Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Adventures in Internet Dating, Part 4


The other messages were far more promising. Drake, Kevin, and the other Drake were closer to my age and all of their profiles clearly stated “Mormon” under religion. They weren’t afraid of alluding to their background or to their missions.

The first Drake proved himself really down to earth:

Hey there. Your picture popped up on new members and then I realized you were in Utah. I thought I’d say hi. Watch out for the creepers on here, though.

DrakeConsidering the experience just moments earlier, it was really comforting to read something so pointed, confirming my suspicions not only that there were sketchy characters on the site but also upstanding hero types. I immediately got the impression that he was a guy who’d watch out for me. He was handsome and had an amazing smile with the slightest, most endearing of gaps in his teeth.

I sent back a brief introduction and soon our correspondence developed into significant conversations about our families, about growing up in the church, and about dating. He’d been at this for a while, but knew where I was coming from as he indicated following a lengthy instant message conversation:

You really are brand new. You haven’t had sex. You’ve never even touched a guy. That’s something to respect. You haven’t had time to figure everything out. I’ve met guys in all sorts of situations and you’re really cautious. It’s okay. You’ve got to feel your way through.

His sensibility was frankly a turn on. He wasn’t about to pressure me into anything. I even felt comfortable later with giving him my number a few days later. I thought it might go somewhere.

“You do realize this is the first time I’ve ever given a stranger on Connexion my number, right?”
“I wouldn’t call myself a stranger. You know everything you can for knowing me this long and online.”

That was true. I’d made my first real-world connection with a guy online. It was something simple and early on in our conversations. It was something simple. His brother went to the same university and although I never met him, the fact that I knew his brother’s boss (as we discovered a few lines later) was enough to authenticate the experience in a way.

I was speaking to a real person already connected to me somehow. The cosmic thread that people speak of had somehow connected us in the web of life. One was left to wonder if these ties would draw us closer in the coming weeks.


Through our texting conversations, we told each other about our families. Drake told me all about his brother being the liberal one in the family—the go getter who set his big brother on dates with other guys and recently left for a mission. There was also his sister who lived ten hours away yet remained the bane of his family’s existence.

I opened up a lot about my family. After my mission, I was instantly closer to my little brother, Darin, because we could share clothes and hang out with each others friends. Yet when I’d figured out why he was able to have a charming girlfriend and I found myself consistently uncomfortable in even the most casual of situations with girls, I couldn’t share that with him because of the way he’d treated a friend who came out to him the year before.

Darin, me, and the girlfriend

“I can see why you’re worried, but things have only gotten better since I came out to my family,” Drake assured me.
“I’m sure, but I’m not ready.”

The conversation stalled there.

We attempted to meet up several times in the month or so that we really kept in touch, but somehow there was always something in our way. I thought it was because we were busy and cities apart. Drake—as we later discussed in a meeting of very unexpected circumstances (to be revealed in a later series)—thought it was because I wasn’t interested. And perhaps there were other reasons. As a result, my priorities shifted, so I wouldn’t miss out again later.

At this moment in my life, however, I was more concerned with being comfortable with a new situation and set of experiences. Sorting through Connexion and the interconnected gay world around me would soon provide a number of lessons in that vein.

End, Part 4.


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