I used 18’s phone number to plan a second in-person date, as one should.
Me: Wanna have lunch tomorrow?
Him: That could work, I’ll get back to you as soon as I’m back at my desk.
He did not, in fact, get back to me but:
Him: Sorry about not getting back to you, I got booked for meetings, there wasn’t time. When are you free? I’d like to see you again.
Me: How about Friday?
Him: Let’s make that happen. I’m open after 11.
Me: Let’s make a plan, anything you’re jonesing for?
Silence. It was a weekday and I knew he was wrapping things up for the holidays. I decided not to write him off, but I didn’t message him either. I made other plans. Ran some errands, had lunch with a pal.
Later that evening:
Him: Sorry about that, a bunch of things came up, but I’m officially done until Jan 5th. Let me know when you’re free?
Me: My weekend is open. Catch me on Saturday?
Him: Will do.
Me: Congrats on wrapping up your year! Enjoy!
That was five days ago.
Him: I clicked because there’s definitely a personality in your profile, a genuineness you don’t often see. I don’t swipe right on many characters here. Where are you?
Me: I’m south, by the park and the ferry dock.
Him: Oh, that won’t work at all. I’ve tried long-distance and it never works. Sorry to have bothered you, I hope you’re not upset. Best of luck.
I shared this exchange with two friends.
Friend: Serious question. Is it hard to traverse that distance by car? I don't know your city. Are there checkpoints, armed border guards, bribes to pay?
Me: It’s 30 miles. I was in his neighborhood two days ago.
Friend: This makes me angry, to be honest. Just...drive the fucking thirty miles. You could change your life, pal.
Me: On the plus side, he saved me a ton of time.
Another friend — they regularly drive an hour to see their boyfriend — said, “I wonder what else he’d have found wrong with you. Sure sounds like he was looking.”
My friends are great. The goods on offer, less so.