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Nov 30th, 2015 by Dr Karma

Hi, all! I had a terrible backache on Thanksgiving night, so I opened one of my best bottles of wine and decided to update the look of the blog in lieu of doing real work (it was a holiday, after all).
I probably wouldn’t have bothered, except I was starting to get the idea that more people were reading this than I realized (I was just sort of assuming it was my friends and family (hi, Emily!) and some former students who have admitted to stalking following me. 😉
Having heard some rumors, I installed a visitor counter a week and half ago. I have to admit I was surprised to find a couple hundred of you were here every day. (Especially since you almost never leave comments!)
And then one of my blogs ended up on this dating site.
Here’s the skinny:
I’m gonna keep writing about the personal stuff that only those close to me should care about, the dating stuff that everyone can enjoy (especially those who have never had to resort to online dating–I think reading about it is probably good for your long term relationship, since you’ll be more thankful), etc.
And I’m going to forget that lots of people see it (which is surprising easy, since I don’t quite believe it yet); I would hate to actually censor myself in a terrified state of what I’m putting out there to the world.
Thanks for reading; comment more!
Love, me.

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The Continuing Adventures of Karma’s OnLine Dating (Entry 14)
Nov 26th, 2015 by Dr Karma

Today, on Thanksgiving, I give thanks that OKCupid allows me to block particularly awful users.

This morning, I got a message from a guy in Sacramento. A quick look at some of his answers indicated severe problems. He thinks gay people are sinful* and that evolution should not be taught in schools.

I wrote him back, saying he’s too conservative for me, and wished him a Happy Thanksgiving.

He started to argue back that I should give him a chance. Thus, I told him that those particular issues were dealbreakers for me. He continued to argue, saying that we can agree to disagree, that his views on gays shouldn’t affect whether we can hang out, that anal sex is wrong because it’s not procreative (and yes, he is a hypocrite who doesn’t have the same problems with oral).

He said that I’m judgmental, which I find hilarious; he can judge gays, but I can’t judge bigots, apparently.

And then he said this:

“I think we would connect better on a sexual level…you might not like my ideal but im sure youd like my dick… Now i mean no disrespect.. We all have needs.. I just think the hostility would be gone if you felt something nice and big in you [sic]”

At least he means no disrespect.

Thanks for the ability to block and a day on which I can have a lot of wine.

 

 

 

 

*How common is anti-gay bigotry on OKC? Well, on their page of instructions about how to block people and how to report people for abusive behavior, they have to say this: “Please note: we DO allow married, gay, and transgender people on OkCupid, so reporting them won’t get them deleted.”

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The Continuing Adventures of Karma’s OnLine Dating (Entry 13): Long Distance?
Nov 22nd, 2015 by Dr Karma

Two different men this week have messaged me from afar, telling me that they could simply move to Davis. I have to give them points for having actually read my profile, which says I don’t want a long distance relationship. However, I think it would be a good idea to actually date someone for a long time before having them move to Davis for me. This would, of course, necessitate long distance dating, so we’re back to square one.

I have explained to both men that I don’t want to do the long distance dating that might (in a long shot) lead to a move.

One man* just messaged me with this rejoinder:

“Honestly i liked you very much (i mean initial impressions as we just met here). I have work from home option. So if you think we can date and see if we are a match i can move closer to your location. I live alone and it doesn’t matter for me if i live in Davis or San Jose. So location is not an issue for me. Just to make things clear for you, after few dates if you think i am not right for you, i don’t mind or feel bad that i had moved close to your location or so. You are free to take your decision any time. Honestly i like white/cacausian woman very much. I respect all religions and believe all humans are same. Hope you understand and if you like my basic info please let us try to see if we are good for each other or not by dating. You can decide it over an uncondittional time ( any number of years that is good for you). Appreciate your thoughts. Thanks.”

What’s a polite but firm way to say “Please don’t move here”?

**** BREAKING NEWS: While I was writing this post, he messaged me with a response to my assurance that we did not have enough in common to break my “no long distance” rule.

“I like nature and healthy life style. I think you are also of the same type.”

WTF? I actually regret the small amount of time I left the house today (I could have gotten so much more done if I’d stayed inside!). And while I reheated a very health 13 bean soup to serve when people came over to watch Star Wars, I enjoyed it with a bottle of wine. And there was dessert. And lots of buttery bread to go with said soup. The 10 whole minutes of yoga I did this morning probably does not absolve me of these crimes.

I am going to go to bed and both a) stop trying to persuade the unpersuadable about the fact that I do understand both myself and what I want out of dating b) blogging about said unpersuadable person.

 

*He’s Indian-American. Dedicated readers will know that I’ve mentioned a trend in many messages I receive from Indian-American men: they only post one picture; they don’t write more than a couple of sentences about themselves; they don’t answer the questions the site provides for matching. This man proves the rule.

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The Continuing Adventures of Karma’s OnLine Dating (Entry 12)
Nov 17th, 2015 by Dr Karma

A sixty-year-old man writes me a message . . .

Sounds like a set up for a joke.

If you find any of the following funny, I guess it is.

A sixty-year-old writes me a message. Notably, he doesn’t have any pictures of himself from the last five years posted.

His profile says he doesn’t “do dates.” We have the following conversation:

Me: Hi, [redacted]! On your profile, you say you don’t do “dates.” What does that mean, exactly?

Him: [. . . ] That’s funny, you are the second woman in two days who ask me that… First let me ready it. It’s been a long time… OK… By that I mean I don’t do the “let’s meet for coffee” or dinner or any of this nonsense. I find the idea atrocious. I know that’s what most people do, and that in itself is a good enough reason for me not to do it. I have been doing online dating (still I hate this word) for… almost 20 years. Does that sound crazy or what? LOL Not all the time… LOL. My point is.. know what I want, I know what makes sense to me, and I stick to my way of doing thing. Fuck “Dr.” Phil… LOL [. . . ] Would you like to talk on the phone?

Me: I don’t really like talking on the phone–when I do, it’s to do something practical, like set up an appointment. I’ve always been like that; my friends in high school used to tease me about it, especially since I forbade them from calling during Jeopardy! So you explained that you don’t do coffee or dinner dates–what is it that you do, exactly?

Him: LOLOL… You ask a question and so I assume you want a response… “what is it that you do, exactly?” I talk on the phone… LOL Do we have a problem? NOW… I agree with you about talking on the phone only to set up a time or something. [. . .] But before we meet I like to talk on the phone intensely. I am not interested in getting together with strangers. This is something really thought out and debated I could write a book about. Is is not something I just do… I strongly believe it is a great way to build up a strong relationship. I hope I will convince you… LOL

Me: It doesn’t sound like we’re compatible. I don’t want to spend hours on the phone. (Also, I don’t like to give out my phone number until I’m certain that I want to date the person. As I’m sure you know, women get a lot more messages than men do. If I gave out my number to every guy who thought I was cute and who wanted to to text or call, I’d be on the phone all day.) It’s not wrong that you want to do that, and I’m sure others do it your way too [. . . ] I hope you find what you’re looking for!

Him: This sounds very weird to me. Are you new to online dating? You can always use blocking on your phone… I don’t know I find that strange.

 

At least he didn’t LOL in the last message.

As you may have noticed, this man acknowledges that most people go out on dates rather than talking “intensely” on the phone. But he can’t at all understand that I don’t give my number to every stranger who asks for it?

Doesn’t sound like years of dating experience have managed to teach him logic or empathy.

To be fair, however, he’s right about one thing: he doesn’t “do dates,” and he certainly isn’t going on one with me.

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The Continuing Adventures of Karma’s OnLine Dating (Entry 11): Mansplaining
Nov 7th, 2015 by Dr Karma

“I think you should give yourself the opportunity to learn from me.”

Men: This is NOT how you talk yourself into a second date.

Let me femsplain:

***

One of the most surprising things about online dating this year has been the trend of men who want to mansplain things to me. (Mansplaining, for those who don’t know, is a term invented by Rebecca Solnit in her now famous essay, “Men Explain Things to Me.” It refers to the common practice of some men who seek to enlighten women about whatever subject comes up–even when the woman has superior credentials in the subject area.

I certainly don’t think I have superior credentials in dating, but I would argue that I understand myself and what I want pretty well. That’s why I was so surprised to find men mansplaining as a way to court me.

For example, over the summer, a poly guy messaged me. I don’t have problems with being poly in theory. In fact, I went on a couple of dates with a couple of poly guys over the summer. One of the things I found most daunting was the time commitment. I work between 60-80 hours per week and have two nights a week reserved for specific groups of friends. If I factor in time with other friends and my fairly frequent play-going, I don’t have time to date more than one person. I explained this.

His response was 761 words, mansplaining that I need to “break [my] routine” to find a guy. He also said I should not go looking for “Mr. Right”: “Mr. Right does not appear to be, since you probably would have found him by now. The other option of getting to know someone new and build trust in such a relationship, would detract from the time spent looking for Mr. Right, but might also introduce you to new experiences . . . [sic].” In other words, it would behoove me to go poly and abandon the lifestyle I currently enjoy.

I wasn’t complaining about being busy. For the most part, and in most ways, I really love my life. I would just like to fit a boyfriend into it, for the further support, the further companionship, the sex, and the oxytocin.

In this guy’s defense, he started his missive with a caveat: “The last thing you probably want to hear is advice from someone you don’t know and knows essentially nothing about you, but . . .”

Most mansplainers aren’t that self aware.

I went out on a date with one guy. I was willing to give him a second date, and I warned him when I gave him my number after the first date that I don’t like to be texting all damn day.

He then texted me all damn day, mostly about how he was being good and not doing so (which was doubly annoying).

I didn’t answer every message (I don’t always–especially if the message seems like a closing point to a conversation, as opposed to something that needs an answer). One day, after what I read as a conversation ending message from him, he didn’t message back. I didn’t really think about it–I was gearing up to go to England, trying to get a quarter finished, and suffering from a ridiculous injury involving skin necrosis.

A couple of weeks later, I got a message from him, shaming me for doing the fade-away. He lectured me about how I treat people. What was interesting, from my point of view, was the fact that he assumed this is how I respond to “people”–not him, but people. I will freely admit that I don’t always handle breakups or the “no, we can’t have a second date” conversation perfectly, but I don’t just stop answering people. My perception of this situation was different from his. We talked about something one day (he was offering to text me FSU football updates and I was saying that I DETEST football and thus would not appreciate those texts), and then neither of us texted the next day. Or the next.

Still, he wanted me to know that I needed to behave differently and argued that he was just trying to help me out.

Amazingly, I resisted trying to help him about, though he had a lot to learn about not annoying the shit out of people.

However, the worst case of mansplaining was the guy I quoted above.

In the Spring, I agreed to go out on a date. It was one of my first after the breakup. The guy did a lot to turn me off even before he showed up. He wasn’t working because he was on disability, which of course isn’t an issue in and of itself, but at the time, I was taking care of my disabled aunt–I had been for about a year–and I had developed an aversion to adding more of that kind of stress to my life. Strike one.

I got to the restaurant quite a long time before he did–my own physical therapy went a lot shorter than I thought it would–and ordered a glass of wine. He then messaged me, asking me to change the location of the meet closer to his house, since he’d just gotten out of the shower and hadn’t yet looked up when the buses ran. He doesn’t work, and I was his only commitment that day, but he was going to be late? Strike two.

He then appeared, looking not very like his picture. Strike three. We had an okay conversation; I went home, started to feel a little nauseated, and spent the rest of the day vomiting because of my abdominal migraine or whatever the hell is wrong with me.

It also occurred to me that I wasn’t really ready to date. I took myself off OKC to give myself more time.

He asked me for another date. I declined, citing my need for a longer break before entering the dating world

He then texted me for HOURS. He thought I shouldn’t be shallow–he assumed his looks were my only issue. He told me that I would find him more attractive if I got to know him. He said I needed to be more “open” to the universe (which seemed to mean him) and said he had a lot to teach me, if I would only let myself be taught.

I hadn’t needed another reason to say no, but that kind of pretentious bullshit would have been enough just on its own.

A couple of months later, I went back on OKC. That same day, he texted me again, wondering if I would like to date or be friends. I said no. He then mansplained all the same shit again, about the things I could learn, about how I shouldn’t be closed off, etc.

A few more months went by and he texted AGAIN, wanting to be friends.

Me: I’m not inclined.

Him: Wow.

I didn’t see why he was surprised. We had been on one date, months and months before. I had rejected more contact with him TWICE.

He started mansplaining. I didn’t ‘splain things back to him about stalking or not taking hints, but I did mention that his lectures about what I could learn from him were grating and thus furthering my resolve to stay away.

Him: Okay, fine. I’m tired of beating my head against your stubborn wall.

Trying to get the last word with someone like that just prolongs the conversation, so I let it go.

But this is what I wanted to say:

“I put a wall up against guys like you a long time ago. There’s a barbed-wire fence, a no trespassing notice, and a little placard that says, ‘Don’t even think about fucking here.’ You banged your head against the wall, despite all warnings. Then you did it again. Then you did it again. The wall is only sightly annoyed. You have a bloody head. What in the world do you think I could learn from a man who hasn’t learned to take a god-damned hint? I hope this has been a lesson to you.”

This poster is available on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/listing/248542105/no-mansplaining-zone-feminist-poster

This poster is available on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/listing/248542105/no-mansplaining-zone-feminist-poster

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The Continuing Adventures of Karma’s OnLine Dating (Entry 10): No, You Cannot Have My Number
Nov 3rd, 2015 by Dr Karma

Entry 10 (wherein I have dark fantasies):

Several times a week, a guy forgets (or shows he hasn’t read) the part of my profile in which I explain how to communicate with me:

“I answer basically every message I get, as long as it’s a real message–not just a ‘hi’ or ‘good morning.’ However, this site isn’t connected to my phone. I don’t tend to hang out to ‘chat’; instead, I come online a few times a day to read and answer messages. So tell me something about yourself or ask me a question or tell me a dating horror story–I love those. If we find we have things to talk about, we’ll set up a meet. (If you’re the type of guy who needs to text a girl every three minutes and have her text you back right away, I’m probably not the girl for you.)”

As you all know, I’m one of the busiest people ever and I need to focus throughout the day. Thus, I don’t want to be interrupted all the time. As those of you who have my phone number know, I often don’t hear my phone, forget that I’ve turned it off, etc., because I’m not on it all the time–I’m working or hanging out with you, my lovely friends.

Yet the following interaction happens all the time. I’ll check my messages in the morning. Guys can set up the site to alert them when someone they “like” is online, allowing them to jump into chat mode (let’s ignore the stalkeriness of that for now). Usually, though, by the time they get their “Hi wht r u up 2 2day” out, I’m off the site again.

Hours later, when I check messages again, I see the sad attempt at chatting.

Me: Hi. Thanks for the message. As noted on my profile, I don’t really chat on this site. I’m happy to answer a real message, though, when I check in periodically.

The guy: OK. What’s ur number? We can txt.

I then refrain from hitting my own head against my desk until the internal pain stops; I explain that giving my phone number to every stranger on a dating site who thinks I’m cute would be a) dangerous b) even MORE time consuming and distracting and annoying than the site chatting I’m refusing to do, since the whole point is that I don’t want to exchange “whats up?” with strangers instead of being present when I’m working/hanging out with friends/eating/binge watching/sitting in a theatre; then I fantasize about hitting the guy’s head against the enormous, hard mental wall blocking any form of empathy for it’s like to be a woman on a dating site until the wall comes crumbling down and he cries a little.

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