I was stood up!! It took 52 years, countless dates, crazy experiences and now I can add being stood up to my dating stories. There were red flags everywhere, but I let my curiosity get the better of me.
It all started when I got matched with "Jim" on an online dating site. "Jim's" profile said that he was 51, lived in Toronto, and worked in the investment industry. He was handsome, educated, fit, successful and seemed to tick off all of the boxes on my mental checklist for the ideal partner. This probably should have been red flag number one.
We exchanged messages on the site and then we exchanged cell phone numbers and begin texting. He asked me if I would be interested in meeting him for a tea or a drink, and I agreed. He said he was travelling to Whistler to do some skiing and then had business in Manhattan, so we agreed to meet the following week. I was excited to meet him as he was interesting to chat with, and seemed intelligent and fun.
"Jim" contacted me when he returned from Manhattan and invited me to meet him downtown, near both our respective offices, for a tea. The date he suggested was already pretty booked for me, but I really wanted to meet him, so I was determined to make it work. Unfortunately, that turned out to be a mistake on my part as a client emergency arose and I had to let "Jim" know first thing in the morning that I was going to have to reschedule our 1 p.m. tea.
"Jim" was mildly annoyed and said that he had adjusted his schedule to meet me. He sarcastically referenced a line from my dating profile that says I am "looking for a man on top of his game". He said he was on top of his game and that he, in fact, was a "Rockstar" or a "God" and that he was in extreme demand. I apologised again for having to reschedule, and he told me that I was "a dork for blowing him off" (red flag number two). I advised that I wasn't a "dork" and that I wasn't blowing him off. He then responded that it was ok as his ego probably needed to be knocked down a few pegs. We then agreed to meet for a tea a few days later.
That night the most interesting thing happened. I got together with my girlfriend who is also single and we began chatting about our online dates. She showed me a message that she had received from a cute guy who she had initiated contact with, and when I looked at the photos, I realized that it was "Jim" except in this profile his name was "Peter" and he was 57, lived in Hamilton, and worked in the military. The photos though were the same. This was red flag number three. I now thought that this seemingly perfect guy was dishonest and some sort of player or catfish.
I debated with my girlfriend what I should do about my upcoming date with "Jim/Peter". Should I stand him up and block him? Should I cancel with no explanation? Should I confront him about his dual profiles? I chose option three. I sent him a text advising him that I had come across this other profile through my girlfriend and it had all his photos, and that I wasn't sure what to think, but that I thought it was best if we didn't meet.
His reaction was interesting. He denied that he knew anything about the "Peter" profile and almost seemed hurt that I was suggesting he had more than one profile. He then gave me what he said was his full name, home address, and he invited me to check out his profile on LinkedIn which he suggested was more reliable than an online dating site. I did go to LinkedIn and sure enough his "Jim" profile was there. He asked me where we stood and said he would still like to meet me. I am a big believer in giving someone the benefit of the doubt so I agreed to meet him. He was quite attractive in his photos so it seemed plausible that an imposter might have copied them. I also couldn't figure out why he would be trying to mislead me on this.
The day arrived for our fateful date/meet. I walked over to the coffee shop near my office where we had agreed to meet at 5:45 p.m. I chatted with my girlfriend as I walked over and mentioned that I had an uneasy feeling. I arrived promptly at 5:45 and as I walked in, I didn't see anyone who looked like "Jim". As I walked up to the counter to order my tea, I received a text from him saying, "hi". I replied "hi" back. He then texted, "I hope you are late." I responded, "I am here, grabbing a table at the back." There was no response. I waited about ten minutes and then texted him asking what time he was going to arrive. My phone then rang and it was "Jim" calling from what appeared to be a Hamilton area number. "Jim" began by saying that he was a father of 4 and was, therefore, juggling a lot. He said that a client from Manhattan had walked in his office door at 5:05 p.m. and that he had forgotten that he had scheduled a meeting with him. I asked why he didn't call or text me at 5:05 then to tell me he was going to either be late or have to reschedule. He replied, "Good question. I thought I would still make the meeting." I replied that this was not going to work out as this situation combined with his dual profiles raised too many red flags. He responded that he had googled me and might walk into my office one day and try and make it up. I said I needed to go and ended the call.
I left the coffee shop with a lot of questions. Why would someone do this? How did it benefit him in any way to play this game? Was he playing a game or was it remotely possible that all his crazy stories were true? I felt disappointed and foolish, and begin to question for the 5000th time whether I should bother with online dating. I decided that while online dating may not be for me, I will never give up hope that one day I will find love.
I changed the names in this story to protect "the guilty". If you are reading this and want to venture a guess at "Jim's" motivation for doing this, or whether you think he was being honest or playing a game, I would love to read your feedback in the comments. While another one bites the dust, I will continue to believe in the good in people and not let the "Jims" of the world get me down. After all "Jim" has provided me with yet another great dating story for my blog.