Tag Archives: Communication

Online Dating is like Twitter

5vlkklvjybggi9bo

 

When you’re setting up your profile on Plenty of Fish, it’s pretty hard to know what to say. I’m not sure if it’s just a British thing, we can find it really hard to sell ourselves as we’re a modest lot and it’s seen as pretty rude to brag. But that’s what online dating, and Twitter, is all about.

If you have a poor dating profile, you won’t get the messages and you’re less likely to find someone you could see yourself being with on the long haul. It’s all a bit messed up really, we don’t know what we’re doing to start off with. Which pictures are an accurate representation of me, but are also truly flattering? How do I not let on that I’m possibly the most boring person in the world without actually seeming to lie? Should I say my favourite pastime is chilling to Netflix? If I do I might be bombarded with first date suggestions of ‘Netflix and Chill‘ and the compulsory dick pics to show off their wares. Maybe not.

It’s not always about constructing your own profile either, it’s about looking at other profiles subjectively and working out their euphemisms for ‘most boring person in the world‘ or ‘after a quick shag in the back of my Corsa but I really do want a relationship (lulz)‘.

I’ve had similar reservations about setting up my own Twitter account (@soddinl – shameless plug over, thank you!) to promote this wee blog a little bit more seriously. Finding who to follow, trying to get others to follow you, the etiquette of tweeting and retweeting, getting everything I want to say into 140 characters, and oh, the hashtags *sigh*.

I’m sure we’ll get there in the end, it’s just a steep learning curve. The best part is, you can change your online dating profile if it doesn’t get you the attention you want, and similarly with Twitter you can change your tactics to find something that improves your visibility.

We’re not stuck in the marshlands of online dating and Twitter, it’ll just take a while for us to learn how to go with the flow. Positivity WIN!

 

 

 

Advertisements

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;

1523787-980x

  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!

ih5r0eu

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.

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?”

The Good, Clean Version of the Truth

The fun personality I put across when I first meet people could be seen as false; it’s attractive and charming, witty and clever, but its upkeep takes effort. Is this the fault of being an introvert, or is this what everyone goes through? It’s not like the façade is a lie, the façade is me, I have the thoughts, feelings and attitude that I project; some thoughts I decide to reserve and have a giggle to myself when something pops into my brain that I’m not sure the other person would appreciate. Which is, frankly, usually something perverse… I remember being in a lift with a co-worker that I have fun flirting with occasionally; I was going bright red and biting my lip as there was an awkward silence and all I could think to say were euphemisms about ‘going down’ – that would’ve taken the playful flirting to a whole new level (badaboom tssh). However, if I’m truly being myself, why is it so exhausting?

I wasn’t always charming, witty and adept at conversation. It’s a skill that has taken a long time to learn, with great thanks to my best friend for helping me to open up and show me how to drag the intimate answers out of people that they certainly wouldn’t have brought up had she not asked with such aplomb. Often people would explode with laughter at her directness in actually asking the question that nobody else had the balls to ask, then answer her with as much honesty as they could provide – talk about skill!

I was terse, monosyllabic and made no bones that I was a miserable misanthrope and conversation was not interesting to me; I was a goth after all, I had a reputation to uphold. Even my best girl took a long time to break me down and get me talking, despite her skill. The fact she carried on trying, succeeded and still considers me good enough to keep around, I am endlessly thankful for.

Perhaps it’s much like anyone else. The façade is a good, clean version of the truth. It’s the editing that’s the exhausting part, the cold-reading of the person I’m talking to. What’s working, what isn’t, what should I say about this, what should I leave out? Is that too risqué? Hmm, he didn’t seem impressed by my repartee about size being important…Quick! Change the topic! Telling him I have a thing for men in heels probably wouldn’t really be appropriate, would it?

One might suppose therefore that the more exhausting a conversation, the less comfortable I feel. The more editing that has to be done, the more awareness I have to ensure. With people I feel more comfortable with, I don’t really need to edit; they know who I am and my humour, they know how to take it which can be a stumbling block for people. However that comfort only comes with familiarity; when meeting new people you always have to work them out, and edit yourself to a certain extent.

It’s exciting and enthralling meeting new people, and I think I’ve learned to sell myself, which is what you do when you someone new and shiny, isn’t it? I would never have attempted to sell myself before, I figured people could accept me for who I am, misanthropy, eyeliner, fishnets and all, or screw them. But it makes life much easier when you have the choice to sell yourself, or even the opposite if being in a tragic accident involving 3 clowns, a leprechaun and Ted Bundy is more appealing than going on another date with this guy who makes Charlie Manson look like quite the catch.

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.

Bitches Be Crazy? My Fine Ass! Part 2

Here’s Bitches Be Crazy? My Fine Ass! Part 1

“Look, be straight with me here. Do you want to see me again? I’m guessing not…”

I’ve been messed around before. Numerous times. I know the drill by now. Guys promise you the world to get what they want. They keep you hooked, pay you just enough attention to keep you thinking they’re into you, but they’re non committal. You don’t hear from them when they’re thinking of you, because they’re not thinking of you. You hear from them when they’re bored and they want more. They don’t make plans in advance; if they do, they flake on you if they can’t be bothered with the hassle or if they have a better offer. They often don’t bother to let you know. Forgive me for fearing the worst when this is classic manipulator behaviour.

He got offended when I asked. Sha. Right. As if he didn’t want to see me again! Because not getting in contact, FORGETTING OUR DATE and No Plans Made to see me again is entirely the behaviour of a man desperate to see me.

I left it open for him to make plans with me, giving him the benefit of the doubt. I trusted him on Sunday when he said it wasn’t casual, all that intimacy and affection has to mean something, doesn’t it? I hope so…

I couldn’t get some very important words out of my head, though.

“If he doesn’t talk to you, He’s Just Not That Into You.”

“If he forgets about spending time with you, He’s Just Not That Into You.” 

 

I made sure I kept myself busy on Saturday. I couldn’t sit at home and mull it over any more. I went to the gym, I had a free tango class (awesome!) and I had work. I didn’t hear from him Saturday either. I can’t say I expected to…I thought I’d give it another shot though; inspired by tango class I checked out local dance classes; a salsa class was happening on his day off, so I asked him if he was free that day.

No. No, he’s going to London for 3 days including the day I specified. There’s some news! This is brand new information! I’m frustrated and annoyed he didn’t bother telling me about this nugget when I suggested he make some plans to see me. The benefit of the doubt is wearing thin now, but I think fine, OK., find out when he’s free, we’ll go from there.

 

“Not sure when I’m free next…will let you know…”

 

Stunned somewhat, and yet not quite surprised, I decide enough is enough. I’m being well and truly blown off. So, I tell him.

“Dude. Whatever. I’m Done.”

And he’s pissed. He’s really, really pissed. He misses the point. He thinks I don’t believe he was working. Then he thinks I’m blaming him for having to cover a shift which was a problem for our forgotten plans that night. Then he can’t comprehend why I don’t understand him forgetting our date, as I should know what it’s like, having a terrible memory myself. Forgetting, yeah it’s a big deal, but I don’t think that was the most upsetting part. I don’t know about other people, but when I forget something like hanging out with someone, especially someone that I like to be with, I’m embarrassed, frustrated and angry with myself, I apologise profusely and I promise to make it up to them, and I do make it up to them. None of that happened…

Actions speak louder than words, I tell him. All I’ve had in the past week is blow-off behaviour and no contact. I can’t be wasting my time dealing with a guy who can’t or won’t see me. I can have the same effect; being alone, by myself without the stress.

He gives some explanation, and I begin to melt a little. Maybe I was wrong? He’s really upset that I didn’t believe his intentions were as he said on Sunday, that he really liked me, that he really wanted to see me again. I explain my rationale; he didn’t get in contact, he hasn’t made plans with me, and he forgot our date and every time I suggest for him to make plans with me, or attempt to make plans with him, it’s blow off behaviour without explanation. No “I’m so sorry baby, I’m really packed this week, can we make it next week?” No “This sucks, but my rota is going to be unpredictable when I come back from London, how’s next week instead?” This, to me, means I’m being messed around. I tried, and succeeded, I think, to be reasonable and rational throughout the argument, but he wouldn’t have any of it. I’m “way over-reacting”. It all ends the same way, doesn’t it? The only explanation…

                                                                  “Women are fucking insane!”

So, here we have a week in the life of a sane, rational twenty-something girl who was on the verge of psychosis. All it takes is your words and body to say one thing, and your behaviour to say something completely different.