No dice.

I'm not exactly giving up, but I give up.

A few weeks ago I went to lunch with a friend of a friend. It was not a date. He was a single guy in his late 30s who happens to be finding dating, well, disastrous might be too strong a word. But it was not going well.

Our mutual friend thought it might be amusing for us to meet and dish.

This guy does go on dates; he’s way out in front of me in this game. But it doesn’t sound like he’s having fun, not really, and his matches — professional 30 something women — are looking to seal the deal. This guy didn’t seem against sealing the deal in theory, but in practice, he was all “Could we get to know each other first?”

I thought, “Dude, you should date older women.” Not just because he was cute and smart, but because he was up against some things I think age might resolve. I kept that to myself, though I did tell our mutual friend my take.

I’ve been on exactly zero dates since June. That lunch doesn’t count. It is now August.

“How’s the dating going?” a friend asked over breakfast.

“It’s not.”

I had been having what I thought was a perfectly nice text conversation with a guy. He is a skilled gardener, he turned me on to this thing called “Food not lawns,” and we’d been, you know, conversing. I thought we were conversing. Then one morning, early, in between the time I had responded to his message and got out of bed to make coffee, he told me he was unmatching me.

“I’m not hurt or anything, but you haven’t asked me anything about myself.”

It was early Saturday morning. I stared at my phone for a while, confounded. After I fully woke up I thought, “Oh, he totally did me a favor.”

The guy I went on a date with back in spring sent me photos of the sunset nearly daily for months, but zero words. It was kind of cute at first, but it began to feel so weird when the photos kept coming, but no messages.

The ex-Marine sent me a note three days after we’d met asking if I was “impressed or distressed.” Neither, honestly, and I thanked him for taking the time to meet me but said we weren’t a match. I was wondering how long it would be until he told me I was wrong. He unmatched me. I was relieved.

That guy I matched with, in my ‘hood? We couldn’t seem to make our schedules sync up. I suggested coffee one morning, but he told me he sleeps in on the weekends. It’s not worth getting up early to meet me, I guess.

That other guy I matched with was offended by the silly gif the app sent automatically when I tapped the “wave” button. And he said I lived too far away. I was disqualified because I said “hello” wrong and he doesn’t understand geolocation technology. Okay then.

It was different before the plague. I did actually go out. I thought things might crack open a bit during this window of freedom, post vax, pre-winter blues.

Nope. Not for me.

“Your pictures are great,” said my friend’s friend, the 30 something guy. I had shown him my profile. “And you’re funny.” Then I let him flip through what I see when I look at possible matches. “That guy looks like a serial killer. This guy has given you nothing to work with. And … oof. No. Yeah, this is terrible.”

“You should take up birding,” my friend said.

I do not want to take up birding.

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