This is why I decided not to message you…

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I’m not entirely against a short list attributes or types of relationships one is not interested in posted on their dating profile. I mean if there is some feature in a person or relationship you’re 100% turned off by without exception and you think it’ll help weed out the messages your receiving by stating that out in the open, that isn’t generally a given (“I don’t like to date people who are mean to me”) -then sure put it out there. However, drawing attention to a very specific incident that went awry, doesn’t look good for you and isn’t going to prevent that situation from repeating. The odds of that exact situation repeating are pretty slim to begin with, so there’s no reason to devote a section of your profile to it. This particular paragraph sent so many red flags through my mind. First of all, it makes this person look revengeful, “I’ll get back at them by describing what they did on my profile, publicly calling out this one person on it.” That leads me to believe they’re not that cool and this weird sort of passive aggressive behavior is probably not a quality I’m going to enjoy if I date them. I would not be surprised if they were a sociopath or a psychopath. Hey, maybe they’re not, but that’s the message they’re sending me. Second, if someone did make up an excuse to leave in the middle of their date, maybe they shouldn’t want to broadcast that. Maybe they deserved it, though I agree it’s not a nice thing to do. The fact that they’ve posted this on their profile leaves me thinking they most likely were that bad of a date that someone decided to escape. -But you couldn’t let it go, huh? You actually updated your profile to target that person. Finally, what if there really was a legitimate crisis this person had to tend to? Now who looks like a jerk not at all sympathizing? *shudders* And to think I’d been in a conversation with this person a year ago, though we never met! (Yes, the image above is an actual screenshot from someone’s dating website profile.)

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The Screenwriter

He’s an aspiring screenwriter, really. I guess he’s written some and he works now, but he’s not really a screenwriter. He did look like a screenwriter. His hair was floppy and he was kind of short. Maybe he just kind of looked like the one other screenwriter I’d met. He hadn’t shaved, but he had in some of his other pictures, so I was hopeful. I was a minute early and he was over a half hour late! There were delays on the train, he apologized via textmessages and got a cab to be faster, so I tried to hide how annoyed I was. I didn’t that well; I was just kind of quiet and avoiding eye contact when he said “Yeah, my bad” a few times upon meeting me. I think he did feel bad about it, but I’d also still been standing in the cold outside of a restaurant for 40 minutes, not really wanting to pay for an extra drink before he arrived. It was a small restaurant and there wasn’t really anywhere to sit and wait inside. The thing was, it wasn’t even just train delays. He hadn’t checked the train schedule, hadn’t taken the closest train, and had missed his stop. Some of his lateness could have been prevented. I started to wonder if he’d made a reservation. He hadn’t. We waited to be seated. It wasn’t a long wait, but again I felt like he was unprepared. I was sort of caught off guard and impressed that the date from last weekend had made a reservation. I did like how prepared he had been. I looked around the restaurant and saw better looking people I wished I was with instead. Maybe they weren’t even better dates, but my date’s slightly grungy look wasn’t doing it for me. It’s been a while since I’d been with someone more than just “okay” on the attractive scale. I know looks aren’t everything, but after a while one starts to wonder if there’s just some league they’re out of.

We talked about work. I talked about my job a lot. He talked about his job. We talked about drug experiences a little and then it was over. That was it. Less than two hours together. He lived pretty far, too. He didn’t offer to pay. He automatically assumed we’d split it. We did split it. I pretended this was fine. But he was late, shouldn’t he have made a gesture to at least buy my drink or something? His dish was a dollar more, for the record. We walked to the train together. “You’re not taking your to-go bag from the restaurant?” he asked as we entered the train station. “Why didn’t you remind me?! Why are you reminding me now?!” I asked him. He said he figured I didn’t want it. Why would I have asked for it and then decided I didn’t want it 5 minutes later just leaving it on the table?! I barely ate my food and had been looking forward to finishing it later. I could see myself having a mini meltdown over it if we’d known each other better. But we didn’t. So, I didn’t say anything else. I just silently took away another point from him. One for being late. One for not offering to pay and one for not reminding me to take my leftover food when he saw me leave it. Three strikes you’re out? He didn’t know I was into the clean-shaven look, so I couldn’t really count that. When the train arrived I asked which way it was headed. Not my direction. He was already on it. “uhh bye” I said. He said “Nice meeting you!” as the train doors closed. And that was how it ended. I felt stupid for actually having hope this one would be better than the last one.

My train arrived shortly after. I sat down and texted my date from a few weeks ago, asking how his weekend was going. I asked what he was up to and he sort of dodged the question. Maybe he had another date. I asked him if he wanted to hang out next weekend. He said “if he’s free” he’d be up for it. I asked what determined him being free and he gave some kind of philosophical answer. I assume he’s waiting to see if a better date comes along first. Maybe it was whoever he slept with last Saturday when I’d asked that question. I looked at the textmessage the guy from last weekend had sent. It’d been a week since we spoke and I was hoping we could keep the silence going, but he had texted me earlier that afternoon, “where’d you go?” I replied then, “No where, just been busy.” Busy, yeah. “How’s the night?” he asked. “Going to sleep.” I answered. It wasn’t that far off from true. (At 1am he replied, “meh.”) Walking home I picked up my phone thinking about asking my date from a few weeks ago to come over. I decided against it and dropped my phone back in my bag. Single life is home in bed early and alone on a Saturday night after a boring date.

Still Very Single

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That’s the textmessage I sent my bestfriend with the thought of my upcoming date this weekend, and my date from last weekend. (The one I wasn’t really attracted to.) I thought about him for a moment. I didn’t want to see him again. I haven’t been in a relationship in four years. I picked up my cellphone and texted my date from a couple of weeks ago who had spent the night (not sexually.) “When are we going to hang out again?!” I asked. We chatted a bit. I opened the FaceBook conversation with my foreign crush and starred at the last three messages. The first one was from about three weeks ago. He apologized about being incognito over the last few weeks, blaming it on work keeping him busy and such. It probably wasn’t the real reason, but whatever our “relationship” was, wasn’t real either, so I really didn’t mind. At least he was apologizing and therefore still somewhat interested. The second was my response about it being cool and how I’d only been messaging him to do my best to stay in touch with someone who lived so far away. I’d been trying to ask him questions about his life to get to know him better, and because I thought he might enjoy talking about himself. The third message was a slightly drunk message from me about wanting to send him sexy pictures. I’d sent that one last week. Both of my messages were unread. I am trying to pretend I think it’s because he’s busy at work and not because he’s met someone more interesting at the moment. I’m trying to pretend the thought hasn’t crossed my mind that he can change the address the airport shuttle brings him to and that he isn’t still staying over in September.

My cellphone beeped and I grabbed it. A textmessage from my mom. I put it back down. I picked it up again and texted the date who’d slept over. I steered the conversation sexual. He was pretty reserved and not very sexual and I felt like pushing his limits, just poke him a bit. He was the one who had (not) surprised me with a low number of sexual partners in his lifetime. “When was the last time you slept with someone?” I asked. “Saturday,” He answered. “Lol easy to remember,” I answered like it wasn’t a big deal. It wasn’t a big deal, of course. I wasn’t expecting that, though. Who could it have been? Was it one of his friends in his recent FaceBook pictures? Did he sleep with someone he didn’t know well? Had he already started getting into something serious with someone? Was it his ex? Did I care? Why did I care? I had shown zero effort to see him over the last few weeks. He’d given off the friend vibe. I’d felt awkward about the fact that he seemed like he had this crush on me and now I felt…Could I actually be feeling jealous? What did I feel jealous about? Maybe it wasn’t a desire to be with him so much as a desire to have something (someone) of my own. I switched textmessage windows to the conversation with the guy I’d decided to meet this upcoming weekend. He’s so new to the picture I haven’t mentioned him before. He was from the dating app I’d only met one person from so far. “So what are we doing this weekend, where are we going?” I locked in a time and place for Saturday night. I switched textmessage windows back and started awkwardly flirting with him. I wasn’t intentionally flirting, but rereading the messages to myself, what else was I doing? I put my phone back down. This is me being bored and craving attention. This is me missing having a significant other. This is me being tired of dating.

I’d have slept with him if he had weighed less…

That title is the textmessage I sent my best friend after my date. Of course it made me feel extremely shallow, but I had to acknowledge that it was the truth. He’s the first guy I met in person from this particular app. Their matching is a bit more random than calculated. He was hot in every picture except the last one where he seemed to have gained weight and started wearing glasses. I was tempted to ask “what’s up with that last picture?” but decided it sounded too rude. I had a good feeling that was his most recent photo, but of course I had to find out in person. It was also a group shot, so I kept hoping he might be someone else in the picture anyway. Moments after arriving at the wine bar he’d picked out, I had that sinking feeling, “I have a date with the last picture, not the profile picture.” Immediately I felt bad for thinking that. Of course I brushed off my disappointment on the outside and we had our date.

I sat across from him and he asked if I knew much about wine. I told him my only preference was that it was red and let him choose the bottle. The waiter coerced him into another lesser known bottle within the same price range and it arrived shortly after. I didn’t actually see what that price range was, but I have a feeling I’d have thought it was too much. My date riddled me with the typical first date interview questions. “What do your parents do?” “Have you lived there your whole life?” “Do you have any brothers or sisters?” -And so on, and so on, but as is with every date I go on we got side tracked into the unconventional topics and spoke of failed relationships, family dysfunction, suicide, and details of sexual experiences. I actually didn’t lead the conversation this time, but we stumbled into this kind of talk anyway, even well before my second glass of wine.

He sneezed loudly and a few people turned around while I cringed under the extra attention. He apologized and seemed slightly embarrassed, but I started to wonder if I’d have been as critical of the way he sneezed if I’d found him more attractive. At one point he brought up his nervousness of women dating him for his money. I wondered if he was accusing me, or just trying to let me know he did well financially. While I assured him I wasn’t there for his money, as I hadn’t really even been aware of it before this conversation, it definitely prompted me to make a mental note, “He’s probably going to pay for this!” Of course I still offered to split it at the end, but was quite satisfied with his refusal of my offer. It seemed fair enough as I’d allowed him to select our order.

I felt like he was more someone to talk at, rather than someone who really understood me. When he spoke, I wanted to care about what he had to say, but there were tiny warnings that kept turning me off and held off my interest. He seemed slightly more aggressive than I’d have preferred, challenging me too often. He was disorganized, he hadn’t shaved, he kept checking his watch, and we had very different tastes in music. He admitted to not being able to deal with stress well, having a short temper, and little patience. I’d been adding these things up while he spoke, so then I tried to think about what I did like about him. I liked that he had referred to “appetizers/snacks” as “nibbles” when asking if I was interested in any. I looked over his face. His glasses shaped his face nicely. He had nice, thick hair. His teeth were straight. But then my eyes fell back down. The top few buttons of his shirt were undone, a sparsely scattered patch of chest hair was visible, and my eyes outlined the shape of his body. I had been interested in his pictures, not in him. And who was I to bring it up? Why should he change anything for me anyway? Am I going to find someone who never ages and stays in shape forever anyway? Would my appearance never change? On the third glass of wine I started thinking his personality was outweighing his appearance, while simultaneously realizing it was only guilt from his speech about not putting so much value on appearances, followed by him complimenting me.

When he talked about some family issues my attraction to him started to return, but was quickly shot down by my realization at how fucked up that seemed. It appealed to me in this “aw, you seem more vulnerable now and maybe I can fix you” kind of way. Acknowledging that turned me off from him again. The handful of guys I’d met who I hadn’t initially been attracted to, and who later lost a lot of weight and got married, flashed through my mind. In the nearly three hours we spent together, I felt like I was really trying to make an effort to like him. “Maybe you’re picky, come on, you can find something to like about him. You can fall for this one.” But it doesn’t work like that. There was no spark. Sometimes there is. Sometimes there isn’t but it grows into something more. Sometimes there is and then it later fizzles out. There wasn’t any of that with him. Only, I hadn’t made up my mind about all that until I got home and started reflecting on the night.

Towards the end of the date he seemed to be pushing for a more casual kind of relationship. He asked me how I felt about going to his place the next weekend. Three glasses of wine in I still knew I didn’t want to invite him to my place that night, but I was still thinking maybe it wasn’t an awful idea for next weekend and I didn’t exactly turn him down. I told him I’d have to check my schedule. After all, maybe I did want something to happen with someone; I’d shaved even though I was in long sleeves and jeans. (Although, I also do that often enough in case a situation arises where I don’t want to feel like I have any of those kinds of excuses to hold myself back.) I gave him a quick hug and he kissed my cheek goodbye before we headed for our separate trains. I quickly thought about stopping at a bar to see who I’d meet on my way home, but then decided against it. I probably would have let something more happen if I’d been more physically attracted to him. Jury’s still out on if that truly makes me shallow or not. I mean, we can’t force attraction and choose what turns us on, right? I knew my schedule was open, but “let’s just go our separate ways after this” didn’t leave my lips. Unfortunately I’ll probably wind up telling him I’m busy pretty often for a while. I do that, I know. I just hope they eventually come to the conclusion on their own that there would be time for them if I wanted there to be.

Do I Still Date Women?…

I mentioned a guy I’d been speaking to from a dating site to my best friend. “Oh, so you’re over that thing with women?” she asked. No, it wasn’t a “phase” and I’m not “over” it. The reason I haven’t been mentioning many women lately is just because I’m having shitty luck with meeting any I’m interested in, or I seem to be as shitty of a prospective girlfriend to women as I seem to be to men lately…*sigh* If I saw an attractive girl that I could identify as being gay/bisexual or whatever else in-between, sure I’d pursue it, but my gaydar sucks. Even more limiting I find I’m usually only interested in feminine-looking women and being feminine-looking myself, I doubt most could pick me out either. *shrugs* And rejection sucks. There are a million reasons one could be rejected, mistaking someone’s sexual identity/orientation doesn’t need to be another one for me. So that mostly leaves me with gay bars and dating sites. When I go to a gay bar to meet someone it feels like I’m specifically choosing to meet women, which feels weird, when I’m clearly still interested in men as well. Every experience I’ve had at these bars was so aggressive. The women demand to know my sexual history with women within thirty seconds of introducing themselves to me and I’m not a great liar or half-truther. I get it, they don’t want someone who’s going to flake out on them and everyone judges a virgin (not that I’m such a virgin with men by any means.) But it doesn’t change the fact that I don’t wind up leaving with any of them, or their phone numbers. So then there are dating sites and I don’t get any messages from women, ‘nor any replies from the few messages I send out. Once in a while I’ll get a message from someone I’m very much not interested in and well that’s that. So in short, women just don’t like me, I guess, or at least I haven’t yet met an available one I like who does, while men I have some interest in do continue to show interest in me.

I still notice attractive women. I always have. I don’t say much about it because I don’t say much about it when I notice an attractive man either. I had a mini crush on a girl I met a couple of weeks ago, but I’m pretty sure she’s straight and I don’t know her that well. So, once again I didn’t mention it to anyone. She was just pretty cool and pretty fun to talk to and pretty…There, does that satisfy you, those who want to believe it was just a phase? There wasn’t anything more than that to make of it, so I didn’t. I spent over twenty years of my life not realizing I had an option to date women and ignoring the occasional crush. It’s too bad I didn’t collect a bunch of experiences in my youth to justify my admittance to being open to it now. Maybe then people wouldn’t see my mentioning of it as such a novelty. There was somewhat of an exciting aspect to it at first, just like any new discovery, but it wasn’t just a novelty thing. A friend said they could find someone to hook-up with me, but I didn’t want a one night stand, ’nor to be some couple’s fantasy in a threesome. Of course I have an interest in something I’d never experienced before, but it’s not a one-and-done deal. It was just another option in dating. It’s only to other people that it’s such a big deal. It never was to me. I never “came out.” I never felt the need to discuss it with others. I certainly never felt the need to create a new label for myself. Labeling myself as “straight” for all these years is what convinced me I had to adhere to the label and that there wasn’t any room to be anything but that. I don’t do those labels anymore. I’m lucky to have as many non-judgmental family members and friends as I do, as I know many don’t, and this might be a bigger deal in their circles of acquaintances. For me, it isn’t, so I’m thankful for the ability to so easily be label-free now.

OkCupid has come out with so many labels and the ability to select up to five genders (woman, man, agender, androgynous, bigender, cis man, cis woman, genderfluid, genderqueer, gender nonconforming, hijra, intersex, non-binary, other, pangender, transfeminine, transgender, transmasculine, transsexual, trans man, trans woman, two spirit) and up to five orientations (straight, gay, bisexual, asexual, demisexual, hetroflexible, homoflexible, lesbian, pansexual, queer, questioning, sapiosexual.) Now, it’s great for anyone who identifies with being any of those things because they can choose exactly what fits them, but when I look at that, I can’t possibly be the only one who just feels more confused about which label best fits them. I’ve yet to come across a profile that has selected five of each, but at a certain point isn’t it okay to just not label yourself at all? Where is the “none” option? For me, that long list of labels just feels so much more restricting. I guess some people like to feel included in a certain group, belong some place, and some people like to have a word that describes them perfectly. That’s okay. But, I personally do not wish to be boxed into any labels any more. I feel free to love and fuck whoever I please and others can label me as they see fit straight, bi, gay, hypocrite, questioning, queer, poser, lesbian, hetroflexible, or whatever else they feel fits. But I’m not calling myself anything but me these days. No, I’m not “above” it. I’m not “above” anyone who loves being labeled and who has worked hard to feel comfortable in their label or for equal rights for their label. I’m not better than or belittling anyone who has gone through any types of hardships to gain respect for their label. I applaud it and am fully for it. I just want to be respected just the same in my label-less-ness, is all. I’m not even feeling that this label-free thing is such an original idea, either. I know some people won’t understand this or agree with it, but who would anyone be if all they did was try to appease everyone else? And I don’t believe I’ve offended anyone, as I certainly didn’t mean to, but I know it can be a very touchy subject. I know, I see your posts on FaceBook everyone, you know who you are, not that you know who I am, but I’m 100% sorry in advance and will delete this entire section if you find it offensive some how. I’m not on this blog to start internet fights. There’s enough bullshit on the internet as it is and I don’t need to contribute to any of that viral “omg” nonsense. <3

So, I haven’t written about dating women very much on here recently. I might more often. I might once in a while. I might not. Hopefully no one is surprised either way. I’ve put more focus on the apps and websites I use for dating men because I’ve spent so much of my life dating them. It’s sort of like the low-hanging fruit of dating for me. It’s familiar and easier, though not necessarily better. It’s where I seem to have more luck. So until some cute female notices me, I see this male-trend continuing in my dating patterns for now. I don’t plan on this coming up again, but figured I should clarify for those wondering since this is my dating blog and all…

Sexting In Public

The picture messages started after the “dick pic” conversation with my coworkers a few weeks ago. I was never one of those “look how good I look” selfie-taking girls, so sending sexy pictures to someone didn’t come naturally to me. It’s been quite a thrill sending half-nude pictures to my far-away-crush, the last few weeks, though. I definitely regret the slip up at the restaurant where I flashed my best friend one of these pictures as a kind of “look at the kind of picture *I’m* capable of taking.” Only, it was at the wrong moment when the waiter standing behind me got a glimpse of it as well. But, if I’m craving attention or an ego-boost I’ll sometimes send one over to my crush because I know he’ll reply shortly after. I even got creative when I realized he liked the clothes I wear to the office and snapped a photo as I was changing out of them one night. What else do you make of having a crush on someone who lives on the other side of the planet? I’d love to drop the idea, but my brain seems to have other plans. He’s the foreign dude I met while traveling this past January and I’m running out of imaginative ways to hold his interest and stay in touch until he visits in September.

One morning I get a nearly-nude picture from him. I reply, “Wish you were here,” while I’m getting ready for work. “What would you do if I were there?” he sends back. “You,” I reply. A moment later I think about what a cop out my answer was. I write and I can do better than that, I think. I apologize and explain that I’m getting ready for work. My mornings are his nights. I send a bit more sexually explicit message as I’m walking to the train. He replies. I’ve never done that whole sexting thing, by the way. I don’t recommend it in public, although there is a bit of a thrill to it as well. So, now I’m on the train and the conversation has continued. I interrupt, “The person standing next to me can totally read this conversation.” I try to continue, but again, after one of those “And then I would…” kind of messages, I chime in, “Now, there’s a religious man sitting next to me, praying into a book. Now this just feels weird.” He laughs a little, but it’s obvious I’ve killed the mood and we decide to pick it up another time. I just can’t take that kind of thing seriously enough.

He’s less than a friend because a friend I would see once in a while. He’s more than a friend, because a friend wouldn’t get these kinds of pictures from me. He’s not just a pen pal (is it called a “text pal” these days?) because we’ve met once and will meet once more. He’s definitely not a boyfriend because he lives thousands of miles away and is certainly doing other women. I can’t possibly care about him that much as all I really know about him is based off of a one-time meeting. He’s just an impossible crush I have. I never liked being called pet-names, but with him I actually enjoy it. There are times when I’m one of those people who aren’t looking where they’re going, with their phone in their face, shooting off messages back and forth. I’ll sit with a stupid smile on my face my entire commute to work after it. But, I know it’s an unrealistic idea. I do it because I enjoy it,  but like everything else, I know there will be a shitty point when it ends and one day I’m sure he’ll start seeing someone seriously no matter how much he insists it won’t happen any time soon. I guess it’s really just nice to have in the meantime when I have nothing else going on. Sometimes more time passes in-between our conversations. I don’t know the real reason for it, but I’m thankful he doesn’t mention any girls he sees to me. It keeps the fantasy alive and continues being fun for me this way. He also always apologizes about the time gap, so I know he hasn’t entirely lost interest yet. I’m still dating. I’m not waiting for his visit in September. I know it will just be a couple of days and he’ll be off again. But I’m kind of hoping I don’t wind up in a relationship before he arrives. It’s an interesting situation to be in. I’m both rooting for the prospective dates I meet to be this perfect match for me and simultaneously hoping nothing more than a couple of months at most comes of it until after he leaves.

There are some messages I ignore…

If you wouldn’t open with that line in person, why would you use it on the internet? Everyone comes off a bit creepier on the internet than they are in person. We don’t know who you are behind your profile. You might have someone else’s photos up. You might be twenty years older than you claim. You might be a serial killer. Okay, you might be a serial killer if we met you in real life, too –but at least we’d have a little more to use to base our impression of you off of. We’re going to use our best judgment, but that should be kept in mind when you message us. If you’re not having success getting a date with whatever topic you’re using to start a conversation in the real world, maybe you should tone it down a bit when you start that conversation on a dating site? Now, if someone’s profile reads “I have a foot fetish and I’m only on this site to find someone who shares that with me” –By all means, start off with that topic in your initial message. However, if that’s your thing and you’re sending a message to someone who doesn’t sound all that kinky, you might want to tone it down until the conversation gets a little deeper. You know, “Hi,” or “Hey,” or “Hello” are usually a good words to use to start the first sentence if you can’t be more creative than that.

You also might want to try sending these initial messages to someone who the site even remotely suggests may be a good match for you. If your looks aren’t your strongest attribute, you might want to brush up on your verbal skill set. Maybe you shouldn’t be sending the message you’d like to receive from a stranger, and rather the message you think they’d like to receive. If you don’t know what they might like to hear, take a look at what they’ve written in their profile. At least skim their damn profile if you’re not going to read it before messaging them. I know it might be a surprise, but there’s really a lot more to someone than the 3-10 pictures of themselves they’ve uploaded to their dating profile. Read your message to yourself and ask yourself how it would make you feel coming from a stranger you probably wouldn’t have any interest in. Tweak it until it doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable and then give it a shot. Picture your message in a row of messages we’ve received and think about the way you’d like it to stand out. Positively or negatively? And if you’re going to disregard all of that anyway? Well, now I know why *you* wound up on a dating site…I mean, if you weren’t putting in a lot of effort in person, and you’re putting in even less online, what did you expect to find here?
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