Pretty much every guy I’ve dated (sans my current boyfriend) has been a tale of an Internet dating disaster. Whether it was MySpace, Facebook or message boards, I utilized my keyboard to meet guys regularly (mostly based on some self-esteem issues, but that’s a whole different article). But the one instance that absolutely takes the cake has gotta be AJ, the sandwich delivery guy, who I met through – wait for it – Craigslist’s Missed Connections.
You might be asking yourself, how does this even happen? Well, for starters, not having a car leaves me with plenty of time to scrounge the Internet for interesting reads on my anywhere-from a 20-90-minute public transportation commute. So one day I accidentally stumbled upon the Craigslist Missed Connection section and my life was forever changed. It started innocently as entertainment at first, giggling over misspellings, grammatical errors and the “weirdos” who lived and died with these attempts. Then almost religiously, I checked them EVERY DAY and became a “weirdo” myself. I got this weirdo insane hopeless romantic idea in my head that one day, someone would see me and be so taken aback with my beauty and the mysteriousness of my all-black work ensembles that they would have no other option than to post about me on a website that is also dedicated to looking for jobs and buying used couches. He would lose sleep at night refreshing their GMail account, just hoping and wishing that I’d see it and write them back! Weirdos that were meant to be.
Then, almost if by magic, it HAPPENED. “Yesterday early afternoon you came into my shop and ordered a sandwich. We made eye contact, but I lacked the courage to strike up a conversation because I was so busy. You: dark, long hair with bangs, thin, pretty.” My heart dropped. This HAD to be me. It was a vague and generic description, yes, but I just knew it. Because I had eaten a sandwich yesterday and that sounded like me (and a decent amount of my whole state’s female population). Not wanting to seem desperate, I bookmarked the page and set a reminder in my phone to see if the post was there 2 days later.
It remained on the site, so I sent an e-mail. But I played it cool. “Did you find her yet?” I wrote. In 20 minutes, I got a reply. “No, not yet.” I may or may not have done a little happy dance! I waited a full 2 hours before I responded, so I wouldn’t seem desperate (although the fact that I was checking CL for love connections in the first place probably blew any cover). I linked him to my Facebook page and asked him if I looked familiar. “Yes! It’s you! It’s absolutely you!” was the immediate answer back. A few minutes later, I received a friend request – we found out that we had mutual friends, and everything began to feel not so murder-y. We set up a date for drinks at a popular Thai restaurant downtown and I was ready to find out of we were meant to be, or if I’d eventually make a great Lifetime movie as my parents searched for my body.
Luckily, the date went amazing. We had so much in common that we clicked immediately. Towards the end of the date, I got a text message from my friend Sara (holler girl, I know you’re reading this!) alerting me of a FREE WHISKEY TASTING at a bar up the street. Not wanting to end the evening just yet, AJ and I decided to head over there.
A night of free-all-you-can-drink whiskey turned into a morning of homemade omelets and hashbrowns. And that morning turned into an afternoon of watching movies cuddled on the couch together. I finally left his place and headed home after 36 hours. I HAD A 36-HOUR FIRST DATE WITH THIS GUY I MET FROM CRAIGSLIST. Was this really happening? And how was this happening?
Our relationship continued down this great path. We were inseparable. Within a week, I had a key to his place. Within 3 weeks, “I love you.” You don’t expect someone trying to find love on Craigslist is also not impulsive, right? But things were going well, and we have Craig to thank.
But that’s when things began to go downhill. It was like someone flipped a switch in his head. the switch that said “Act like a guy I met on Craigslist.” Oh, and did I fail to mention that there might’ve been a bit of a drugs/drinking problem that came out of what seemed like nowhere? Because he forgot to tell me, too. In addition to being completely unmotivated to do anything other than deliver sandwiches, learn Spanish, and live like Jack Kerouac with his dog, I decided that this just wasn’t the relationship for me.
So, 3 months later, we broke up. It all became so co-dependent, toxic, and melodramatic, but again, that’s a different article. I have to ask, though; What came first? AJ posting on Craigslist or AJ being crazy? I think we can all assume they come hand-in-hand.
I’m sure there are things I could add here but I’ve pushed them so far back in my brain as an attempt not to remember this failure, nay, learning experience of a relationship that I’ll stop. But the one thing that I do remember, the one thing that hurt so much was his final sentence to me:
“That post wasn’t even about you.”
Who knows if he was being honest or just talking out of anger? Either way, I knew I made the right decision distancing myself from my Craigslist boyfriend, so that I could healthily approach new possible mates through a much more traditional route of introduction and romance: Twitter.