Selena is a 39-year-old health-care worker and single mom. She says “I like to think I’m classy; at least, I dress well and maintain good hygiene and grooming!” She says “My best friend has nicknamed me ‘Chill’ — I’m relaxed. Some people have told me I’m an anomaly, for a mom.” Selena loves music and travel, and says “I’m part of a great social crew full of moms who regularly get together for VIP movie dates.”
At the time that I met Kenneth online, I was communicating with a couple of other men from the same site and was actively but not exclusively dating. I instantly felt that I had so much more in common with Kenneth than the others. We were having great conversations, which were witty, cute and frequent, through text messaging. We texted almost every day. In his photos he was very attractive. I was actually showing his pictures off to many of my friends, which I don’t normally do. All of my eggs were in Kenneth’s basket — I had us married before we even met!
Kenneth told me that he had tickets to an event that I was also going to with some friends. We agreed to meet at the intermission and have a drink. At the same time, he started planning to meet me for a real date about a week later and another event we were both interested in. It was all working out in my mind. I was so excited.
My friends thought my plan to meet Kenneth at intermission was hilarious. Kenneth and I had been texting throughout the event, talking about how great the performer was and how nervous and excited we were to meet.
At intermission, I got to the meetup place and waited for what felt like forever for Kenneth to arrive. I actually started to get nervous that he had seen me and decided he didn’t want to meet after all. I bought both of us drinks and was about to give up on him, when I saw him heading toward me. He was exactly as he described and what his photos had shown: very attractive and certainly my type.
I thought we had locked eyes and I assumed that he had recognized me from my photos. But, instead of walking up to me, he walked up to these two other women and started chatting with them. He was openly flirting with one of them, right in front of my eyes! I wondered if he’d just seen two attractive women and decided to go for it. Then I thought maybe they were friends or acquaintances, but he was standing close enough that I overheard him eventually say to the one he was flirting with, “Oh, you’re not Selena?” I could tell by their reactions that they weren’t interested in him. It was only after he realized that he wasn’t actually talking to me that Kenneth turned around and saw me.
However, before approaching me, he went to the bar, ordered a drink, and started openly flirting with the bartender! He was even closer to me while talking to her, so I could hear everything: he was giving her compliments, telling jokes. I was annoyed. We weren’t an item; we hadn’t even met yet. I was just upset about what was happening right in front of me.
The one thing that I kept thinking about as I contemplated walking away was the first date that we had planned for the next week. I really wanted to attend the event and he was the only person who seemed interested and willing to go with me.
After getting a drink at the bar, he finally made his way over to me. It was like those three minutes happened in slow motion. I wanted to give him a chance, but when we finally started talking, I realized he was, or seemed, a bit drunk.
I cut our meeting short. I made up some excuse about getting back to my friends and my seat and going to the bathroom, really anything that I could say to get away from him at that moment. I felt a bit bad about running away, which I literally did. He made some remark about our first date and that he couldn’t wait. My response was ambiguous — I knew I wouldn’t be going.
I went back to my seats and told my friends how it went. They had a great laugh, but I was still dismayed.