For my first story I’ll start with the most recent, and perhaps the most relevant in trying to navigate dating during COVID.
The conversation started innocently enough, but then again, they typically do. The first hiccup came when he started to ‘reassure me’ that should we meet for dinner, he would not dine and dash. Now, this feels like something that should not need to be stated when discussing possible dinner plans with a potential suitor, but one off beat comment isn’t enough to be a deal breaker or give cause for alarm right? Perhaps not. However, the red flag was raised a little higher when this person continued to bring up this topic. He repeatedly mentioned that he has read a lot of horror stories online about men who dine and dash on women and that he would never do that, so I shouldn’t worry.
Ok, first of all…I have heard enough dating horror stories of my own. Heck, I HAVE enough of those stories myself. I really don’t need you to inform me of even more reasons why online dating sucks. Repeatedly telling me that many men dine and dash does not endear you to me, it actually makes me begin to wonder about you, especially if this was one issue that I had not been particularly worried about before hand.
Secondly, I am not looking for a free meal and if I agree to go for dinner with someone, I can certainly pay for myself. That said, I don’t want to have to be left wondering the whole night if you are going to sneak out a back exit when the bill comes like you’ve felt the need to mention 35 times within a 3-minute time span.
From this point on, the conversation continued to digress. Moving on from the topic of dining and dashing as an apparent rampant trend. He began to tell me that he only pays for things with cash and that he refuses to go anywhere that enforces the use of a debit card or that scans ID (such as a liquor store). When I asked why that was, he informed me that he was claiming full COVID relief benefits because he felt that he deserved it for the years he has paid into unemployment insurance through work and never had to use it. In fact, he was so committed to collecting relief benefits for as long as possible (while continuing to work) that he would eventually be giving up his phone, followed by his tablet, should the government start tracking people through those means – Great – So now, apparently the dating site has become ‘Felons are us’ – Perfect.
It’s safe to say that I was definitely bowing out of the conversation by now. Yet, ever persistent, he continued to try and set up two back to back dates. The first, was dinner with his mother and uncle at his uncle’s house, the second was a full beach day out of town beginning early the following morning. I mean, I’d like to say that you get points for persistence (you don’t) and who doesn’t want a plus one to family functions from time to time I suppose. Although, bringing a relative stranger to a family dinner as a first date just sounds like a recipe for one hell of an awkward night if you ask me.
To top it all off, it turned out that the reason he was so insistent on two back to back dates was that apparently he wanted to get to know me as much as possible over a short time… because he would be leaving the province in 2 days… indefinitely. He claims to have been looking for a genuine person to form a ‘real’ connection with – a connection with someone whom would be over a thousand miles away within 48 hours.
* insert eye roll here*