Internet Dating: First Contact

My first experience with internet dating began and ended with a phone call.  The same call.

This was a short relationship.

He (name soon lost in the cobwebs of my memory) described himself as an engineer, in his late 50’s, recently retired from a long and successful career at one of our major manufacturing firms.

That sounded promising.

He named the suburb in which he lived, one of the more affluent addresses in my town.

Also promising.

He said he loved going to art museums and told me a sweet tale of being moved as an adolescent, almost to the point of tears, by a painting of a beautiful woman.  I thought I knew the painting he meant.  Alan, my ex, grew watery eyed as we sat on a bench looking at it, our first visit to the museum.

Both men were moved by the beauty of Lucretia and the tragedy of her plight.


Very promising.

We made a date for breakfast that Saturday.  I was thinking that the internet dating site was my new ice cream shop (read Time to Take Your Own Advice, Georgia).

Then he said, “If I give you my email address, would you send me a photograph of yourself?  The ones in your profile aren’t very clear and I want to make sure I recognize you.”

I hate having my picture taken, so there was truth to what he said.  This seemed a reasonable request, so I jotted down his address. Then, just as I was about to end the call, he said, “Could you make that a picture of yourself in a bikini.”

Truly, that’s what he said.

In complete seriousness, this guy asked me to send him a photo of myself in a bikini.

Then he hung up.

This must be the painting he meant. He was moved to tears out of empathy for Mars’ frustration. He wants to get it on, but Venus only has eyes for her baby, Cupid.

This is what I did.  I emailed him at the address I had just written down:

I find it disconcerting that a man of your age would ask a woman of my age, one whom he has never met, to send him a photo of herself in a bikini.  Since our views of courting behavior are clearly ill matched, I have deleted our breakfast rendezvous from my calendar.  I wouldn’t want to waste your time.  Georgia

 As I said, it was a short relationship.

Now I’m wondering if anything will come of internet dating.  Anyone had experience with this?

5 thoughts on “Internet Dating: First Contact

  1. Seems a jerk comment, to be sure. Or is it? The internet is just a tool, wondrous to behold, yet capable of misuse like any other implement. People say the damndest things, in person or otherwise. Sometimes blurts are “thoughtlessly said and instantly regretted.” You weren’t scandalized that he asked for a bikini picture. You were scandalized because someone who initally seemed nice and docile asked for a bikini picture…much too early. Your reaction was most understandable, but in fact you don’t know if he was making a clumsy joke, or was a horny old goat masquerading as a sweet guy before…or whatever. I thought your response was most measured and restrained. I have some female friends who would have drawn and quartered him, melted his laptop.

    Be easy on yourself. It’s not all like that. Sometimes you have to remove a lot of chaff before you get to the wheat.

  2. What puzzles me is that you say “a man of your age” and “a woman of my age” in your response. I find it disconcerting that the guy would ask a woman of ANY age for a bikini photo. Getting to know a person before opening one’s body to them is just simply a way a person of basic social refinement would act. And if two get to the place of knowing one another well enough to do that, they do so in tandem. Don’t tell me about beaches!! On the beach we are all disrobed to some level so this criterion does not apply…but it sure does apply in the internet dating context. He’s not a jerk. He’s a horny old guy with a lack of social skill or moral refinement. He’ll get the woman he deserves, and he’d better be prepared to spend a bundle on her and her bikinis.

    • Hi Yess: You’re right, I would have found his request disconerting at any age. At this particular age his lack of social refinement became ludicrous.

  3. I know of three couples, one couple in their 30s, one in their 50s and another in their 60s who have found enduring happy relationships through having first met on the internet. So it can be done. And, as I understand it, there are a lot more men than women out looking for love on the internet. So you’re in the drivers’ seat, Georgia.

    • Hi Richard: The statistics I’ve read, and the anecdotal information I’ve heard, say quite the opposite. A friend is dating a man she met on EHarmony. They both were on for 3 months before meeting. He was approached by 100 women, she by 10 men. This does not bode will for me.

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