Confessions of A Hopeless Romantic: Holding Out For Houdini

A few months ago, I went on my first blind date.

Okay, it wasn’t entirely a blind date. Thanks to the Internet, we both already knew what to kind of expect. I guess it was more of a vision-impaired date? Either way, we had an amazing first date, a solid second date and then I never heard from him again. So I thought to myself, “WWCBD?” (What Would Carrie Bradshaw Do?)

Like Bradshaw, I shared this story with my girlfriends over brunch. But replace brunch with GChat. And switch out Manolo Blahniks with Converse. After some investigation, I discovered this two-date-disappearing act is more common than I thought. Dare I say it, it’s almost an epidemic amongst the single 20-something male population.

Allow me to put you in my Frye boots:

Somewhere in your 20s, a friend will set you up with a guy you just HAVE to meet. And since your goal in life is to emulate a romantic comedy whenever possible, you agree. Jen Aniston would totally say yes to a blind date. Right? Okay, cool. Let’s do this.

So, after a flirtatious e-mail interaction (Call yourself Meg Ryan, because You’ve Got Mail!), you agree to meet up.

The Outfit

You’ve seen his picture before and he’s cute. Like, Disney Prince cute. So you can’t look like you don’t care, but you also don’t want to look like you’re trying too hard. You don’t have time for a clothing montage with all your besties set to “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”, mainly because you don’t have a lot of girl friends, but also because you don’t have that many clothes.

You wanted to find the perfect outfit that’s sexy yet sophisticated. So you settled on your uniform: flowy top, jeans and flat ridding boots. You tell your matchmaker friend about the boots. She warns you he (also her co-worker) left the office in a button down. You think to yourself: Crap. I have to look like I’m trying a little harder. You scramble through your color-coded closet and finally decide on a red top, jeans, a jacket and heels. Yep. Heels. You’re going all out. He better buy dinner.

And then. Woop. He texts you: “I’m here.” You panic.

As you grab you purse, you start to get nervous. Isn’t this how most To Catch Predator story lines start?

The Date

You hop into his car and there’s that weird moment when you realize you actually haven’t officially met before. You just e-mailed. And in person is… well, different.

He really is cute.

You lock eyes over dinner and it’s like you’re the only two people in the room. You start talking and not a beat is dropped. It’s like you know each other.

You like The Simpsons?! I like The Simpsons.

Later. You’ll romanticize this date in your head. Each time you play it back it will be more and more perfect, like how Clueless gets more perfect each time you re-watch it.

The date goes on for hours and you never once look at your phone. You pinch yourself, just to make sure this is really happening. Four hours later you’re still talking until —

He kisses you mid-sentence. And it’s magical. Butterflies! Fireworks! And that’s all you’ll do on your first date: kiss (because you’re classy). You haven’t felt this way since high school. As he goes in to kiss you again, he’ll say something that makes your heart skip a beat:

“This is the best date I’ve ever been on.”

“Same!” You want to scream at the top of your lungs! “Let’s hang out forever!” But you stop yourself and say something coyer and less crazy like, “I’m also having a lot of fun.”

He kisses you goodbye asking if he can hang out with you tomorrow and wondering if that’s too much. You definitely have something important to do tomorrow. But the fireworks! And in this moment, with your head in the clouds, you’ll think he’s most important thing in your life and you don’t want anything to go wrong.

You have a second date which is less impressive than the first. But you don’t notice it at the time. You’re so into this newfound love interest that even watching paint dry with him would feel magical.

Later, when your head is out of the clouds and you’re back to earth. After the free fall hits you and your heart sinks to your stomach with the realization, “I just met this guy. I don’t know him.”

“Sure! Yes! Tomorrow.” You exclaim. A smile creeps across your face.

Holy Jen Aniston! You’re smitten.

The Downfall

Tomorrow comes. You flirt text all day. You brag to all your friends or anyone who will listen. Can you believe it? You found romance in Los Angeles! It’s too good to be true!

And actually, yes. Yes, it is.

Then he pulls “The Houdini.” AKA “the two-date-disappearing-act.” First date amazing, solid second date. And then….




Where did he go? Did he die? Is he okay? Was that all a dream? Should I text him a few times just to make sure he’s alright? Quick! Think of something witty and charming.

Before you drive yourself crazy – ask yourself the following to see if you are in fact dating (or attempting to date) a Houdini:

  1. Does it take him at least 24 hours to respond to your texts?
  2. Was your first date really spectacular and the second well…he put a lot less effort in?
  3. Does it feel like you’re always the one doing the reaching out?
  4. Has he not responded to your texts or phone calls, but you know he’s received them because it says “read” or your Facebook chats read “seen” or worse, he just tweeted FROM HIS PHONE.
  5. Is he really bad at making plans and then sticking to said plans?
  6. Does he say things like, “I’m bad at multitasking” or “I can’t plan that far in advance”?
  7. When you do eventually hang out is it typically super last minute and convenient for him?
  8. Do your friends not like him?
  9. Have you told at least 5 people about him and his disappearing act? Mainly because it’s all you can think about?
  10. When you ask him to do something is his response usually, “maybe”?

If you answered, “yes” or “I think so” to five or more of these questions, then I’m afraid you are pursuing a Houdini.

Houdinis are the worst. Because your first date felt like magic, and now you’re left with memories and wondering what you did to derail this perfect encounter.

Spoiler Alert: You didn’t do anything wrong.

I can’t explain Houdinis, much like how a magician can’t explain his tricks.

And who knows, like magic, maybe Houdini will pop up again.

But from my experience it’s not worth it.

Don’t wait.

Don’t be anxious.

Don’t text.

Accept that it’s over.

Most likely before Houdini appears again you’ll find someone just as great as him, but this new guy is better. Because this new guy won’t be all smoke and mirrors.

Featured image via FineArtAmerica