Have you ever noticed how two people experience their First Date, yet can tell you two completely different stories about the what and how? Yeah, thats how this story gets going. I know our paths were meant to cross, according to astrologists, but thats a story for another time. What I will tell is a few of the circumstances of how I came to meet the woman that changed EVERYTHING in my single dad life in a single encounter. The HOW “DallasSingleDad” met THE “DallasSingleMom”. At least my version of it.
Oddly enough, DallasSingleMom and DallasSingleDad met via an online dating app. I say its odd because I was the equivalent of a hermit with regards to online activity. No twitter, No Instagram, No Periscope, Meerkat, Pinterest, Blab, Yelp. Imagine that! Hell, I barely had a Facebook account and my smartphone was only to lookup directions and places to eat and pass time in the doctors office (or at work). Yet there I was signing up for a dating app. The infamous TINDER app. Its the dating app commonly referred to as “the Hookup” site among my single friends. I setup a profile after a friend SWORE by it for quick date availability. I still laugh because without any selfies, I had to borrow a few pics from other peoples FB accounts (online HERMIT, remember). Not long after and a few mismatches / bad dates later the hermit is about to run head on into a Media Maven/Blogger with enough online prowess and lightning fast navigation to make anyone feel like they are still using dialup. Those mismatches got me a little prepared though. I changed my profile description and made it clear that I was a Father of three, not looking for a hookup and generally not really looking for anything but someone to go out with and get a break from daily “daddy” duties. Most Importantly – I had VERY limited time for dating. “Tinder’s” version of “Nope, I’ll Pass” is the “left swipe” and I was doing it on almost every potential match the app showed me. Any I did swipe yes to, obviously weren’t reciprocating because I went without ANY matches for a while. No big deal. Give it a few weeks.see what happens. I was tired of bars and clubs anyway and was very tired of the cat and mouse games most women were playing. Single Dads just don’t have time for that mess. I was just enjoying hanging out with friends and my kids on alternating weekends. It was working for me so far. I was rediscovering my social single self just fine.
Once I had narrowed down my focus for the type of women I wanted to meet and really paid attention was when I came across her profile. It was one of those pics you see on magazine covers where the girl is mid-laugh and leaning toward someone out of view beside the photographer. It was a professionally shot photo. It still looked genuine enough, so I read her profile. Her info was similar to mine except it had that feel of being more experienced with being single. “No hookup, lets just have a date and see what happens, Dont be a jerk.” I know its far from what she actually put down but that’s what caught my attention. The other profile pics had similar posed shots so I knew this one had put some effort in. I was skeptical at best, but this one had something going on besides being pretty. I swiped right and immediately the app let me know we had matched up. This meant she had already swiped right on my profile – GAME ON.
I sent her a message immediately as to not forget to respond later. It was threewords; simple and corny – “Well, Hello there”. My goal was to just be interesting enough and show a little of my quirky side without being a douche. It worked. We went on messaging for a day or so and then I asked to meet up for a date after I did enough of the “Is this one crazy?” routine. She’ll even tell you about the time she asked for my birthday and I gave it in binary code to see if she’d figure it out or get flustered. Nothing shows someones default behaviors like pushing their little buttons. I found out pretty quickly that she had a great sense of humor when she got me back by sending a pic of herself trying on a wedding dress and texting “guess where I am right now” on April Fools Day. She even sent me a link to the article she was writing and took the pic for just to ensure me she wasn’t nuts a little while later.
The day before our first date, I asked her if we could talk on the phone first. As I said before, I had enough bad dates and wanted to see if this one could actually hold a conversation instead of the typical “let me take a selfie” or “lets play 20 questions” about nothing that matters like what car I drive, how much I make, where do I live ETC. In case you are wondering ladies, this irritates guys who are trying to get to know you and aren’t peacocking. We don’t mind questions, but definitely want to know something substantial that tells us WHO you are and whether you are staying in friend-zone or serious dating material.
I still don’t remember if she called or I did. What I do remember is that I cancelled an appointment with a client to finish talking to her for the couple hours we were on the phone. Needless to say that conversation left me leaning to the “dating material” with regards to her. We had decided on going to an outdoor festival for maybe a one hour date to grab a bite to eat and walk the art festival. I was very clear on one thing I knew upset some other potential dates – GOING DUTCH. This girl though, said only one word when I mentioned it- “PERFECT”. She did continue to throw some curve balls minutes before our date. I was running behind due to normal “single-dad-with-kids” issues. My son wasn’t at my home and had forgot some clothes. I texted her to let her know I had an errand to run and she immediately responded with plan changes. She called me 30 minutes ahead of schedule and asked me to pick her up early on the other side of downtown from our original meetup point. Little did I know this was her own “test under pressure” routine. I had already been clear it was better to just meet for our date but not ride together (for that quick getaway if the date goes south) and now shes wanting me to pick her up too? My car was dirty, power steering went out the week before and So I now had to shave on the way to my date because I ran out of time like usual for a single parent. Amazingly enough though, she didn’t care about any of it because she was checking out how I would respond to last minute changes. I did do a little sneaky thing to throw her off too though. Just as I pulled up behind her car to pick her up, I texted her to let her know it was me arriving and parking. Rather than walking over and meeting her at her door, I sat in the car and waited. Several minutes went by but I was determined to have her get out and meet me halfway. It was hilarious to me and revealed her self confidence level. Here we were meeting for a first date and already having a standoff on who’s going to get out of the car first. I won and I was impressed. I feinted opening my door and she had followed my lead and gotten out before she noticed I wasn’t budging. I watched her as she nervously walked over to my car. We met with a small hug like old friends and hit the ATM nearby on the way to the festival. For most of the night we walked, talked and ate all around Deep Ellum, gazing at all the art and crafts being displayed in the street festival. We had such an engaging and fun conversation about the pieces over drinks and dinner that the one hour date turned into FIVE HOURS. We had glanced at our watches many times and told each other we should be getting back, but each time one of us would strike up another conversation. As we finally decided it was time to cut it off, I realized I had gotten so distracted that I lost my car. I had NO IDEA where we had parked and I was lost. That hadn’t happened to me in YEARS. At that moment I knew this was going to get interesting.
For me, that first date was pretty damn good. On occasion we reference back to what each of us was thinking as we strolled about talking about our families, fun stories and our kids that night. One thing that stands out to me is the general “Friend Zone vibe” she always tells me she was picking up on. I knew I was being my skeptical and cautious self, but I had no clue I made her feel like I wasn’t even going to call her again. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.
We parted ways with just a hug and quick small kiss good night. Those first few moments I was CONSUMED with wanting to see her again. All I wanted to do was talk to her. I know, stalker-ish sounding. I didn’t care. Within minutes, I broke the “dating rules” by texting and calling. Each act returned in kind and with enthusiasm. I broke another major rule the next day by calling her to let her know how much I had really enjoyed the night and to setup another date. What happened next, was beyond control. We have spoken, seen or otherwise communicated with each other EVERY SINGLE DAY since that first “Well Hello There”. Of course, being my excessively analytical self, I can still remember the date and time of that first message and see that profile pic in my head often. Its been one adventure after the next ever since.
In my late grandfather’s words, “This one’s a keeper, Son”. I whole-heartedly agree. I’m hanging onto this one.
I shared my “how we met” story, feel free to add yours. Comment on whether you met online, or where you met and how the first date went.