Plenty Of Fish… just the name made me reluctant, but I was a brand new New Yorker, with no friends and had been single for more months than I could admit.
My friends’ status back home didn’t make me feel any better: marriage, babies, fiancés, long-term relationships; I was the weird one who was too afraid just to try. POF didn’t feel like the right solution, but it felt safe at the time.
Like any millennial ultra conscious about her look, I avoided close-up pictures, wrote a funny description about my life as a journalist, hoping to attract like-minded fellas. Surprisingly, the gents were more than interested. At times, I was flattered, others disappointed when I was going through the profiles of potential mates who claimed they were looking for long-term relationship, but posted pictures of themselves in underwear. Mixed messages you say?
And here he was, this man with no picture.
“A new journalist in town! You guys are popping up in every corner! It makes New Yorkers look good and smart. But I’ll confess, I don’t know if it’s true.”
My first thought: this funny boy actually read my description! We chatted the whole evening and exchanged stories about moving out of town, as he’s French. Little did he know what was going through my mind during those three hours. Screw the first date; I was already planning the wedding.
It would be a small wedding in Paris. My mom would cry as she’s been worried about my status for years and my friends would try to hide their jealousy, because after all, it’s Paris.
Days passed, and we moved from chatting to speaking over the phone. By then, he already sent me a picture of himself and boy was I impressed: a good-looking guy with a body that looked photoshopped. I’m cute, but not a 10, needless to say that my self-consciousness caught up with me pretty quickly. Is he really interested in me?
A girl always knows, right? Not really. He was always polite and friendly over the phone, sometimes too friendly; so much it was hard to flirt. He would tell me about his past relationship and how he’s been recovering. But was he ready to date again?
Soon enough, I navigated into the Maybe Land. Maybe he was just looking for a friend. Maybe his initial goal was to hook up until he realized that I was a decent girl. Maybe he doesn’t want kids.
“Would you like to meet?”
I froze. Maybe Land started to fade away. I thought he would never ask.
“Sure. What would you like to do?”
Two days later, we met in a French pastry. Cliché, right? However, I was pleased. As he explained to me that he came there when he was missing home, I was still wondering how he felt about me, until one of his friends interrupted us.
“Hey Michael! How are you doing?”
I watched the scene patiently while my journalistic radar figured this whole thing out. It was a setup. However, as Michael sat and started a conversation, I wondered what was the right reaction to have. Play along? Get mad and leave? No, I wasn’t mad, but I would not act like a naïve girl.
“So, guys, did you really think you were going to fool the only journalist in this table?”
After five seconds of awkward silence, the boys laughed. Stephane explained to me how he initially went on POF for himself and realized that my personality matched Michael’s.
“You guys don’t have to like each other. Just know that we’re friends now.”
Here I was, with my first New Yorker friend after two weeks in town, giving a chance to this boy I didn’t know. Little did I know, Stephane would become my best friend and Michael, the love of my life.
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