Dating Without Expiating, Entry 2: Zach

Recently, a friend of mine posted on Facebook asking for stories of bad dates. I knew this was my time to shine since storytelling is (obviously) one of my favorite things to do. Especially when those stories are mostly negative and completely humorous. I tried and tried to think about the worst date I had been on and, to my surprise, none of them were that bad. Honestly, I haven’t been on many dates, and the ones I have been on have mostly been mediocre. I settled on a story of what I considered my “worst” date, a date that was bad because I made it that way. But thinking about all the boys that I have been on dates with got me thinking about something new: a date series.

So here it is: I’m going to take all you readers (all three of you) on a journey through my dating life, bad and good, starting in 2012. I have a surprisingly detailed memory when I really set my mind to it, so these stories will likely be a lot more drawn out than they need to be. Hopefully it’s somewhat entertaining.

Dating without Expiating, Entry 2: Zach

expiate (v.): to do something as a way to show that you are sorry about doing something bad

I didn’t know I was gay until I was 19. I was never “in the closet” and never “experimenting.” I basically hit the ground running. In between coming out and meeting my first boyfriend, Jason, I brought a lot of boys home from bars, invited over a countless number of guys from Grindr and hooked up with a few guys in bathrooms of parties.

At the beginning of junior year, I went to a party at the house of a friend-of-a-friend and spent most of the night talking to a guy I had been hitting on for a year, but was uninterested every time. He was “straight” or “had a girlfriend” or something. Whatever. At some point that night I met Zach, a cute freshman. That night – as with most others at that point in my life – I was bold, confident and, most importantly, drunk. After spending about thirty minutes sitting outside the house in the dirt talking to him I started to get cold. Not a surprise, considering I was barely wearing a shirt, as usual. I decided to go home and I also decided that he was going to come with me. I made him hold my hand all the way back to my apartment, then he spent the night. Nothing noteworthy happened.

I didn’t see Zach for a while after that. We texted occasionally, but it was definitely going nowhere. That is, until I saw him at another party at the same house about a month later; then it was going somewhere. Straight to the bathroom behind a locked door. After that, it went back to our normal interactions: liking photos on Facebook and the occasional “how have you been?” over Facebook messenger.

I met and started dating Jason a few months later, thus ending my slut phase that was really starting to ramp up. After a few months together, Jason dumped me because I was too needy but too unavailable at the same time. As expected, I couldn’t let go. I convinced myself that we were going to get back together any day, and I continued talking to him every day like he hadn’t told me he didn’t want to date me anymore. A month went by like this, then something happened that I was sure was going to lock Jason back in: Zach texted me.

“When are we going to go on a date?”

Like I said, texting Zach was never leading anywhere before. So my immediate response was going to be “…never?” I was just going to use this proposition to make Jason jealous and make him realize that he needed to hang onto me and lock me back down again before he lost me to the rest of the UNC gay community that I hadn’t hooked up with yet (there weren’t many left, honestly).

Like most of my bright ideas, this backfired.

“A boy asked me on a date. Do you think I should go?”


I spent a few hours telling Jason how much I hated him, then deleted his phone number. Then I set up a date and time to go on a date with Zach. Sure, texting after hooking up wasn’t going anywhere, but maybe an in-person interaction would be better.

Like most of my bright ideas, this too backfired.

The day that I was going on the date with Zach, the radio in my car stopped working. I should really start paying attention to signs from the universe. When one thing goes wrong in my life, no matter how small, things continue to go wrong for quite a while after.

I picked Zach up from his dorm with music playing from my phone sitting in the cup holder. We were at the restaurant that he picked for a total of about an hour. There was no more than thirty minutes of conversation during that hour. I was still very new to this whole “dating” thing, but I knew this was NOT how a date was supposed to go.  He did tell me what happens when you get stung by a scorpion, though, which is probably one of the most interesting things that I’ve ever learned on a date. He also told me about some type of giant spider, but I forgot the name of it and I’m way too afraid to google “giant spider” to find out just for the sake of this story.

I took him back to campus, where there was no lingering in the car to continue the conversation, no hug and definitely no kiss. I still feel bad for not, like, walking him to the door or something, but there was no parking available. I blame UNC.

Afterward, we went back to occasional Facebook messenger conversations. I saw him out at a bar a few months later and we spent the entire night making out and he shoved my hand into his pants. Not much changed. It’s clear we were meant to be drunk hook-up buddies and nothing more. I actually messaged him a few weeks ago when I saw on Facebook that we were moving to the same city. He never responded.

This was about two months after our date. This was the beginning and end of this conversation.

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