About that spark…

'Cause baby you're a firework...
‘Cause baby you’re a firework…

I’ve been on OK Cupid for almost a year. It’s not my favorite way to meet a potential boyfriend, but I just look at it as having another stick in the fire.

A few weeks ago, I met up with guy no. four from Ok Cupid. We messaged for a few weeks before meeting face-to-face, but the messages were short. He said he really liked to just get to it and meet the person before getting into any serious conversations via online messaging.

I really appreciated that — no sense in wasting time.

So, we met at Nino’s, where he had a reservation.

He was definitely the same person in his picture (always a plus), and we had a really nice dinner. Over wine, salad, and seafood, we talked for hours.

On paper, it was a pretty perfect date. He was polite, the food was great, the atmosphere was a little romantic, we had plenty to talk about, and we laughed a lot.

But I didn’t get that feeling. I wasn’t sitting there wishing he’d kiss me at the end of the night.

This isn’t the first time this has happened to me, and I’ve noticed it’s a pattern when it comes to the men I meet online.

When you message someone online, it’s impossible to tell if there’s going to be a physical spark once you actually meet in person.

The thing is, I was really disappointed when I didn’t feel that spark! As we were eating, I was thinking to myself, “Holly, this is the type of guy you should be dating.”

He’s smart, in shape, has a good job, goals, and he seemed to have good, genuine intentions.

I think some of my friends mistook the lack of spark for superficiality, which isn’t true. But while physical attraction isn’t everything in a relationship, it is a part of it.

And, I’m well-aware that I’ve dated men who are in no way conventionally hot, but I’ve found them to be very hot and the sparks flew.

I’m not superficial, but if you think sexual chemistry, or that physical connection isn’t vital to a relationship, you’re denying our nature as humans. We were created to have sex. Period.

At the end of the day, I want to be dating someone that I just cannot wait to make out with. Is that horrible? Yes, I’m hoping to connect with someone intellectually, but it has to be there, physically.

“Don’t you hate it when that happens?” My gym buddy could relate to me.

Yes, I hate it so much I almost feel guilty for feeling this way.

Truthfully, I’ve yet to feel a spark with anyone I’ve met online. There are times when I wonder if something is wrong with me. But instead of dwelling on it, I always tell myself that perhaps the person just deserves another chance.

A spark can grow over time, right?

I usually go on a second date with the person (if they ask, of course) to see if there’s something there or not.

After the dinner at Nino’s, we hugged goodbye, and when he got home, he sent me a text saying he had a good time.

I never heard from him after that, and I wonder if he felt the same way I did. It was a great date by the looks of it, but maybe missing that vital part of what makes a relationship exciting.

And it’s okay if he didn’t feel it, either. Because everyone deserves that feeling; that spark of something new and promising.


  1. Juli Langston

    Okay, normally I don’t comment on things, but I have to here. I used to be a believer in the need for the insta-spark. I now think sometimes we don’t even realize what it really is. I’ve been in the online dating world since it was still unconventional. It is difficult to navigate! I clearly didn’t do a good job of it for a very long time. However, when I really started giving people a chance to surprise me, they did. I kept holding out for the perfect profile guys and getting nowhere. In most things (like shoe shopping) I am a “know it when I see it” kind of person. I don’t buy a bunch of stuff because it is kind of what I like. I only buy something when I know it is exactly what I want. I’ve been the same way dating; in that I haven’t dated a whole lot at all. I had a few insignificant things in college and then just focused on my career and life until I was about 29. Then I realized everyone was engaged or married and I was really sick of going to things as the single girl. So, I decided to really get involved in trying to do the online dating thing for real. Augusta, GA isn’t exactly the place to bar troll, and I was totally unable to determine people’s ages at that point anyway (has that happened to anyone else?). A few weeks after my 29th birthday…winner! Go on a drink meet-up and insta-spark! Things about my approach I’d changed: he wasn’t a college grad which had always been a no-no before. I had this delusion that I’d have nothing in common with someone who hadn’t had that college experience like I did…WRONG. The other big thing I changed about my approach was evaluating pictures. He had 2 normal-hot pictures on his profile and a few where he wasn’t looking quite so hot anymore. I decided to give it the benefit of the doubt and pray that he was just unphotogenic in those pictures; it totally paid off! Now, I’m not saying that will always be the case, but so far going with the philosophy that their best picture is the best representation of them has worked. So, I met a cute guy who was interesting and fun to hang out with. The catch was that he was only in town for a few months for work. We saw each other while he was here and parted ways when he left, but he gave me hope again that there was someone out there for me and internet dating actually worked. Okay, so now why I don’t necessarily believe in the Spark. A few months of dud dates go by while I’m doing a lot of traveling for work and the holidays, etc. No big deal. Then in the spring, in between work trips, my friend talks me into joining Tinder. She’s been dating a guy she met on there and so I give it a shot. At the very least, it’s fun to kill time in the airport swiping away. So, after a particularly shitty day at work, before I head to the gym I swipe on a few guys. I specifically remember pausing on one and thinking, ‘ehhhh, he’s really not my type,’ but then said WTF since he had pretty eyes. After I got home later I heard my phone ding and he’d messaged me. Long story short, when we met up later in the week, I did not feel the insta-spark at all. It was a little awkward actually. He was super nice, paid for lunch, we talked about college football, but there wasn’t a whole lot of chemistry. I messaged him afterward and thanked him again for lunch and he said it was great meeting me, etc. The usual stuff. I was still pretty bummed it didn’t seem great. Then later that night he texted me and we chatted for a while. The conversation was good, so I agreed to another date. This one was a little better, but not great either. I was leaving for another work trip that weekend to Alaska for a week, so when he asked me out for the 3rd time I figured if it was really bad, then I’d have a week on the total other side of the continent for space. Something clicked on this date, though, and after that I couldn’t get enough of him. We dated for almost a year, but he got transferred to DC for work, and the romance fell out of the relationship, so we decided to just be friends. Okay, so this could happen to anyone once, but again, this experience opened me up to giving more things a chance just because there wasn’t an Insta-spark. So, a while later, when I went on another so-so date, followed by a 2nd so-so date, I was willing to give that 3rd time’s a charm date a try. Turns out it seems to work because we’ve been together ever since, and are currently looking for a house to move into together in the fall. So, sorry for the novella, but there are my insights into online dating and the art of giving things a little time to develop. Good luck out there, ladies and gents! ~Sorry I took over your blog comments, Holly!

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