What the hekk isn’t he telling me?

 “Cuffing Season – During the Fall and Winter months people who would normally prefer to be single or promiscuous, find themselves along with the rest of the world desiring to be “Cuffed” or tied down by a serious relationship”

Fall 2015 and love is in the air. The leaves are changing, the weather is crisp, and everyone I know is going apple picking with their boyfriends. Except me. After some serious FOMO, I decide that I’m ready to find a boyfriend to go apple picking with, so I download Bumble, Hinge and Coffee Meets Bagel. Cuffing Season is about to start, and it’s time for tryouts.

In a matter of hours, I match with a few potential boyfriends on Bumble, and start drafting my pickup lines. Once I match with a guy I find attractive through his 2-5 pictures, I have 24 hours to initiate a conversation. It can be any kind of cheesy pickup line, emoji wave, or a compliment about his profile picture (pictures are any/all of the following: guy hiking, guy on a beach, guy on a vacation, guy walking a dog, guy holding a baby). The caveat is that if I don’t start the conversation in 24 hours, the match will expire and poof! He disappears. Unless… Guys have a certain amount of time to extend the match, kind of like a Facebook poke to let you know that they are very interested, a plead to start the convo. This can either be considered creepy or flattering, and when I get a notification that **new boyfriend** has extended the time for a few more hours. I decide to thank him for extending. He tells me that I am beautiful and that he would love to take me out this week, Wednesday perhaps? We make small talk for the next three days, and I look at all forms of social media to make sure he’s legit. His pictures are cute, he’s got a great job and lives nearby. Chekk, chekk, chekk!

Date #1: Wednesday night arrives and I am excited for the possibility of all that lies ahead. I have happy hour drinks with coworkers beforehand, they wish me luck and I hop in a cab to meet my new boyfriend.  He has a vodka soda waiting for me upon arrival and I am in love. We have two hours of great conversation, he throws endless compliments my way, and we plan for Date #2 on Friday. I am beyond excited about my successful blind date and tell everyone I know that I’ve decided to settle down. I think I’ve found the one. No need to continue tryouts, I’ve found my cuff for the season.

Date #2: Rather than your typical Friday night dinner date, he takes me to a concert with his cousin and cousin’s girlfriend. Too soon to meet the family on the second date? I should have taken that as a red flag.  We meet for drinks beforehand and he begins to shower me with compliments, starting with my amazing accessories and then my perfect fall boots – another red flag.  He also mentions that I must have gotten blonde highlights recently, and noted that my hair is much darker in my profile pictures – and another red flag. I love compliments as much as the next girl, but something tells me this is a bit off. He then begins interviewing me, asking questions about my job, family values, and politics.  I don’t consider politics a second date conversation, but I let him carry on. He mentions that he is from a very conservative family, but “not too conservative, like if someone is gay they wouldn’t care.”  And yet another red flag.  Well, I don’t care if someone is gay either, I just don’t want to go on a date with him. In any case, I’m committed to the night, so try to have fun while making observations on his comments and gestures, coming to the absolute conclusion that there will be no third date.

The concert is in full swing, as is the tapping of the beat on my thighs. He professes his love of music, and spends the entire concert using my left leg as a drum. This annoys me profusely, but not as much as him trying to simultaneously hold my hand while tapping to the beat. I’m not much for PDA, especially on date 2, so everything about this is awkward. But again, I’ve committed to the night so I’m going with it (and the vodka is helping). The show ends, and I am devising a plan to get back in my own bed alone ASAP. The four of us hail a cab and head to another bar in the UES, and along the ride, the cousin mutters a comment under his breath that sounded something along the lines of ‘Ugh he’s being so gay again.” Aha, my suspicions are most likely correct, now that the cousin has confirmed my thought of the evening – my date is gay.

So I do the only logical thing I can think of – stay in the cab when the three of them hop out at the bar and hightail it home. No goodbye hug, just simply stated that I was overserved and was taking myself home. Alone.

The next morning, I wake up to 4 texts asking what went wrong, that he thought there was a connection between us, and could he see me again for drinks. All before 10am. Mind you, I’m still groggy and not responding to the texts, but when Text #5 pops up “I just can’t play it cool with you, please let me take you out again tomorrow” I know it’s game over. As previously mentioned, I’m all about flattery but dating is a game and I realize now I don’t want to win too early on (especially with someone who I’m not even sure is straight). There has to be a little bit of work put in, and this text shows me that the fun and games have ended, so I simply respond “You’re nice but last night was too much too soon, I don’t see this happening.” And block his number, never knowing what his response was. And that’s why I’m still single.

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