I don't consider myself a prude, puritan, or frigid ice queen when it comes to intimacy. I love intimacy. I am great at intimacy. In fact, I am a deeply intimate person. I dig sweet kisses behind the knees and soft caresses behind the ears. I'm a foot-rubbing, elbow-tickling, butterfly-kissing fool.
I'm just not like that on the first date… usually. My date with The Eager Beaver was no exception.
Now, the date itself is probably something I should have skipped in the first place. Things started off on the wrong foot. I broke a few of my own online dating rules:
1) I gave out my number before the date. I never do this. I think a man should deal with sweaty palms and ask for my number at the end of the date. Giving him my number early resulted in numerous annoying text exchanges for the week prior to the date. I'm not a huge fan of text messaging. To make things worse, he used text-colloquialisms such as "How r u?" and "U no it" (which, is supposed to translate to "You know it," I believe). I actually almost cancelled the date just for that.
2) I let him drive me in his car – Big Mistake! I'm a fan of my kidneys, so I don't want to end up in situations where someone will cut them out of me and sell them on the black market.
Initially, we met in a well-lit, highly-populated public place but we didn't stay there. He suggested we take a drive in his car, which I thought was strange. Still, in my initial judging of his character, I felt like he was harmless.
So, I ended up in the prom-date-seat of a Saturn driving up I95. Before he had started the ignition, he reached for my hand. He asked me if I liked it. I said, "Not really.” I paused, and continued, “I'm just not that touchy-feely before I get to know someone. I mean, it's not bad or anything, it's just not something I particularly like."
A few minutes later, his hand moved to my thigh and then, my inner-thigh.
As he continued to accelerate, I hit the brakes, "Whoa, buddy, don't get so fresh, ok? It's our first date."
He apologized and we went back to holding hands.
I mentioned turning back by the time we hit Westbrook. He said we would in a little bit – like when we reached Mystic. I told him I knew a great coffee shop in New London if he wanted to turn back there. He smiled, “Or, Mystic.” Looking back on it now, it sounds like I was trapped in a car with a serial killer.
I tried to keep conversation rolling, but in the back of my mind, I was wondering why we were driving. Why, with gas at $4 a gallon does this guy want to go for a drive? Why not grab a drink or go roller-skating?
An hour later, he made his intentions known. He pulled off the interstate at a "scenic overlook" in Mystic. I couldn’t believe I was sitting at make-out point with a guy who hadn’t even bought me dinner first!
He started rubbing my shoulders. He asked me if it felt good? If I liked it? I told him I was really more of a "massage on date three girl" and asked to go back.
He said ok, but asked for a hug first.
He took the opportunity of the hug to kiss me on my shoulder. Then, the other shoulder. Then my neck and my cheek. I debated kissing him or just getting out of the car and asking a friend to come pick me up. I could still taste the essence of the French Onion soup I'd scarfed down for lunch. I decided to kiss him anyway. There was no spark.
The kiss lasted less than a minute before I noticed him showing all the classic signs of a guy who is about eight minutes away from pouting about getting led on and trying to make me feel bad. I didn’t want it to get to that point, so I said, "OK, WE REALLY NEED TO GO BACK NOW," in my big girl voice. He said, "I know" and smiled, like we had just shared something intimate. I rolled my eyes.
Driving back, he started rubbing my arm. I huffed a little bit, but decided arm rubbing was like handholding: harmless, albeit annoying.
By the time we got back to New Haven, the arm rubbing turned into boob squeezing. I was appalled. I asked myself two questions:
1. Was I enjoying this? No.
2. Was I uncomfortable? Yes.
I told him to stop. He apologized and went back to holding my hand. When we got back to my car, I immediately jumped out.
I got a text from him the next day. I told him I had been uncomfortable on the date. He apologized – via text message. I never saw him again.
I know I wasn’t smart on this date. I may joke about how dating is a jungle, but truthfully, it can be dangerous.
I didn’t know just how dangerous until I started looking up crime statistics. According to a Bureau of Justice Statistics report released in May 2011, there were over 203,000 rapes reported in 2008. That number amazed me. I looked for more information and found the Domestic Violence Resource Center, which stated, “Three in four women (76 percent) who reported they had been raped and/or physically assaulted since age 18 said that an intimate partner (current or former husband, cohabiting partner, or date) committed the assault.”
The online community isn’t immune from date rape. Searching for cases in the news, I found an article explaining that Match.com started screening its customers for past sexual offenses because of a recent date rape case.
As I said, I’m a smart girl, but I don’t always make good choices. I learn from my mistakes though, and will be much more careful in the future.