Dating Diary: It’s a Small World After All [Reader Submission]

The following story was submitted by a reader:

We’ve all gone out for a night with the girls and met a guy who’s handsome, nice and makes us laugh. At the end of the night he asks us for our number, and since we have officially decided he’s not a creeper, we give him the RIGHT (don’t act like you don’t have a fake number on standby) number.

This is how my story with “John” begins.

John and I begin the 2015 practice of texting and adding each other on social media. Que romantique.

The texting and “liking” of pictures goes on for a while until I discover he’s extremely inconsistent. At this point I mark this one down in the “L” column, because let’s face it, I’m worth more than waiting around on some guy. I go on living my life, and according to Snapchat, so does John.

One day a few months later while I’m just sitting there minding my own business, I get the ever so awesome, “Hey stranger!” text from John. In my mind I’m thinking, “Who does he think he is just hitting me up whenever he’s bored? There is no way I’m falling for that!” So naturally I respond, “Hey.” We pick right back up where we left off, with funny texts and social media exchanges.

Finally, John decides he’s going to ask me out. At this point I have decided that I only like him as a friend. I’m not sure how to handle this like an adult (I’m still working on it) so I avoid hanging out. I use work as my excuse, and to be honest, I really do work all the time.

At one point I did tell him that I didn’t think things would ever work between us because I didn’t think we would mesh well. Yes, those were the words I used. I was judging him by his Snapchats, and I didn’t think our lifestyles were in sync. He laughed it off, but I think he understood. I felt that I had done my due diligence to let him know we should stay in the “Friend Zone.”

It came to pass that I had a full free weekend, and John asked me what I was up to. I told him I was just hanging around, so he invited me to meet up with him and some of his friends. That sounded pretty harmless, since it was a group thing, so I went. I got to the restaurant, and met all of his friends. It was a super chill atmosphere. “This will be fine,” I thought to myself. John told me he’s also invited his brother, and that’s cool with me. The more the merrier. A few minutes later, John’s brother shows up, and my heart stops beating…

I know him.

I looked at John’s brother “Donovan,” and the face staring back at me is one that I recognized. I didn’t know how, but I did. John introduced us, and said that just like me, Donovan grew up in Colorado. He played college football for a school right up the road from where I went. Then it hit me. I knew Donovan from a match on Tinder.

We used to talk via the app at one point. It never went any further than that, but I certainly remembered talking. So there I was on the most awkward non-dates of my life, not sure what to do. And in case you are wondering; yes, Donovan was as hot in person as he was on his Tinder profile.

I wasn’t sure what to do, and it didn’t seem like Donovan remembered me (rude), so I continued to enjoy everyone’s company and act normal. After a while we all decided to do to the next location. Another female friend of John’s showed up, so I now felt totally confident that we are not on a date. I found myself alone with Donovan for a moment, so I told him that I knew him. He asks me where I knew him from, and embarrassed, I blurted out Tinder.

After jogging his memory for a bit, he remembered me, and we had a huge laugh about it.

For the rest of the night Donovan secretly flirted with me, because he wasn’t sure if I was on a date or not, even though I had decided I was not. Eventually I decided to go home, and proceeded to call all of my girls and tell them about my 100th dating mishap.

The next day, I went to brunch with some friends, and told them the story. They asked me if I ever planned on talking to Donovan again. I explained to them I had no way to do so, but of course they argued the social media angle.

After some detective work (admittedly, I could find ANYONE on social media), I found him on Facebook. Since we are both from Colorado, we have tons of friends in common. As I looked at his profile deciding whether or not to add him, my friend Jesse hit the “Request Friend” button, and that was that. Mortified, I counted the rest of the seconds we were at brunch just hoping something would happen. I left brunch without a new friend.

Later that night I continued Sunday Funday (since everyone knows the good ones last all day), and I got a notification that Donovan had accepted my friend request. I damn near fell out of my chair. Moments later I got a message from him with his number telling me to text him. I texted him right away, because I completely forgot about not looking desperate.

He responded just as quickly (phew), telling me he’s excited I wrote back and had actually been looking for me all over Facebook with no luck. Clearly he doesn’t quite have the skills that I have. Not gonna lie, it was really great to have a guy admit that he was on the hunt for me. Mostly because it made me feel like less of a stalker.

I invited him to come out and meet us, and he did.

We are still navigating our situation, but so far it’s not too bad. As for the John–his brother and the guy I decided I was NOT on a date with–I haven’t heard from him since. Donovan discussed it with him, and he’s cool with it, so I am too.

The nice guy I met at the bar one night has definitely turned into a lot more then I bargained for.

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