The story you are currently reading is about a unique Tinder match who turned into a matchmaker, but ultimately ended up as the victim. She redeemed herself at the end by contacting me one last time to offer extended thoughts, which ended with a quote by Joey Palermo.
My connection with Veronica started off with A+ vibes. It was also nice matching with someone local for a change. Our conversation was lighthearted, but interesting, steady and spontaneous. An hour later we are following each other in our cars. We run into construction traffic on Route 95 while aiming for Center City, Philadelphia. I called her to suggest that we cross over the Betsy Ross Bridge into NJ to avoid the unknown setback ahead. It worked out in our favor. We beat the traffic in Jersey while heading for the Ben Franklin Bridge, which takes us back into the heart of downtown Philly. Eventually we make it to our destination. It was nothing major - just an outdoorsy scenery on Kelly Drive. We spent the night walking the trail by the water as we got to know each other. It was chill time.
We continued to stay in touch since then, but I felt no chemistry during our time together that night. However, I really enjoyed getting to know her as a friend. I was still comfortable going out to diner with her and making myself available to chat, but eventually she began to question our connection - knowing that I was not interested in anything that involved a romantic spin. She seemed okay with that.
I recall the night Veronica reached out to me to ask for help about a paper she was working on. She wanted me to critique eight pages of writing before submitting it by midnight. I gave it a shot, but only read about 3 pages. I didn’t want to rewrite her work, so I called her to talk about it instead. We polished up several sentences together. She took care of the rest after I gave her my feedback. The paper was legit regardless, though. I’m still humbled by the experience while bouncing our thoughts around. It was fun. In fact, it was the first time I used the word “sapiosexual” in a sentence to describe that phone conversation. She never heard of the word before, so that was cool.
A few days later Veronica drops in with a curveball text message. She wants to introduce me to her friend. Of course I was surprised. I didn’t know what to say as she’s reading into my awkward silence, so she follows up with “I’m a good match maker”. “You’re smart - she’s gorgeous and smart, too - you will like her”
With that said, she secured her words by sending me two pictures of her friend Michelina, which included her twin daughters. She also gave me her number (her friend already had mine). I followed up with a text message to thank her, but still curious about it all. I didn’t latch onto the idea right away because I didn’t want to seem desperate, but after a few days of us talking about it, I felt okay reaching out to her...
I was mostly intrigued from the start, but it seemed like Michelina build up this fun anticipation to entertain herself with me in mind. To be honest, I felt like the spark with the “I’m smart - she’s smart - you would like her” backfired after meeting her. I will explain with paraphrases and quotes while highlighting my overall experience, which only lasted less than two weeks (a month between the two).
So here it goes...
Although unabashedly exuberant, her animated form lacked regard. She seemed cool at first, especially when Michelina playfully invited me to get acquainted with her on Facebook prior to our first meet. I’m not even active on FB any longer, but I logged in just because. We made plans for that weekend. I enjoyed her company then, but mostly because our three plus hours together was influenced by adult beverages. She was attractive in spite of everything, though.
Here’s the thing, I have never met anyone who was so throughly obnoxious, yet, in the midst of it all, I felt there was a silver lining because she was comfortable enough to open up to me about autism regarding her 6 year daughters. This conversation occurred during our time at the restaurant/bar. She was okay with me not having much knowledge in that area, especially unable to empathize. She welcomed questions - whether right or wrong, too. She would also share random pictures and a video of her one girl responding to new eyeglasses. It was nice. I shared a few pictures of my boy, too.
So anyway, that aside - I maintained an open mind while playing along to an extent considering she conveyed interest as we shuffled text messages before and after we met - with only one brief phone conversation in play. I do remember her being passive at one point. We spoke about more phone calls. She was open to that, but I didn’t take initiative because I was loosing interest. Besides, she was always preoccupied with her young twins after work. I was okay with that because I’m a father, too. My loss of interest was a result to the other things. I also felt awkward chancing random calls. I suppose I created my own boundaries while taking her mom realities into consideration.
Thankfully, our short-lived connection deteriorated and eventually ended as a result to her foul sarcasm. She basically spoke in riddles. (leaving most of those details out, but trust me - she was overbearing and ****** with it). I guess I wasn’t arrogant enough to challenge her wit via text. Seriously, after this one awkward moment, I attempted my own artful delivery in an effort to change the subject, but in reality- my thoughts had a concluding undertone. The shift, as far as nearing our end point occurred when I made a comment with respect to her photos... My thoughts and how I felt went without saying, because I expressed them before in other words, but I told her once more that I will always admire the stillness in her pictures. I explained: Not of her in heels or of her red lipstick or her blue eyes, but the candid ones, specifically of her genuinely interacting with her twin girls.
I believe I upset her because her best defense was to avoid me abruptly without a slick word. I doubt I offended her because I found her to be assertive, so I decided to contact her a few days later to ask:
“Was it something I said?”
To my surprise she answers...
“It wasn’t what you said, but what you didn’t say, rather. You never took the the time to call. I never got a chance to know you” yad·da yad·da yad·da.
I was like REALLY! Is she serious. She totally undermined my every effort with a cat and mouse game. I was the one always free without distractions. It was best for her to have called me... She knew that.
Perhaps I should have called, in retrospect. Maybe I should have spoken about making plans to meet again, but to be honest - we had no chance whatsoever because we spoke two different languages (“I’m beginning to think English is your second language” - her words).
My final thoughts to her:
“Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I guess my primary focus while getting to know someone is to put my best foot forward without having to worry about offending them, or wasting their time trying to be clever with quick wit. I get that your colorful nature is to banter sarcastically. You seem fun that way. I like it for the most part. But here’s the thing: As for me on the other hand, my sarcasm game is not that dynamic. And I’m being nice. I might come off like I shy away from witty conversations, but I’m confident enough to shower you with affection. You might just have to allow yourself to be become vulnerable for that kind of connection. It may seem piteous of me to say, but I’m comfortable being transparent and lacing my wordplay with raw emotion. I leave pride aside. And in most cases, I do my best to not be guarded, especially if I like the person. I do enjoy playfulness, yes, and appreciate the back and forth as long as it doesn’t go too far. I realize your style is not about cut and ******, but I’m just generalizing while peeling off layers for you to feel me, since I no longer have the opportunity to say the things that I didn’t say”.
In conclusion, I reached out to the Tinder Matchmaker to complete the cycle with her. I wanted to thank her again for introducing us, but to give some insight about it not working out... Veronica was sorry, of course, but to my shocking surprise, she turned things around and took the opportunity to call me out about our initial beginnings. She made my misfortune to be about her, and less about my experience with her friend.
I tried to reply to your text I do not know if you received it. I no longer have your number. I'm sorry things did not work out. I was not aware of any of this since I have not spoken to her, I briefly explained why in the text. A word of advice for your future dating life, do not judge a book by its cover. You instantly counted me out because you were not attracted to me. You also instantly thought you had a connection with her because of the way that she looks. I remember learning about this in psychology and I know that there is some fancy name for the theory, but basically it discusses how we as humans perceive beauty as good. I was struggling with my self esteem right about the time I met you, I knew I hadn't been looking or feeling my best. Your judgement of me based on what you perceived of my looks left me feeling inadequate and very sad. I needed time to reflect on my feelings and the way that I viewed myself. The truth is even in my prettiest pictures I never felt pretty, I never felt worthy of love. I needed to deal with all of these emotions before I could ever find what I thought I wanted and needed from someone else. I'm learning to love myself more and more every day and my relationship with myself is better than ever. From you, I learned to look past what I at first may perceive as imperfection, and allow myself to get to know the beauty within a person. I met someone amazing, kind, intelligent, and genuinely good and I am so happy I decided to give him a chance even though he didn't look like the man of my dreams he really just might be.
3 days later she thinks of me when she comes across a quote by Joey Palermo. She sends me a text about it. She also apologizes again because she didn’t mean for me to get hurt by the experience with her friend (her words)... I followed up and told her not to worry about it, and no hard feelings - that meeting the both of them was meant to be, and basically told her to take care of herself.
“I believe in the kind of love that doesn’t demand me to prove my worth and sit in anxiety. I crave a natural connection, where my soul is able to recognise a feeling of home in another. Something free-flowing, something simple. Something that allows me to be me without question…”
To sum this up, I know some people might be inclined to assume that I’m sensitive, or I don’t have “thick skin” as Michelina would say, or “where’s your pride, dude” (her words)... Not for nothing, but my ex girlfriend had obnoxious tendencies and was cleaverly wit with her sarcasm. We enjoyed each other just fine in that regard, while never crossing the line, but we adapted to our personality traights differently. My ex is assertive and intelligent, too, but she never spoke condescendingly or stereotyped. We were both comfortable embracing our backgrounds, while enhancing each other to be better versions of ourselves. We never challenged or undermined our smarts, or questioned the wisdom gained in life. In fact, when I think of love, I still think of her. Not because I have an emotional attachment, but because she was my first true. It’s been five years since we split. Our story has many sad fragments that were out of our control, but that’s for another time. We’re still friends, though. And she’s happily engaged.
Lastly, the two encounters I wrote about are yet again - added chapters to my exhausting online dating efforts. This merry-go-round was quite different, though, because it presented an unexpected path to normalcy, hence the Tinder match that became the Matchmaker who then introduced me to her smart and gorgeous friend.
PS: I retired from Tinder and online dating since then.... I’m good for now.