Friday night, I went out on a date with Howard, a 40-year-old lawyer I met on Match.com.
We met for drinks at the swanky Royalton Hotel in Midtown. With soft lighting and fireplaces, the cozy chic ambiance was perfect. Even better, 80’s music played for most of the evening -- providing the perfect icebreaker as Howard and I compared favorite tunes from the era of leg warmers and jelly bracelets.
Conversation and witty repartee flowed freely -- until Howard made a few unintentional missteps, namely talking about other women he’s dated and going off on a lengthy tangent about his experiences with speed dating and Match.com.
Howard told me the average number of times he’s gone out with women from speed dating (3-4) and his theory that Match.com makes it difficult for people to truly connect. Why? Because, he said, it’s so easy to go home right after a great date, and logon to the “panoply” of other available women so that your date becomes a “distant memory.”
I told him if a date was so easily forgettable, then there wasn’t real chemistry in the first place. I also pointedly added that if we had met through any way other than the Internet, chances are this unromantic line of conversation wouldn’t have come up.
I let Howard chew on that while I went to the bathroom. By the time I returned, he apologized for his gaffe and said I’d taught him something about what’s not appropriate to talk about on a first date.
Howard’s not the first Internet guy I’ve gone out with to bring up online dating and other women during a first date. Whatever happened to the pretense of romance?
On the plus side, at least he spoke nearly as much about his desire to settle down. Unlike another Match.com guy, whose invitation by email for drinks said--
“How do you feel about starting things off as friends with benefits?”
Thanks but no thanks.