It turned out her mysterious date had a secret waiting at home
Rachel is a 31-year-old business analyst who lives in Little Italy. She says her style is “a mix of classy and casual. My work uniform is pencil skirts and crisp shirts, but on weekends I’ll go with tights and a hoodie.” Rachel describes herself as “a girl on the go!” and says “I always put family and friends first.” She likes taking spin classes and cycling outdoors. Rachel is interested in guys who can make her laugh, but she says “I also want them to have a romantic side. Ideally, they would share my healthy lifestyle, but are also down with spending a night in with a movie, pizza and chips.” She says “After a six-month self-reflection sabbatical from dating after breaking up with my boyfriend, I decided to start meeting people again.”
Brandon and I met on a dating app. Since I started dating again, I had tried and failed to find a guy that I connected with organically, so I decided to just try an app, like every other 30-something in this city. Before I could get too deep into contemplating how crazy and self-involved dating has become since I got together with my ex-boyfriend, I discovered the profile of a hot, mysterious guy.
One of Brandon’s early messages to me used “u” instead of “you,” and in any other context my inner grammar nerd would have scoffed, but I decided to overlook it. I gave him my number so we could continue chatting over text.
We moved quickly from the details of our profiles to our actual lives. I really liked how bold and assertive he was, and how genuinely interested he seemed. He got straight to the point. He wanted to know what I like to do, what my stresses are, what my goals and passions are, what I’m about. There was a flirtatious connection, definitely.
After a few days, he asked if I wanted to hang out at his store the following night. Obviously, I said yes. In fact, I said something like “Who could say no?” and sent a winky face. As soon as I sent it, I was horrified. I felt like the winky face was staring back at me mockingly.
Before I could analyze my emoji choice too harshly, Brandon texted “Cool!” I was relieved. When we met in person, the connection only intensified. There was definitely a strong physical connection. He was great-looking. He came up to me, leaned over, and whispered “I knew that was you.” Goosebumps covered my body as I looked into his eyes. At that moment, I accepted that I would just go with the flow of the date.
Despite the “u” issue, our conversation was intellectual. We talked about our passions, our careers, friends, what we do outside of work. We talked about what we studied in school, and about politics and religion — the two taboo topics — but realized that we share the same views.
He was very attentive, and listened as I babbled away. At one point he boldly placed his hand on my lower back, and said he had to go check on some things, but that he’d be back in 10 minutes. I was putty.
When he left, I assessed the store, and realized there were several beautiful girls around. Jealousy crept in when he talked to them, even though he was just working. After the store closed, we hung out for a while longer, and then ended up going back to his apartment, which was nearby. Things got a little intense, in the best way. The conversation became even more passionate than it had been in the store, which led to making out.
After a while, we pulled ourselves apart, and I excused myself to the washroom. On my way, I passed a child’s bedroom. It was a shock. There had been no sign of kids in Brandon’s living room, he hadn’t mentioned his dad status online, and he never once mentioned that he had a kid in any of our conversations.
I asked “Uhh, do you have a kid?” He said yes, nonchalantly, and asked if that was a problem. I definitely liked him, and I like kids, but at that moment I was more surprised that he hadn’t mentioned it than anything, even though it didn’t come up organically in the conversation.
I decided to hang out. After all, I was going with the flow of the date. We continued chatting with a bit of making out in his apartment, and then ended up watching a movie. We both fell asleep, and in the early hours of the morning, I tiptoed out of his apartment and headed back to mine.