“He looks so familiar,” I think, looking at the man in front of me at the coffee counter. “How might I know him?” My internal search engine Googled my mind looking for a reference to him from one of my social circles. Nothing snapped into place. Until…
“Match.com,” I silently exclaimed. “This guy winked at me on Match.” Now that he’s in front of me, I see he is decidedly shorter than me. “Maybe this is why I didn’t converse with him online. Or were there other items that were off putting?”
I debated sharing with him my newly discovered connection. But then, what would I say, “You winked at me on Match.com and I told you we weren’t a match”? A not-very-pleasant opening. And if I were to start a conversation, what would I hope to get out of it? I wasn’t drawn to his profile, so would I think I’d be drawn to him in person? No, I didn’t see any purpose in striking up a conversation with someone I hadn’t been interested in knowing online just because he is now standing in front of me. I’d let it pass.
Some of the faces that show up as my matches have appeared for the nearly 3 years I’ve been online dating. I’ve read their profiles often searching for something that might entice me to contact them, I have memorized some parts. “Ah, yes, the transplanted Brit,” I remember as I reread the profile with the cute pic. But then as I scan his other pics I see his primary photo must be 20 years old, but he chose that one to advertise to the dating world. A bit of a deception, I think, and move on.
“This guy has such beautiful daughters,” I remind myself as I click on another’s profile.” “And this one is also from Kansas.” I can recite some facts by heart about a few.
I attended the same event as one of my dating site “friends,” with whom I’ve never corresponded. But I knew a lot about him. I rehearsed how I’d introduce myself when there was a break in the program. Without disclosing how I knew him I’d say, “You look like a man who loves restoring old cars. I’m getting a feeling you’re working on a red ’72 Corvette right now. Is that right? And you like to cook, especially Italian. Yes? And I’m guessing you’re in real estate.” When he looked confused at how I could know so much about him I’d tell him my screen name. But alas, he was gone before I could toy with his mind.
I do wonder what I’d do if I ran into one of these virtual “friends.” Would I say anything? Or, like with the coffee house encounter above, would I just keep my mouth shut. So much depends on the circumstance. If he were with others, I’d pass on by, as I wouldn’t want to embarrass him if being on a dating site was something he didn’t want others to know. And, vainly, it would also depend on if I looked good that day. Some days after exercising, with no make up, I’m not feeling I’d make a great first impression. And after all, I’d want him thinking, “Darn, why didn’t I ever contact her,” versus “Man, I dodged a bullet by not asking her out.” So much boils down to vanity, doesn’t it?
Do you begin to think of these guys who perpetually show up in your matches as people you know? If you ran into one of them, what would you do?