One of the many things that online dating has taught me is that, among other things, I am a sucker for a muscular physique. I am not proud of this focus-on-physical-attributes trait of mine, but at least I know it now and can try to use my brain to think around it. The first step is admitting I am powerless. This is a work in progress, though, which is why I ever started dating Rob in the first place and why he stuck around for a couple of months. Oh, the muscles.
When I got an email from Rob, I liked his profile although it was a bit verbose. Most guys and girls tend to sum things up in less than, oh, ten paragraphs, but I got the idea maybe Rob was trying to write a book. It was quite a lot of information on one guy in a single sitting but I liked his pictures and most of what he said was funny and intelligent. We emailed back and forth a bit – boy, this guy liked to *write* – before we decided to meet for coffee. I wanted to find out if he was chatty in person as he was over email.
Rob walked in and I thought he was cute, cute, cute right from the start. He was tall, had a close-shaved head, nice hands and was in very, very good shape. Yes, I could have coffee with him without a problem. Someone has to suffer. He did turn out to like to talk but it wasn’t in a bad way, necessarily. The conversation was very easy, we laughed a lot and we even figured out that Rob had worked with my cousin just out of high school. That took me aback just a little as, like George Costanza, I am a bit uncomfortable with worlds colliding. I asked some more questions and it seemed that Rob and my cousin no longer kept in touch so I didn’t have to worry about my dating secrets spreading through the family like wildfire. Fingers crossed.
From that first conversation I could tell that Rob was quite the athlete and lover of all things outside. I try to keep in shape and won’t always turn down a wilderness trek but I can’t say being outside is my very favorite place to be. I like to think I went to college so I can afford to buy a hotel room and not have to sleep in the dirt. But – I am open to most things so I didn’t consider his love of the outdoors to be a dealbreaker. Rob also disclosed that he was in training for an insane wilderness adventure race that was three months away so he was kind of focused on that. This thing was going to be over a week long and would require him to run, camp, mountain-climb, river-raft, bike ride and learn navigational skills. Every year people competed in this nastiness and every year someone had to be airlifted out due to some medical disaster. Oh, and he had to pay thousands of dollars to even compete and the description of the training was enough to make me want to cry.
Rob would get up at 5 a.m., ride his bike into work, spend his morning carbo-loading, go for a 10 mile run at lunch and then bike home where he would lift weights in his garage. I could see why Rob looked like such a physical specimen; keeping in shape seemed to be all he did. Even still, though, I was not deterred. I was a bit fascinated by his obsession with this race and, what the hell? It was only for three months. How bad could it be to put up with it for such a short amount of time? I thought differently about this wacky race in the next few months after Rob almost lost his job to compete. Then there was Super Bowl Sunday when he woke up at my house, ran 12 miles to his house, got on his stationary bike and rode for an hour and then ran 12 miles back to my place. All by kick-off. He was so exhausted he could barely lift the nachos and beer to his lips. It was freaking insane. I should have run for the hills (or biked or cross-country skied) but, at that point, the whole thing was like a car wreck. I couldn’t look away.
As crazy as the workout regimen was, Rob seemed to be interested in dating me and, after our first coffee date, he carved time out of his crazy schedule to take me out to dinner. We met for pizza and I actually had a really good time. He was fun to talk to, still very attractive, willing to talk politics with me and had no problem answering any question I threw at him about his family, dating life – anything. I found out at that dinner that someone in his step-family had somehow been involved in a murder where a guy ended up rolled up in a carpet, for example. Very salacious and interesting to drop on a second date but, still, I liked the fact that he was forthright. At that dinner, he also got into his history with the ladies. He had been dating a couple of girls recently, nothing serious, but he started discussing a girl that he had dated for a long, long time before they broke up and she had a kid with another guy. At the time, she wasn’t sure who the father was (WTF?!?) so Rob had to take a DNA test to make sure the little guy wasn’t his. It wasn’t his but the real sperm-donor turned to be a total jerk so Rob had stepped in and kind of helped raise this boy. As Rob was telling this story, I felt like I was at a racetrack and guys with caution flags were coming out and waving them right in front of my face. I am not a big fan of drama and Rob seemed to be in it up to his (well-defined) neck.
We finished up our dinner and I had kind of made up my mind that this would quite likely be the last I saw of Rob. I could tell he liked me and I liked hanging out with him but athletic-training and dead people in carpets and mentoring poor fatherless kids – oh my! That is a lot of drama in one guy but, I admit, I was a tad disappointed to come to this conclusion. There was something about him I liked. So, imagine my shock when I got an email from Rob the next day saying that he was afraid he couldn’t see me anymore. I kept reading, waiting to hear that the training or his commitment to being a surrogate dad were too time-consuming for him to be able to try and start dating. But, NO! Rob went on to explain that he had gotten a call from Crystal, an ex-girlfriend he had barely even mentioned, and she wanted to try and work things out with him. He felt that, in his heart, he needed to give that an honest go and, shucks, it was too bad because he really liked me. Wait just a minute, Rob! I was going to be the one to break things off with you, not the other way around. It was a bit of a knock to the old self-confidence, really. I picked up my ego, though, and decided to move on.
But, Rob and I were not yet finished. Crystal lived up to her stripper-like name and soon moved on to another guy. I got another chance with the self-professed lover of ‘nature’s playground’. Lucky, lucky me. More Rob to come…
Come back next week for part two of the Rob saga! You can also check out my book by clicking here which includes stories like this along with some of my expert dating tips.