50 First Dates: Long Term Relationship to Long Distance Dating—This is Love in the Time of Quarantine
This first date hasn’t technically happened yet, thanks to a malfunctioning air conditioning unit and the coronavirus. Read on to see why we’re rooting for date No. 23.
50 First Dates anonymously chronicles the fun, romantic, wacky, bizarre and downright awful true experiences of dating in Honolulu. Check back weekly for new first-date stories, where to go to woo a boo, tips on where to meet people and more!
What I was looking for at the time
I have found myself having every other week free to myself after my divorce with a shared custody arrangement. I was finally ready to find a weekend lover: someone to enjoy the simple things with, like a coffee, movie or a glass of wine, or sunset wrapped in some romance and passion. I have always had high standards and expectations like that.
How we met
A friend talked me into signing up for Bumble. Some Bumble matches mentioned it is the “grownups dating app” or “a bit more classy,” to quote a couple. I certainly had prejudice for online dating and thought it was for millennials and younger generations, but I soon accepted the fact that this is how most people meet these days. With some experience though, I learned that you can actually figure out quite early on in exchanging messages and photos if a match is worth pursuing a conversation or not. Or if a conversation is promising and there is potential, worth an effort to meet in person. I have learned to trust my judgment, again.
Where we went
So we matched. It was a smooth beginning conversation online, full of “What brought you here?” “How long have you lived in Hawai‘i?” “Where in Europe are you from?” type of questions, which led to us getting to know what we do for a living and what we enjoy in our free time—of course always with a pinch of reservation not to overshare yet spike curiosity and keep the conversation going. It was like a dance. Somehow we came on the subject of tea and he proposed we meet for an afternoon tea at the Moana Surfrider hotel. He grew up in England and I was wondering if he had an English accent.
Meanwhile, it was the beginning of the first few cases of the coronavirus pandemic in Hawai‘i and both of us, having families in Europe, knew what was going to follow. “We should meet soon … before a lockdown comes in place.” I suggested that we meet in a couple of days—as I have been following one other piece of Bumble date advice: It’s good to meet soon after that initial online conversation so our imaginations don’t trick us into building up the other person in our own fantasies and hiking up expectations too high.
Time and location were set. It was early afternoon and the rain was torrential. He texted me: “Look outside. It is getting biblical. I’ll pick you up in my canoe …” and I replied, “I will bring my paddle.” The humor continued but then I received a text with a request to reschedule and an apology that his air conditioning unit broke down and the only time the technician could come have a look was that afternoon.
How did it end/where are the now?
The stay-at-home order is still in place. He certainly is loyal with his daily sweet morning messages and supportive words of encouragement. Many are romantic, such as, “Why don’t we both look at the moon this week together? Then we can say that we met under the moon.”
It truly is hard to predict chemistry and that may be the true lowdown of online dating. Until then I am holding to his message: “Remember we have our tea date once things resume to normal,” and hope that there will be chemistry.
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