“There wasn’t a connection.”
“We just didn’t have a spark.”
“There’s something missing.”
These are all things that you’ve probably either heard or said when discussing a first date. Within the first few minutes, you’re able to recognize the fact that there probably won’t be a second date because you have literally nothing in common with the person sitting across from you. I’ve never experienced this phenomenon. Maybe it’s because I’m a hopeless romantic, maybe it’s because I’ve got more charisma than I know what to do with, but I’ve always found some way to connect with the person who I’ve chosen to spend that time with.
That is, until last week.
When I matched with Alicia on Bumble, I was pretty hyped about it. She was into 90s-early and 2000s rock. When I asked her what she drank, she responded by saying, “The kind of drink that has alcohol in it.” She apparently did this thing where she wore black lipstick, which kind of made her look like a vampire but I’m into some weird shit so I looked past it. Alicia was effortlessly cool, and I was confused about why she was even texting me.
Half drunk on a Tuesday night, I asked her if she wanted to get drinks late on Thursday night. I wasn’t expecting her to say yes. I’ve been working weird hours this month and was going to be getting out of work at 9:00 p.m. No sane person would schedule a date for 9:30 p.m. on a Thursday night. It’s too late at night and by that point on a Thursday, you’re either going to bed or you’re on pace to have a killer hangover on Friday.
For some reason or another, she said yes. It was a hesitant “yes” (I believe her words were, “That’s a little past my bedtime, but I can swing it.”), but a “yes” nonetheless. I was shocked and excited. That morning, I ran a mile further than normal. I trimmed my beard up a little bit. I used my fancy soap in the shower. I spent the whole day wondering what she would sound like and whether or not she would be taller than me or what was wrong with her that would make her want to see me.
But as the day wore on, all that overthinking made me grow tired. I had to close out my day with a two-hour-long presentation that I wasn’t prepared for at all. I don’t know if you guys have ever talked out of your ass for two hours straight, but it’s pretty damn exhausting. By the time I was done, all I could think about was my bed and how my desperation to meet this girl ultimately set me up for failure.
The bar was emptying out when I got there, despite it not closing until 2 a.m. I sat at a table, ordered a Whiskey Ginger, and waited for Alicia to walk in. I found myself thinking that I should have called it off. I had plenty of opportunities to reschedule, but I was so concerned with getting to know this girl as soon as possible that I thought I could fight through any negativity I was feeling. Well, now I sat at this table in a sports bar knowing full well that I wasn’t at 100% and praying that I wasn’t showing it.
Alicia was smiling when she walked in. No black lipstick, but that was fine. She had curly blonde hair and was wearing a simple dress with leggings underneath it. There were no hugs, no handshakes. Only a simple, “Did you have any trouble finding the place?” Any other night I think we would have really hit it off. We have similar tastes in music, we both like binge drinking, we both want to check out Alaska, we caught each other checking each other out…all the signs were there that it could work, but it didn’t.
Maybe I was just phoning it in. Maybe if I was legitimately trying, I would be writing a column about how I’m thinking about inviting my Bumble date to my birthday bar crawl this weekend. Maybe the only reason I’m feeling like this is because I’ve never not hit it off on a date before. Honestly, I’m kind of bummed about it. I was really hoping that Alicia and I would spend the weekend texting each other about our respective plans and inevitably running into each other on a 4 a.m. bar.
Sure, I texted her the next morning to say that I had a great time and that I hoped we could go out again sometime. She responded saying, “Same! Hopefully next time I won’t be so boring.” I guess she was able to read my face. Despite my efforts, I don’t think I was able to convince her that no, I didn’t think she was boring. I just was having a long day.
There wasn’t a next time. I don’t think there will be. Actually, I didn’t hear from her again all weekend. I sat on my couch on Sunday night watching How I Met Your Mother on Netflix and texted her, “Hey!” So far, no response. .