What to do About Dating Part 3: Story Time

I've been doing some heavier topics with dating the last couple of week. So, let's lighten things up a bit, shall we? 

I've been told that I have some of the most outrageous stories when it comes to my limited online dating experiences. I may not think they're a big deal, or that perhaps they're "normal." But when I tell them my friends start to have a strange look on their face and ask "he did/said what?"

So, here's one of my "classic" stories friends always want me to share when people ask about my online dating experiences.


The Forest Preserve Guy

Please note:  names have been changed to preserve privacy.

It was a few years ago in the early spring. I'd moved back to Chicago and was working part-time at a preschool. It was a new start to my life, so I decided it was a good time to jump into online dating. I'd attempted it (barely) in the past, but I needed to ACTUALLY try. 

I found him on an app and he had a great opening line. He noticed I mentioned in my profile that I used to work in youth ministry about how his dad was a pastor so he understood how much ministry could suck.

Someone who understood me! It was amazing!

We chatted on the app for a bit and quickly moved onto actual text messages. Sharing my phone number with a guy was brand new to me, so this was quite a brave and exciting step. We texted all weekend and had deep conversations. I'd waded through a ton of terrible conversations and sleezey men. This was a breath of fresh air.

He told me his name was Johnathan. I remember specifically asking him if he preferred John or Johnathan. He said Johnathan. (Yes, this is important.) Cool.

It just so happened later that week, a friend of mine was coming up to Chicago for a few days and was staying at a hotel somewhat around the area of where I worked. I always finished my shift around 1pm, and I had a couple of hours to spare before meeting her. So, in a surge of uncommon bravery, I texted Johnathan and asked if he was free and if he wanted to hang out. He said sure, and he was planning to take his dog to the dog park that afternoon and asked if I'd want to come.

I thought it was a great idea. I love dogs, and it's a slightly different first meeting/date from the usual coffee or drinks. 

I told him what time I was off work, he gave me the address, and I said how long it'd take me to get there.

The day came, I wore a cute (but not like I was trying too hard) outfit, and when I left work I punched the address into my GPS. I arrived slightly early, but still roughly about the time I said I would. However... this address did not look like a dog park.

It was a forest preserve with a large field across the street from a neighborhood. So... not tucked away and deserted or anything like that. But definitely not a dog park.

I decided not to panic. Since I'm directionally challenged and get lost all of the time, I figured I found the wrong place. So, I drove around a bit in search of the dog park. 

There was none to be found.

Eventually, I saw an elderly woman walking a dog. Surely, she knew where the dog park was! I pulled over and asked.

She said, "Well, there's the field by the forest preserve. BUT YOU HAVE TO HAVE YOUR DOG ON A LEASH!"

"Okay... thank you." 

I parked next to a house across the street and looked over at the open field as I texted Johnathan: I think I'm at the right place? It's a forest preserve.

He texted back. Oh! I didn't know you were already there! Give me ten minutes.

First of all,  I told him what time I'd be there. But... whatever.

Second of all, I was in the right place. The thought go through my mind:


Naturally, as I waited I put on some lip gloss. Because apparently when you're about to get murdered you should also look cute. 

Please don't ask me why I stayed. I have no idea.

Sure enough, Johnathan arrived with with dog in tow and we hung out in the field. He apologized and said "Yeah... it's not really a dog park."

Yeah. I got that.

The date/meet-up itself wasn't that bad. Conversation wasn't amazing, but not weird or awkward as so many first dates can go. He seemed like a pretty nice guy. His dog was also adorable and she loved me.

But then.

He said, "By the way, my name isn't Johnathan. It's Dave."



Now, if I recall correctly, the app we had been using was one where you had a username. But he introduced himself when we chatted AND as you recall, I specifically asked him what he preferred to be called.

I understand wanting to be safe and all, but when you're at the point of texting and meeting up, that's also when you know someone by their ACTUAL name. Also, you don't tell someone you're going to a dog park when you're actually going to a forest preserve in a random open field.

I try to be nice and ask "So, is Johnathan your middle name or something and you just prefer it?"

"No, it's just a name I like to go by."



What? What? What? If you hate your name, then go get it changed to the one you like! 

We parted ways after a bit when it was time for me to meet my friend. I didn't hear from him after, and he didn't hear from me. Which, there was no reason he didn't text me. I was awesome. Not that I wanted him to text me, but still.

Until a few weeks later when he texted to say that he got a new place and wanted to see if I wanted to come over and watch Netflix.


About a year later, in the winter, I get a random Facebook message from him (Yes, on his Facebook, he has both names) and he wanted to see how I was and told me about the "crazy" girl he just broke up with.


I haven't spoken to him since.

And that's just the tip of the ice berg when it comes to some of the weird stories I have. 


Anyone else have weird dating stories they want to share?

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