A big problem with online dating is how people can be so different on ‘paper’ and emails, that when you meet them in person the disappointment can knock your confidence.

I met Eoin online and he came across as an understanding, sensitive and open person. The online/phone ‘chemistry’ seemed to be there and I naively thought this might workout. Believe me if you read his messages and heard a telephone conversation you would have thought this guy is worth it. When we met in person, he seemed normal – at least I thought so. We had planned to go for a walk, but going to our destination he started getting annoyed with the traffic and he decided to change the place we were going.

Missing the point

I sensed a change in him, I didn’t feel comfortable and I couldn’t joke and flirt with him. It felt like I was talking to a different man. Thus promoted me to ask him questions about his life. An error on my side (which he gladly pointed out in ‘the’ email). He seemed to be moving things fast and I prefered to be honest and upfront from the start about where he was in his life. Having been hurt in the past, has made me very cautious to whom I open up to. I wasn’t ready to invest my emotions to someone who seemed a ‘player’. In my experience honesty right from the start is rare in the dating realm. I wanted a transparency and I believed it would create a relaxed and special friendship. He kept on telling me he was very open and for that I got the impression he valued someone being open and direct with him – obviously I was wrong!

Here was a man who couldn’t look at me, forget the smile or even the slightest interest in small talk. It was all about him, ok he did ask a question, “what was the last film I saw…” and talk about Facebook. Eoin focused on himself, loved the sound of his own voice and showed no interest in anything I said. This knocked my enthusiasm and I started to miss the point of the outing – to have fun and get to know one another! There were countless other things I would rather have done and certainly not change my work schedule. It makes sense, doesn’t it? If someone doesn’t show any interest in you, why would you want to spend any of your precious time with them?

I’ve had other disappointing dates but non turned out the way this one did. When he took me home I turned to say goodbye, I could see he wanted to go quickly – well I certainly wasn’t going to ask him in my house. He made sure I didn’t leave anything in the car because he might just have to talk to me again. Needless to say an hour or so later, he sent me a ‘creatively’ written email (he was trying to be poetic) telling me he wasn’t ready for a relationship – I didn’t ask him for one! If I had any respect left for Eoin that took it away. Maybe it was something I said or did, I didn’t wear the correct Gore-tex. Maybe I didn’t measure up to his ‘image’ of the person he was looking for, he didn’t see the “…special, interesting, intelligent, sensitive and attractive woman…” (his words!). I will never know, but at least it happened at the start and credit to him he sent me an email saying he wasn’t interested.

Now imagine if I became his ‘friend’ on Facebook (or the comments I would get on Social Me!), he would have to de-friend me with just a click of a button. Which is something I would expect from someone who spends nearly an hour on the phone talking about his life, about things he would like to do, saying that we had a special friendship going, he even gave me his home number and claimed he only gave it to special people (yeah I believed it) and the next day sends me an email saying he wasn’t ready for a relationship. It wouldn’t surprise me if he was back on the dating scene a week later fishing someone from Facebook or some other dating site.

Reading between the lines

As my friends pointed out, that says more about him and not worth getting upset about it. Nevertheless the whole experience was unpleasant and as much as he and others would trivialise it, afterall it was just a meaningless brief encounter. I had an interesting lesson, in that by observing how the behavior of others makes me feel, try to improve on that. This didn’t renew my faith in dating and honesty, but if I hadn’t thought about it, I wouldn’t have forced myself to face certain issues in my life and hence help make me a better person.

On the online dating issue, it really is worth reading between the lines in the profiles and emails, especially when one signs off with “your dearest friend” but doesn’t really know you or treat you as a friend. But looking back I would have seen this had I read between the lines. It’s usually from the ones you least expect it that turn out a disappointment, they are the ones that play the games.

Everything happens for a reason

After this I wasn’t sure I wanted to go on an other date with guys I met online, an other time waster, hear more bullshit (I can’t think of a better word), but I have. I have met some very interesting guys, I have had offers to go to Paris, to the Caribbean and (ironically) Snowdon (Eoin’s idea of heaven). The dates that didn’t work out, we have become friends and have no issues sending emails, meeting up for a drink, for a walk or even play a game of squash. My time with these guys I enjoyed and were worth the disappointment coming from the outing with Eoin… to all thank you! I have found myself thankful that my experience with Eoin turned out as it did. He would not have been the right person for me, it was all just words with him, he was too self-centred, fancied himself. This guys takes more photos of himself than parents take of their children but he claimed he didn’t like having photos taken! We didn’t have much in common, I don’t care much about football or Facebook (I like to meet my friends in person), any kind of relationship would have been around him and his life, a friendship was not there, which for me is an important element in a relationship.

I realise sometimes I just need to take a chance, but be cautious with the next charmer that comes along. Everything happens for a reason!