Dating Diary - One Man’s Story Part 9

Our writer finds a match online, and they set up a first date…but what kind of chemistry will they have in person?

By Matt S.

n this installment of Happen’s dating diary, single New Yorker Matt S. finds someone online who piques his curiosity. After a few emails back and forth, she’s sent her number—and he makes the call. Will their first meeting be memorable? Read on for the answer.

Sunday, 8 p.m.
Following a disappointing week on the dating and meeting front — two dates that went nowhere and a night trolling the bars and clubs that yielded no prospects — I’m beginning
Finally, I thought, someone I’m attracted to on first sight!
this new week on a pleasant note. A few Match emails with a cute 24-year-old earned me a phone number. I’m optimistic about Carrie, as her emails are concise and show off a good sense of humor and her pics are hot! She has gorgeous green eyes and red hair just like Mary-Jane Watson from Spiderman—comic-book dorks like me appreciate the combo. Carrie even has a nose ring. I’m not usually crazy about girls with piercings, but Carrie’s nose ring is tiny and gives her a bit of a funkiness, which coupled with her creative ambitions — she’s a photographer and works in an artist’s studio — make her hot.

We just chatted on the phone for thirty minutes, which is a very good sign. It was so easy to talk to her. Can’t wait to meet her in person.

Tuesday 11:30 p.m.
I really like Carrie. Like, really like. She’s cute, smart, laughs easily—and her eyes are so green as to appear unreal. Finally, I thought, someone I’m attracted to on first sight! Carrie isn’t a stick-thin, porcelain doll-type beauty, but a rather fit and “alternative” gal with an amazing smile. Just as in her pictures, her nose ring doesn’t distract but, instead, gives her a slight edginess that wouldn’t otherwise be obvious.

The rainy weather wasn’t conducive to eating our Shake Shack Portobello burgers and milkshakes outside, so after getting our orders, I ushered us to a Dunkin Donuts nearby. Despite the shabby atmosphere (cold and wet outside, fluorescent and generic inside), I felt like the two of us sitting together glowed. Being across from her made me giddy, and I smiled like crazy. She was a bit more reserved than I, but lit up when we talked about novels we’d both read in college (Faulkner is a shared fave, it turns out), New York exhibitions we’d both seen recently, and running. She also told me a bit about scuba, which I’m eager to try. I imagined myself diving in the reefs off Thailand with this girl.

45 minutes elapsed in what seems like a few seconds, and I had to run to a league basketball game uptown—though I was sorely tempted to skip it to extend our date. I with her to my subway entrance and said, “Let’s do this again!” I leaned in for a kiss, positioning my umbrella over hers—and got mostly cheek. Or was I aiming for the cheek, and got part mouth? In either case, I bounded down the subway stairs beaming, knowing I’d have another opportunity to plant a better goodnight smooch on her the next time we hung out.

I IM’d with my friend Anne tonight as to how to follow up on today’s success: call or email, tonight or tomorrow (or Thursday)? And should I ask her out for another date for this week, or wait? Anne said to email tonight, but I think I’d rather call tomorrow.

Wednesday, 12 a.m.
I called and left Carrie a voicemail this afternoon. Why can’t people pick up their damn phones? I hate talking on the phone to begin with; leaving voicemails is even worse. Still, I feel like I was pretty cool, not overly eager-sounding—but I did suggest that we hang out this weekend. But still no call back. I IM’d Anne again, worried that maybe Carrie
I just got home from a near-perfect second date with Carrie.
was screening my calls—that perhaps I had totally misread her, and wouldn’t be seeing her again.

Anne told me, “Honey, you just called her this afternoon. She may not have even gotten your message yet. No need to freak just yet.”

She’s right. I’m sure Carrie will get in touch soon…

Monday, 12:30 a.m.
Success! I just got home from a near-perfect second date with Carrie. (She emailed me back last Friday; we made plans for this evening since she went out of town over the weekend.) We met at the same burger joint as our first meeting, but I changed course and took her to a nicer place around the corner—an Indian-Italian place. We shared small plates and enjoyed a leisurely meal. Three hours later, and we still hadn’t encountered an awkward silence. And yet there was none of the usual boring chit-chat. I hardly even mentioned my job status, which is an awkward subject (“I’m an unemployed editor officially and a freelance writer unofficially”) that comes up far too often on early dates.

Usually I have to try to remember things my dates tell me; with her, it just stuck—her bosses’ names, that her sister is a special-ed teacher, how she picks up shifts at the co-op grocery store in Brooklyn. I’d planned on taking her to another place following dinner, but by the time we left it was already eight, so instead we strolled through the adjacent park—which happened to have a temporary installation of photographers’ works. Afterwards, I walked her to the subway and, having caught the many signals she’d sent me — touching my arm, keeping her body swiveled towards mine — I leaned in to kiss her goodnight. She grabbed me, I embraced her, and it was forceful kissing, right there on the sidewalk. I can’t go so far as to say I felt it in my toes, but there were a lot of excited bits. I hadn’t had a kiss like that in forever. I couldn’t help but to smile when we came up for air. She said, “Let’s talk soon!” and I answered, “Of course.” Then we kissed again before she headed down to get her train, yelling out “Thanks for dinner” as she descended out of view.

I walked home elated. Now to try to relax and let things progress naturally. I’m already plotting out far too far into the future, imagining us spending weekends together, inviting her to be with my family and me in Virginia for the holidays… Like I said, I need to relax.

This might prove to be a mistake, but I don’t want to meet other girls right now so I’m taking down my Match profile. Besides, if she saw that my profile was still up, she might get the impression that I’m not that into her and still searching. Time to turn it off and hope the good thing that’s started with Carrie continues.

After meeting Carrie, Matt S. came to the decision that he’d rather keep the details about his love life private and end his stint as Happen’s dating diarist. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about his adventures. You can continue reading Maggie Kim’s Dating Diary here on Happen.

Matt S. is a New York City-based writer and editor.

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