Tuesday, January 18, 2011

the Perfect Match & the BLOW OFF

Dear friends at The Blow Off, I’m in the midst of having been—or potentially having been—blown off and I need your advice. Now, to preface, I should mention that most non-neurotic, normal people would have no need for advice in a situation like this, as my options are probably pretty limited and what I should do pretty clear. But as a guy whose repeated bouts of hysteria prove that gender stereotypes are a bunch of crap, I am in full over-analyze mode and figured I’d reach out to you guys to see if you can’t help.

About a month ago I went on a date with someone from the online dating site OkCupid. It was amazing. Well, by my standards at least. You see, ever since my girlfriend of ten years ago dumped me, I had yet to meet a girl who could measure up to her. Sure, I had some crushes along the way, or I’d get excited by some cute girls I’d meet/date here and there, but none got me excited the way you get excited when you think, this girl is perfect for me.

This had gotten to the point where I became convinced that I had unfair standards. And about a year after I broke up with the last girl I was in a relationship with (I rarely let myself get into relationships) because of precisely the same pickiness as always—she was a great girl!—I decided that, you know what, I was going about things the wrong way. I had made a mistake to break up with her, because there was a lot that we shared that really was great. So what if she didn’t live up to the standards I had found in my ex of ten years ago. This, if you haven’t caught on yet, is the definition of settling, but that’s what it had come to. (Though you may be interested to know that when I tried to get back with her after a year of her having been pining for me all along, she let me know that just three days earlier she had gotten into a relationship and that if I had come back just three days earlier things may have been different...I wrote some blow-off posts about this, but was too touchy to post them at the time. I’m sure they’ll get up here at some point).

Anyways, all this to say that after all these years, all these girls (including eleven first dates in just a few months on OkCupid), aaaaaaaaall this pickiness, it wasn’t until this girl that I finally felt, ‘Holy shit, I just went on a first date and am super excited!’ This girl is not just cool, or just cute, or just smart, but she seems to be every friggin thing I’ve been looking for. And to be completely honest, I mostly only messaged her because her profile matched so well with mine, as I wasn’t really attracted to her pictures too much. Needless to say, we totally hit it off. No awkward pauses, tons of similar interests (middle eastern politics? sociological theory? wants to be an academic?), and the same sense of humor (she once spent a whole summer camp telling people in a Midwestern accent that she was from Kansas –this is the kind of joke that has become so synonymous with me that my friend’s call it an ‘O. Joke’). We’re both passionate about the world, both disenchanted activists and both enjoy drinking and partying to boot! Oh, and on her end, during the date she literally said, ‘Oh my god, I’ve found my perfect match!’

Now, we creep towards the sad part of the story....(the blog is called the blowoff after all). The day after the first date I drove to L.A. because I was going to be out of town for a month, but I texted her telling her I was glad we got to hang out and that I was looking forward to seeing her when I got back. Right away she responded that she had a, quote, “great time” and that she would see me when I returned (with all the requisite exclamation points and smiley faces). About ten days later we exchanged some texts, ‘how’s your time in L.A. been? what’re you doing for New Year’s? Let me know how it goes. You too! For Sure! Exclamation point, exclamation point. Smiley Face! Wink! Etc...

So far, still good. Requisite texts on New Year’s? Taken care of. Still looking good. Ten days later, I drive back to Berkeley. Give her a call once I’m there, but have to leave a message: ‘Hey, I just got into town earlier today, wanted to see what you’re up to this week. Hope you’ve been well. Give me a call.’

Wait for it....

Wait for it...

No response.

Hmmm. Wait a couple days. No response. Go online and wtf, just today she has deleted her online dating profile. Crap, impossible that she would’ve already deleted it because of me. She must have met someone else. This. Really. Fucking. Sucks.

I decide I will forego pride, and follow up with a text. The exchange is, word for word, as follows. Turn on your analyzing sensors, because I need your help here:

Me: Hey Julia, i’m guessing you met someone since i never heard back from you and you canceled your okcupid account, but I thought i’d check in just in case. You seem like a cool girl, so i figure it’s worth foregoing the whole sense of self-respect/pride thing to write again –oliver :)

Julia: thats so sweet of you to text me! i know you might not believe it but i spent all day trying to figure out how to respond to you! i didn’t meet someone but my ex from ny flew out this last week and we’re talking over alot of stuff. i didn’t want to bring you into any drama..but also didnt/dont want you to think it had anything to do w/you cus i had a great time w/you and you seem really great...so im sorry if it came off like i was blowing you off.. (YES READERS, SHE ACTUALLY USED THOSE WORDS!) i was just trying to think of how to be articulate haha (which obviously didnt turn out so well)

Me: Hey no worries...and thanks for the honesty. Like I said I felt like we hit it off pretty well so if you think things through and decide you want to hang out casually let me know...no pressure to rush into anything.

Julia: yeah of course. i mean i think things are really too complicated for me to date right now but id love to hang out anyways if you’re down.

Me: Totally understand. Since you’re going through a lot right now why dont you hit me up when youve got some time to hang out.

Julia: definitely. im going to tahoe this weekend but when i get back?

Me: For sure. Have fun on your trip :)

Julia: k thanks!

Julia: Btw, I hope you enjoy the feeling of this dagger going through your heart :)

Ok, so there was no dagger text, but there may as well have been. hehe...

So, I’ll preface by saying that I really do believe her story. The first date went too well not to. And if she wanted to have blown me off upfront, she could’ve done it a lot earlier and in much more certain terms. Still I’m not too optimistic. My brother gave some advice which seems wholly rational; just play it cool, hang out with her casually while she figures things out, but give her her space while still trying to make a good impression. Ok fine, fair enough. But I’m neurotic, so I want your help in analyzing her texts to me. Before reading on, form your own opinion of what the particularities of the text exchange imply and let me know what you would suggest. This is how I look at it. Yes, I’m crazy.

Fist, the bad:

  1. The part she is explaining herself she mentions that the reason she is doing so is so that I don’t feel bad about myself. She writes “didnt/dont want you to think it had anything to do w/you cus i had a great time w/you and you seem really great”. This would imply that her reason for wanting to contact me was to make me feel better about myself, not because she actually didn’t want to blow me off.

  2. She pretty explicitly excludes the possibility of us dating, at least in the near term: “yeah of course. i mean i think things are really too complicated for me to date right now but id love to hang out anyways if you’re down.” This sure sounds a lot like, ‘Let’s just be friends’.
The perhaps, possibly good:
  1. Her ex flew down from ny (the bastard, go away) and they are talking over a lot of stuff. Note the use of the present tense. Shit still has not been decided. And she was more than comfortable letting me know that it has not yet been decided. This could definitely be her way of saying, hey if things don’t work out I’m definitely interested.

  2. I put the ball in her court as far as hanging out is concerned, and she seems to jump all over it by proposing to hang out. The exact exchange was:

    Julia: yeah of course. i mean i think things are really too complicated for me to date right now but id love to hang out anyways if you’re down.

    Me: Totally understand. Since you’re going through a lot right now why dont you hit me up when youve got some time to hang out.

    Julia: definitely. im going to tahoe this weekend but when i get back?

    She could have just taken the bait and said, ‘Will do’. And never contacted me again. She may still do that. But she proposed a specific time frame, knowing that I could have zoned in and picked a day. While it may not necessarily be a good sign, it’s definitely not a bad sign.
All in all, I’m not too hopeful. Given the fact that the guy lives in New York, if they’ve actually decided to get back together or something like that, then there’s very little there. We all know that when you get back with someone you don’t hate them till you’ve had ample opportunity to hang out with them in-person for extended periods of time. And him being there would preclude that. And even if they’re not together, I’m still not too hopeful about the whole thing, because there’s still so much drama involved. I can’t help the fact that I’m neurotic though, so I had to end up writing this. You don’t need to tell me I’m crazy either, I already know that. Plus, it’s not nice. Any insight/advice/suggestions you do have would be well-appreciated though! Thanks!

Your friend,



  1. Dear O (side note. . . funny, that's how I start my letters to Oprah as well)

    Please run! She is looking for a plan B and you are way too good (I am assuming that bc you know Sara) to be a Plan B. She is obviously not ready to be in a relationship as it seems that she is still in one. I'm not saying that you have to find someone out there without baggage (they don't exist), but find someone with a clean slate. Plus, it seems like this girl has a bad case of passive aggressiveness! Also, I'd like to use the supply and demand theory to explain your feelings right now. . . you think you wont find someone as great as her ever again, which causes your brain to react on emotions, when after date one, how well do you know someone? Good luck on your search!


  2. O. is way too good to be a Plan B.

    First off, thanks O. for putting it all out there in this post. I take comfort in knowing I'm not the only person that analyzes things to death. i think we ALL do, so that makes us all crazy.

    Anyway, I've been the O. in this situation and the Julia. I went through a long phase of not meeting anyone I was really excited about and settling with someone until I realized I would never fall in love with them. Suddenly, I met a guy who I was super excited about in every way and it fizzled out so quickly I never knew what hit me. And I also didn't pursue a really sweet awesome guy who I was really excited about, because an ex came back in the picture (during a visit home during Christmas. the holidays fuck everything up.) things with the ex fell apart for the second time, surprise surprise.

    Based on my experiences, I think julia is making a HUGE mistake here. and hopefully she'll realize it and you can at least get the opportunity to find out whether she would have lived up to the perfect 1st date you had with her. be cautiously optimistic, but go on another date asap. If she thinks you're going to be there to wait around in the wings forever, she'll take her sweet time making a decision.

  3. Fact: She has said doesn't want to date you right now.

    Don't try to mind read and over analyze. Just respect her decision and move on. Find some girl that wants to date you.

    Or in dude-speak: Scrote up and get the fuck out.

  4. Thanks for the comments guys. But I still tend to feel it's worth it to give it a shot, barring she actually does contact me. Look, in the end I know it was just one date, and she could be batshit crazy, or passive aggressive--as Melissa suggested--or anywhere in between. In that sense, ya, whatever happens, happens. I'll probably be bummed for a couple days if she doesn't call then not care at all. But the suggestion to just date someone else misses the point a bit (unless it's for Sara's reason...which is more strategic). I actually don't have a very hard time meeting girls--and no I don't mean just one's missing a limb or something (and especially so since trying my hand at online dating). The point is, I don't meet many girls who have a shared set of interests as me (and I mean that in the broadest sense). So while I'm admittedly picky, this was the first girl in ages who for whatever reason sparked a fire (at a time when meeting girls has become easier than ever).

    In the end, who knows...maybe it's as TN said, she's just not interested. Or as Sara, Melissa and I seem to think that maybe she's got me as kind of a plan B. If that is the case, I'm down to ride it out a bit to see what happens. The post was meant to get your opinions on which of these it is, and hear your suggestions, if you had any --oh, and to contribute to the blog, cause you know, Sara is awesome :)

  5. To TN I say, easier said than done. it actually is pretty rare to meet someone you really connect with and it's not easy to just scrote up once it doesn't pan out :)

    and O., I agree, always worth it to give it a shot. and while i do think you are too good to be a plan B, i don't necessarily think that's what this girl is doing. and she certainly could have never texted you or contacted you again. give her the benefit of the doubt, but def keep one eye open. if it's that rare for you to meet someone w/ a shared set of interests don't just walk away.

    My old boss was with a guy who dumped her and instead of walking away, she basically said "i'm not letting you break up with me". they've been very happily married now for 20 years, so you never know...

  6. @saaara it's always easier said than done.

    the upside of the current situation is limited. she doesn't want to date you right now. if you're really honest and ok with being friends then that's fine. remember that friends ask their friends how their relationship with the significant other is going. if you can't do that then maybe you're not ok with being friends.

  7. TN, she never said that she's in a relationship. Her ex came out to visit and they are currently talking things over. I don't feel obligated to give him space or anything like that unless they actually have gotten back together. I won't know that till we hang out. If it turns out that that's the case, then no, I'm not going to hang around (unless I decide that it'd actually be worth it to be friends, but all things considered there'd probably be too much baggage).

    That being said, I don't intend to push things if she's still in the figuring things out stage with the ex. But I do intend to hang out and give her (and me) the opportunity to see if we really do have as much as common as it seemed. This may result in her deciding that it's time to move on from the ex. If it doesn't, it doesn't. But going back to random dating/hookups with girls I'm not all that interested in is not a path I'm looking to take just yet.

  8. If it's not too late to add my 2 cents...

    First, thanks so much for posting this O! It's awesome to see that boys analyze and over-analyze these things as well.

    I'm with everyone else in thinking she has you as a Plan B but I also say that when you connect with someone, it's hard to let that go when things are essentially uncertain. I agree w/Sara about being cautiously optimistic while keeping one eye open.

    I've been on both sides of this and I'll just leave you with something my good friend's mother told me when I was on your side of this situation: what is for you won't get by you. It helped me calm down and just wait a bit while considering others. In the end the guy wasn't for me but I have plenty of examples from other friends where they waited and it turned out that person was for them.

    It's too early to dismiss her entirely and just hanging out to see if she's even what you want or hoped she would be is a good idea. Maybe she's not and then it won't matter whether or not things work out with the ex.

    Anyway, good luck! And please keep us posted!

  9. I LOVE that! "what is for you won't get by you."

  10. Thanks for the comment AN. Wise advice, for sure. I'll give an update within the week. It's already not looking too good though. It was last Thursday we had the text exchange where she said she'd be going to Tahoe. At this point, I don't think I'll reach out unless she does. Perhaps in a month or so I'll add her on Facebook with a link to this post, just so we can all get a good laugh out of it.

    Actually, for all I know, she could be the one posting as TN telling me to go away. hehe.. :)

  11. O.!

    From one guy on OKC (me) to another guy on OKC (you) I'd do the following... Let her contact you. Don't reach out to her. Drop it. If she comes to you - great. Otherwise you're trying for something she's not into BECAUSE... She's not done with he BF and until she is, and even if she is, you're the rebound. Don't be the rebound. Being the rebound is a ticking clock to doomsday. A rebound is not a Plan B. A rebound is a stepping stone to someone else. AND... The fact that you care says a lot about the person you want to meet and date. If she's not showing you that respect already you're probably not going to find it in her at all.

    Best of luck!

  12. Yo, thanks for the note Keith. I definitely won't reach out anymore, but if she does contact me, I'll probably risk navigating the through the potential rebound space. Take care man!

  13. Heh, I'm some dude that's known saara since kindergarten :)

    i'll put this a kinder and gentler way: do you really want to be friends with her or do you want to date her?

    if you want to date her then say so. "Hey I think you're great and I like you a lot and so I think it would be hard for me to be just friends with you."

    if you want to be friends then say so... I have no practice with this, so be honest. be warned though, if you're going to be real friends (whatever "real" means) then you got to be ok with her dating other people and possibly telling you about it.

    either way, be honest with her and with yourself. being honest doesn't mean being a jerk, be honest and kind.

    also, i think "nice guys" feel that "let's be friends" means "maybe date sometime when i realize what a nice guy you are". don't trick yourself and try to mind read her. let me repeat "Let's be friends" means "Me + You = No sex". so don't be the nice guy that get's all pissed off when you're surprised she doesn't sleep with you.

    Let me repeat my original recommendation: move on and find a girl that wants to date you. you've only put a little bit of time into this girl and learned that she may get back together with her boyfriend. either way she's not free and clear and hasn't moved on from her ex. don't be the rebound. don't get caught up in some relationship clusterfuck.

    also, you've found one girl who likes you. i suspect there are more out there. walk around like you know that there are more girls out there that want what you have to offer. (ladies back me up here, confidence is sexy)

    a couple tips:
    - good posture
    - smile
    - be curious about people
    - know what you're great qualities are (talking, listening, sports, music, movies.... being good at World of Warcraft is not a turn-on for most girls)
    - at the end of the day, be the person that you want to be and that makes you happy and if some chick isn't down with that... tell her to get the fuck out and make space for some girl who is nuts about you (i know this is super corny, but that's how you become confident, by knowing what your strengths are and what your weaknesses are and knowing that you'll survive rejection)

    (damn i should write for this blog ;)

  14. TN, I don't think we're understanding each other really well. But honestly, your tone, with the whole World of War craft comment, is coming off a bit douchey. Anyways, it's not a big deal, but I already told you that it's not a matter of finding a girl who likes me --believe me, that's not a problem. For modesty's sake, I'll leave that at that.

    I am however very particular in my tastes and interests. And since this was the first girl in years that really had everything I was looking for (at least as far as a first date is concerned), I obviously got more excited than is reasonable. It's cool for your to make light of that, that's a part of the deal when you blog about something like this. But since you got a bit douchey with the whole thing, I figured I'd stand up for myself.

    And finally, no word from her after about a week anyways, so that's probably the end of it. To me, it sucks...but what can you do.

    And since you mentioned it, if you've got some blow off stories to blog about, send them Sara's way. I'm sure she'd be happy to put them up.


  15. I'm sorry you have to feel like you have to defend yourself, I didn't mean to make you feel attacked.

    My perspective is that the minimum requirements for a romantic relationship to work is that both people have to want to be in it.

    She's said that she doesn't want to be in one with you right now. And that's fine, she's making the decision that thinks is right for her.

    My advice is that the best decision for you is probably to move on.

    (wrt to the WoW comment, in my experience, women love to talk but few are interested in talking about WoW -- i play video games, but most women i've met aren't into video games so it's not something we can have a conversation about)

  16. Which of you blew off this post by unclicking the funny box? It went from 3 to 2. It was you, wasn't it TN? You bastard!

    Hehe, just messing around...though someone did unclick! :)

  17. dude, i don't know why that happens, i honestly think it's a blog glitch. another post by ad naseum had 7 cools and now they're down to three or something. fucking blogger!

  18. haha, that's pretty funny :)