This was kind of a weird week, folks. Not exceptionally bizarre, necessarily, just a lot of things I didn't really expect to be writing about when I started this a month ago. Also, holy crap: It's been almost a whole month.

But First: Real Life!

Last week I signed up for Meetup in an attempt to force myself to do something with my life other than sit at home talking to you folks on Twitter and reading The Toast. I joined a group for local geeks and signed up to attend free salsa lessons at a reasonably convenient bar on Friday night. I didn't really get a chance to talk to many of the people in the group, but I had a good mojito and actually really enjoyed dancing with strangers. (Well, most of them. There was the Austrian-esque mansplainer and the sweaty-handed guy who asked me a lot of questions while doing just the basic step for five minutes, but otherwise it was fun.) (I was also adorable. I was going to put a picture here, but Kinja fucks up the formatting so you'll just have to take my word for it.)

I also met a very cute guy. We danced early on in the lesson, and he found me later to dance/talk/get my number. I thought his name, to my brief amusement, was Malcom—for the uninitiated, that's also the name of the wonderful bonneted captain whose face I borrow online—but upon receiving a text from him last night I discovered that his name is not Malcom at all. More on this situation as it develops.

Date #5: The Date That Wasn't

Last week I mentioned that I'd planned a date but they guy had cancelled the night before, claiming some sort of emergency and asking to reschedule. I'd figured there was about a 50/50 chance that I'd ever hear from him again.

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To my 50-percent-surprise, he did send me a message a few days later asking how my weekend went. However, as we were chatting, I mentioned that depending on what kind of job I get in the next month or so, I might stay in DC for a few years or I might move to *coughthatothercitycough* once my lease is up this summer. He was a bit off-put by this, and I told him I'd understand if he was no longer interested. I haven't heard from him since, and I noticed yesterday as I was looking through my messages that he seems to have deactivated his account. I'll be using "date #5" for the next (real) date as well, just so that it's easier to keep everything straight in my head.

Interlude: A Poll

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Should I mention in my profile that I don't know how long I'm staying in DC? Most of the guys I've met so far have been either in school or have been looking at grad school eventually, so it hasn't been an issue—they don't know where they'll be a year from now either. But obviously it's a deal-breaker for some guys. Should I make a note about it? Should I wait and see how job things turn out and then add it if it seems likely that I'll be moving? Your thoughts would be appreciated here.

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Date #5, Again

The real Date #5 was with a guy who has the name but not the looks of a certain Lizzie Mcguire heartthrob. We had some decent messages back and forth—I mentioned him in the last post as someone I was talking to—and he suggested coffee at an interesting-sounding place in a very hip neighborhood. Said neighborhood is a pain in the ass to get to from anywhere (as is my neighborhood, making this a double pain in the ass), but Jess told me it was totally worth it (#advicefromaraptor) so I called an Uber and headed out yesterday afternoon.

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He was… fine. We talked for a while, and while it wasn't bad, we just never moved past the fairly superficial stuff. I don't know if this is something about my conversation skills or just something about dating in general, but I feel like it's hard to get to non-surface conversations. I get that things like jobs and hometowns and music are comfortable topics, and small talk certainly has its place, but I want more than that. I want interesting conversations with interesting people. I know this city has to be full of such people. I just need to find them.

He recognized in his message to me this morning that our date wasn't especially deep: "Hey, so I had a really nice time yesterday getting most of the banal conversations out of the way :)" I don't know that I'm excited enough to do a second date, though. Also, his eyes are incredibly squinty, which isn't a dealbreaker in and of itself, but I really do like being able to look a guy in the eyes.

Oh, and Jess was right. The coffee place was great.

A Religious Experience

As I was browsing profiles last weekend, I came across a guy who mentioned that he's a Unitarian Universalist. I tend to think of myself as a religiously-agnostic theist, but I've been interested in UU for a few years now. In fact, a few days before I found this guy, I had been browsing the website of the local church and considering attending a service.

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I was curious, so I shot him a message and asked what drew him to UU. We had a lovely conversation and he answered a bunch of my questions. Encouraged by his enthusiasm for the religion and the knowledge that I'm busy for the next few Sundays, I woke up at a normal time this morning and, for the first time since I was probably six years old, went to church.

I told my roommate I went to church this morning and she looked at me like I'd grown a second head, but it was good. I'm not going to write much about it because I think I still need to process it a little more, but it feels like a good place to be, and I'll probably go back.

And I'm still talking to the guy—I initially clicked on his profile because we're a high match, and he does seem interesting as a person. He's kind of a mediocre conversationalist, though. I'll report back if anything comes of it.

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Date #6

Date #6 goes by the name Pienosaur. I actually messaged him first—some of his answers to the survey questions were a bit iffy, but I thought he could be worth talking to. He likes making pie. He lists his favorite books as The Peloponnesian War, "All Things Calvin and Hobbes," and To Kill a Mockingbird, which probably says something about him, but I'm not sure what. We had a decent conversation over messages—once again, nothing spectacular—and arranged to meet this afternoon at a wonderful bakery/café in my neighborhood.

It actually went very well. We talked a lot about TV and movies, but that's okay because I find them really interesting. He's a fan of Pushing Daisies. He listened to me talk about performance studies without seeming too bored, which I appreciate. We talked about feminism and intersectionality. He's pretty attractive, especially when he takes off his glasses, but he also blinks very aggressively (which was kind of distracting at first).

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I gave him my number, and I'm planning on seeing him again at some point. It wasn't a butterflies-in-my-stomach, wish-he'd-kissed-me-goodbye kind of first date, but there could be potential there.

Quidditch Guy

Below is the first message from this guy. I think my nickname for him is self-explanatory.

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It turned out that I was supposed to ask, "Why not hide and seek?" The answer: "I won't play hide and seek with you because it is Impossible to find a girl like you."

I do love a good corny pickup line, and his main profile picture was him scuba diving while an octopus clung to his head. He's also in the Navy, which is the only branch that's a slight positive for me rather than a neutral or negative.

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His profile was good, so we talked a bit and he seemed interesting and cool. And then there was this…

…followed by this, completely unprovoked…

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…and while I responded to his most recent message, our conversation seems to have fizzled out and I'm not super concerned about getting things going again. If he asked me out, I would probably say yes—it really was a great opener—but I don't really see us living happily ever after.

The Rest

I had some Dutch guy message me and then, when I told him that I didn't think he was quite what I was looking for, keep bugging me to give him feedback on his profile. Chill out, bro.

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There was this guy:

After talking with this guy for an hour or two, I sent the following message (I'm in gray) and immediately felt like an ass. (He was in Annapolis, though. Not happening, even if we had things in common. Which we didn't.)

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I don't know what this guy's endgame is, to be honest:

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I also got a great message from a guy in Birmingham. The UK one, not the Alabama one. Apparently he was browsing his "anywhere" matches out of curiosity and thought of a great pun on my username, so he couldn't resist. It was indeed a pretty great pun, and he actually looks like an amazing person. (His "six things I could not live without" include puns, chocolate, pillows, and feminism.) We've been messaging a bit (mostly silly things) and he seems basically perfect. If he were local, I'd totally go on a date with him. Alas, I imagine that this will not lead to anything particularly noteworthy.

Well, variety is the spice of life and all that, so I guess this was a pretty decent week. We're nearing the end of the best time to meet someone online, so who knows what the future will bring.