After breaking up with my latest boyfriend four years ago, I decided the best way to stop moping about him was to start dating new men. Internet dating provided the perfect opportunity to start finding someone new.
I had dated online before, and I always had plenty of winks and emails. The problem was I didn’t want to date many of these men. I longed for the whole package, someone near my age, smart, accomplished, handsome, athletic and fun.
When I met Dirk, he seemed perfect. He was cute, smart, funny, easy to talk to and very interested in me. The night before I met Dirk, I had a date with a handsome chiropractor, but I couldn?t keep my attention on him. (Maybe it was the dark glasses he wore throughout our dinner.)
I cut the evening short with the doctor and rose at the crack of dawn the next day to meet Dirk at West Yellowstone, which was a four-hour drive for me. We talked on our cell phones the whole way over. I couldn’t wait to meet him in person! But when I saw him, I was very surprised. He was short, barrel-chested, thick-necked and much less attractive than he appeared on his online photo. I tried to get over the shallow stuff as I did like him on the phone.
“Hi!” he said enthusiastically, and gave me a big hug with his stubby arms. I smiled and hugged him back. We stopped by the grocery store for a picnic lunch of sandwiches and wine and then drove into the park where we ate by a creek, lying on a picnic blanket. After our lunch, he reached over and kissed me.
It was the most horrible kiss I could have imagined. It was a kiss that didn’t end… kind of like a vacuum hose sucking my lips. I wanted to run as far away from Dirk as possible, but I knew that would hurt his feelings. Besides, if I took off, I’d have to run miles since Dirk had driven us into the park and my car was back at the grocery store. Instead, I suggested we see the sites around Yellowstone.
Dirk talked about our future. I could move in with him and help him with his bear hunting business. (Never mind that I despise sport hunting.) There was no need for me to work. He made enough money for both of us. I heard pop Christian music playing in the background as a big grin spread across his face as he fanaticized about our life together.
“I’m ready to go back,? I said.
“Already?” he said.
“Yeah. It’s going to be a long drive back to Billings, and I want to get started.”
A scowl creased his forehead, his mouth turned down around the corner and he didn?t say a word. I stayed on my side of the truck, avoiding any additional contact with him.
When we arrived back at West Yellowstone, I wanted to leap out of his truck and spring to my car. I kept my cool. I opened the door, grabbed my camera bag and smiled at Dirk.
“It was nice to meet you,” I said.
“I get the feeling that I?m never going to see you again,” he said.
“Well, one never knows what the future has in store,” I answered.
I gave him a quick hug and power walked to my vehicle. I got into the car, started it and peeled out, waving as I left. I was free at last.
Lesson learned: It’s better to mope at home about an old boyfriend than be trapped in a pickup with a new crazy bear man.
The Peril of the Week was contributed by Nancy Brook, author of the upcoming book, Cycling, Wine, and Men: A Midlife Tour de France.
From the Cyber-Dating Expert: It?s not a good idea to go anywhere with a man in his car or truck on a first date. It’s a recipe for a dating disaster.
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Julie Spira is America's Top Online Dating Expert. She's an award-winning dating coach who's been helping singles find love online for 25+ years. Follow @JulieSpira on IG.