After a divorce and then a long-term relationship that ended because: a) I got my life together; b) he was jealous of that; and c) he had no idea who Nelson Mandela was…I unleashed myself onto the online dating world.
My point of entry was OKCupid. My life is crazy busy, and online seemed to be the best option for me. My best friend was also on “the Cupid” and seemed to have success there, so I thought what the heck. The first person I contacted who contacted me back was great guy who just happened to have finalized his divorce one month before he met me.
After about two years of trying to feel out if this man was ever going to be ready (honestly if they want to be with you, they will and you don’t have to figure it out; men are pretty basic that way). Needless to say, he was not ready for what I was looking for–an eventual life partner. So I went back to “the Cupid” to see who else was out there…or more accurately, I decided to passively online date. I wasn’t going to look for anyone; if someone wanted to contact me, I would go from there. But I really didn’t have time to waste looking through countless profiles, because, well, I’m busy!
One day a nice guy contacted me and he seemed OK. [Editor's Note/Question: Pun intended?] He had two kids from a previous marriage. Had been divorced for my minimum amount of time. (About four years seems, in my experience, is an optimal time to heal…and sleep with enough people to get it out of their system so that they’re ready for an actual relationship.) [Editor's Note: Good. To. Know. Thank you.]
We texted and talked for a couple of weeks before we actually met. We met somewhere close to my house for breakfast because he worked nights, and I had to work that day, and it was the only way to fit it into both our schedules. Unconventional perhaps, but if you can’t be adaptable in dating, you can’t be adaptable with a life partner so why even bother.
Several things were red flags to me when we met. He felt the need to kiss me as a hello. I’m NOT a PDA girl with someone I don’t know. I am barely PDA with men I do know (at least at that point in my life…but that’s another story). Throughout the breakfast, he was trying to hold my hand before our food arrived. I told him that PDA just wasn’t me and he really needed to stop. Once that ended, I noticed something else. Something I just couldn’t believe.
He had no teeth.
When I say he had no teeth I mean NO teeth–not a ONE.
I couldn’t believe it. I almost couldn’t handle it. My parents spent thousands of dollars on making sure that, not only did I have teeth, but that they were perfectly straight. This man. This 35-year-old man had not one tooth in his head. It’s not like he was a professional hockey player or a boxer or something where he might have gotten them knocked out and then replaced with fake teeth. I could handle fake teeth, but gums? Just gums? Oh hell no.
After the date ended, he tried to kiss me some more. I just couldn’t get the image of his gums out of my head.
I called my best friend and shared my story with him. His reply was not what I expected: “I hope someone could love old, fat, bald me, but if this isn’t something you can get past, then you should put this guy out of his misery.” My response to him was, “Well at least you have teeth.”
That weekend I was headed to St. Louis for a wedding and to visit with my family who I hadn’t seen in years, and I told Mr. Gums I was going to be busy.
The weekend was filled with texts and calls that were above and beyond normal dating etiquette. So not only was this guy toothless, but he was obsessive and, well, annoying. I was going to let him down easy, but changed my mind and went for blunt and to the point. I texted him: This isn’t going work, sorry. I hope you find what you are looking for.
A little over a month later, I met the man I am with now. In our early conversations, I said to him, “You seem perfect, but I have to know…do you have all of your teeth?” He laughed and said, “Yes. Why?” I told him, and we’ve lived happily ever after.
Now I actually enjoy PDA.
Dana is a 43-year-old, white, single mom of a biracial 13-year-old daughter. She started a new career three years ago in video production and she’s also an online radio co-host. Her background includes music, musical theater, and improv. She studied at The Second City and took a graduate class with Adam McKay at Piven Theater workshop. Name dropper? Maybe a little. For more on That Fat Girl Media, click here.
[Final Editor's Note: I pretty much fell into a deep girl crush upon meeting Dana. Can we just talk about how she called men basic? #basicboy Happened here first, folks. And in lieu of pumpkin spice lattes, Basic Boys carry Lifetime Fitness cards.]