While online dating has in many ways changed the dating game fundamentally, it does have a few interesting things in common with pre-online dating. Scheduling a second date, the first kiss, and exchanging phone numbers. Call me lazy (or busy!) or old, but I don’t use apps like What’s App or Snap Chat because
- They create too much conflict in relationships; and
- I don’t want to manage something else in my life!
Therefore, I find myself thinking about phone numbers the same way I did in college, before app and internet dating became ubiquitous. Now, I don’t tend to give out my cell number right away and wait until I’m comfortable with a guy or we have met at least once (Plus, when you get 5 different “Mikes” or “Steves” etc. in my phone book, it’s annoying and confusing!)
So it was for Mark, whom you’ll remember from some previous installments. For anyone who hasn’t followed along since our first “Mark” chapter, Mark and I had a couple of nice chat conversations, after which, out of nowhere, Mark straight-up ghosted me. Being a therapist, I knew it was important for me to get some closure with him, even if he refused to respond, so I told him how I felt about his behavior. Afterwards, I received a message through my InstaGram account. It was Mark! He messaged stating that he did not think I was getting his messages through Tinder. Apparently, he channeled his inner detective skills and pieced together what little info he knew about me (I’m a therapist who attended Drexel University and had an IG account) to find a way to reach out. I decided to hear him out since that did take a lot of time and effort. Plus, it was a bit of a turn on, even though he did acknowledge his attempts could come off stalkerish. (Honestly, all of the ladies I’ve shared this with thought it was an endearing quality!) At this point, I gave him my number, since Tinder attempted to screw us over (1 for Mark/Courtney, 0 for Tinder!). Yes, he did send me screen shots of his Tinder messages that, for whatever crazy tech reason, hadn’t been delivered to me! This made me wonder how many other guys were “missed opportunities” due to Tinder and should I give out my number sooner?!?!
Despite the Tinder fiasco, Mark and I continued to chat and went out a few times. We actually hit it off, which wasn’t too much of a surprise, since our online and text ‘dating’ allowed us to develop a rapport before being thrown into higher-stakes dating. Building rapport is a key foundation when considering whether to exchange phone numbers. I always think of Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks in You’ve Got Mail when I think about this issue. It’s funny, but that movie really anticipates the online dating situation most of us are faced with today. We want to use the casualness of internet conversation to get to know each other before we schedule that nerve wracking first call (or text message, or bistro meet up with a rose used a bookmark). It makes those first steps, however small, towards genuine intimacy that much easier to make. If Mark and I hadn’t had a rapport while online, I never would’ve felt comfortable enough to give out my phone number.
As for the end of Mark’s story, he and I really enjoyed our time together. Unfortunately, a few differences came up and I had to honor my relationship bucket list before moving forward with(out) Mark.