After spending over a year dating a guy that was in the midst of a separation, waiting for him to get divorced, when I went back to online dating, I became very diligent about checking the relationship status of my future dates. I was cool with children and past marriages but the marriage part had to be that – in the past. I was definitely done with ‘pending’. When I received the initial email from my next date, Jason, I was excited by what I read in his profile and was relieved to see his divorce papers were officially signed. What I learned, however, is that divorced is a lot different than emotionally ready to move on.
When I got Jason’s first email I was pretty excited. He was tall, had really great pictures (including some of his very cute kids), he was into sports and seemed to be witty and smart. His subsequent emails made me laugh out loud and, when he suggested that we meet up for some drinks and dinner, I was totally up for it.
We agreed to meet in my neighborhood (and he happened to live right near me) so I walked to the restaurant to meet him. As I got close, I saw this very good-looking guy walking ahead of me and, when he turned to look at something, I realized it was Jason. Holy sh*t! He was very, very attractive. I hadn’t been nervous but I suddenly was. And excited. I was very excited!
Most of what I remember about our first date was trying not to be too intimidated and constantly reminding myself that, despite what my stomach was telling me, he was not necessarily out of my league. He was even better looking up close and seemed to be a successful, on-the-ball guy. And I remember that Jason talked. A lot. Sometimes on a first date I don’t mind that – it is better than a guy that blesses you with five words – but Jason kind of went on and on and he mentioned his ex-wife more than once. But he was also pretty funny and cool and otherwise pretty awesome so, when he walked me home, gave me a hug and a kiss and asked if he could see me again, I was definitely game.
The first sign of danger came the next day when Jason sent me an email saying how I was way prettier than my online pictures and how much he enjoyed meeting me (compliments = most excellent to hear) and how he was sorry that he talked too much and it was probably because his ex-wife always did the talking and he was now making up for lost time (hearing about his ex-wife, again = definitely not excellent). But, on the whole, he was still pretty charming so I decided to just go for it.
Over the next couple of weeks I ended up going out with Jason a few times. We went out to dinner, met for drinks, he picked me up while my car was being detailed and took me to lunch and for a walk around Greenlake and it was all pretty fun. He was definitely tops in the kissing department, too. Points scored. He remodeled old houses so we went and saw some of those and climbed around in the construction, something I had never done on a date. But while we were climbing around amidst the beams he had to ruin it by talking about the house he and his ex-wife had built.
His ex-wife. He could not stop talking about her. Where she worked, what went wrong in their marriage, what kind of decorator she was (!!!), what was the best meal that she cooked – it was like there was a third person on all of our dates. I would have been totally cool with him mentioning his kids but I think he brought them up twice. But his ex-wife – it felt like we were close personal friends, which was kind of the opposite of awesome. Her I did not need to know more about.
The final straw came on what started out as a really romantic date. Jason wanted to take me to a new restaurant in our neighborhood that I had been dying to try. That seemed like a good sign (it was new so he could not have been there with his ex-wife!) so I took extra time getting ready and, to Jason’s credit, he gave me a big kiss and mentioned that I looked really good as soon as I walked up. My heart kind of lifted – maybe I was just being extra sensitive after my last dating experience! Maybe he really had emotionally moved on from his marriage and was a viable dating candidate! Too soon, I got excited too soon.
After we finished dinner Jason said that he didn’t want our night to end and that we should have a nightcap at a bar right around the corner. We were having kind of a swoon-worthy evening so I was totally up for it. It finally seemed like there were only two of us on a date! Jason grabbed my hand as we walked out of the restaurant and my hopes were definitely up. But, down, they went down as we made our way to the bar.
We had gone about a block when Jason abruptly dropped my hand and said, “I totally need to remember that my ex-wife lives in this neighborhood and this about the time that she walks our dog. Good thing I remembered! I almost got caught!” Caught? Were we still in junior high and he forgot to tell me? If she lived in the neighborhood why in the hell did he suggest that we eat and drink right in the middle of it? Did he want to get caught? Done, I was definitely done. I wasn’t down with having someone I had never even met throwing her weight around on my dates.
Jason emailed me the next day to ask when he could see me again. He wanted to know if I would maybe want to come over so he could make me dinner although, as his ex-wife had constantly told him, his cooking skills left something to be desired. Seriously – could this guy hear himself?? I just shook my head as I emailed him back to tell him that I didn’t think we were necessarily a good fit. What I should have said was that he, his wife and I were not a good match. It was a shame – Jason had a lot going for him and I definitely was attracted to him – but, if Match.com had a box to mark if you were emotionally ready to be in a dating relationship, he had no business checking it. None at all.
Don’t forget the ‘Dates With Kate’ book signing party is in Seattle on August 18th! Click here for more details. I would love to see you!