Betty is a 36-year-old publicist. She says, “My style is a combination of ‘rocker chic’ and ‘bohemian.’ ” Betty says that she “tiptoes the fine line between confident and cocky,” is an “adrenalin junkie” and that she “isn’t afraid to take charge and stand up for what I believe in.” She says, “I love track driving, movie marathons, bourbon, and jogging on the beach.” Betty is divorced and has been single for six years and describes her dating life as “a Taylor Swift song.”
Before I decided to test the waters on dating apps, I was on a more conservative dating site, which was where I met Peter. He sent a great first message about how he was the spontaneous type, always living in the moment, trying new things, living on the edge. I was entering serious cougar territory for the first time with Peter, who had just graduated university. I think that the year he was entering high school, I had finished university and was married.
He was a tall, thin, apparently sexy gym buff, and other than his height and good looks, he was far from my usual “type.” But, I was looking for something different, more meaningful. Maybe this was it, or maybe I just wanted to recapture my youthful, vibrant self. Plus, his age meant that he was less likely to want to give up his freedom and I was in that same place.
We messaged back and forth for a couple of days before organizing a time to meet, and when we did it was at an out of the way spot. He was on time, but just like his profile had promised, seemed like a free spirit. After our warm drinks, we left to explore the neighbourhood. He told me right away that he hadn’t had a serious relationship since high school, because for him there was too much compromise and sacrifice.
We ended up close to the National Museum at Onikan. After spending most of my life around that axis of town, I had seen my share of the whole ‘history of our nation’ building, but I let him have his moment. He had an interest in architecture, he said, and I had a desire to be spontaneous. He took me on a tour. He had a flirtatious smile, but I mostly I felt like a tourist and like he was my guide, even though, there was a guide. I did think that this could make for a fun role-play game, however.
We entered a room lagging behind others. There, Peter took my hands in his and leaned in for a kiss. I lost myself in the pure pleasure of it, even though everyone’s hands were well above the belt. That kiss changed the tone of the “tour” and led to some serious grabbing in front of some stained-glass windows. Peter asked to come back to my place, but I said no. Not so fast guy.
We texted back and forth, but my life was so busy I couldn’t commit to dates. I went off the dating site, but returned a while later. Peter had forgotten about me, and sent me the exact same first message as before. I curiously responded as if it was our first time corresponding. We organized a time to meet, and when I arrived, he didn’t recognize me. On our second “first date,” I realized that everything on our first-first date was planned, including the “spontaneity.” I found myself on the same tour, with the same first kiss and the same subsequent make-out session. The entire time, he never clued into the fact that we had done the same things before.