Tuesday, September 10, 2013

It's Not Official Until It's Facebook Official

So, folks, here you go. The final blog post.

The first message

Toward the end of July, on a day when I had gotten home from a mediocre date that was number two of five for that week, I had a new message from a guy who I thought was very attractive.
You are quite the accomplished women. I admire the drive and the passion. I also work in tech, being a founding member of a social network out here in the bay. Tell me a little about your job, you seem quite passionate about it. What is it exactly that you do that allows you so much freedom for adventures?
Short, complimentary, and he had clearly read my profile. I clicked through to his profile. He had sunglasses on in the other two photos he had posted so it was hard to tell what he really looked like, but there weren't any creepy selfies or shirtless pics.  No red flags in the rest of his profile, though he did go to school that has a bit of a football history with mine and mentioned an interesting pop culture reference. I wrote back.
I work in HR and am lucky to be at a place that's generous with vacation time. Not sure what I think about you being a longhorn (fight on) and the d.e.n.n.i.s. system...
He responded about an hour later, and we started messaging back and forth. The cadence was rather slow. At several points there were a few days in between responses. That weekend was also my first date with Climber Guy.

Getting the first date

He first asked me out in message #3, four days after his first message. His date suggestion was dinner, which while not original is more of an investment than just drinks, and he did have a more adventurous second date hiking idea. I told him that the upcoming week was busy, which it was. I already had 3 dates scheduled and 3 nights booked with plans with friends. He waited six days to respond during which time I was starting to hang out more with Climber Guy and wasn't checking my messages too thoroughly anymore.

Five days later, when he followed up on his unanswered message, the timing started working more in our favor. Two days prior on a Thursday I had written this post pondering about how a relationship that started online actually moves fully into the real world. I should have realized that if I was thinking that much about it, it wasn't a good sign. On Friday, Climber Guy and I had an awkward conversation where it first became apparent that he wasn't interested in getting more serious, at least not with me. I wasn't in the best mood about this on Saturday, which is when the follow up message came.  The message simply said that he was still interested.

That Saturday was a bit of an emotional day, mostly concocted in my own head, but I went home and decided it was in my best interest to start responding to messages online again since it was looking likely that things weren't going anywhere with Climber Guy. For the first time in well over a week I started responding to messages and spent several hours online that night doing so. But for some reason the only date that actually got scheduled was in response to the follow up message. We sent several messages back and forth that night (28 to be exact) and scheduled a date for the upcoming Wednesday, three weeks after his initial message. He asked for my number once and I ignored the request. Then a few messages later he asked what the best way to reach me was. I said I'd message him on Wednesday.

So who are you exactly?

As Wednesday got closer, Climber Guy asked what I was doing that night. I have a date with someone else! I wanted to tell him that, though of course I didn't. He definitely suspected something was up when I was mysteriously unavailable. The whole thing made me feel guilty, as if I were cheating, but I knew it was a good idea to go on the date.

A few days later I was telling one of my fellow online daters that I was seeing a new guy that week. She wanted to check out his profile so I sent her his OKC username. As I was typing it out, the pattern of numbers he used looked very familiar. His username had his birthday in it, which was the day before mine. I then realized his username was just his actual name. A quick search and I easily uncovered his identity, including where he worked. In his first message he said he worked at a social network. The social network was actually a dating site. Oh this just got interesting.

I sent him a message asking which social network he worked at. He replied-
That's actually a very funny story. I can answer it now, or I can save it for our dinner, I'll let you decide.
I told him I could probably figure it out, since I already had, so he might as well tell me. He was completely upfront about it so I asked if he was doing research or actually supporting a competitor. To this he replied, he was actually using OKCupid for its intended purpose. I was a little skeptical, but willing to see if there was a blog post in the whole story.

The first date

Our first date went well. Dinner was lovely. We had good conversation. He was a perfect gentleman. After dinner he drove me home and dropped me off. A little bit later I got the first date follow up message -
I had a great time tonight. We should do this again.
To that I replied -
I had fun too :)
The next day partly out of curiosity, partly for blog material, I tried to create an account for the site he works at. I couldn't log in. Somehow I had created an account previously, though I don't remember doing this, and in trying to reactivate my account, I had gotten stuck in a weird error loop. I sent him a text telling him his site didn't work. I've been told there's still an open bug they're working on to fix this. I feel pretty proud of myself for finding a bug. Italian Bear understands :)

The second date

We started texting back and forth, but at this point I was still seeing Climber Guy, and I didn't at all like the feeling of seeing multiple guys at once. So I kept delaying a second date. The following week things ended with Climber Guy. First he said he didn't feel like there was a "spark", but the conversation quickly turned into how when he's in a relationship he wants to be single and when he's single he wants to be in a relationship. Whether or not there was anything I could have done differently, it was pretty clear that he wasn't ready for a serious commitment. Regardless, I was a little down about the whole thing.

I wasn't really in the mood to go on more dates so I stayed off the dating sites, but the text conversation was pleasant and fun so I kept that going. The week was busy and I had a friend and her toddler coming to stay with me that weekend so I wasn't sure if or when a second date would happen. But he was persistent and unfazed by a three year old so he joined the bunch of us for pizza. We had a fun, though very atypical, second date.

I have a blog

The following week I was out of town for work for a few days. While I was gone, we were talking back and forth quite a bit. The topic of writing came up in the conversation. Hmm, maybe I can mention the blog through this conversation. Sure enough, that worked and when I told him I had a blog on online dating, he wanted to read it. I sent him the link and he read through the whole thing. Much to my surprise, he actually liked it. Then he of course wanted to know what was happening with Climber Guy since I hadn't written any updates recently. I explained the story I told above and he seemed satisfied with my answer. We scheduled a date for the upcoming weekend.

After our third date, I went online to look through the old messages he had sent. His account was gone. He had either blocked me or closed his account. I texted my friend who had checked out his profile before and asked her if she could still see it. Account was closed. I texted him about it. He said, "It had served its purpose :)"

It's not official until it's Facebook official

Fast forward to this past Sunday. We had gone on 8 dates already and spent nearly the entire weekend together. Spending time with him was easy and fun. I was at his place doing work, and he was napping on the couch next to me. I decided to add him as a friend on Facebook. I was curious what his reaction would be. He saw the notification when he woke up, smiled, and said, "So it's official now?" I said, "Yes, we're officially Facebook friends." He had a smirk on his face, and I knew he was up to something. He said, "What if I up the ante?" Then I saw a notification come through.

I asked him if this was him asking me to be his girlfriend and he said it was. I warned him that it was going to cause a stir on Facebook, which of course it did. Someone asked if he was Climber Guy, and since the post is shared on both of our Facebook pages, all of his friends saw that too. He apparently now is teasingly being called Not the Climber Guy. He doesn't really need a nickname now since he already revealed his identity, but he gets to be called boyfriend which seems much better to me.