Singer of English rock band Oasis, Noel Gallagher, gave sage advice in the band’s 1996 smash hit ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’. “Please don’t put your life in the hands of a rock ‘n’ roll band who’ll throw it all away,” wails the singer.
Of course, Gallagher was under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and I am quite certain he didn’t intend his lyrics to be a warning for Tinder hopefuls. Nonetheless, I should have heeded his warning when I matched with a local musician – let’s call him Milo.
Milo had everything I was looking for – a good job, wonderful kids, and a love of music. It seemed like a slam dunk. Still, there was a major question mark when it came to Milo. You see, we knew each other in real life, he had never so much as made a flirty comment to me, and he rarely liked my posts on social media. For all intents and purposes, Milo was an acquaintance who had zero romantic interest in me. But there he was, super liking my profile.
He messaged first with an unimaginative “hey,” and although my spidey senses told me to leave the message on read, my loneliness told me to respond in kind.
“Hey! Funny meeting you on here…,” I replied coyly.
“Yeah, same to you,” he replied.
His short reply gave me nowhere to go but I pressed forward.
“I’m kind of surprised you swiped on me. We’ve known each other for a while but I never knew you liked me,” I prodded.
“Yeah, I got divorced and am just trying this out. We should meet,” he said.
Women often get accused of reading too much into things, but I would argue that those 13 words contained everything I needed to know – he wasn’t emotionally available and was looking for casual sex. Or, at least, that’s how I would read it now as a much wiser woman. Instead, in my naïve and hopeful state, I read the message as: “I wasn’t expecting to find someone I was interested in on here, but I did, so we should go on a date.” Suffice it to say, I read too much into the message, but these things happen when you’re earnest in your desire to find a partner. They also happen when you put on love blinders like I tend to.
We decided to meet for dinner after he dropped his kids off at his exes. Originally, the plan was to meet at a restaurant on neutral territory at 7pm. Although I am typically chronically late, I managed to put my face on and decide on an outfit by 6:30pm – that’s when I received a text from Milo.
“I’m running a little. Can we bump to 7:30,” the text read.
“Of course! No problem,” I replied.
At 7:30pm my phone buzzed again.
“I’m still running late. Can we bump to 8pm?”
“Sure,” I replied again.
8pm came and went with no text. Another hour passed with no word from Milo. I was starting to get agitated by the time I heard from him at 9:30pm.
“Are you sure you want to meet up? Maybe we should postpone,” I suggested.
“No, I am good. Let’s meet at 10pm,” Milo replied.
I had butterflies when I pulled up to the restaurant at 10pm. I had been on edge for 3.5 hours, so I was anxious to down an adult beverage and settle into the date.
When Milo sat down, he remarked that he thought I looked beautiful. It had been a while since I had heard those words, so I was elated.
The conversation flowed as effortlessly as our cocktails, and I delighted at how well the date was going. Then, with no warning, Milo dropped a bomb.
“I can’t do this. You’re too nice,” he said.
“What can’t you do,” I asked.
“I can’t hook up with you. You’re too nice, and you’re the marrying kind of girl, not the one-night-stand,” he replied.
I’m sure the expression on my face gave away my confusion. Firstly, I thought we were on a date with no expectations for a hookup. Secondly, it would take a lot more than a $15 burger to guarantee sex. And thirdly, how the fuck did he know what kind of girl I was? I could be a one-night-stand girl if I wanted to be, damn it!
I mean, I’m not, but I could be.
When the check arrived, I offered to split the bill because, apparently, I had read things wrong, and this wasn’t a date. As I pulled my Visa card out, Milo snatched the bill and handed his card to the waitress. Again, confusion was plastered all over my face. If we weren’t on a date, why was he paying? And was he only paying because he felt guilty about luring me out for a hookup? The whole situation had my mind spinning.
We left the restaurant, and Milo walked me to my car before spinning me around to passionately kiss me. When we detached, Milo had an impish grin, but he didn’t say a thing as he skipped back to his car.
On my drive home, I flitted between excitement and bewilderment. That mix of emotions continued for the next six months as I continued to chase Milo. Some nights, he would profess love and suggest we run away together. Other nights, he would invite me to a show and introduce me to another girl he was dating. (Yes, amazingly, he really did have the balls to do that).
It took about a year of being clit-teased before I finally pulled the cord.
As someone who is always at odds with being hopelessly optimistic and savagely exploited, the situationship took a long time to recover from – for me, at least. Nevertheless, Milo moved on without hesitation and became involved with a slew of women before settling on someone who is the polar opposite of me.
At this point, I am indifferent when it comes to Milo. But, admittedly, I can’t help but wonder how a philandering man like Milo could find his “soulmate” while I am still searching? Perhaps the song lyrics I should have embraced were Ciara’s ‘Like a Boy’: “What if I had a thing on the side? Made ya cry? Would the rules change up, or would they still apply? If I played you like a toy…Sometimes I wish I could act like a boy.”