It’s no secret that online dating has its fair share of surprises. And that most of those surprises are because people aren’t always how they appear in a profile. I was recently reminded of this after connecting with E on OkCupid.
E and I seemed to click in our initial phone conversation, which breezed by for over an hour. During that time, E admitted he actually lives in and is from Long Island — not Manhattan, as his profile states. Knowing the geographic snobbery that is all too common here in NYC, I understood the minor mistruth and thought nothing of it.
We met for drinks at Il Bastardo, a cozy Italian bistro in Chelsea with a lounge vibe. When I arrived at the restaurant, he greeted me warmly, making mention of both my dress and my earrings. We easily picked up where we had left off in our phone conversation, talking about our mutual affinity for James Bond and the challenges of dating in your thirties.
It was around this time that E revealed he is actually 44, not 39 as his profile states. A red flag went off — lie #2, I thought to myself suspiciously — but I brushed it off when he talked about age discrimination in the New York dating scene. Having once been a twenty something woman dating upper thirty something guys, I couldn’t argue with his reasoning.
So the easy banter continued, as a second round of drinks led to dinner and we found ourselves sharing relationship war stories. When I mentioned my history of dating older men, E talked about an older woman he was involved with for awhile.
“She told me that when she first met me, she thought I was gay.”
This seemed like an unusual anecdote to share but, once again, I tried not to jump to conclusions. After all, isn’t that we’re often accused of as thirtysomething singles — being too picky, too quick to make snap judgments about the opposite sex?
E briefly excused himself to go to the bathroom. Just before I followed suit, he made a point of telling me it was a unisex facility — and that he was once almost propositioned by two men who disappeared into a stall in there.
Again, red flag alert. Could it be, I wondered, that E was as interested in men as his profile claimed him to be in women? I was, well, befuddled. His words seemed to say one thing yet his actions communicated something else, especially when it came time to say goodnight. E leaned in for a kiss that left little room for questioning.
Date #2, however, was a completely different story.