While I may be ready for a boyfriend again, I don’t think I’m going to find him through online dating. I’ve been on countless dates, had five relationships, none of them really serious…if I were a baseball player, they’d have shipped my Black ass to the minor leagues by now. But because I am a sucker for love (and because I’m not getting any younger), I begrudgingly am back out there on the prowl again thanks to the goading of a buddy of mine in Dallas.
And of all the places to get back out there in the fray, I chose fucking OKCupid.
Now to be fair…I don’t mind OKCupid. I’m sure it’s a lovely website. But answering a skillion questions only to get matched with some hippie weird pansexual humanist freegan cosplayer who’s never had a boyfriend (probably for all the reasons stated before) just seems like a colossal waste of time. On the flipside of that, there are the yuppie, 5K running, foreign country visiting, Patrick from Looking-ass white dudes who are good on paper but lack the requisite flavor.
Somewhere in that spectrum is my Black ass, and even then, the odds are not in my favor.
From OKTrends, Same-Sex Data for Race vs. Reply Rates (emphasis and underline mine):
- Blacks get fewer responses. We saw this with the straight data, too, and here it’s true of both gay and lesbian senders. Black gay men get over 20% fewer responses than non-blacks, which is about how straight black men fared. Black women, on the other hand, do relatively much better with gays than straights. While they’re still the least replied-to group, the discrepancy is much smaller in the lesbian community.
- Whites respond by far the least to anyone. Both white lesbians and white gay men write the fewest replies. In fact, across the two charts, whites respond about 15% less often than non-whites, and white gay men show a marked preference for other whites. On the other hand, gay white women don’t have the segregationist tendencies of their straight counterparts; they just dis everyone. Whereas last week we saw that straight white women strongly preferred other whites to the exclusion of other groups, lesbian whites respond to all 9 racial groups roughly evenly, and, in general, the lesbian community seems relatively colorblind. Only Indian lesbians receive a response rate far off the average, and as I said above, the sample size there is limited and the results might be skewed by chance.
Even with these fuck-ass chances for success, I did manage to meet a guy from there a few weeks ago — a 26-year-old white law student I’d like to call The Sheep.
Physically, he wasn’t really my type. While I do love a thick boy, The Sheep was a little too Jack Black-ish for my tastes. I overlooked that and saw his warm smile and piercing blue eyes. Our first date was on a Saturday afternoon in Little Five Points and he was way overdressed. (At one point, someone thought he was my college professor because of his tweed jacket with leather patches.) But more than that, he was extremely uptight. He told me he was out, but his behavior was a little too skittish for me to believe that. I tried to get the truth out of him at lunch.
“You seem really nervous — is everything okay?”
“Yeah sure! Just taking it all in. I’ve never been on a date before, so…”
“…you’ve never been on a date?”
“Nope! This is my first one!”
“You are out, aren’t you?”
“Yeah, I’ve been out for about five years now. Just never been on a date before.”
Great. So now not only am I working on giving a good first impression, I’m his first date ever in his gay ass life.
“Oh, but no pressure…I’m having a super time,” he said.
And I think he did have a super time, because a week later we were out for dinner and a movie at Atlantic Station.
At dinner, I found out more about this five-year-itch of his. He came out to little fanfare from his Irish Catholic family, He crushed on a schoolmate of his from college to the point where he moved from Atlanta to the Midwest to be closer to him. Turns out he wasn’t the guy’s type, so he stayed there and worked a few odd jobs before moving back to Atlanta and enrolling in law school. He has no gay friends — no friends in Atlanta really besides his classmates — and thought he’d try OKCupid as a way to start putting himself out there.
I was the only person who responded to his messages.
I mean…that’s sweet and all but I’m kind of a senior vice president-level dater, okay? I need to date someone who’s got comparable experience. Mid-level, at least. Who the fuck has time for on-site training?
On the other hand, dating someone who’s bereft of the drama and bullshit that can come along with gay dating could be a good thing. And he’s about to graduate law school? And he drives a 2014 BMW 4 Series? And he has a stable family who approves of him being gay? And he got money? That kind of potential stability is nice…hell, he’s already light years past the regular caliber of men I date.
Shit…I’d be the Pygmalion to his slab of ivory. (No pun intended.)
During the movie, I made a move and I put my hand on his knee just to test the waters.
He damn near jumped out of his skin.
“Nope,” I thought. “This ain’t gonna work.“
A few days later, I suggested getting together for lunch…and he was 30 minutes late.
When he arrived, we started on some small talk, but then he dropped the bomb.
“I really like you, and I think you’re someone to write home about. You’re stable, you’ve got a good head on your shoulders, you’re a handsome guy…”
“…but I know these next six months for me are going to be crazy with finishing up law school, studying to pass the bar, and starting my new job. I know I’m probably not going to be at my best and I don’t want you to see me like that so…can we go on hiatus until the Fall? Like around September or so?”
“Yeah, sure. If I’m not dating anyone in a few months, give me a ring and we’ll go out again.”
He sighed with relief. “That’s a relief. Oh, and you can see other people during that time too; I’m totally cool with that.”
“I would have been seeing other people whether we were still dating or not. Two dates and a lunch doesn’t equal exclusivity.”
“But since this is our parting shot and you were 30 minutes late, you’ll be paying for lunch. And I am hungry.”
$50 and an awkward half-hug later, we went our separate ways.
He called me a few days later, and we had a long talk. That’s when I learned about his years of sexual repression thanks to a healthy varnish of Catholic guilt, a deep sense of self-loathing, and a pathological need to “keep up appearances” to people.
That’s when it hit me — I was totally dating Patrick from Looking…which made me Richie.
#ThatAwkwardMoment when you realize you might be the “Richie” with the guy you’re currently dating. :-|
— Karsh (@karsh) March 2, 2014
I suggested he should go to therapy, and if he doesn’t want to do that, invest in some self-care rituals so he doesn’t suffocate under the weight of his own guilt. That was two weeks ago.
He hasn’t called back since.