Two guys in two days with the same problem.
Both guys have the bare minimum on their profile, haven’t answered OKC questions, etc, and thus have not met the basic requirements (which you, my loyal readers, urge me to maintain).
Guy 1: Hola mami u look great
[Several hours later]
Guy 1: How come u didnt say hi
Me: As my profile says, “I’m only likely to answer if you’ve answered plenty of OKC’s questions (I don’t want to have to ask you if you’re jealous, if you’re homophobic, if you don’t believe in dinosaurs, etc. when OKC can ask you for me), if you have a picture, if you’ve said more than just “hi”/”good morning”/etc. in your message, and if you’ve filled out your profile with more than “ask me” or the equivalent.”
Guy 1: Ur taking life way too serious
Me: If you think so, then we’re obviously not a good fit.
I hope you find someone carefree and that you have a great day!
Guy 1: Uptite
Wats ur name im [his name here]
Guy 2: Hello.
Guy 2: Hmm
Really? Is it really a hmm-level mystery why I didn’t answer?
Recently, a guy struck up a conversation with me on OKC. He then mentioned he was going to try Zoosk.
I pointed him to my column on how much that site sucks.
A few days later, I got this:
I had a few strange responses on Zoosk, so I read your blog, which may be the first blog I’ve actually completed. I had no idea you speak Spanish ( que bueno). Yeah guys suck at chatting, and we are from mars. I have said or chatted “how was your day”, simply because I’m lazy, and most likely will never receive a reply.
Well back to my situation, I had two responses that were almost identical.
“I’m really busy now packing”. I’m thinking “So”, packing isn’t a 24/7 job.
Maybe something is fishy with Zoosk.
30 bucks down but not the end of the world.
[his name here]
For a guy to even write more than 2 words is an honest attempt at communication.
I wrote a long answer about how he and other men were causing their own problem–we don’t answer, because they’re lazy. They justify being lazy cause we don’t answer.
(I didn’t bother with the Mars bullshit. I don’t think men are incapable of writing a profile of a message or that all women are master communicators, but it didn’t seem worthwhile to enter into that particular debate here.)
I’d say for the most part, picture is all I look at, and attraction dictates effort. Second thing I look at is body type. Then determine how old the pictures could be. If the profile is too long, I just skip it. I have no desire to be a therapist.
I’ve never seen a long profile and thought a guy wanted free therapy, but then again, I have read more than one blog post in its entirety.
This only strengthens my prejudice against those lazy messages. And now this guy’s conversation with me is over. Sigh.
Last summer, before I headed to Iceland, I went on a lot of dates with a poly guy. Let’s call him P.
I have many poly friends, and I’ve been curious about it before–most notably, though, when certain important needs aren’t being met with a partner.
When I first went on OKC again, in early 2015, I decided to be open to the possiblity. I had three dates with one guy (not P) pretty early–but his wife didn’t like me–and something kept nagging at me about him. I realized, on that third date, what it was–I had never heard him actually laugh. Instead, he made another sound–that derisive snort about people he didn’t like.
So that wasn’t going to work, but I was still open to poly.
And, thus, I agreed to a date with P last summer. He was charismatic. He explained his situation: after his wife’s successful cancer treatment, her sex drive died. She refused to go to the doctor, and told him to get used to it. He proposed a compromise: that he could have a girlfriend or two. They spent a couple of years building trust that he wouldn’t leave her for one of them.
It was perfectly understandable. It also sounded functional.
It only took another couple of dates, however, for problems to arise. Our conversations were always about these relationships–and I didn’t like what was happening with the other girlfriend–she was younger, only dating him, wanting, desperately, to marry him and have children with him. He knew this. At one point, while he and I were dating (I think this was the catalyst–him trying to have a relationship with me proved he wasn’t going to leave his wife and become monogamous), she decided she wanted something more traditional. So she started an online profile. However, she posed as single while she was still in a relationship with P. And she could thus decide that each guy who messaged her was nothing compared to P. I told P she just wanted him to get jealous–to whisk her away to normality–that he was standing in her way. He agreed, but wouldn’t do what she couldn’t: end it.
The larger problem, though, was the almost immediate pressure to redefine myself.
After about a week, he thought I should change my status from single to “open relationship,” to announce to every other man I was talking to that I had a boyfriend.
I told him to slow down–that even if it were just the two of us, I wouldn’t want to stop everything and commit after a week.
And then I had to keep begging him to slow down, because that pressure never let up.
In additional to pushing me away, it made me think–fast–about what I wanted, and ultimately to decide that poly–at least his kind–isn’t for me, for several reasons.
The nail in the coffin, though, was a conversation P and I had before I left for Iceland.
Me: What if I meet a guy named Sven, and I want to fuck him?
P: You wouldn’t, would you?
Me: I’m not going to go looking for someone, but say I did.
P: But you can’t!
Me: Why not?
P: Because that’s not how this works–you can have boyfriends, but you can’t just fuck around!
[We argue about safety–he wants a “closed system,” which I argue is never really closed, because it counts too much on other people. He had once dated a woman who had 8 boyfriends–did he really think no one in the extended circle had one-offs?]
Me: So I’m supposed to tell a guy that I want to fuck that I’m not allowed to, because I’ve been dating another guy for two weeks? Even though I haven’t made a commitment to him? And even though that guy is probably fucking someone else in that moment?
Him: It has to be closed–that’s the kind of poly I am.
Me: Well, I’m not poly yet. And how do we know what kind of poly I would be?
Like most geeks, I’m not geeky about everything. (How could one be?)
My geekiness turns off most guys; however, geeky guys are often happy to find a geeky woman on a dating site.
But a lot of them are gamers of one kind or another, and I’m not.
Reason 2: I’m not a gamer.
I didn’t play many games when I was a kid, partly because I didn’t have many people to play with. My younger brother was too much younger, and I didn’t know any of the kids in my neighborhood, really–they went to different schools (private ones), while I was a public school kid.
My great-grandmother taught me how to play solitaire, got me a few decks, and had my great-grandfather build me a lap board, so I could watch shows with them while playing–while they played on their boards.
My mother played pente and chess with me. I found chess boring, overall; it was such a long wait between plays as mom went through the strategy of every piece.
Strategy in games just isn’t my thing.
(It’s not really a strength in real life either. I just try to play it straight and hope others will too; it is probably too easy to outmaneuver me.)
The day I beat my mom in chess was the last day she wanted to play.
Of course, there were some games I played and enjoyed: Trivial Pursuit; the occasional Connect Four. I liked early computer games–including those green screen adventure games where the land was all in your mind. I distinctly remember typing endless directions into Transylvania.
Command: Kiss Werewolf
When Alexander was a baby, I played The Neverhood–I played it again with him when he was older.
Now, our favorite thing is Boggle–he’s really, really good, and beats me most times now. What we like about it, though, is that it only take a few minutes to play. It’s a nice break, but not something that goes on for too long, as most games tend to do.
Of course, my son definitely has a longer attention span for games than I do–he plays D&D with friends and has many favorite video games that can consume him for hours.
One of my very favorite things is to ask questions while he’s playing:
Why are you shooting those geckos?
What did they ever do to you?
Well, didn’t you come on to their territory? Don’t they have the right to defend it?
What do you mean it’s a job?
Who gave you the job?
You took a job from some guy you don’t know? How do you know you’re not the bad guy here?
You’re probably the bad guy here, right? You did walk onto their territory.
Is this a pro-colonialism game?
A lot of self-identified geeks who message me express a deep love of games–board games, computer games, role playing games, and the like.
But, as I think we all know by now, I’m old and set in my ways. I don’t want to play most games (the only thing I love is Cards Against Humanity with Tiffany and Ben–I’ll never turn that down). And even though many guys tell me that I’ll like playing with them and their friends/family, I just don’t want to.
I’m not sure how to end this piece. By explaining how Monopoly is the worst of all games both because it’s boring and because I’m a believer in old-school Teddy Roosevelt trust-busting? By desperately avoiding the too obvious metaphor of not liking it when people play emotional games? By making a too obvious sex joke (and real statement) about how I like to play in other ways when I’m with a special fella?
Still not sure–I’m just not that good with strategy, apparently.
Guy 1: How are you doing today,hope your day is going well?your eyes aren’t just beautiful,they are a gateway to a world that I want to be part of,i really like your smile and you are very attractive,i want to get to know you cos i am on here seeking a serious and long term relationship
Me: Hi, David. Thanks for your message.
While I’m looking for a serious relationship, I’m not looking for marriage or another child–your profile seems to indicate that you want those things.
Guy 1: Yes but we can still get to know each other ,if you don’t mind
Me: I guess I’m just wondering what the point would be–if we’re fundamentally different in what we want from a relationship, why would we start one?
Also, Auburn is far away–I’m not gonna make that drive for dates.
Guy 1: Hello dear,how are you doing today,hope your day is going on well?good to know you are open to making new friends,I’m new to online dating and i would like to know you better,how long have you been on here,what are you seeking on here,what does it take to put a smile on your beautiful face,do you like to kiss,are you a good kisser,do you like wine,hope i didn’t ask too much?
Me: I’m confused by your last message.
My last message indicated I didn’t want to start a relationship, since you’re far away and since we want different things.
Guy 1: sorry about that
Guy 2 is on disability and is on the spectrum. He admits he doesn’t really have friends. He doesn’t like to travel. He games all day. He is specifically looking for a female gamer with a high sex drive.
Me: I’m reluctant to enter into a relationship under those circumstances. I’ve been unhappy in relationships before when my partners weren’t social.
I hope you find the perfect woman for you; best wishes!
Guy 2: What a superficial reason lol
In the last couple of weeks, I’ve also had a bunch of messages that I haven’t responded to. Some are from far away or far enough away to be annoying. Some are conservative (men should be in charge of the household cause the Bible says so). What they all have in common is that they either haven’t read my profile wherein I say what I want and that I expect an actual message instead of a “hi” equivalent OR they’ve read it but still can’t put together an actual message.
Guy 3: How are you?
Guy 4: Hello
Guy 5: Good morning how are you doing
Guy 6: Hello love how you doing
Guy 7: Hello, i’d love to find out more about you…
Guy 8: Hello beautiful
Guy 9: hi beautiful, how are you
Guy 10: Good morning, TGIF 😆, how are you? 🙂
Guy 11: Hi, how are you?
Guy 12: Hi
Guy 12 [10 minutes later]: Hello
I’m fairly certain that the men who message me grew up on Looney Tunes, as I did.
I’m now fairly certain that many of those men learned the wrong lessons, especially a lesson about taking no for an answer. In the world of Pepe Le Pew, no doesn’t exist. Penelope (the cat) makes her position clear. Pepe doesn’t listen. And sometimes, he wins.
I have a vivid memory of catching one of the cartoons as my son watched, years ago. Pepe chased Penelope. She was running for her life. She ran into a cave–an ice cave. The last shot of her showed her terrified face, reflected in the ice shards, as she realized she was trapped. Pepe rolled a boulder in front of the entrance and hung a “Do Not Disturb” sign.
For a couple of days, I’ve been nicely explaining that I don’t want a long distance relationship. In fact, this is the only conversation I’ve had with the gentleman in question. He complimented me. I thanked him. He said he wanted to talk more. I said I didn’t want to pursue anything, since he was far away. We exchanged this information several more times–him saying he wanted to talk, me saying I didn’t. (I’m also inherently not interested–his profile is generic and he hasn’t really answered OKC’s questions). This is the end of the conversation:
Picture Pepe bouncing after me; a French accent may even help some of the grammar/writing problems:
Him: But I do you think I’m suppose to find that’s perfect woman, if not by getting so close with me woman that my spirit tells me much about.
Him: I don’t care about the distance, because I can’t get my eyes of you.
Him: You are a good looking woman, if you don’t really believe in long distance relationship, why don’t you give it a try.. And what about talking and texting you on phone?
[That last one confuses me, causing me to stumble. So because I’m pretty, I have to do something I don’t believe in? I pick myself up, keep running, calling this out.]
Me: I’ve done long distance before; it’s not what I want for my life. And I don’t want to spend all day talking and texting on the phone for a relationship I don’t want to pursue. […] Look–you don’t know anything about me, really. You just seem to be attracted to me based on my looks.
Him: Yea I know I don’t really know you, but I know it only takes a day to know someone and be close friends.. You are attracted to me by your looks yea.. And that makes you a woman and I’m proud saying you are attracted to me and I’m interested in you. I’m the the kind of in-person that likes meeting someone that is been attracted to me, and that who my spirit accept as a woman. My spirit tells me you are a good looking pretty woman. I follow what my spirit tells me, I just wish things will work out between us, I’m going to make you proud and you will never regret having an meeting me. I’m not ask you of that forcefully, take your and think about it.
[His spirit tells him what? And when did I say I was attracted to him?]
[I raise the mallet.] Le sigh.
So many men say on their profiles that they’re just looking for someone who loves them for them.
I know where that feeling comes from–they’ve been asked or expected to change before–finding out too late that love came with conditions.
I’ve been asked/expected to change
into a Canadian
into a blood letting dom
into someone “laid back” instead of driven and alert
into a good Christian woman
into a stepmother
into a trophy wife
into a dog person
into a woman with more than one child
into a biker babe
into a sports fan
and so many other things.
Naturally, these guys haven’t gotten what they wanted, since any hope of change has to come from a desire to change.
There are some attractive, interesting guys out there, but there’s usually something that keeps me from messaging them–it’s that I would need them to change.
If a guy smokes, I don’t tell him to stop; I just don’t tell him anything at all.
It’s the same with guys who want kids, guys who want someone really thin, guys who want someone who’s up for a spontaneous hiking/fishing/camping trips all the time, guys who need someone to watch sports with them . . .
There are also a lot of guys I’m not tempted to message because, and let’s be brutally honest here, they would have to change into someone who can come across as interesting in a dating profile, but most guys are desperately normal, with interchangeable, instantly forgettable profiles.
I’m really tired of guys who want me to change–especially when a major change would have to occur for a first date to happen.
In addition to the changes listed above, there are lots of guys who would like me to change into someone who wants to be poly, or who wants “no strings” sex, or who will be thrilled to enter into an adulterous relationship, or who is open to long distance, or a combination of the above.
The oddest (to me) request I get, though, is the frequent request for friendship. Dating sites generally allow you to say what you’re looking for: casual, long term, new friends, etc.
I am very clear that I’m looking for a long term relationship.
Some men, when I tell them I won’t date them because of x or y, will ask to be friends. I get it: they’re lonely, but I’m so not. My friends are wonderful and plentiful. Between them and my workaholism, I am never, ever bored, never wondering what I’m going to do for any given stretch of time.
And then there are conversations like this recent one:
Him: Hello there. I love your smile. Maybe we could be friends?? hope to hear back from you..
Me: “Friends” always seems like a weird word to me on dating sites. Some guys use it to mean they want dating with no strings (and of course there shouldn’t be strings at first, but they mean ever). Some guys use the word to mean sex without even dating. Some guys are lonely and need someone to watch tv with. I’m not bored or lonely–I have a vibrant groups of friends. What’s your definition?
Him: I hadn’t really thought about it. I guess this might paint a better picture: I don’t really have time to “date”, just hoping to find someone who wants to hang and watch stupid tv shows and fool around sometimes NSA. If something more develops, fantastic. But it’s hard with 2 little guys and 50/50 custody to really get into anything serious right away. So I guess it sounds like I’m being a typical male pig but it’s more necessitated by my lack of pure free time
He’s not a pig, of course, for wanting what he wants. But I’m clear in what I want–and it’s not a bad tv companion whom you get to fuck sometimes.
There are Japanese sex dolls for that, right?
As my faithful readers know, politeness is a double-edged sword in online dating. Men hate it when their overtures are ignored, yet polite nos are met with badgering bullshit. The overwhelming advice I get from men and women is to quit with the politeness already.
Today presented a new challenge.
A man “liked” me. In other words, he didn’t send a message, but hit a button indicating interest. A quick perusal of his OKC profile led me to one conclusion: No.
He’s homophobic, thinks creationism should be taught in science classes, rates his faith as “extremely important” in his life, etc.
So I logged back off.
Unfortunately, some lonely people spend all day hoping that someone, anyone, looks at their profile.
Him: No hello
[Please note that I did not comment on the irony here. He didn’t say anything to me when he read my profile; he simply clicked on a star.]
Me: I don’t think we’re very compatible. You seem to be more old fashioned than I am. I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day!
[This is me being nice. It is code for “go away, you homophobic bigot.”]
Him: Why would you say that how do you know?
Me: I read through some of your answers to questions. You said homosexuality was a sin, that creationism should be taught in science classes, etc. As I’m a passionate advocate for gay rights, for science, etc., I don’t think we’re compatible.
Him: Omg I don’t give a shit about that
Once again, I wished him well. I did not mention how he just took the lord’s acronym in vain, etc.
And then I blocked him.
I’m so sick of this.
One of my exes thinks I’m too emotional because I get stressed out when my cars die.
The man I was with after him thinks I’m emotionally repressed, that the only reason we’re broken up is because I was raised by alcoholics (because in his version of the story, we’re perfect together in every way), and that I’m high maintenance because I didn’t want to sleep in a car for three days at a Shakespeare festival (I insisted on a hostel instead).
In my version of the story, both of these men are wrong.
We all have our narrative about our relationships.
In my own narratives here, I’ve mentioned the narratives of the men who talk to me–the guy who thinks I’m “crazy” because I called him out on putting up a model’s picture instead of his own; the guy who thinks I’m a racist because I didn’t want a second date; etc.
Usually, those alternate reality narratives are just funny.
And then, sometimes, they’re not.
I went out on several dates with a guy I really liked, and he seemed to really like me too.
One Thursday, we were texting/flirting.
On that Friday, I asked him out on a date for the next night.
He told me he’d made a date with someone else since I’d ignored his text asking for a date on Thursday night.
I never got that text.
Of course, I searched my phone. I searched my mind. How many times had I dropped it that day?* Could something have happened if I was erasing a text from another friend and that one came in at the same time? (My phone, a really old flip phone, has trouble when I’m in text when someone sends me another one.)
I called and left a message apologizing.
I also apologized by text, explaining that I would have definitely gone out with him–and answered him as a matter of course–if I’d gotten the message.
He didn’t answer.
And I was thrown–I’d been the one who instigated our dates. I’d been the opposite of stand-offish. Why would he think I suddenly became a bitch who would just ignore him?
On that Sunday, I sent him another message, explaining that while I didn’t know what happened to the message, I did know I liked him a lot.
He told me he didn’t know why I was lying–that his phone told him I got the message. He said he wasn’t interested in my games.
Of course, I have my own narrative about all this–he must have been really hurt by someone before.
In the words of my therapist, his response is “diagnosable.”
Usually, diagnosable responses to me/my words are easily tossed aside. Hell, I’m going to be using the story of the guy who thinks I’m a racist in my stand-up routine this Thursday.**
It’s different, though, because I liked this guy. I care about what he thinks of me.
I care that there’s a narrative out there about me that so different from my own.
*Yes, he knows I have an old flip phone. When I showed it to him on our first date, I told him that I have it because I drop it all the time.
**My students have their stand-up final this Thursday, from 1-3 in 6 Wellman. As usual, I’m opening for them. As usual, you’re all invited.
A few days ago, a man on Match contacted me. His profile and our brief conversation made it clear he was looking for someone who was into the great outdoors and doing all the body intensive stuff in it (whereas my favorite way to be outdoors is either finding the perfect spot to listen to the waves or watching the sun through leaves from a hammock pov).
I answered a question about ComicCon, but then said this: I don’t think we’d be a good fit. My back problems don’t allow for lots of hiking and other outdoor activities. I hope you find what you’re looking for, though!
The man sent me many more messages; he wanted to know what I did for a living, how long I’d been in Davis, etc.
I resorted to this: So I don’t know if you saw my message yesterday, in which I addressed a concern about our being a good fit. I’m not an outdoors person.
Him: Thanks for the email. I should pay attention to details. […]
Of course, I am definitely a snob about this kind of stuff. I prefer guys who read and write clearly.
On the other hand, maybe it’s not so much that I’m a snob. Maybe it’s that I don’t want my recreation time to be spent reading unintelligible things or having my comments ignored–I get enough of that at work.
It’s probably both.
That said, I give you two of the most difficult messages to parse that I’ve ever received. A 56 year old man messaged me. He was looking for women 30-40, so I asked him why.
Him: well their total abilities is still active an not as hard two get along with I notices that older women have went through a change of life that don’t let the be as nominal as a woman 30 to 40 why you ask an do my answer make a little since to you?
Me: I’m not sure what the word “nominal” means in that sentence.
It’s just a little strange for someone who’s so close to my mom’s age to think that my age is almost too much.
Him: well I been a fun an happy guy all my life so I thank an fell 10 years younger than I guess I’m suppose two that what most people tell me an the reason I never been married I was tough two put my carrier in life first an then the rest I came from a good family of poor people an they didn’t wont me two come up the way they did now I’m proud of they way they tough me if you understand that I’m saying.