When I started college I dated a lot. It was fun, it was a time where I would meet new people and form flings or even friendships. Internet dating was “the thing” and I ended up meeting a bunch of different people in person after talking online (and no catfishes!). Sometimes it would barely last a full date, others a few more, and then there was one time where the guy never showed up and I waited and waited so hopeful only to be stood up.
Internet dating can be risky and I knew it. I was always very cautious and never wanted to meet anymore in person until I felt they were “legitimate.” I was so cautious I never posted a photo. Eventually after talking with someone I would show them a picture, nothing racy, just something that was myself.
I liked to think I had a good read on people, could sense the connection or lack there of. So when the time came where I would finally meet my next date I was excited, made myself look like myself but maybe a little cuter, picked a place and time to meet (public of course) and I headed out the door.
On my way, the prospect text me, saying he was about to leave and would see me soon. He knew what I looked like, I knew what he looked like, and we had chatted on the phone before so I knew the voice. “Oh please let this be real and not a fake,” I thought to myself. And then I approached the meeting place, right by the beach. I took in the fresh air, felt the cool breeze on my face, and took deep breaths, as I anxiously waited. I looked around, I watched all the people, the bicyclists, the children, the walked dogs, the flying gulls. It was a beautiful day and surprisingly I didn’t feel completely nervous.
Fifteen minutes passed and I took my phone out to make sure I hadn’t missed a text from my date. Nothing. “No worries, I’ll continue my people watching,” I thought. Fifteen more minutes pass, was my phone on vibrate by accident? Nope. I text asking how far away he is. Ten more minutes, no word. “What the hell,” I wondered. I decided to just call him. Voicemail. I hung up, put the phone back in my purse, and started walking down to the beach in front of me. As my feet touched the sand I thought, “Well that’s rude.” But I didn’t get mad. I brushed it off like no big deal. I knew that inside me I was mad, I had never experienced being stood up like that before, and I should be mad, right? But I really didn’t care. It was good I was stood up because it showed his true colors. Truth was exposed through silence. “Good riddance,” I whispered to myself.
On my way home I realized how okay I felt with being stood up. I enjoyed my own company. I still felt confident in myself. I wasn’t blaming myself or agonizing over why he chose not to show. My attitude surprised me even. I was stood up but still felt good about myself. Could it be that being stood up actually gave me more confidence? I vaguely remember being even more myself on future dates. The attitude I had was if you don’t like me, fine. Just be honest. Don’t lead me on. Remember, 100% authenticity is so sexy.