How I Changed My Hate For Online Dating Into an Experience and Fell In Love ( PART 1)
Online dating right? The land of creepy guys, sex yearning people, and the hook-up culture? I really don’t know, because I only went on a four dates and experimented with one website BUT this article is about what I experienced none the less.
Imagine this…September 2015 I am sitting in my small room that was the size of two regular size bathrooms put together. At this time I was living in a part of San Francisco called the Excelsior with amazing roommates, but I wasn’t doing too well. I was struggling with mental health issues, and was going to school at City College. I had just moved to the city after two and a half years of living with my parents, and I was lost. I didn’t know where I was in life, and didn’t seem to have any hope for the future. I had come back from Colorado in search of a new life after college after struggling with a mental health condition, and when I had moved to San Francisco it was a time of just starting over.
So here I was sitting at my desk at about 1AM in the morning, and for some reason I had this crazy idea of signing up for online dating. Look at me right now…I was the one who used to tell friends online dating was the worst idea in the world. I couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that someone would put their life on an online site, and hook up with a guy they didn’t know. I could see rape happening, I could see someone getting taken advantage of…ect. And these things really happen to people when they meet someone online (not all the time, but they do happen).
It took me an hour to find the right site to sign up with. Let’s just say the site I found was not your “regular” dating site. I realize now that it wasn’t advertised, it I think it was meant for working professions (i wasn’t a working professional, just a student but signed up anyways). The concept of the site was attractive to me. It was called How About A Date but apparently the site now changed to (https://unumia.com/index.html). Looking at the interface now it’s super confusing to see how to sign up for an account and it looks like it’s not really for “dating” but getting together for social events. Anyways the idea of “How About A Date” was to suggest a date, and then the other person would respond and say something like “I like your idea, I want to go on the date”. Then you’d exchange numbers and go on this date. I liked this idea, because often the dates were in public, like going on a hike, to a restaurant, or a cafe.
Let’s get this straight: I signed up for online dating to make a friend, but particularly to just socialize with guys. Growing up all the girls in my classes had a “guy friend(s)” or boyfriends, and I wasn’t experienced in this area. In college I sort of had a boyfriend, but it didn’t work out. It was awkward, and overall it wasn’t the kind of relationship that I had wanted to be in. I wanted to be taken off my feet, I wanted a guy that seemed like a best friend, but most of all a guy who understood me and (at that time) the struggles that I was experiencing. So here I was making an online profile to “date” and I didn’t know what I was doing, or what to expect. Truthfully, no guy really took an interest in me. I don’t know what it was, but I was quiet, and because I hadn’t socialized much with guys this online dating thing, I hadn’t even expected for guys to respond to my profile. I was expecting that no men would like my profile. It was an experiment. I had made a rule that I wouldn’t contact anyone, I would let the guy contact me and that would mean that he would have to look at my profile, determine if I was a good fit for him, and messag me.
So I took my chances, surprisingly enough on Day 10 after I had signed up a guy messaged me, interested in meeting up, and meeting me. I just remember looking at my computer screen in disbelief. A guy wanted to meet me? WHAT THE FUCK. I remember getting up, and pacing my room. Paced my room for about ten minutes, freaking out and once and a while looking at my computer screen making sure I wasn’t dreaming. That night I sat down, and promised myself that I would write this guy back. So I sat down at about 10PM, placed my fingers on the keyboard and wrote a response. The next morning, a response came back, and he suggested we meet that weekend at the Ferry Building and have some coffee. We exchanged numbers, and I truthfully had thought I had found “the one”. It felt like that. My heart pounded.
That next weekend we met, and it was quite an experience. I remember taking Muni line J down to the Embarcadero station and having sweaty hands. I remember forgetting to put make up on and freaking out. I remember worrying that I hadn’t dressed up enough, and overall nervous. I remember walking toward the ferry building, and looking at my phone. We both had agreed to text each other when we reached the Ferry Building, and I was already running 5 minutes late, and he hadn’t texted me. Could he have bounced? As I approached the ferry building my heart started to pound. It felt like it was going to jump out of my chest. I walked into the ferry building to cool down. It was a pretty warm September day in San Francisco. Then I got a text, that said this guy was “here”. I walked outside of the ferry building slowly, looking for a guy with the “Lagunitas Brewing Company” shirt. I looked left, then right. NO GUY WITH A SHIRT THAT SAID THAT. Then behind a pillar a guy stepped out with a shirt that said “Laugnitas Brewing Company”. He was tall, and was really white. That’s what I remember. For the next three hours, we sat on a bench talking about a lot of things. He was from my county (Marin County) and knew about my high school, had been to Bolinas (my hometown) and loved classical music. We talked a lot and I thought it had gone good as he walked me to the muni station. He left for his car, and I left for Muni. My heart was still pounding still in shock that everything had gone fine on the date. The next day I texted him to see what was “up”. He replied and said everything was good. We continued to talk for about three days, then I went home to my parents, and decided to ask if he wanted to get together again. NO REPLY. I sent him a picture of a sandwich that I was eating (what the fuck? stupid thing and random but if you know me you’d understand me). On iPhones you can see if someone has “read” your text message. He had read it but no response. I waited the entire day for a response. NOTHING. The next day…NO RESPONSE. It felt like someone had broken up with me. I felt betrayed. Everything on the date seemed to have gone well, but somehow it hadn’t if he wasn’t replying to me. It took me two weeks to really except me and this guy were not “meant to be”. In the end, I realized all I could do was except my fate, and battle on. At this point I didn’t expect any guys to contact me. I didn’t believe I had “that touch” that guys liked, then another guy contacted me, I went on a date and another guy contacted me, I went on a date, and then another guy contacted me, and then Aki contacted me.
One morning I had been up all night, the week before I had just gotten a dog off of Craigslist, and was high from not getting much sleep the rest of the week. I get this notification that another guy had messaged me. I take a look, and message him back at 6AM. Of course I didn’t notice that it was that early, but none the less I had messaged him. I get a message back saying he was interested in going on a hike, and asked me when I was free. We exchanged a few text messages, to finally arrange that we’d meet the next weekend and hike. Let me tell you, the week between the time that we had arranged to meet and when we were actually going to meet was the best week I had had, conversing with a guy that I was going to go on a date with. We talked about everything. We talked about british shows, we talked about how we felt about personal topics, we talked about food, and San Francisco, our childhood, and our personal beliefs on certain subjects. By the time the day came around that we were going to meet, I really felt like Aki and I had a connection.