgin was charming and clever. I actually found myself getting a little optimistic about him. And then he called me. And called me. And called me again, all just to ramble on about his day and never actually suggesting we schedule an in-person meeting. It was almost as though he thought we were in a relationship already, even though we'd never actually seen each other face-to-face. If we were in a relationship, he would have known I am not a phone person. Keeping a near-stranger company while he's running server logs at work is generally not my idea of a good time.
Eventually, I sent him a message asking, "So, quick question. Should we meet in person at some point, or are you just looking for an e-mail pen pal sort of thing?" He replied apologizing for being so slow, and we made plans to get together for drinks later that week.
I don't even remember most of what we talked about, but I do remember he had a strange, twitchy demeanor and that he dug himself in a conversational hole more times than even I ever have in a single evening. I kept wanting to give him the benefit of the doubt, kept hoping that the clever guy I'd been trading e-mails with was in there somewhere. During the course of our conversation, though, I remember him saying all of the following:
"I guess I'm kinda creepy..."
"I don't know; maybe I'm gay..."
and the one I remember most,
"I've never actually slept with anyone before."
That last one came while he was talking about his sleep apnea. I asked what it felt like, or what it meant, and as part of his explanation, he said, "I don't snore or anything..." I replied, "How do you know? Oh, I suppose ex-girlfriends have probably told you, huh?" He had mentioned an ex who he'd been with for close to two years, and since he was 34, owned his own home, and was not at all religious, I figured it was a safe bet in these modern times that she'd slept over at least once. Apparently not.
At first, I actually wasn't sure whether or not he was joking, so I ignored the "I've never slept with anyone" comment and moved on. He brought it up again, though, about ten minutes later. I can only assume that meant he was serious.
In all honesty, his sexual history (or lack thereof) was not important to me. Things happen; things don't happen... it's all fairly arbitrary. Plus, this is me we're talking about. Late bloomer, remember? I don't actually care that he was a 34-year-old virgin. But did he really need to tell me that on a first date? Did he need to tell me twice? I'm gonna go with "No."
Halfway through the awkward date that felt more like a therapy session, I was fairly certain I would never see this guy again, but I kept up the chit-chat through another drink anyway. I remember it was a painfully cold night, so I managed to escape after the date unusually quickly, with an "It's entirely too cold out here to chit-chat, so have a good rest of your night!" No hug, no "Would you like to get together again sometime?" I was out of there and sprinting back to my car in a flash.
I heard from him again, of course. It was early in my meMarmony experience, so rather than give him the standard "You're great, but I don't feel any chemistry" speech, I lied and said I'd met someone else and wanted to see how that would pan out. It wasn't fully a lie; I actually had been on a few dates with someone I could see myself continuing to get to know. Three dates in, though, that guy gave me the "I'm seeing someone else who I think I like better" line himself, and it all came cruelly full circle. He's a story for another time, though. Or rather, a story I've probably already told. Take your pick.