Several months ago, The Smiling Man messaged me through my dating website. It was just a simple, “Hello,” but I was rather intrigued when I read his profile. He didn’t share much information – in fact the only thing we wrote in his “About Me” section was “Are you really reading this? Go on and ask me a question or just say “hi.”” I have to be honest – I usually wouldn’t have given this guy another thought. I like men who actually take some time and put some thought into their profiles – letting me know the types of things they like to do, the type of person they think they are, and what they might be looking for in a woman. It doesn’t have to be a fucking novel, for Christ’s sake – but something that shows me they have some self-awareness, some interests, and lets me judge if we have enough in common to justify a meeting.
The Smiling Man seemed educated (Master’s degree), he had a job (teacher), and he didn’t do drugs and wasn’t much of a drinker. He was also quite a bit younger than me – but I don’t have a problem with that (it wasn’t like he was young enough to be my son or anything)! However, what made me look twice at his profile were his pictures. He wasn’t drop dead handsome; he didn’t have a ton of muscles; but he did have one of the most beautiful smiles I had ever seen on a man. Really! It was mesmerizing – like he was some sort of dude-siren of the seas who lured women to their demise with his smile instead of a song.
The Smiling Man’s pictures also gave me a little bit more information about him – in this one, he was skiing; in that one he was standing near his motorcycle; he had a goofy side, as evidenced in the picture of him posing with some sort of costumed mascot at a sports event.
So, while The Smiling Man’s opening salvo was uninspired (“Hello” with no follow up makes me sigh – and not in a good way), that smile hooked me and I responded.
The Smiling Man responded right away, answering the questions I’d asked about him and asking me a few in return. After several messages back and forth, we decided to meet and set up a tentative date and place. However, a few days prior, when I messaged him to firm up the time, he let me know that his father was ill and he wouldn’t be able to make it.
A few weeks later, The Smiling Man messaged me again, telling his father was doing better and again he expressed an interest in meeting. This time, I wasn’t available – I was going on a trip, but I let him know when I would be back and suggested we try again then. When I returned from Puerto Rico, I messaged The Smiling Man – but I didn’t hear anything for a couple of weeks. When he finally responded, he apologized for the delay and mentioned that he wasn’t on the website very often. I wasn’t offended. I explained that I didn’t live on the site either and I asked him when and where he would like to meet. Another two weeks went by and when The Smiling Man did get back to me, I couldn’t meet, as I had family in town for a visit.
I contacted The Smiling Man a week and a half later, letting him know that my guests had departed and asking if he still wanted to meet. He responded, “I’d LOVE to meet!” He added an emoji of a smiley face with little hearts where the eyes should be. I suggested we meet for coffee that weekend and asked him to let me know where he would like to meet.
Ten days went by. The Smiling Man finally responded, “Ugh, let’s just meet!”
Wasn’t that what I was trying to arrange? Perhaps I hadn’t been specific enough with my availability and/or preferences. I tried again, “I’m available Tuesday or Thursday night – or anytime next weekend. How about the coffee shop on xxxxx road? You pick the day and time and I’ll be there!”
That was two weeks ago – and The Smiling Man has not yet responded – and I realized that I don’t really care.
I read a great article the other day by Mark Manson (if you haven’t read any of his stuff, you owe it to yourself to check it out. The guy is not an idiot). In this article, Mark explains the premise of “Fuck Yes.” Basically, if you can’t say “Fuck Yes” to something – then your answer should be “No!” If someone (and this can be anyone – a potential relationship, a friend, a lover, etc.) doesn’t seem all that interested in you or they are ambiguous in regard to their feelings, then why pursue that person? If they can’t give you an enthusiastic, “Fuck Yes!” then, as Mark puts it so eloquently, “Why would you ever be excited to be with someone who is not excited to be with you? If they’re not happy with you now, what makes you think they’ll be happy to be with you later? Why do you make an effort to convince someone to date you when they make no effort to convince you? What does that say about you? That you believe you need to convince people to be with you? You wouldn’t buy a dog that bites you all the time. And you wouldn’t be friends with someone who regularly ditches you. You wouldn’t work a job that doesn’t pay you.”
Obviously, The Smiling Man is not “Fuck Yes!” about meeting me – and I’m not “Fuck Yes!” about him either. So, my answer to The Smiling Man is “No!” I’ve deleted our history and blocked him from contacting me again. I’m not angry with The Smiling Man and I’m certainly not hurt – it’s more confusion, if anything. When someone sends you an emoji with heart-googly eyes, it kind of seems like a “Fuck Yes!” But if it really was, The Smiling Man would have made more of an effort to keep in touch and to meet me. So, I chose not to waste any more time or energy on The Smiling Man and wish him well in his quest to find his “Fuck Yes!”
I know I’ll keep looking for mine.