Trapped Inside Your Heart-Shaped Box

Story Submitted by Lawrence:

Barbara was a 25-year-old woman I met on a dating site.  All of her profile pictures, which were flattering to her, exhibited her in various clothing, all of which had heart designs on it.  Even her screen name was heart-related.  She was a woman who liked hearts.

In one of my first messages to her, I asked her about it, and she confirmed it.  She said that she loved hearts, and that all of her clothing bore heart designs.  I didn't see anything wrong with that.  Yet.

We met in front of a restaurant.  She showed up wearing a black sweater with two hearts, a red one and a pink one, intertwined.  We introduced ourselves, and she looked me up and down, as if she was searching for something that wasn't there.  I asked her, "Everything okay?"

She walked all the way around me as I stood there and said, "Yeah... I guess."

I asked, "Do I not look like my profile pictures?  They were all taken within the past six months."

She said, "No, you do.  It's... never mind."

I was curious about what the problem was, but didn't want to start a misunderstanding, so I swallowed it and led her inside.

I was nervous, as it was a first date, but I did my best to be friendly and funny.  Most of her responses included a shaking of the head and a dropping of her eyes to her lap.  Something was definitely wrong, and by the time our shared appetizer was delivered to the table, I decided to address it head-on.

"Barbara, what's wrong?"

She said, "You know I like hearts.  You remember me saying that I like hearts, right?"

I replied, "Yes.  That was clear."

She said, "You remembered that I like hearts, but you didn't wear anything with hearts on it tonight.  It's like you don't even care."

It took me a minute to understand what she was saying, and I said, "You're upset because I didn't wear anything with hearts on it?  I don't own anything with hearts on it.  That's seriously what's been bothering you?"

She said, "The least you could've done was to wear something that had hearts on it, but instead, you had to get my hopes up and then be a bastard about it by not wearing anything."

I asked, "What does me wearing something with hearts have to do with having a nice time together?"

"Everything.  It would've showed me that you listened when I spoke, that you care about my interests, and that you really wanted to get to know me.  Now I know it's the reverse."

I argued the point a little bit more before filing it under "lost cause."  I tried addressing other topics of interest to her, and she was barely responsive.  Finally, I said, "What if I wear something with hearts on it for our next date?"  I wanted to see what she'd say, although I had no intention of asking her out again.

She said, "I don't think there's going to be a next date.  You clearly don't care about me."

True and true.  But sadly, not why she thought.  I can't imagine her success rate, with such an outlandish demand, and to be honest, even if I did own a shirt with hearts on it, I don't think I'd wear it in public.


  1. You should have told her you have a 'heart on' in your pants if that helps...

  2. Missed your chance, shoulda told her you had a heart on, but that she'd have to find it.

  3. I'm pretty sure that a man who wears hearts on his clothes is not into women.

  4. Solid reference, Jared, in the title.

  5. OP sounds like a pretty decent guy.
    She thought you didn't care about her because you didn't wear hearts?!
    It goes both ways. She obviously didn't care enough to get to know who you are.
    Sounds to me like you wore your heart...on your sleeve. She was too self-involved to see it there.


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