Dating in 2018 is a reality show on its own. Gone are the days of meeting someone at the nearest coffee shop. Nowadays, people are too busy on their phones to even look up and start a conversation. Meeting people via an app or a website have become the norm, especially in large urban areas. Believe me, there’s a something out there for everyone. I’ve even encountered a gluten free singles site. (I don’t like rice pasta, would that make me less compatible?)
I’ve heard a string of bad first date stories from friends and always sympathized with them but couldn’t really relate as none of my past first dates have been terrible. I’ve met a few weird guys but nothing that alarmed me until recently. Actually, alarmed is an understatement.
I was attending a friend’s baby shower and saw a guy I had seen before at a previous event thrown by an acquaintance. I didn’t know his name or anything about him but I wished him a good night as I left the setting and headed to my car. As I was heading to my car, I heard him walk behind me, asking if he could have my phone number. He seemed like a nice guy and I didn’t think I had anything to lose. We exchanged numbers and I left.
We messaged each other back and forth for about two days. He seemed cool at first, but as we talked via text, he would tell me that he couldn’t wait to meet me and “longed” for me. He even sent me Stevie Wonder’s I Just Called to Say I love you song via YouTube. I thought it was a little too much too soon but dismissed my skepticism and thought this guy was just a tad dramatic and that I should give him a chance.
We met on a weeknight at a popular dessert place. As we settled into our table, we started talking about our careers and third world country politics (sounds intense but it really wasn’t!) He mentions that he has three kids, two that are teenagers. I was surprised and then asked if he was a widow or divorced. He casually mentions that he has a wife and starts browsing the pages of the menu. For a second, I stopped talking and casually asked: “did you just say that you have a wife?” He looks up from the menu and says yes, with a perplexed look on his face. A look that said “I don’t understand, do you have a problem with it?” At that point, it took all my courage not to reach across the table and throw the glass of water on his face. I suddenly understood the reality show scenes where women would cause uproar in public. I felt like I could relate to Angela Bassett burning her husband’s belongings in the movie Waiting to Exhale. I could feel the anger rise to my chest and the smoke coming out of my ears. My mind was racing as I stared at this man and asked in a very calm tone what the purpose of us meeting was. As he sheepishly looked at me and fumbled his words, trying to clarify that he was embarrassed and couldn’t really explain why we were meeting, I started to put my scarf and jacket and walked out. I was livid but also couldn’t understand why he thought it was normal to seek companionship from someone other than his wife. How dare he think that I could be a potential mistress!
He even had the nerve to message me later that evening, trying to justify what had happened. He was upset that I had left so quickly and hadn’t given him enough time to explain why he wanted to meet me. He had a single cousin living in another city and thought I would be the perfect match for him. I laughed out loud at the lousy explanation that made no sense. Was he looking to “test and trial” me? I’m guessing “his cousin” was sending me Stevie Wonder love songs. As I deleted his message and his contact information and blocked his number, I couldn’t help but wonder about his family. Being someone with a very vivid imagination, I started making up potential scenarios in my head. His wife was probably busy at home with the kids and had no idea what her husband was up to. Or maybe she knew and pretended that it didn’t exist. Maybe she was involved in an extramarital affair and didn’t care what her husband did. Nevertheless, it wasn’t my business to get involved in the drama nor waste any time being angry about being duped.
It made me wonder why people have affairs. It’s complicated and turns messy at times but I understand that we’re humans and our emotions have a way of taking over our lives. Unfortunately, the consequences of an affair are sometimes irreversible. No one wants to deal with the effects.
I will most likely run into this guy again at another function. Maybe I will see his family this time. Maybe I’ll even say hello and start humming the Stevie Wonder song as I walk away.