An Ill-fated Attempt at Finding Love in the Hamptons

I met Mark a few weeks ago on-line. His profile had shown up in my ‘Daily Suggestions’ and I liked the look and sound of it. He was handsome – big smile, good hair, straight nose – and average height. He had been married before, but no kids, like me. He was Jewish, worked at a large CPA firm and sounded adequately intelligent. His romantic strategy was different. He described his on-line quest as one to “instantly feel a connection”. He urged women to “please only write me if you feel this way, and I promise to only write back if I have the same reaction to your profile. Maybe, just maybe, by taking this approach I will find my “special someone.” I am not jaded. I have simply come to the conclusion that this approach makes the most sense and saves the most time.” This was promising.

There was just one little red flag… His ‘Favorite Hot Spot’ – one really has the freedom to choose ANY place in the WORLD – was “the Hamptons”…. But, as is encouraged, one must give people the benefit of the doubt. Maybe Mark was born there and the region has special meaning to him… Surely there must be a valid reason for listing the showiest and potentially douchiest of all places. (This very red flag is about to become accountable for his meltdown… Wait for it…)

So I decided to write to him. (What follows is a verbatim transcript of our conversation.)

Natalie: Hi, I like the way you wrote your profile. I get very detailed in mine so take a look and see if you feel that “instant connection”! N

Within minutes I get a response.

Mark: yes except I am extremely good looking is that a problem for you?

Oh, so Mark is funny!! I like that. And he read my profile in detail; another good sign. (I mention somewhere that I am not looking for an Adonis.) So we can flirt a little I suppose?

Natalie: I just think that the universe might have a problem with two freakishly good looking people getting together. Or we can just tempt fate…

Natalie: I want to see your beauty in person. When r u free to meet for a drink?

Mark: Wednesday

Natalie: OK, If I’m not going East already on Wednesday, we have a date! Where r u taking me?

Mark: Anywhere is fine

Oh no… Where did funny Mark go? We’re down to bare-bones language now. But, once again, I must give the man the benefit of the doubt. He could be really busy, meeting clients or parents or driving. What I want to say is: I hope you are more charming in person, but instead I try:

Natalie: A man of few words….

Mark: Yup.

I am right.

Wednesday comes around, and I don’t hear from Mark. But at the same time I realize that the ball was kind of in my court since I was the one who invited him. So on Thursday morning I write an apologetic message:

Natalie: Hey! I am soooo sorry about yesterday. Can we take a rain check please? Are you free Monday evening? Again, really sorry. I’m not the flaky type. Nat

Mark: Text me its easier (insert Mark’s cell number)

We are now Thursday, the 4th of July and I am about to drive to Montauk with my sister. We are invited to spend three days and nights at the Refinery 29 Beach House. It’s an all-expenses-paid trip with goody bags and familiar faces. We’re excited! And I have an proposition for Mark…

I switch to text him from my phone.

Natalie: Hey! It’s Natalie. Are you out East this weekend? I read that you love the Hamptons!

I’m thinking, if he loves the Hamptons, he must be going like the rest of New York. How fun would it be if I meet him for a drink or a swim, or a walk on the beach? It could be an unexpected, fun date!

Mark: I spent every summer weekend on an estate in Southampton like you only read about for about 4 straight summers. I haven’t been there in 2 years and I miss it like you can’t imagine. It’s my happy place. I know it better than I know my own neighborhood.

Mark: So I know what you were fishing for with the question, but, sadly I’m not that guy. Better luck.

I’m stunned and clueless.

Natalie: What am I fishing for???

Mark: Hoping that I had a Hamptons house and access there to

Mark: Sorry (and some emoticon I can’t decipher on my blackberry)

At once my heart starts to pound. What? Huh? Who? Why? I want to respond with all kinds of explanations about my trip and how I am old enough to pay my own way, and how I have not depended on anyone since I left my parents’ house at 22, and certainly would not ask a perfect stranger to crash at his house, but all I can say is

Natalie: wow…..

Mark: LOL stop like I don’t know how it is hahaha. I’ve been around the block sweetheart.


And then Mark goes on a rampage….

Mark: Everyone on-line is talking to 1000 others at once and that’s why you are all still single. Guys keep looking for someone a little hotter and girls keep saying the same, or maybe they can find someone who makes a little more money or who has a two-bedroom instead of a one-bedroom etc

Mark: And the best part is when u ask someone for plans and they say sure like a week from today cause they have a “friend’s birthday party” (really a date with another on-line guy), “a work thing” (really a date with another on-line guy), “family in from out of town” (really a date with another on-line guy) etc.

Mark: The entire thing is sickening.

Mark: Natalie good talking to ya.


Uhm….. What the….

Where is the Mark who wants to find his “special someone” on-line because it “makes the most sense”? All I asked was: Are you going out East? And I get this unhinged response? My defense mechanism is immediately set in motion and all kinds of profanities are welling up in my mouth. I am outraged and boiling. I don’t act on it though. Instead I let the dust settle for half an hour and send him this pity text – please read with a silky sweet voice:

Natalie: Dear Mark, I’m so sorry to hear you’re disappointed and that you’ve been used for your house. It’s not easy out there is it? Look on the bright side: it’s the 4th of July. Maybe celebrate your independence? Sad I won’t see you out East. I’ll be in my house in Montauk if you change your mind. Ciao! Nat

He did not like that.

Mark: You are a real misery. Do not write me ever again.

Mark: And I don’t believe you for one second FYI.

Now I’m a liar too? Again, I want to reciprocate by sending him proof – maybe a shot of my hands on the wheels? But I don’t. I let an hour go by and write:

Natalie: You know what’s a real misery?? This traffic!!! Good thing you’re not going! You would not like this.

Mark: I said no more contact (2nd request). Plus texting and driving is dangerous and unlawful and – oh yeah – you’re lying!

Mark: Now do not contact me again.

Natalie: Ur adorable.

Mark: I said no more contact!! (4th request)

I am tempted to respond that he’s “so much fun to talk to” and that “it’s been a real pleasure” but my sister stops me: “What if the guy finds you and kills you?” At this point, there is no more doubt and no more benefit. The man is deranged, bitter beyond repair, and has a huge chip on his shoulder. Best not ruffle any more of Mark’s messed up feathers.

I do want to send him off with a little reminder of what he’s missing and text him a picture two days later. It’s a nice little tableau of my girlfriends in bikinis by the pool holding up signs that spell: We Heart Mark. I’m upstairs waving from the master bedroom.

There really is no lesson to be learned from this story. Mark went off the rails based on false and unreasonable assumptions about my intentions. Maybe it was temporary insanity or maybe Mark needs to see a therapist. Either way, I recommend he goes back to his “happy place” in the Hamptons and find love there. Because Mark is not ready for this world, nor the on-line one for that matter.

July 22, 2013

Leave a Comment

85 Responses to “An Ill-fated Attempt at Finding Love in the Hamptons”

  1. avatar

    Oh Nat, please do NOT let this guy get you down. I totally understand you when you write about the heart-pounding indignation… I felt that when I was just reading your story! He sounds very unhinged and please don’t waste any more energy thinking about him. You are an exceptional individual and as such need some one also exceptional – this takes time. And you will know when it hits you. Good luck and thinking of you x

  2. avatar
    Marleen - Reply

    What a shit head. Hope you do find love soon. No nice looking Belgian guys round where you live? 😉

  3. avatar

    I hope he reads this…? ugh. Great story, though! Also, you’re my favorite internet person.

  4. avatar
    Valentine - Reply

    Haha, I loved this post. What a “crétin”!!! His loss for sure. 😉

  5. avatar
    prairie rose - Reply

    It looks like you probably had a MUCH better time on July 4th than poor old Mark.

  6. avatar
    Susanne P - Reply

    Whoa! What a whackjob! I met my current boyfriend of oh so many years online. He was the first one I met, and the ONLY normal one. Out of morbid curiosity I had a VERY similar phone conversation to your text convo with a man whose profile was entitled “Trustworthy Male” along side a pic of him topless on a bearskin rug in front of a fireplace with an 80s mustache. Talk about contradictory messages!!! What a nutjob! Good luck out there, Natalie!

  7. avatar

    OMG, Natalie! What a relief you saw an instant red flag with Mark. But sheesh, I have no words. Just glad you dodged that bullet!

  8. avatar

    Not certain why continuing to provoke this man seems to be acceptable. Mark asked you not to contact him, as you stated in your article. You continued to contact him at least 4 times and then again from you week-end house. Maybe it’s the fact that is a “virtual ” conversation, v.s. face to face. People with problems don’t need more problems. Some kindness in the face of what seems like a complete misunderstanding on his part seems more appropriate. Being kind is sometimes better than being right. Just saying. Enjoy the rest of your summer.

      • avatar

        i’ve done exactly what you’ve done…i’m so with you natalie is what you did, you followed your instincts and thats what matters…

    • avatar

      please … that’s exactly why this sociopath is still walking among us undetected … because no one wants to tell him that is an incorrigible asshat.

    • avatar

      Liza, Don’t preach “kindness” after leaving such a ripping comment. Kinda defeats the purpose, huh love?

  9. avatar
    Lisa Marie Fernandez - Reply

    No more talking to strangers. Sounds very Psycho.

  10. avatar
    Walkiria - Reply

    Nat, at times, people react for reasons that are there own…better have no agenda on relationship matters…sometimes bare-bones language is a more surprising way to start…however, in his case, i think he is un peu uptight for you! Cheers!!! You are too creative for his weariness…
    kikirollemberg (instagram)

  11. avatar

    Oi Vei, there is no hope is there? Is everyone twisted beyond repair? What is it with grown men these days?Is doucheness a global epidemic now? Why is everyone so suspicious and scared? WHY?! Sending my solidarity over Nat!!

  12. avatar

    Can you PLEASE send the link of this page to him??? I am so angry for you! What a douche!

  13. avatar
    humanityisbeautiful - Reply

    the unhinged, douchy guys make the best stories 🙂

  14. avatar

    Wow, Mark, needs a tumble in the sack, someone has some pent up frustation!

  15. avatar

    I love how he tried to make it seem that you had the problem… WTF….

  16. avatar
    Gernie Blanston - Reply

    Love your positivity, Natalie. Beautiful “portrait of a douchebag on the rails”. thanks for sharing

  17. avatar
    kelly sparks - Reply

    I have to say, I am shocked you even responded to him. Guys like that don’t deserve any of your time and none of your (or your friends energy)! Have to agree w/ Liza.

  18. avatar

    Ugh what a dork! Men with baggage are the worst, so glad to not be in the dating game anymore. But seriously do not feel bad, so many men have those “baggage” buttons. And you can accidentally touch them at any moment without a clue. I wish they wore warning stickers.

    “Warning”- Do not talk to me about things on my dating profile. I secretly have issues that I’m being used because I’m so into myself so I may and will freak out on you for simple conversation.

  19. avatar
    Babsbunny77 - Reply

    Ummm…hate to break it to you…. he’s still married. I read it in his first few lines. He can’t hang with you bc he’s gotta hang with his wife & kids in the Hamptons. The lashing out part where he’s saying everyone is dating 1000 other people… yeah, that’s him just airing his own misery and frustration in his own circumstance. He wants someone for a one-night stand in the city… probably when the wife and kids are out East already. Don’t sweat it… and learn to read through the lines.

  20. avatar
    Anastasia - Reply

    WOW! He was the definition of why I avoid online dating, crazy much! lol. Thank God you found out before the first date ; )

  21. avatar
    kiley - a Sequin Dress at Breakfast - Reply

    what a hilarious story – thanks for sharing! what a jaded fella.

  22. avatar
    carter - Reply

    I had a similar thing happen to me. A guy took me to his parents house on the water and then stopped talking to me. When i asked him about it he said “I should have never taken you there. My parent’s house is sacred. Now you are going to try to fanagle your way into my life” News flash bro, it is their house! Not yours!!!! Anyway good for you nat…girl power! xo

  23. avatar

    PLEASEE please tell me he responded!!! He is such an ass, nice work, clever way to get him to STFU. Yikes!

  24. avatar
    Stephanie - Reply

    Top 5 Pet Peeves:
    1. When men attempt to get a cat to like them by making psst psst sounds
    2. When pedestrians tailgate you on the sidewalk and then walk RUL SLOW
    3. Stalkers that pretend they aren’t stalking you
    4. My roommates sloppiness
    5. Every guy on the Internet who thinks he’s not a complete tool when he’s just “trying to meet someone cool” on the Internet

  25. avatar

    Poor Mark, I feel sorry for him as he is clearly unhinged. This is a great story for your repertoire if nothing else.

  26. avatar
    jhomygolightly - Reply

    Ok, that’s it, we need to find uptown guy from your “what real men want you to wear”.

  27. avatar
    Cathy G - Reply

    What a sad ass!
    How wonderful that this complete tosser didn’t make his way any further into your life.
    Now that would have been a travesty.
    No finding love online.
    Get off those evil dating sites.
    I looked once. Pondered joining.
    Ran screaming (metaphorically).
    Finally realized that I was happy single and thought I would be forever (was 37 at the time), but was really OK with that.
    Then met my husband.
    It happens.

  28. avatar
    Pam (@Fashionlovepam) - Reply

    What a JERK! you didn’t even do anything! you will find someone better and nicer..
    Xo Pam

  29. avatar

    Props to you for cooling down before you answered back. I don’t think I would’ve been able to!

    P.S. Your dating posts (along with the amazing pictures) are my new guilty pleasure.

  30. avatar

    Natalie, Reading this makes me want to email my last date that I thought was a disaster when he thought it went well. See you on the street all the time and think you are beautiful and wonderful with amazing energy. He is insane! You are lucky that you never met him. Maybe the lesson here is men are even more insecure than we realize. You deserve much better. xx

  31. avatar
    Georgie - Reply

    I NEVER reply to ANY blog posts, EVER! But your posts about on-line dating are so very, very well written, so brutally honest and so funny… and ultimately so insightful, I had to say “thank you!!” Thank you for exposing yourself and how it really is and feels like to put your romantic fate out there into the crazy void of on-line dating! It takes me back… but always have faith Natalie!!! I am now married to a gorgeous French man and we have a beautiful French and Korean daughter…. all via the internet! (the truth!!)

  32. avatar

    I simply want to tell you that I am just newbie to blogging and site-building and actually savored this page. Most likely I’m want to bookmark your website . You absolutely have impressive well written articles. With thanks for revealing your web-site.

  33. avatar

    He seems to be like Patrick Bateman-American Psycho only with much more self pity which makes him even more dangerous. Psychopaths often act like victims to justify their actions. Who knows if Mark is just a whiny sadist looking to bait and harass women via text or worse .Thank god you were spared meeting him in the flesh. At any rate true psychopaths are rare and he sounds like a garden variety asshole. I did go to Bennington with Bret Ellis and know one of the inspirations for Bateman’s character , years on he is now mildly overweight ,drunk not out of the closet and still rich and spoiled but accomplished, occasionally you will see him in the Social Pages of bad magazines like Hamptons and Manhattan.Conceivably if Mark is telling the truth about the estate in South Hampton, “Bateman” and Mark could meet although I doubt “Bateman” would ever speak to a neurotic and pushy accountant unless “Bateman” were lining him up for a bad investment. If so the conflict between the two would be amusing. Be glad you’re not involved with this or Mark itself.

  34. avatar

    Hi Nathalie, Online dating can be hard and very frustrating. It might help to see things a bit from his pov. He may have been hurt or frustrated that you disappeared after proposing the first date, and took a lot of past resentments and lashed out at you when you asked again to see him, instead of just saying “no thank you.” I am recently back on the dating scene after a decade of marriage and have been surprised and even shocked by how casually people now approach the dating process, often evaporating on the day we were supposed to meet and then texting me or emailing me the next day asking for another try.

    The part that truly bothers me about this story is the fact you kept texting him after he asked you to stop. I have stopped giving my phone number out to new dates until I really get to know them as a result of that kind of thing. It really makes me feel trapped because there isnt a way to block the texter’s number and unlike voicemail there is no way to avoid seeing their messages (I now give my email, an anonymous one, so I can delete if they dont take the hint and leave me be).

    Finally, I dont think this guy deserved to have his seemingly private convetsations with you blasted all over the Internet. He was rude and silly, but in no way bothered you or harrassed you. In the end it sounds like both of you have been hurt a bit in the past and are both a bit bitter and “unhinged” at times (as many of us dating veterans are, especially at a time when technology has far outstripped corresponding advances in etiquette). I think it is worth giving him the benefit of the doubt, and as for yourself respecting people’s wishes when they ask you to leave them alone. We are most of us looking for different versions of the same thing in the end — a fulfilling companionship — in a time and place — NYC in 2013 — that makes such a simple quest a complicated and even a sometimes painful one indeed.

    • avatar

      Dear Megan, thank you for your comment. First of all, Mark is not his real name. So if he finds this story, he is completely safe from ridicule. Secondly, he was out of line in more ways than one, starting off by assuming that I was after his money/house (if he even has any!), then by calling me a liar, “a real misery”, “sweetheart”, all this without ever having met me. I gave him the benefit of the doubt (twice), I apologized, I was courteous, but he lost it. Maybe you are the type of girl that lets things slide and turns the other cheek, but I felt like reciprocating. I am not bitter or unhinged – I am a positive, happy person, as many of my readers will confirm – but I am not one to sit back. What’s the fun in that? Natalie

      • avatar
        Dree Harper - Reply

        Like you, I’d feel pity for him afterwards but in the moment? Homeboy needed a bit of a reality check. Without a thorn in his side, how is he going to feel uncomfortable in his own sad projections? THAT’s the goal. You have to fall hard before you can get better and people need to speak the truth..the raw and unfiltered is what can move blockage, so to speak. You felt heat and expressed it..I would have done the exact thing and most likely would have thanked my sister for the warning. Next? I’d say a heartfelt prayer for his future wellness so you can deflect his bitterness and then be on the lookout for an amazing guy. Like attracts like, Joos. Your best is yet to come and he’ll be just as amazing as you are.

          • avatar

            I would have done the same as you. Sometimes the best way to get out of a problematic situation is to poke some fun at it, be straight with them and put them in their place. After all, if we let men act like thaaaat, what could we expect from them in the first place? I definately think your responses were funny in a good way.

    • avatar

      you know, none of us are perfect and dating is damn difficult and what we need is positive from our fellow girls not coulda shoulda woulda..we make mistakes, we move on and learn so…

  35. avatar
    Diana Dang - Reply

    Love how you sent off that picture! Haha, that idiot deserves it.

  36. avatar
    misohungry - Reply

    This would have gone completely different if you had used clear straight-forward language to begin with. Instead of saying “Where are you taking me?” (sounds like a gold-digger) you should have said, “Would you like to meet at (blank)?” Instead of writing, “Are you out East this weekend? I read that you love the Hamptons!” You should have just been clear and said, “I’m in Montauk with some friends this weekend. Would you like to meet at (blank) for a drink?” You also dropped the ball by not contacting him about the original Wednesday date. That pissed him off so colored every text thereafter.

  37. avatar
    Liebling - Reply

    I loved the way you handled it. he denigrated you and you showed him that you’re not scared of this woman hater. he is so toxic and you handled it with humour!

    love and light!

  38. avatar
    Isatta - Reply

    Wow! Words cant describe how much of an insecure a-hole that guy was! Loved your responses! I’ve met so many guys like that and you handled it very well!

  39. avatar

    I love the open easy way you handled him and the situation. If I were in your shoes my heart would pound with indignation and I’d be incensed, but would freeze up (I know because I’ve encountered a douche once or twice) and then I’d proceed to repress the whole thing as best as I could! I say well done and thank you for showing us how it’s done!

  40. avatar
    RRACHYLOU - Reply

    Has Mark read this yet? I hope so. Douche is the only word. Well maybe also L-O-S-E-R.

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  42. avatar

    That sums up why I don’t date online…many sad, angry scary married men out there plotting there next affair. They call LIAR because it is they who lie. LOVE your dating stories as they make me feel better about it all. You and your girlfriends appear to have had a delicious time without Mark and his kind.

  43. avatar

    girlfriend…..the stories i could tell you from a year on a dating site. men don’t like us much when we know what we want and state that…but i think the men who do get us are truly the ones worth knowing…and discovering. I met my Patrick at, you can try it too. Forget about that jerk!

  44. avatar

    i’m about to start dating again after the dissolution of my longtime love and…yikes! now i’m scared!! ha ha. no, i thought your pity text was actually compassionate and acknowledging WHY he’d be hostile and angry, but ha, empathy only seemed to enrage him even more. hmmmm…anyway, best of luck on your search for love! you seem like a lovely person, and i have no doubt there is someone truly special for you out there. co

  45. avatar

    Love your writing much! I giggled all the way through. Poor Mark, he missed a real gem. But yea, he doesn’t deserve one either, isn’t it?!

  46. avatar
    Jen@Sunsets&SwimmingPools - Reply

    Seriously- THAT was THE best man-gyna story I’ve ever heard/read. What a complete idiot. I would have been so tempted to print out his profile pick with a warning message and plastered it all over the Southampton. PS- Just found you today and I’m hooked! Have a great weekend.

  47. avatar

    Hahaaaaa this is SO hilarious!! Love your sense of humor … way to roll Natalie!

  48. avatar

    NO, no, no, I don’t feel sorry for this guy at all!! He’s very obviously an angry misogynist. I went out with someone like him for 18 months, worst mistake of my like. And I know that sensation of burning indignation, it’s when someone so completely misunderstands you that it leaves you breathlessly speechless. Next time you’ll step around it.

    On an entirely different note, am I old-fashioned thinking you should have let him ask YOU out first?

  49. avatar

    A fascinating insight into what appears to be a troubled mind. Poor ‘Mark’. Delusions of grandeur, perhaps.
    The main thing is, you maintain a dignified stance with a much-needed dose of humour. And the snaps look like a fun weekend. Montauk over Hampton, any day.

  50. avatar
    Tiffany - Reply

    Oh hunny, I hear ya.. I’ve been called a ‘desperate housewife’, yet I have a successful career. I’ve been accused of having ‘fake pics’ just because I’m relatively attractive. & the list goes on & on.. Welcome to the whacky world of internet dating.. fear not, however I have recently started dating the most amazing man, through tinder. All the weirdoes out there certainly make for good conversations with the girls. Good luck xx

  51. avatar
    Mirella - Reply

    Crazyy guy! Yep ,he is definally not ready for anyrhing! Thanks for this amazing and hilarious story

  52. avatar

    You could definitely see your enthusiasm in the work you write. The sector hopes for even more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. At all times follow your heart.

  53. avatar
    Liliana - Reply

    God you are so funny! You are smart, witty and completely authentic. I love the way you handled it, irony is an incredible weapon against sociopaths. This character reminds me a lot of Sex & The City’s Berger, the loser writer that Carrie dated for some weeks before he broke up with her via a post-it!
    You were lucky you didn’t get to loose more of your precious time with what seems to be a really bitter and pathetic person.

    On the other hand, I saw a lot of comments saying you hadn’t “the right” to keep contacting him since he asked you several times to stop contact. I say bulls***! That’s totally passive-aggressive and immature, he can totally ditch you based on his hysterical assumptions and you don’t even have the right to defend yourself? It was totally OK from you to express your rage, you saved up years of therapy….

    Anyway, love your blog and thank you for sharing all your amazing experiences, your pictures are lovely and I would have loved to spend a long weekend with you and your friends!


  54. avatar
    sarafinateacher - Reply

    Dear Mark,

    Who are you? ….and when you find out please run home to Mother.

  55. avatar
    Rebecca - Reply

    Nat… I’m sorry. All I can suggest is that you try dating European men. This conversation would NEVER would happen with an English guy. How arrogant is this guy?! This Mark character is an idiot, and certainly not a gentleman.

  56. avatar
    sarafina - Reply

    Okay, I will bite one more time. Let the man run to you. Let the man linger after he watches you. Let the man follow you around a 747 as if it is an English maze. Let him write you, call you, change his own world for you…let him embrace all of who you are. Forget online dating…take a long route and enjoy the ride! Kusjes, Joos!

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