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The Dating Project | ‘The Economist,’ Part III

Sarah Rose

Dating with a view to marriage is no other thing than work. I am a writer in New York, but Sex & the City this ain’t. Carrie had friends who weren’t repopulating the planet. She had fancy shoes. I have fuzzy Crocs. I get commuter rail and Brooklyn birthday parties. She got limos and glam soirees. I actually exist.

This is a project and it is a schlep. I used to believe in surgical strikes, now I’m carpet bombing. I’m on three different dating websites. I ask total strangers if they know anyone single because I have dated the pool of my friends’ friends’ friends dry. Somewhere, someone is going to make me laugh and swoon. I haven’t met him yet. I’m trying.

I hope it will end. Happily.

Regular readers of this column will recall I had a phenomenal date with the Economist, replete with heavy petting and an exchange of pathogens.

Then nothing happened.

Finally, the Economist wrote.

I want to apologize for the radio silence. I realize it must come as a surprise, given how well we hit it off. I am a bit befuddled.

The fact is I’m not feeling great. I can convince myself that I’m fine and in the mood to socialize. But it doesn’t last. I’m not, really. I need space to be with myself. I find the flirtation exhilarating. Still, I discover I’m not ready for an emotional commitment to somebody new.

I had a great time with you. You are beautiful and smart and interesting. I really enjoyed the kisses. I was flattered that you liked me back. I’m not able to take this further, though.

Really sorry if this bums you out. Would be great if we could pick this up as friends. I would understand if you didn’t want to.

Fans might also note that my last ticket to the divorced dad circus ended in a trip to Manhattan’s finest emergency room where infectious disease specialists wore HAZMAT suits and wondered out loud if I might go blind or deaf from the blisters occupying my milky complexion. It was like a scene from ET: The Extra Terrestrial.

A man who is too depressed to date me has an excellent reason not to. The Economist had a self-awareness Mr. Hyde cruelly lacked. I could not be more grateful. So I wrote a thank you note. I’m the Emily Post of OKCupid.

I’m really so glad you wrote this. It is mostly what I assumed had happened. But hearing from you means I can shelve the self-loathing until the next time someone doesn’t want me. So thank you for being so nice about rejecting me.

Of course I would want to be your friend. *

I hope you find a way to be happier. You deserve it.

* I really don’t want new friends. I want a partner. But I want to encourage him a little.

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