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Never Meow on the First Date

An Account of My First Dating App Experience

A few months back, I was using online dating apps like Tinder and Bumble. Seemed simple enough. It felt like a game, to be honest. A strange game of filtering through shirtless gym selfies, “nice guys,” and the “My-friends-made-me-this-profile” guys. And after a few matches and conversations, perhaps there would be a phone number exchange, or maybe even a date. Now, in my case, I found the dates to go in one of three ways:

  1. The date was good—maybe even great. Maybe you hang out a few more times and then never hear from them again.
  2. The date goes horrible and you use that code word you and your friend came up with for an “emergency.”
  3. The date (or dates) become a series of comedies you use as a buffer to keep yourself from getting depressed that you're using a dating app. (aka, me)

Well, lucky for you, this story falls under #3 of the list.

I had matched with this guy (let’s call him “A”) who seemed…too good to be true. He was handsome, about to graduate from a four year university, majored in business management, loved working out…oh! And he loved cats (remember that one for later). So, on paper, I felt pretty confidently about him. And in our conversations he was always polite and he responded within a reasonable amount of time. We talked about everything under the sun, from career choices, to where we want to live, to how tall we were. He mentioned that he was 5’6” (Spoiler alert: He wasn’t 5’6”). Fast forward to our first date.

We decided that we were going to meet for a gym session and then catch a movie afterwards. On the day of our date, I show up early and head to the locker room to lock my bag up. I then receive a text from him saying that he’s over by the free weights and I walk out to meet him. And as I approach “A," I begin to notice that…he’s not quite as tall as he told me he was…in fact…he’s shorter than me. I should add here that I am 5’3” on a good day and “A” was maybe 5’2.” Normally I don’t make a stink about height but…really? I decide to brush it off. I think to myself, Hey, dating is weird. Dating through an app is even weirder. He’s probably gotten shit for his height in the past and felt nervous. Give him a chance! And boy did I give him a chance.

So after we finish at the gym, we head to the movie theater across the street. While we were in my car chatting and killing time, we stumbled into a pause in the conversation. I look at him to smile and show a friendly face, and he responds…with a “meow.” Like…an actual cat “mrrrooooow.” Looking back now, this was definitely a red flag. But at the time, I laughed. (I’d come to find out that this was a mistake, for he took that as a sign that meowing was a good form of communicating, which soon evolved into him petting my head as if I was a cat). You’re probably thinking that this date cannot get any weirder and that if you were in my situation, you would be halfway home dealing with you friend’s “emergency” by now. But alas, the night went on. And yes, it did get weirder. 

Soon after the “meowing” incident, we were inside the movie theatre watching the previews. A trailer came on for a sci-fi movie about animal genetic mutation and this monstrous crocodile crashed across the screen.

“That looks more like a prehistoric dinosaur than a modern crocodile,” I stated passively.

“Yeah, if you believe in that kind of thing,” he rebutted.

My mind blanked as I tried to comprehend the words that just came out of his mouth. Did he mean dinosaurs? Crocodiles?? The movie trailer??? 

“…I’m sorry…what?” I questioned.

“You know, dinosaurs,” he specified.

I’m sure my face gave away a lot of what I was thinking, but I tried to avoid any laughter and judgment…at first. I couldn’t just let this one go. I mean, come on. How often do you meet someone who is negating thousands of educated scientists who’ve dedicated their lives to this subject? “You…don’t believe in dinosaurs?” I inquired. “What about all the evidence?”

At this point he sighed, as if I was questioning something obvious. Like…outer space, or the color of the sky, or…I don’t know…dinosaurs. He put his hands up in surrender and contradicted with “I’m just saying that if you pour sand in something, and it stays there long enough, it could look like anything.”

And that last line is a direct quote. 

By the end of the night I was vaguely confused and, to be honest, intrigued as to what was going on in this boy’s head. I could have very easily blown him off after that first date and that would be the end…but where’s the fun in THAT? I’m not sure what possessed me to go out with him again, but we continued to hang out. For three. More. Weeks. And after each date I would come home asking myself why I was subjecting myself to this. But it just became so…exciting? Intriguing? I was just never sure what he was going to say or do next.

I gathered stories every time we met. This one time we were hiking and we came across a small stream with rocks as stepping stones. I crossed first, and when I turned around, he was on all fours crawling across the rocks (like a cat, I may add) saying, “Scary, scary” over and over again. He held up five people trying to cross because he was afraid of the trickle of water.

Another time I found a meme of a cat walking on its hind legs with the caption saying, “Walking out of the gym like a boss.” I laughed and thought, Gym. Cats. He would like this. So I sent it to him. “A” then proceeded to send me sixteen other cat memes in rapid succession.

But the final straw was when we were driving in the car and I had opened up (slightly) to let him know that I struggle with anxiety and depression, to which his response was, “Do you think the reason you are so depressed is because you listen to such sad music?” I wanted to push him out of my car. I get it, you don’t understand mental illness that much. But insulting my brain AND my music? GTFO. I called him the next day and ended it. 

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