Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Adventures in Internet Dating, Part 7

Unexpected Delight

It’s not often you meet someone who’s shared a great deal of your life with but have never met.

In the case of Drake Hatch (so-named because his name had that dynamic ring to it and because the previously-mentioned Drake happened to message me on the same day), that was definitely the case.

It started out with a simple message on Connexion:

Welcome to Connexion! I thought I’d say hi. It looks like you’re in my hometown? Are you going to school there? I don’t suppose we went to high school together? I graduated in 2000.

This was a delightful surprise. As I was entering this world in search of connections and common experiences, I was optimistic that I might have someone to relate to on multiple levels in Drake Hatch.

Drake HatchTo be honest, I didn’t find him all that attractive based on his pictures. His eyes were droopy and his hair seemed a little thin. However, I responded immediately. He made conversation easy. There was a chance we might know each other. He even seemed to be in search of similar connections based on the way he’d written his message.

What resulted was more than I could have ever anticipated. The conversation that played out over the course of two weeks—via text, instant messaging, and one or two phone calls—was invigorating in every possible way.

As it turns out, we didn’t just share a hometown. We shared numerous acquaintances. He and my cousin were leads in their high school musical. We’d taken classes from the same professors. He had mentored my little brother, Darin, in EFY (Especially for Youth—a type of summer camp for LDS teens).

Pictured: The cast of RAGTIME on Broadway at the Neil Simon Theatre.

Every little connection seemed to justify the experiences I’d been having over the past months. He somehow made everything make sense. I wasn’t the only one who had come out of this place a gay Mormon boy.

Somewhat out of the blue, he texted me one day:

“Guess what!? I’ll be in town this week for Thanksgiving. Would you like to meet up and maybe go on a walk?”

It was the type of surprise that makes someone’s day. A visit from a friend/romantic interest in a couple of days put a bright smile on my face. Suddenly, I was excited and ready for the droll family get-togethers. Dinner with my ornery, Limbaugh-loving trucker of an uncle and an assortment of other relatives with whom I find myself disconnected suddenly seamed half the task it did before. texting Drake

In the days leading up to the meeting, my texting load easily doubled or tripled as we continued our conversation. We made a plan to meet up. It would be a chance to say “hi” and swap stories in person. It would also be a chance to test whatever emotional or physical attraction we might have to each other.

On the eve of our fated encounter, I was working on a paper in my living room as I received a text from the guy who had occupied my attention more than any other guy in those two weeks:

“I’m excited to meet face to face tomorrow. I’m a little impatient, though. Would you mind sending a picture?”

This was a first for me. I was a self-declared luddite. I managed to put off getting a phone for the first year after my mission and didn’t use text messaging for another full year. A picture was kind of thrilling, but I’d just gotten out of the shower and my hair was a mess.

“I’d rather not. I don’t even have my contacts in,” I responded.
“I’ve seen you done up on your profile. I want something more candid. Haha.”

It was definitely sweet in a way. He wasn’t looking for anything steamy or dirty. This was a way to flirt with me and pass a little time at his parents place. I sent the picture and we texted our good nights eagerly awaiting our meeting the next day.

The next day, I got up just in time to walk to my closet, carefully pick out a suitable, warm outfit and polish myself in the mirror before leaving.

It was late morning and we decided to meet on campus and take a walk down memory lane. I sat there for a while leaning against the hood of my car, hoping it would get a little warmer, that he would be the same in person as he was on the phone, that we would enjoy ourselves.

car hood

As he arrived and stepped out of his car, I realized at that moment that things weren’t quite as I’d perceived them to be.

“Hi. You must be GMB,” he said.

Drake Hatch was as friendly and warm as I’d expected, but his pictures, it seems, had mislead me. In person, he was much more attractive—his eyes were full of optimism and his smile immediately led my mind to thoughts of kissing.

I was quickly falling for him.

End, Part 7.


C.J. said...


I'm waiting for "adventures in internet date who becomes boyfriend" part one!

Mister Curie said...

Sounds like things were working out well with this internet dating phenomenon.

Unknown said...

C.J. had my exact thoughts. This like a soap opera in which you leave us hanging until the next episode, which may be your intent.

Rob said...

Of course that's his intent. He's a skilled enough writer to know exactly where to stop the story so you'll come back for more.

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