Ahhh…young love. Remember the days of writing long letters to your lover, dropping them in the mail, and eagerly awaiting the passionate response?
Because I don’t.
I’m what marketers call a millennial and a digital native (or what my southern friends call a spinster and a future cat lady). I’m lucky if a guy I’m seeing isn’t taking a shit as he’s texting me, “What’s up?” That’s the thing about dating in the digital age. You never know what’s going on behind that screen. I mean, I guess people could have written long, passionate love letters from the bathroom back in the day, too, but I digress.
The point is I find it hard to trust people I meet online. I’m on this app that matches you with friends of your friends on Facebook, or friends of your friends of your friends. It’s a nice little incestuous dating pool so you don’t get scared that you’re going to end up in a dumpster in the back of an alley after your first night out. I met this guy on there recently who was really funny. We had a good conversation about our shared interest in watching golf. Are you asleep yet? We talked about our favorite players and joked about Tiger Woods and his… endurance on and off the course.
I was confident all this small talk was leading up to this guy asking me out. There I was, ready for “Are you free Saturday?” and instead, I got, “Can you send me a pic so I can make sure I’m not being catfished?”
Obviously, he didn’t trust me, and he didn’t think I was actually, well, me. He must have found out that, yes, I am secretly Kim Kardashian’s conjoined twin. We were separated (literally) shortly after our birth, and I was sent to Armenia to be raised by my extended family. My E! reality show, “The Lost Kardashian,” will be airing this fall. Please stay tuned.
After sending over a cute little headshot to What’s His Name, the voice of digital dating guru Aziz Ansari echoed in my head. I recently read his book “Modern Romance,” and in it he talks about how we all Google people we meet online before going out with them to make sure they aren’t secretly murderers or porn stars, or both! I decided to Google this guy, expecting to find the usual social media profiles and college pictures.
Instead, the only hits that came up were news articles about a guy accused of being an accomplice in a recent terrorist plot.
Meanwhile, I’m still chatting with this guy, trying to keep up a witty dialogue as I cross reference Google and Yahoo for more details on this “accomplice.” The sweat drips off my palms as I type and text, and I’m simultaneously thinking about all the possible headlines of the news stories that would describe my fate.
“Kim Kardashian’s conjoined twin dies during date with terrorist.”
“The Lost Kardashian: Family says she is ‘better off dead’.”
“’I thought he was a welder’: Last words of Kim Kardashian’s conjoined twin before she dies at the hands of terrorist.”
It turns out my fears were unjustified. A little more searching revealed the guy I was talking to did not have the same full name, or face, as the alleged accomplice. But I wasn’t convinced. So, after I sent my picture, I did something that I’m pretty sure no online dater has ever done before: I asked the guy if he was a terrorist.
“Can you confirm or deny that you are not this guy: [here I inserted a link to one of the many news articles I found about the alleged accomplice]?”
He fiercely denied the accusation and was understandably offended, but I think asking him up front instead of hiding my anxiety really helped us to build that missing element of trust into our relationship. He sent along a screenshot of a CNN story about the alleged accomplice that shared his name, and we had a good laugh about my ridiculous request.
“Haha — sorry I just accused you of being one of the most abhorrent types of human beings! Lol I’m an idiot.”
I wiped the sweat off my palms and our funny conversation resumed. We texted back and forth a few more times during the next couple of days, but every time I talked about going out, he balked. I could only think of one logical solution to all of this: In some Jason Bourne-style twist of fate, my memory had been erased and I was actually the terrorist. What’s His Name was a government agent sent to bring me to justice, but he felt he needed back-up before meeting me in person, so he kept putting off our “date” until the government sent reinforcements.
It all made sense now. No wonder he didn’t trust me.
I decided to stop texting What’s His Name back. As Aziz said in his book, texting is great for making an introduction, but it’s those in-person meetings that really help us to decide whether we’ve found someone who is compatible with us. What’s His Name, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry I called you a terrorist, and I wish you all the best.
How does my love story end, you may ask? Have I met anyone else along this great journey we call life? Well, I’m back in Armenia with my extended family (“The Lost Kardashian” was canceled at the last minute), and I’ve got some really exciting plans for the fall. I’ve met this guy, and he’s super into backpacking. So, we’re heading over to Turkey, and we’re going to take a little trip. I can’t wait. I have a really good feeling about this. .
Image via YouTube