Have I ever dated anyone from OkCupid?


(OkCupid original post date: 5/7/12)

The short answer is yes. There was this one guy. He deleted his profile years ago, and I have no idea if he’s still around with a new account. Here’s how the long story goes…

It was early 2005. I had just moved to San Francisco after spending a crazy year in Beijing, where I did a lot of growing (as a person, not weed) and also did many fun and stupid things. I was supposed to go to Canada for college that fall, so I had about 6 months to kill. I moved in with a family member in SF and found two part-time jobs. In my downtime, I was pretty bored. How do you meet people when you’re in a new place and don’t know anyone your age? That’s where OkCupid comes in. I’d made an account about a year ago to take some tests, so all I had to do was update some information, change my location, and I was set.

I’m on chat one night, and this guy messages me. He’s close to my age, lives in the city, and he’s going to school for something like creative writing. We chat for a bit, and we’re getting along. We figure out that we only live about a 20-minute walk away from each other, so instead of beating around the bush with all the chatting and messaging, we decide we’re going to just meet in person. I didn’t have any real concerns, but I should mention here that his OkCupid personality test says he’s a Hornivore (RBSM). Partial description of this type:

“Don’t ever marry, you’re The Hornivore. Roaming, sexual, subhuman. The Hornivores (you) are some of the most screwed up and naughty beings in the Universe… Half manly, half bestial, you act on instinct, and animal charisma smoothes the way. It’s unlikely you’re driven by much other than your own selfish, orgasmic requirements. Your appearance and personality have evolved for the hunt. Ass beckons, you oblige.”

I read this, and I’m like, “Eh, whatever. Those tests don’t mean anything.” So we meet. He’s an interesting person, intelligent and confident in that nonchalant way that I like. I’m attracted to him. We meet a few more times, and then one evening, we go to a party at his friend’s house. I have a good time. He has a good time. After the party, we go back to his place.

We start doing this thing, where we’d hang out in the evenings, sleep together, then I’d either go home, or stay the night then leave the next morning. Not too long after this arrangement began, I started to notice a pattern. When he drank (in the evenings), he acted really warm towards me. He was never a sloppy or obnoxious drinker, always a happy one. He was caring, affectionate, and nice. One evening I showed up to his apartment (which we’d agreed on earlier that day) and he was halfway down the block, car keys in hand. I stopped him and asked where he was going. He said he was on his way to pick me up so I wouldn’t have to walk to his house. Um. Aside from the drinking and driving factor (I would have never let it happen), I thought that was sweet.

When he was sober, it was another story. The warmth evaporated. He became far less interested in me and far more distant. I tried to understand this. Does he actually like me? Is he just interested in sleeping with me? Maybe. Probably. It wasn’t the worst, because I wanted it too, but I did feel confused all the time and thinking about it was starting to drive me crazy. If he just wants to sleep with me, then why does he do and say these things sometimes that makes me think it’s more than that? It was the not knowing that was bothering me the most. If you read one of my older posts, you might remember me talking about “emotional fuckery.” This was one of those times.

At this point in time, we’d been acquainted for about two months, and I felt like I needed to resolve this. I called him during the day (before any drinking had occurred) and asked if I could come over. He said sure. I got to his place and started talking. “I don’t want to keep doing this. I’ve never been the type of person to do the casual sex thing, and I don’t want to continue. It doesn’t make me feel good.” He looked at me, then said a few things that basically meant, “Okay, that’s fine.” I left, feeling ambivalent. Good because it was done and because I didn’t let it go on for longer, but also bad because I liked him more than I cared to admit, and also because he was so indifferent about me leaving.

Two days later, I get an OkCupid message from him. It’s lengthy. Since this whole thing happened over seven years ago and he’s not someone I have any kind of contact with, I don’t think it would be too terrible to write part of his message here. He was a writer after all, so his own words can probably explain the whole thing a lot better.

I think, perhaps, one of the reasons you don’t feel like you understand me is because I don’t fully understand myself either. […] Lately, I just do what I do. Sometimes what I do is very static and melancholy – at other times, I feel so caught up with excitement and direction I want to kiss whoever’s nearest. I’ve been accused of being bi-polar before; an accusation which I’ve always adamantly dismissed, but looking back on what I’ve just written you, and seeing how true I find it to be, I don’t know if I’m ready to brush off the charges as flippantly as I have before.

I know this isn’t of any concern to you, indeed, much less now than it may have been even two days ago. What you wanted when you came over the other day wasn’t to know more about me, or rather, if it was, it was for the purpose of better understanding the ways in which you feel you’re being treated. I understood that, and understand it now.

What you wanted me to tell you is “I like you. I like having you around. I like it when you sleep-over. I think you’re cute, and fun, and exciting and I think if I was to let you in, you could make me very happy. I think you’re sexy and seductive and warm.” These are all things that sat heavily on my tongue as you stood opposite of me in my room. But, instead of saying these things, I only said that I could understand where you were coming from, that I am difficult to read, and that if you feel uncomfortable with that, maybe it’s best that you get out before I cause either of us irreparable damage. I want you to understand me. I want to understand myself. I want you to know that I do. All of those things I said I couldn’t say, I do. You’re magnificent, and while I still think you may have been right in pulling the plug on us, don’t think for a second that you haven’t been appreciated. You have, and are.”

After reading that, I melted a bit on the inside. What 18-year-old girl wouldn’t? He does like me. He wants to be understood. I’m not crazy. This can work. I call him and ask if I can come over. He says yes. I get to his place and we talk a little, then he asks if I want to be his girlfriend. I say yes. He changes his behavior, stops with the hot/cold treatment, and we have a long, loving, fruitful relationship.

Ha, did I fool you? That was so not what happened. Here’s what really happened. I got to his place and we talked a little, then he asked if I wanted to be his girlfriend. I said yes. It went really well for a while, maybe a few weeks, then he started reverting back to his old behavior. I told him I didn’t want to be his girlfriend any more, but we could keep seeing each other. He was okay with this arrangement.  I felt like this time it was different, because at least I had a better idea of where I stood. Being his girlfriend carried too much emotional responsibility.

He went away on some trips. He wrote a postcard. I start dating someone else (from volunteering, not OkCupid) and continued to see him when he returned. Both guys knew what I was doing and seemed okay with it. At some point, I had to make a choice between who I wanted to keep seeing, because I couldn’t sleep with two different people. While I don’t have a problem with anyone else doing it, it would feel strange to me, even it both parties didn’t mind.

He finally does something to push me over the edge, and I’m done for good. He was supposed to pick me up/meet me late one night after I got off work, and he flaked. He wasn’t answering his phone and it was sketchy as hell where I was waiting for him. After finding my own way home, I sent him an angry message over OkCupid. He explained himself. I told him I no longer cared if what he did was intentional or unintentional, because it still felt like shit on my end. He wrote back and said he was really sorry, etc. etc. He ended his message with, “PS. Wanna hang out?” I wrote back, “No.” I started dating the other guy seriously, and we ended up having a loving, fruitful relationship that lasted three years.

So that’s my one and only OkCupid story. All in all, no regrets and many lessons learned. Some people don’t really change that much from their natural tendencies, even if they say they want to. If something starts off with red flags, it’s probably going to continue in that way. Don’t keep going with something that doesn’t feel right from the start, whether you’re a guy or a girl. And finally, don’t completely dismiss that OkCupid personality test. There might be some validity to it.

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