#1 – Jay

Jay and I met on OKCupid.

I swooned over his cheekbones and his stated love of my favorite SF author. We chatted books, movies, investing (which was admittedly a little strange), and careers. After a few exchanged messages, I asked him if he’d like to meet.

He said yes.

We set up a “coffee” date, although since I don’t drink coffee, it was more like a pastry date for me. Because of busy schedules, we set it up for a full week in the future, on a Sunday afternoon. We kept trading mails through the week, with a very regular one message a day.

The Friday before our date, Jay sent me this mail:

Holy smokes. I just got back from a date with a nurse. Lovely lady, but she won’t discuss her job or patients. We had nothing to talk about other than her abiding love of children and her need to have children of her own. I told her that I’ve been planning to move back to the west coast if my job ever lays me off, and that they may do so soon. I don’t think we’ll talk again.

Now then. You’re a church-going single mother of three. I’m positive that we could be the best of friends, but at some point, I’m going to move back to Seattle. Are you all right with this?

I think Jay may have been drunk when he sent this.

I responded:

So… that’s a fairly loaded question. I’m not sure how to answer it.

I’m also… not entirely sure what the context of the question is. Are you asking, “Are you okay with the idea that even if we hit it off, this may end up being a short-term deal?” or “I am looking to date people who could see themselves moving to Seattle sometime, are you in that category?”

My answer to the former is, “Yes.” I’m not closed to the idea of finding True Love(TM), but I’m also not expecting to find it around every corner. I’m looking to experience life, to have fun dating, and to see what grows from it.

If you’re asking the latter… I’ll say that my first reaction was a fairly instinctive, “No!” I was born in New England, raised here. Went briefly to college in the midwest, and then transferred back. I like New England. I have family here and roots here. There are also, frankly, custody complications. I have sole legal and physical custody of my children, but I can’t move them out of state without legal rigmarole — and frankly, I wouldn’t want to move them that far from their dad even if I could do it at my whim.

But I also think that’s… well, putting the cart before the horse is putting it pretty mildly. If it’s a deal-breaker for you, I respect that, but I’m not trying to look that far down the road at this stage. There are a thousand other things that could get in the way, or could change in unexpected ways.

Does the church-going single mother of three bother you? I know there are a lot of people who would consider either to be an automatic no, but I feel it’s important to put it out there, because if people are going to say no once they know, I’d rather they weed themselves out in the early stages, rather than once I’ve invested emotional energy in the process.

He didn’t respond.

When I double-checked the time a little before 1PM today (date day!) I saw that he’d deleted his profile.

I was not shocked to get stood up.

I consider this a fabulously successful first bad date. He was a promising candidate for a while, then went slightly patronizing, then vanished without a trace.

And I bought a pecan braid and a frozen lemonade, and they were delicious.

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