My Latest Online Dating Fail: Carl the Cowboy
And now, another installment of my dating fails…
I’ve changed the names to protect the innocent, or not so innocent! I have a habit of saving guys names in my phone with their first name (since I sometimes don’t know their last name) and some fact about them. This helps me keep them straight if I’m talking to more than one person, which let’s be honest, isn’t usually a problem. When I first started doing this I met several guys whose name and job started with the same letter (Carl the Coach, Adam the Audiologist) so I’ve just kept the alliteration trend going!
So I’ll call this guy Carl the Cowboy. We started talking online in 2014. Ironically we had both gone to the same college, but we never met during our time there. Our conversation seemed to flow easily, and it was clear that he was a solid believer. We ended up emailing for a few weeks before actually meeting up.
One of my favorite things to do with friends in the summer is go to country concerts. Somehow he and I started talking about country music. He said he really liked country, but after he called Tim McGraw the “founder of bro country” said that he had never heard of Florida Georgia Line, I began to question if he had even ever listened to country music or if he was just pretending we had something in common. I really didn’t think anymore about his lack of country music knowledge until the day we met for coffee.
We planned to meet at a Starbucks and get some coffee. I got there a little early. On a total side note, I’ll let you gals in on a pro tip. If you hate walking into a coffee house or restaurant and nervously looking for a guy who looks like the pictures you saw online, get there early. Then you can shift all the anxiety of matching online pictures to actual people to him! Okay, moving on with the story.
So Carl walks in, and he is dressed as country as they come. I swear if the man had had on cowboy hat, he would’ve looked like he walked straight out of a costume shop. I mean, plaid shirt, jeans, belt buckle and cowboy boots.
At first I thought maybe he lived on a farm, or had some outdoorsy job as a ranch hand that I was previously unaware of. No and no. He had an office job, and was for sure not a manual labor type of man.
The more we talked the more it became clear that we had absolutely nothing in common, and that he was dressed up in some last ditch effort to prove he was a country music fan, and find some common interest.
I immediately had a gut feeling that this was not heading in a good direction. The fact that he was a Christian made me feel really guilty, like I should like him and keep talking to him no matter what because he was a good guy.
Since we had only been emailing he didn’t have my phone number. At the end of the date he asked for my number.
Confession time: I am TERRIBLE at dealing with confrontation. I always think of all these bold ways to clearly, yet politely articulate my emotions 10-12 hours after the moment has passed. So as you can probably guess, I gave him my number even though I didn’t have any desire to stay in touch with him.
After the date, I immediately jumped on my group chat with my besties to overanalyze the situation. I was so torn. I really didn’t feel like Carl and I had much in common or any chance of moving forward in a relationship, but I also felt like I should like him because he was a Christian.
I decided to just keep texting him and see what happened. This was the wrong decision. He started texting me constantly and clearly thought that we had a connection. When he asked me out again I knew I had to say something. I kindly told him that I didn’t see us being more than friends and that I didn’t think we should keep talking. He was clearly hurt, and I immediately wished I had told him how I felt sooner, or not given him my number at all after that first date.
Since this I’ve tried to be honest about my feelings as soon as I can. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t give someone a chance, but sometimes if you know, you know. If Carl and I had a few common interests, I would’ve been open to talking more and seeing if we were compatible. However, after one date it was clear that though we were both Christians, we had extremely different values and different lives.
Don’t feel like you have to be 100% sure that you there’s a forever connection before agreeing to a second date, but be honest as soon as you can. It’s totally normal to need to go on 2, 3, 4, dates before being able to determine if you see a relationship with someone, but it’s also OK to go on just one date and trust your gut that it’s not meant to be! It’s no fun to break things off at any point in time, but being honest sooner rather than later is always easier on everyone involved.