Tag Archives: behaviour

To Respond, or Not to Respond…

I’m sure you like to think you’re a polite person; if someone walked up to you in a bar and said ‘Hey, how’s it going?‘, you wouldn’t turn around, give them a once over and go back to chatting with your friends without so much as a second thought, staunchly ignoring the person who approached you. Because that’s ruuuuude.

So why is it different online? I’m sure there must be some people out there who take the time to respond to EVERY message they receive through their dating accounts, whether it’s to pursue a meet, or to kindly let the person messaging them that they’re not interested…But I don’t know who has the patience for that.

Why? Because on our beloved t’internet, things can get messy. Fast. An instagram site Bye Felipe is largely made up of men abusing women for exercising their right to have preferences, either by rejecting them, or by ignoring them which is essentially rejection without the message.

That’s not the only one! A sub-reddit, CreepyPMs, regularly has online dating conversations uploaded, again largely men berating women for rejecting them, with the help of a message, or without.

They all seem to go through the same motions;

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  1. Poor opening message.
  2. Rejection.
  3. Mental gymnastics asserting he wasn’t interested in the first place because either the rejecter is A. Too fat B. A slut, or C. A stuck up Ice Queen Bitch.

On the flip side, you could remove the effort of trying to be polite (because, it’s not always good for you to be polite) and try to avoid the confrontation that might ensue, assuming you were messaged by some strange man-baby hybrid who throws all the toys out of his pram because he has no chance in hell of seeing, let alone being anywhere near your glorious lady-bits, and ignore the people you’re not interested in.

Gosh you’re wrong again! You still might be in for some abuse! Lucky you!

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Okay, okay. Not all guys respond like this when rejected or ignored, and I’m sure women can throw a shit fit or two as well, the point of this article is, there’s more than one way to skin a cat (is there really? Who would skin a cat? And why? Why would you need more than one way to skin a cat?). Some guys prefer a rejection, some prefer to be ignored; unless you ask specifically, you’re not going to know! So do whatever you feel like doing. Helpful blog is helpful.

Me personally, I choose to ignore the people I’m not interested in. I can’t be dealing with boys throwing their rage at me because I’m too fugly to reject them, or that I’m shallow because they’re 40 years out of my age range, or a closed minded bitch because I couldn’t find anything to interest me in their profile.

I also preferred being ignored if I sent the first message. It was less of a waste of time than getting into a conversation with a guy who had no intention of meeting me and honestly, when I didn’t get a response I shrugged and moved on. There isn’t only one person you might be interested in on a dating site, you rarely find one person to message at a time, so why throw a wobbly over the few that don’t find you compatible?

If you don’t get a response, just keep one thing in mind, guys; She’s just not that into you.

NEXT!

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Some women seem to love arseholes. The “Nice Guy” population can’t fathom it. It’s hard, when you’ve not been the situation before, it’s hard to understand even when you HAVE been through it!

Arseholes aren’t always arseholes. Scary, right?

Sometimes, the arsehole is hiding behind a “Nice Guy” facade; they say all the things you want to hear. They might show a few red flags but, he’s a nice guy right? And he’s interested in you! Awesome! Let those red flags be forgotten and they won’t come to anything…

It’s important in dating to delve into it with a little bit of a guard and a healthy dose of cynicism. Don’t necessarily close yourself off from your date, have fun, relax, enjoy meeting a new person! Exploring all these new and exciting prospects should be fun!

However.

Don’t let yourself be sucked in. He might say he’s a nice guy, he might act like a nice guy, but always be aware of the possibility he might just be ACTING like a nice guy until the ‘fun’ starts.

Don’t dismiss the Red Flags, depending on the severity, collect them. See if it builds a bigger picture. If the picture ain’t too pretty, it’s time for you to move on.

I’ll give some examples;

This guy I dated. I asked, before I slept with him what his aims were in dating. He told me “If I met the right girl, I could settle down“. He wanted me to assume I was quite possibly the right girl, and being a wee on the trashed side, I did. Don’t drink and date, I learned from that one!

This guy kept talking over me, ignoring what I wanted to do in favour of what he wanted to do, then called himself my boyfriend without discussing anything of the sort with me. He was a nice guy, people kept telling me, and he kept telling me. I should’ve trusted my gut earlier. I cut him loose way too late, after 2-3 months. The picture he painted was a control freak which he proved during our little break up chat, and thereafter.

Another guy I know, calls all of his exes pyschos. Gosh, well, I can only assume that as he’s the common denominator in these relationships, it might be something to do with him…Red. Flag.

Your Red Flags might be different to mine, however I think a few should be pretty major whoever you are and no matter your preferences;

Controlling behaviour
Planning a date is great, but perhaps taking you to a gore-porn flick when you’ve made it clear you can’t stand horror films, or even ordering your food and drinks at your dinner date shows they can’t really give a rats ass about your preferences. It can only go downhill from there. NEXT!

Flaking on dates
If someone’s in A&E, it’s probably best to let this one slide, but backing out of a date half an hour before you’re supposed to meet for any other reason is a big NEXT. He’s well aware you’ve been getting ready for an hour and you might even be on your way. Unless someone’s dead or in a coma, there’s no excuse for this disregard of your time. NEXT!

Negative outlook
This might be more of a preference, however I find people with a negative outlook tend to drag you down to their level. People are supposed to be on their best behaviour on dates, and your date is whinging about the food, the wine, the weather, the month…oh dear god. Good luck to you if you want to pursue those with a negative outlook, but for me it’s NEXT!

Insults, thinly veiled, back handed or otherwise
OH Hell no. A bit of banter can be fun, I love a bit of back and forth trading playful insults, however there is a trend of ‘negging‘, giving a girl a backhanded compliment in order to ‘bring her down to your level’; to wound your self esteem, essentially manipulating you into clawing for their approval. Oh what fun. NEXT!

Boundary pushing
Not into having another drink? Tough, date over here wants you shitfaced so they’ll coerce, manipulate, whine, insult, harrass, nag or even guilt you into having another drink. Not into making out? See Above. Not into having sex so soon? See above. NEXT!

No interest in you
Yeah people love talking about themselves, but dating is about finding out about each other to see whether you’re a good fit, compatible, don’t want to kill each other, all that romantic jazz. It’s not for the other person to monologue about themselves and forget all about you. You’re there too, do you really have nothing interesting worth talking about? (Hint, you do: It’s you!) NEXT!

To much, too soon 
Dropping the L bomb after spending 2 hours in each others company might not happen, but they may well blow up your phone with calls and texts, making incessant demands on your time, they might push for an exclusive relationship quickly i.e. before you actually know anything about each other, and they might make a lot of ‘us’ statements about the future. It can feel great, but this level of obsession with a basic stranger is pretty extreme. Maybe don’t NEXT! But take a big step back and proceed with caution.

Have I missed anything? Which Red Flags have you come across on dates?

 

 

REJECTION – Y U NO WORK??!

How is it best to reject somone? It’s been likened to taking the plaster off a wound before; rip it off quickly and the initial sting is quick and fades quickly, or peel it off slowly, each hair follicle being torn out individually. The sensation lingers longer perhaps, but it’s less of a shock with each prick of tingly pain.

Until fairly recently, I haven’t had to reject anyone really. The guys took the burden upon themselves to reject me for the most part, so it’s been a bit odd that I’ve had to dive in at the deep end with rejecting dates for a variety of reasons; we just didn’t click, I didn’t fancy him, he had the personality of a loaf of bread…among a few reasons.

I’ve attempted to reject guys both ways, figuring it’s something that should be worked out on a case-by-case basis.

I figure if you’ve been out with someone on more then 2 dates in a brief space of time, the slow fade is a bit mean, but one date? Meh. Sporadic e-mail contact before or after a date? Meh.

I’m not here to debate the morals and ethics of each mode of rejection though, I wanted to share with you the efficacy. Straight up telling the guy “you’re clearly a good bloke but I’m really not that into you” (in a nicer, more fluffy way of course) should be the end of it, really. You don’t feel the thing, time to move on with no hard feelings, end of. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t.

Remember this guy? There was another who, despite it being pretty obvious I wasn’t into him, decided to be petty, passive aggressive and whiney when I told him I didn’t see us going anywhere (not surprisingly, one of the 23 year olds).

The other route is equally flawed. I have slow burned a few, and to be honest, it has a better success rate. It’s not foolproof, but most guys send a couple of texts or emails, they don’t get a response and they move on. Magic!

The reason I decided to write this post now though, is a slow burn is currently epically failing. I had a date with a guy, my needs were not met and his were. Typical. We e-mailed back and forth a bit, we both failed to respond to e-mails within a decent time frame and quite frankly, I couldn’t be arsed to carry on. Geographically, there’s a pretty large wedge between us as well as the rest of the gubbins I didn’t particularly want to deal with.

I stopped responding to his e-mails. I got a couple from him; ‘hey how you doing, lets catch up, blah blah‘, which you expect using this method. Except, this carried on much longer than it usually does. Much longer. Months longer.

Then I finally recieve the email that indicates he’s cottoned on, at last, but of course rather than sucking it up and moving on, he employs the ‘I’m going to manipulate you into writing back to me by expressing my concern that you’re ill/injured/dead in a ditch somewhere‘ technique. Which fails. He drops in the old ‘unless you just don’t want to talk to me 😉 lol!‘ and adds the bonus manipulator of ‘if you don’t, just say so!‘ because that’s just another way to open up a dialogue, which I don’t want. So I don’t respond to that either.

He keeps this up for a good few e-mails over a few weeks. I feel I should point out, he’s e-mailing me more now than he did when we were having an actual e-mail conversation. Hooray for extinction bursts!

He then sends me a text with the same ‘concern’, before reverting back to e-mail, dropping the ‘dead in a ditch‘ technique and carrying on with the ‘hey how are you, lets catch up‘ stuff. It’s never ending. He’s not giving up.

I don’t feel bad for him. It’s been made clear in previous e-mails he really isn’t all that concerned about my welfare, which is part of the reason I stopped responding. It makes it all the more ironic that he expresses his ‘concern’ that I’m not responding is because of something more drastic than just not wanting to talk to him any more.

For now, I’m keeping up the ignoring; if I responded, even negatively, negative attention is still attention – I don’t think he would be deterred. I could block his e-mail address, but I’m (morbidly) curious as to how long he’s going to keep trying…

I’m happy to take bets in the comments.

Does Michael Myers Ever Die??! Letting Go Is Hard To Do…Apparently.

Once you get attached to someone it can be really hard to break free of the idea of you and them being together…I know what it’s like from first hand experience, quite often the product of unrequited love/lust/crush, but you get over it and if you’re sensible, you don’t do anything more freaky than a little bit of Facebook stalking…

A guy I dated seems to be having trouble letting go of me. The dude from my first post. We dated for not quite two months, but from a couple of weeks in, I was starting to have doubts. By 6 weeks, I was dreading having to spend time with him. I’d rather have had a surprise hysterectomy. Fully conscious. It got that bad.

What was worse is that he was utterly shocked when I broke it off with him. People that know me find me to be as transparent as sheet glass when I don’t particularly enjoy something. I try to hide it, but I fail. Epically. And yet, this guy was so self involved he didn’t notice…or didn’t care that I didn’t really like spending time with him. He didn’t see that I just stopped responding to him talking at me. That my smile was tight lipped, or that my tone of voice was flat, apart from when my frustration with him rose, which was far too regularly.

When I broke it off, I made it clear that my decision had been made, I’d thought about it, I’d come to a conclusion and I was staunch that I was ditching him. It seemed only fair on both of us.

He tried convincing me that I was being too rash. Because fantasising about slapping a guy round the head with a halibut is not proof enough that this was not going to work out…

During this attempted convincing, he told me he was planning on taking me for a trip to London. First I’d heard of that. At that point, I would’ve preferred spending a relaxing weekend in the Tower of London tied to a rack being made to watch a dude sharpening implements of torture.

I state my case again, this is not working, I’m not happy, it’s over.

He dropped the L bomb. He loves me, says he. Fuck me, says I (in my head, of course). That’s desperation for you. He didn’t even know me, he wouldn’t let me speak and didn’t have a clue what I was feeling despite it being painfully obvious, but he loves me. Bull.

Enough is enough, says I. Time to bring out the big guns.

“I just don’t want to waste your time. I really can’t see myself ever loving you.”

I felt like I was murdering Bambi in front of him. This is it. He must be aware, now, exactly how it is, this will end all the arguments, retorts, emotional manipulations and convincing, I tell myself.

Wrong.

“I think you will.” Says he.

Bollocks.

He looked pretty damn sure of himself as well. Maybe Stockholm Syndrome got the better of the previous girlfriends?

After this, I gave up. Left him to his tears and delusions and walked home. There was no convincing this guy that I had made my decision and it was final. Abandonment was the way to go. Sure, I felt like a heartless bitch, but there’s only so many ways to tell a person ‘Dude, I’m done with this shit, seriously’, and have it be ignored before it’s time to just GTFO.

I didn’t hear from him for a couple of weeks, and I was relieved. I thought it might have sunk in, and that maybe he would go back to his Mothers (think Norman Bates), talk at some other poor unsuspecting girl and leave me the hell alone.

Wrong.

I got a message from him on Facebook, along the lines of ‘I really miss you and I want you back.’

BOLLOCKS.

I basically told him to get over it, find someone else, delete my number, move on, I’d found someone else, and I actually said “It’s not happening”. He kept messaging me. I blocked him.

He must get the message by now, surely…I’ve told him in no uncertain terms is it EVER going to happen. Ever. And then I blocked him to drive the point home.

Wrong.

He messaged me on the dating site where we first ‘met’ TWO MONTHS after I dumped him. We have now been ‘broken up’ longer than we were together. It was a long and emo, possibly drunken (but I’m not convinced) message about how I was the best thing that ever happened to him and that again, he wants me back.

This guy is like Michael fucking Myers. No matter how hard you shoot the bastard down, stab him in the heart, douse him in petrol and flick a match at the sadistic twat he keeps coming right at you. He slinks away when you’re not looking only to appear 5 minutes later from a fucking cupboard wielding the giant ass carving knife you rammed into his heart…

I didn’t respond. It doesn’t matter how I respond. What the fuck else can I say? I’ve given him plenty of reasons, the main one being ‘I don’t want to’ and I’ve found about 50 ways to say ‘…er. Thanks…but fuck off now yeah?’ I could not have been any more clear.

This has gone beyond desperate to mental illness now. This is personality disorder type shit I’m dealing with here. This is freaking me out. This nutter knows where I live, knows the car I drive, knows where I work and clearly doesn’t give a fuck about consent.

It’s been a couple of weeks and after blocking him on the dating site I haven’t heard anything, but I’m not entirely sure that I’ve heard the last from him.

I’m just waiting for him to appear in the back of my car wearing a William Shatner mask.

“Why can’t we give it another go?”

Being Emotionally Manipulated: 101

If you’ve never been manipulated, you’re a very lucky person. Or oblivious. I’ve had several experiences of being manipulated, from a few different people. I’m a smart girl, I’m sure plenty of victims of manipulation are, so how the hell did it happen?

It’s pretty complicated, and yet so simple…

So, I’d known this guy for a long time. He had moved away, so we chatted online until circumstances brought him back home, to his parents. This is when things started to go downhill.

Sad thing is, he’s a nice guy. He’s an absolute charmer – aren’t all those pesky manipulators though? He’s confident to the point of arrogance, he’s ‘deep’, thoughtful, ridiculously intelligent and seems to have it all worked out. Somehow though, he’s also a massive, walking fuck up. This, to me, is an important part of the manipulation. He has so much potential, he just needs some nurturing and pointing in the right direction…right…

What I failed to realise is that he isn’t as much of a fuck up as he would’ve had me believe. He has all the skills he needs to get what we’re expected to want from life; a job we like, an income, supporting ourselves and society. It became more and more clear throughout the few weeks he imposed himself upon me, that he could get any of that, but he didn’t want it. He wanted the care-free life that many of us crave but aren’t sociopathic enough to get.

He was also an alcoholic, part of the fuck-uppery; it did exacerbate the manipulation, but it wasn’t the cause. I thought it was at the time, but thinking back, no, it was there before. He saw the nurturing side of me and used this alcoholism as a reason for me to look after him, and I put myself out much further than I would if he didn’t have this problem.

“I have nowhere else to go” was often his greeting at 11pm. “My dad would kill me if he saw me like this”, he would say, reeking of Special Brew and looking like he hadn‘t showered for a few days. I would agree, and in he would come, often keeping me up until well into the morning, past dawn, talking and listening to the same songs on you tube. Iggy Pop was a regular. His wide-eyed insanity and lack of inhibitions related to a cocktail of various psychotropic substances seemed to be something to be admired. Kansas’ ‘Carry On My Wayward Son’ was outright banned, I simply couldn’t take it any more. Usually, he passed out drunk and I would then be too worried to sleep, often curling up in my chair next to the sofa where his comatose body lay, periodically checking that he was still breathing.

I enjoyed his company. I live on my own and despite being an introvert, I love having people to talk to, especially people that I don’t have to pretend around; I didn’t think I had to pretend around him. He was excellent at flattery and at first, my confidence sky-rocketed with him around. He would compliment my style, my strength as a person and my overall personality. He didn’t like a lot of people, but he loved spending time with me, because I was ‘Interesting’.

Nothing unpredictable really happens in my life either, and he brought that element of chaos; going for a walk and chat down the beach at 2am rather than going to bed and to sleep like a normal person generally does. Showing up on my doorstep at random times, making me alcoholic-by-proxy, having drunken rants and ridiculous conversations; he brought out my wild side, and I loved it. Until it started to affect my life, my real life.

He promised to make up for his fuck uppery, he’d take me rock climbing, take me out for a meal, he hoped that I was paying attention to how much he owed me, that he would pay me back, every penny. The promises became less and less; the meal wound up being a couple of bottles of wine and his company for an evening, and yet that was still too much. It was clear after a while he never had any intention of repaying my hospitality either financially or even by offering a solid friendship any more.

I’m not sure if he started to get lazy or I worked out that I was being manipulated, maybe a combination of both, but the end of the ‘friendship’ came after he didn’t bother showing up one day. We had previous talks about how this made me feel worthless; if you can’t make plans with someone, at least make a phone call, send a text, e-mail, face book message…communication isn’t exactly hard these days. But it carried on. We would make plans, he wouldn’t bother contacting me and wouldn’t bother showing up. The last straw for me was when this happened one day, I was beyond pissed, and I heard nothing from him. Until I sent him a message wishing him a happy birthday four days later. No apology, but contact was made. I asked him to make it up to me. He was far too busy, naturally.

It was at this point I think it fully dawned on me; I had my inklings that I was being manipulated before but whether I was having too much fun to care, or I was lonely, or I just didn’t want to accept it; I’m not sure. Possibly a fatal combination of all three, and a few more I haven’t thought of.

Some of the last words I said to him were along the lines of, if this situation was happening to a friend, I’d tell them to drop the dickhead, he is no friend. What kind of person takes you for all your worth and can’t even be arsed to pick up the phone if you can’t make it the half mile to see them? After all I’d done for him, the stress, the worry, the sleepless nights…

He didn’t take it well. The power he had in this relationship was over once I took control and said I wasn’t standing for it any more. It was an invigorating feeling, wrestling that power away from him. If you find yourself in the same situation, trust me, it might be heart wrenching at first; they sure as hell don’t make it easy for you. Why would they? You’re a metaphorical goldmine. But do it, the relief you feel once you’ve realised you’ve rid yourself of a sociopathic vampire is indescribable and more empowering than you could really believe.

I still half expect him to call me at 2am when he has ‘nowhere else to go’ or ‘needs a true friend’, but that bridge is well and truly burned. I know his true face now, you can’t unsee that level of disregard for your well-being, emotions and self worth.

Why a Celebrity Dog Trainer is Ruining My Love Life

My marebag, Lady - like butter wouldn't melt, right?
My marebag, Lady – like butter wouldn’t melt, right?

I’m not a dog trainer – I’m a well educated dog owner. Science is my mistress. I have a first class honours BSc in Animal Science to my name, which heavily included animal psychology and behaviour. I worked in dog rescue for 3 years. I’ve seen a lot, I’ve read a lot and I’ve applied a fair bit in practice with dogs in the rescue, and my own mare of a bullmastiff. I’m no expert, but I know what I know.

My views in training dogs are much like you would care for a 2 year old child. You manage unwanted behaviour by making sure there isn’t anything silly your dog can get into trouble with – it might be chewing inappropriate items, or it might be putting the dog behind a baby gate when visitors arrive so they don’t have the chance to chomp the guest. You teach the appropriate behaviour with clear instruction, kind words and plenty of rewards when they manage to make good choices thanks to your consistancy and patience when teaching the dog what you want it to do, rather than punishing it for what you don’t want it to do. If the dog isn’t getting it, you’re doing something wrong – it’s on the owner (or trainer) to make sure their teaching is appropriate for the dog.

We all learn through conditioning processes, classical and operant. Birds do, chimps do, dogs do, humans do. There’s no magic involved. A rottweiler doesn’t need any more of a ‘firm hand’ than a chihuahua. Motivations might vary though, but that’s a different article, for a different time maybe.

So, why is a dog trainer ruining my love life? The general public, even if they know very little about dogs, have almost all watched dog training TV programmes. Some are better than others, but sadly not a lot of people extol the virtues of Victoria Stillwell. It doesn’t always happen, but often when I’ve mentioned having an interest in dog behaviour and training, a certain celebrity dog trainer has come up.

It’s difficult, particularly when you’re so passionate about something to explain why (in the most sensitive terms) the person they learned everything they know about dog behaviour from is spouting absolute bullshit. And here comes the problem. How do you do it without alienating this shiny new person you want to get to know a bit better? Or do you even want to get to know them better if they watch this show for entertainment, or maybe even advice?

I get where the layman is coming from with this  – before I learned what a stressed dog looks like, I thought the gleaming toothed trainer was alright. I didn’t understand that during filming dogs were wound up, pushed past their threshold to the point of ‘red zone’, and then punished for the actions of the trainer. Who would even think they would do that?

I came across this today. I tried to light heartedly mention that the trainer was a bug-bear of mine, and (semi) briefly, why I thought that way. I spoke about Mech* and his original article about wolves’ social structure and how it was dismissed by Mech himself because the study was inherantly flawed, and then how I would prefer dogs were treated. The guy must not have read what I had written and went on about how dogs form packs…like wolves. *keyboardface*

Now I’m in an interesting position. I don’t really know how to respond to that. Just brush over it like none of the conversation had happened? But, I won’t be happy in a relationship where the other person is happy to use punitive measures on a dog, my dog in particular. I could wind up doing that whole ‘talking at’ thing, as I discussed in my first post, Being Talked At: The Death of Conversation. I could presume he did in fact read my musings and he actually means that dogs form a family-centric ‘pack’ relationship with us, their owners, as I mentioned wolves do with their family unit.

Semantics is diffcult, when dealing with a layman. Different people, hell even different trainers have different ideas for what the term ‘pack’ means. For me, the term comes with baggage, especially when united with that celebrity trainer; if dogs form packs (they don’t), this means that they will try to climb the hierarchy (so many lols) and need to then be ‘put in their place’ with ‘calm assertive (punitive) energy’. That’s a lot of baggage for a simple term to hold, isn’t it?

So…when the short Mexican is mentioned, I tend to die a little inside, even though I was once that person who really didn’t know any better. I grew, I was educated by a fantastic lecturer, and I further educated myself.

I think I need to remember that with every interaction with another life-form be it dogs, people or anything with a brainstem for that matter, that Pavlov is always sitting on my shoulder so the saying goes.

If I go on a rant at this poor unsuspecting guy about the horrors that the self-educated, calm-assertive energy espousing micro-man imposes onto poor dogs who are afraid of going up the stairs, then the silver-coiffeured pseudo-trainer will definitely ruin my love life.

* Here’s a little article if you were wondering Who the Hell is Mech?!