A surprising thing that has happened to me since I started trying to find love on the internet almost five years ago is the number of people I have met because of it that are not men from Match.com. I have made friends with people that read my blog and talked to all kinds of folks that are fellow fighters in the online dating wars. My next date, Erik, is one closest to my heart and, although I didn’t first see his face in a profile picture, I never would have encountered him were it not for online dating.
My first encounter with Erik was at a bar in my neighborhood. I was there with a girl who was a friend to discuss her experience with online dating. She had recently met a guy she was over the moon about on Match.com and she wanted some advice and to swap some stories. We had just gotten our drinks when these two dapper guys walked and, luckily for me, picked a spot at the bar where I could easily see them. Both of the guys were attractive, but I could not stop looking at one of them. He had glasses, a shaved head and there was just something about his smile…I LIKED.
Somehow the two of them got into a rousing discussion with the bartender. Sensing an opportunity, I jumped in with a comment. The cute one laughed and gave me a big grin and my stomach just kind of dropped. He was SO adorable! Our drinks were almost finished when the two guys ambled over to my friend and me to say hello. Yes! They bought us another round of drinks and we just, so easily, started talking. The one I liked, Erik, was even more attractive up close. I could just tell that we had a connection, probably something to do with pheromones or chemistry, but there was definitely something there.
We talked for about half an hour and I was developing a major crush on Erik. He was smart and funny and smelled good – it was all very exciting. The he dropped the bomb. It turned out that Erik and his friend were having drinks because Erik was moving to California in three days. F*ck me. I should have known. I wanted to put my head in my hands and cry. Erik saw my disappointment immediately and said, “This night is making both of us sad, lady. It is killing me that I am meeting you tonight of all nights.” That made me feel better but it was still a huge disappointment.
Our friends left and Erik and I stayed at the bar a little longer by ourselves. It seems strange to say I did that with someone I had known for a couple of hours but it felt like I had known him for years. Erik walked me home, politely asking if he could hold my hand along the way, and gave me a kiss before we said goodbye. Of course he was an excellent kisser. Of course! Swoon.
Erik and I saw each other two more times before he left for California. We did not sleep together – although it was very tempting – but we both had a sense that there would be another time in our future to do that. We did a lot of kissing, he made me a CD of some of his most favorite songs and we went out for dinner and drinks. It was an amazing few days. The night before he left, Erik came over to say goodbye. He had a glass of water and I left that glass out on my coffee table for a good month after he left because it made me smile to think of him every time I saw it.
Erik is still down in California and we text or email every now and again. I sent him a copy of this story and he told me it makes his heart happy to know how awesome it is that we met each other on some random evening in some random bar in Ballard. It is one of my dreams to move to a sunny place and my brother does live in San Diego which is less than an hour away from where Erik is. There’s a part of me that thinks I will end up there someday and just maybe, maybe, Erik and I will get to see each other again in the sweet sunshine and create the perfect ending to our story.
The ‘Dates With Kate’ podcast will be returning with my new co-host, Katie, by the end of April. Also, my book, ‘Tales and Tips From An Online Dating Veteran’ will be available this summer. Stay tuned!