We need to stop treating our potential significant others so carefully, formulaically, differently.
Ya know that crude you, you show to your best friend? Or that goofy side to your family? Or that weird crazy side to your cat or dog?
THAT is what you should be showing to someone you want to get to know. The small moments of you. The moments that when you add them all up over time, make who you are unique and personable. Choosing the perfect text, or trying to come up with the best jokes, or getting your outfit just right has zero context in the grand scheme of the time it takes to get to know someone. It is sterile and boring.
Time, this crazy little thing we all have to endure, is the only way to really know someone, so why waste it? One day at a time you learn who someone is, and if you are enjoying today, you should look forward to tomorrow as well, and then when you have a day you don’t enjoy, you ask: Why? And if the “why” is more important than the time spent, you know it won’t work, but if the “why” was just a bump in the road of getting to know another human’s complexities, you go to the next day more informed and stronger together.
I mean sure there is a level of “lovey” or “puppy dog” personality that goes with a new relationship but that should be in addition to you. Not a subtraction.
Why do we need to facade for x amount a “societal determined acceptable standard” days or months or even years or titles; “Well you aren’t my boyfriend” “Well you are a stranger” “Well all we have done is texted”. No shit, we are meeting in a new inorganic yet oddly similar to real life way of meeting with online dating: “See cute person, say hello”. We are missing the 3D aspects of it and the sensations of real life, yes, always tempted by the next swipe, but it is still very similar if you take it to the core of what it is.
My wish is that people would treat me like we’ve known each other for years, even if we just exchanged a “hello”, but with a strong enough sense of self to be careful and protective of their own experiences, sharing with me as we go so I can know what you experienced the last X amount of years of your life. I am not asking you to be flapping in the wind vulnerable, I expect you to be somewhat guarded, but also open to yourself and others, so it isn’t a struggle but a dance getting to know one another.
But what I find is people are just less communicative. Less themselves. Less goofy. Less real. More closed off. More guarded.
Do you call your friends on the phone? Or FaceTime them silly shit? Why can’t the potential significant other you just met see that. It’s always a game. But it isn’t a fun game for one party. Time doesn’t go slower the more you hide. So stop wasting it. Open yourself up to rejection. If you swiped the face you thought was pretty, awesome! Nothing wrong with that, but the face only gets the conversation started, because if the conversation sucks, the face means nothing. So start a conversation! A real conversation.
Instead of embracing it as the main form of dating now, we are wasting our time making excuses about how it is horrible and inorganic. We use it as a social experiment for an ego boost or we blame our failures on it because of it.We make up personas. And instead of choosing how it works and how we use it, we just make it an uncomfortable place to be.
We are wasting our time. We are wasting others time. We aren’t ourselves and therefore we aren’t truly allowing others in. What happens if the other person likes this fictitious version of you? I’ve been in that relationship, it sucks when the other person finally decides to change for themselves and you realize you have no idea who they are and that it really isn’t someone you liked to begin with.
Who has time to make so many rules to who they can and can’t be. Just be one human. Yourself. And let it be what it will be. The truth. And if that means someone may not like you it means they wouldn’t have liked you even if you were fake, because eventually we are all just in our rocking chairs yelling at the kids to get off our lawn.
Don’t even get me started about the stigma of going to the bathroom on a first date… (everyone poops)
But speaking of that first date, what about just the first text? People do everything they can to avoid interaction these days that is beyond an emoji. Hiding behind the guise of “If we knew each other, it would be different”. Ironically(for multitudes of reasons including how do you get to know someone if they don’t let you get to know them), when you disconnect from them because you know, personally, you dislike that approach, all of a sudden they try to reach out to you in every form of contact available(all social media), just to tell you what a mistake you made, and how they are different when you get to know them.
Well STOP that. Be YOU before I get to know you. And perhaps I won’t feel the constant need to move away from the small talk and 2 – 3 day waits for 1 line sentences about the weather. I need more than banter. I need more than knowing you like hiking or sarcasm. I need the in between. That is what makes you and that is what invigorates me to want to share my time, my life, and maybe, if we get there over time, my love with you.
In a world where anxiety is overused as “I have so much to do today, I have so much anxiety”
When you are trying to explain to someone how you have clinical anxiety, such as ptsd anxiety, it can be a real challenge. Let alone if you are prescribed medication for the anxiety. (The medication which just makes you not have anxiety, no feeling weird, acting different, just something to bring the cortisol levels to normal.)
But in relationships or when dating, especially new ones, it is hard to get this information to your partner. They might not understand what it means, they may feel like they might have to walk on egg shells with you or think perhaps you just have too much work to do and are feeling “stress”. So you try to explain it, and it just gets messy, as if you are explaining some crazy disease that they can catch and forces you to be no fun ever.
Recently I got off all anxiety medication to see how I did without it after 15 years with a doctor’s help. Well turns out, I truly need it. So I am now back on it but a different dose because it added up and got pretty bad for a month or two. So as I actively work on balancing out my brain again, proactively doing things to be a better human, I feel judged.
I feel judged when my erection at 35 doesn’t fully meet expectations occasionally.
I feel judged when I have to take my medication.
I feel judged because I know how much I need and having to take a little more because of mitigating circumstances at this very moment is rough because I don’t like taking drugs in general.
And heaven forbid you get sexual and the drug counteracts your bodies natural ability to perform as well, they think you don’t like them. WHAT?! Why can’t you listen to my words and hear my reactions. Why must this damn dick of mine that can’t stay hard for 4 hours straight be the gauge for sexual pleasure and attraction?
I’ve even looked into viagra, because I didn’t want to disappoint someone who didn’t understand how this shit works. Suddenly this person who I was enjoying my night with, had reversed their insecurities about my openness of actually liking them enough to stick my dick inside them to making me feel as though, an involuntary reaction due to my own self care, was my fault. Which doesn’t help performance, when you are feeling judged harder now. (hehe harder) Now mind you it is rare when it happens but when you are on a higher dose of medication it can happen. And you just feel like crap because you are enjoying the moment, loving the feelings, but your body is just reacting to a medicine. Something you have had to come to grips with, but sometimes when dating, the other person just doesn’t get it.
I often feel as though explaining to someone that I have anxiety is explaining to someone I am missing a limb or I am broken. The understanding of true anxiety and not the generalized form synonymous with stress is not something people really understand. And if they do understand it, and they too suffer from it, they think, hmmm perhaps we can’t work together because I need someone who can take care of me and since he has it, he is incapable.
There are so many misconceptions and stigmas and projections when you tell someone you have anxiety and take medication for it, it is baffling.
For me I know this: I experimented with doctor supervision what I could and couldn’t do with my brain chemistry and now I am taking the active role to make sure I am a functioning human of society. This should be commendable. This should be something I am proud of. And if there was no one else around, I would be. But those judgement moments make it all kinda hard.
And with that I double click it, and scroll to the next, thinking to myself, I’ll see it again later cause Instagram stores my likes, but guess what, I never do. So I spend less time properly absorbing what is in-front of me, and more time, scrolling to the next.
The average user spends less than 3 seconds per image on Instagram, that includes time to click like.
We are archiving the things we are seeing these days and putting them into meaningless “lists”, never to be seen again. Kinda like that time you shot the fireworks on your phone’s camera and later in the year were like:
“FUCK YEAH I AM SO GLAD I SHOT THESE FIREWORKS ON MY SHITTY ASS CAMERA WITH A HORRIBLE MIC, I AM WATCHING THIS AGAIN!”.
But if it wasn’t bad enough that we endlessly scroll through each “firework” of our social media lives now we create “Pods” and “Bots” to do the scrolling for us. We automate the scrolling and liking process because we want to grow our “influence” faster.
But what are you influencing when 99% of the instagram nobody is doing the exact same thing. You are converting a society that created Beethoven’s Symphony, put men in space, into the digital simulated “drones” that Elon Musk believes we are living in. And even if we are not in a simulation, powering our alter simulations lives, we have pretty much become so many steps disconnected from actually connecting with one another that the idea of others botting us as we bot them to grow our “influence” doesn’t seem to matter.
Why doesn’t anyone understand that the like or “Awesome!” comment on their photo means absolutely nothing if no one is actually there to mean it? Or to spend the time walking between photos or places or people and interating with them like you might in a museum, or intimate party, or exotic vacation. Without documenting it, just looking at it, seeing it. Soaking it in for more than the 3 seconds allocated for an archival process never to be looked at again.
Barney Bailey could sell you fire in water, but this is far worse and you all, myself included, bought in. Because we know, or we hope, that perhaps if I bot longer than subject 2917271 bots that I will grow .1% more followers and likes and “engagements” to be recognized for a brand deal that actually pays me for all this time I am spending.
Engagements.. Haha how do we even quantify this anymore. I comment on your photo, hoping you comment on my photo, hoping that will drive me into the algorithm of “seen posts” and someone else will comment on the photo, but they are commenting on the most popular photo in hopes that someone else will comment on their… DO YOU SEE THE ENDLESS FUCKING LOOP OF ABSOLUTE NOTHING?
We have created a system in which nothing, not a damn interaction, not the “color scheme” of your page, your content, your “engagement”, matters. Not even brands who endorse “influencers” understand this shit fully, and to be honest, if I were you and you have paid endorsements, ride it the fuck out hard until it eventually either implodes or our new currency in life becomes likes. Like cryptocurrency mining, but like and “engagement” mining. We are already putting enough energy and “effort” into these kinds of actions that we could most likely have randomly typed Shakespeare faster than the monkeys if the likes were random keystrokes.
But this is the world right now. Never seeing, only archiving, with no intent of looking back. Wondering why they feel empty, alone, and stuck without a sense of permanence in the world. We created this world.
We fuel this world.
Wake the fuck up and fight for your right to be human again and not an automated system.
We define how technology defines us, not the other way around. But if you keep clicking “like” in hopes for your “like” or because “well I will look at it later”, the cycle continues and those who benefit from it, will encourage you to continue feeding the system that makes them money.
We have more choices than we think when we decide what defines as in society, online, commercially. We have the power to stop using a product, stop putting money into things that hurt us or we dislike, and we have the power to change a lot, by smacking those in the wallet who would try to have only their own interests in mind to stop it from happening.
So let’s challenge ourselves in 2019 to be present more and utilize technology to make us better not… automated.
This is what I was told just recently after asking if I could call someone I swiped on from an online dating site. I thought, let’s see if we can hold a conversation before we meet so make sure we don’t waste time at an awkward dinner or coffee meeting. If anything I wonder why more people don’t want to do this! It is a great way to weed out the weirdos! But that aside, we talked for about 20 minutes as she got ready to go to a class and was running around her house getting dressed and seemed kinda stressed. No biggie, nothing big was being talked about, it was just a general, “Hello, I am real, you are real, nice to hear your voice with inflection!”
The next day I texted to see if they wanted to grab a coffee and I got the response above.
I sat there for a moment, kinda dumbfounded. Is this how quickly people expect to find romance? To feel the “connection” to another human being that is multi faceted? Someone you never met, never smelled, never looked into their eyes? Never shared physical space with?
I was talking to my trainer about it this morning and I said, it is kind of like if someone came in for a session, worked out hard, and at the end of the session looked in the mirror and told him, “Yeah, I don’t see any results, this isn’t working.”
What the fuck has happened to us as human beings? Are we that addicted to the dopamine of the instant “click”, the “excitement of new people that if we don’t have the nearly 1 in a million experience of “love at first sight” (yes I was on the pilot for that show), that knowing we can keep swiping until we get our fix for it, we can just toss away the idea of anything that remotely resembles “getting to know someone” and “learning to love them for who they are, what they believe in, how we get along, and in person interactions experiences we have together”?
Shit if you want fireworks that badly at the first meeting, if you have iMessage I can send them right away!
Now there is the one obvious answer to all of this which is that people are just not strong enough to tell you the truth as to why they are not interested in you. So they make up a reason that they feel is the least intrusive. But seriously, in this case it’s OK to tell the truth. It is OK to answer a text with an unpopular answer. It is OK to tell someone what is on your mind. It is OK to be uncomfortable doing it as well! (I have talked about how we really need to start “getting hurt” again) So stop with the “I didn’t feel a romantic click” lines after texting someone for 10 seconds and just say “I don’t think we are compatible for X reason”. 99/100 times it will give everyone closure. Mind you there are the crazies, but they don’t define the majority of us. So please, just be honest. Shit I have gone on a date where I told the person when I met them in person, “I am sorry you don’t look like your photos and I feel a bit deceived, so I am going to head out, but thank you for coming to meet me regardless. Good luck!”
But to me I think it is a deeper problem. An addiction to the feeling of “new romance” the addiction to the massive exposure to so many people and the excitement of puppy love, that what is happening is people are no longer aware of how to actually build a foundation for a relationship. How love comes in time. How you can grow your love based on experiences and interactions together. How love doesn’t always have a set path or reason. How it isn’t a rush to the finish but a step at a time, enjoying the moments you get to spend with another human and allow them into your life, and to share yours with them. The love that comes from truly “falling in love” not pretending we are legos and “clicking” it all together.
So again, I am taken aback by the way we as a society are assimilating to what these dating sites tell us to do. How we should feel. How we should interact. Taking out more and more of the personalizations and adding more emojis, quick responses, canned responses, and cheesy “List your fav color for match percentages”. These dating sites have a business model. And if you actually form a long lasting relationship, guess which site doesn’t get paid? Think about that for a second. Now take those extra seconds and give people a chance with the extra time. Don’t take excitement and enthusiasm as bad signs, but use them to grow. Stop swiping just for a minute, figure out if we can create some moments together, and inspire each other! Then let that go wherever it may go, even if it ends up not working. One must be open to conversation and not afraid of debate as if it is confrontation. Opening yourself up for rejection to see if you truly understand the complexities of another person.
Hardest part though is this all starts with you. So yes perhaps there was another reason that text was sent, but from my experience, it is no longer the logical answer, but the illogical endorphin rush needed to make the tedious task of swiping and telling your favorite color over and over entertaining and feeling worthwhile, but at the expense of true connections.
It’s OK to tell the truth. It is OK to answer a text with an unpopular answer. It is OK to tell someone what is on your mind. It is OK to be uncomfortable doing it as well! So stop with the “I didn’t feel a romantic click” lines after texting someone for 10 seconds and just say “I don’t think we are physically compatible” or whatever the case may be. 99/100 times it will give everyone closure.
Mind you there are the crazies, but they don’t define the majority of us.
So please, just be honest. Shit I have gone on a date where I told the person when I met them in person, “I am sorry you don’t look like your photos and I feel a bit deceived, so I am going to head out, but thank you for coming to meet me regardless. Good luck!”
As someone with anxiety I understand the importance of comfort in a new space or environment. So I try to make my space as welcoming with as many of life’s comforts as possible. You should see my bathroom: Fans for sound, smelly things, shower stuff, candles, extra toilet paper(the soft kind!), you name it!
Not only that the lighting is warm and inviting. The chairs are comfy, the sheets are soft, the temperature is appropriate, the bed is softer than a baby butt!
I want you to go in my fridge and grab food or snacks if you need them. I show you where everything is so you feel at home. Because I know when I am at someone else’s place I often miss the comforts what one may call a “safety blanket” i.e. my home.
So while I end up doing all of this to make you comfortable in my space, when I start to be taken advantage of in my own space, be it plans changing, being disrespectful of the space, there is a certain time where I need to look to myself and go, OK, I have worked X hard to make sure they are comfortable, are they doing the same for me? Often I realize, people are just not as respectful of the comfort level difference between being in your own space and being in your own space with someone else.
So when someone starts to make you feel uncomfortable in your own space by ignoring the effort you go to to make sure they are comfortable that is when things become shitty. Changing plans last minute, when you may have had to re-arranging your own life to make things work is one example. Finishing work early, working late hours so you can spend more time with them, only to have them tell you “I am going to wing it” last minute kinda fucks with your head and your efforts applied to making them comfortable and maximizing time together. Complaining about the cold when maybe they smoke and you ask them not to hotbox your house and do it out the window since they will get arrested on the street. Not cleaning up after themselves especially if for you keeping a clean home is important(and perhaps not your forte) but even more so if you clean specifically harder for when someone comes over. I mean how hard is it to not leave the next day without washing your glass or leaving your tea cup on the window sill or in the sink?
It seems small and neurotic when typed out loud. But it is about respecting the fact that someone is comfortable enough with you and excited enough to invite you into their space for an extended period of time, regardless of how it changes the space for them(we are not talking one night stands here). So unless we are at the point where we are both watching weekend long binges of netflix in our underwear with chinese food boxes on our naked bodies, a little courtesy goes a long way.
Comfort goes both ways, and I guess I just really need someone who is conscious not only of the effort that someone makes to accommodate their needs but does the same in return.
So in your world all is well. But then eventually the explosion comes. The “I’ve noticed troubling behavior and patterns in the last few weeks/months that has to do with X Y Z” XYZ being things you have probably no memory of because out of context and not in that moment you tend to not retain the things that didn’t bother you. But because they said nothing and it bothered them, it is crystal clear in their mind putting both parties in an uncomfortable situation.
I met someone once who asked me: “Do you want to discuss issues, like right as they happen?” to which I said yes. They nodded and sunk inside a bit. Why is this type of communication so scary? Why is the idea that words are just that words, things that can be changed, explained, or apologized for depending on the situation? Are people that stubborn that we force our sig others to hold onto all of these “moments” as ammunition for the ultimate fight or way out? When in reality, both people are assuming one another was saying one thing but meaning the other. And in a world of texts, this can increase ten fold. But the last thing we think to do is call each other or meet in person to have the “semi uncomfortable” in the beginning conversation with inflections about what just happened. Instead we “need time to reflect” and then both people get to do the following:
1. Wait longer to hear back from the person about what I have written while the longer I wait the more I grow frustrated, defensive, and forgetful of what exactly I am waiting for.
2. Harp on an idea of an idea, until it burns in as fact and fruition.
3. Combine the two and end up with a conclusion based off miscommunications to save feelings never meant to be hurt in the first place, leaving even the idea of a discussion dead in the water.
I am tired of being ambushed with “I need time to think” moments. I am happy to give you space to gather thoughts and such, especially because I use written word to try to succinctly express thoughts, so often I will give a little context if it is misunderstood and let someone re read. But when that re-reading goes on too long and becomes harping and dwelling and combining the past things not relative to said conversation, I might as well have gone to war giving you an entire year to build your military, and I just bring a spoon.
And the ultimate goal here for me is to not fight or to even have an argument it is to communicate properly in a world filled with so many ways to mis-communicate. So because I am a nice guy, I am more than happy to let you have time to decompress from an argument or conversation, but understand eventually I am going to forget why we were arguing in the first place, and while that may mean that the argument was pointless in the first place, if you come back guns loaded, this is gonna end messy.
A conversation is just that a conversation, things can be said and then changed. People are very stuck in “OMG YOU SAID WHAT!” instead of expressing why they disagree and giving you an opposite opinion without yelling.
That is the beauty of conversation you are free to correct and fuck up things. We are not perfect, we will never be perfect, so give us a chance to iron out those imperfections through conversation and with the possibility we may not ultimately agree but we can still be humane with one another and not cut the cord because of the simple fact that we disagree.
One of the things I had to learn in life that has been instrumental in building me as a human being has been the ability to tell people when something bothers me at the time of it bothering me. Often times I find myself or others will hold in these things until they boil over which never ends well for anyone. Being able to say “Hey, I know you had no ill intent with your comment, but it bothered me and here are the reasons why. Perhaps in the future you could be mindful that this has history with me and while I do not feel you need to censor yourself around me, when it comes to this specific thing, it would be great if you could approach it will care”
This sometimes backfires. I often get told:
“Well how can I be myself around you?”
“Now I have to censor my way of speaking?”
“I am an honest person and will always tell you what i am thinking”
To the last one, I love honesty, and I would never want someone to feel hindered in their ability to talk to me honestly, but I think there is a difference between honesty and understanding another person’s life experiences and feelings due to them. Being courteous of how you phrase something so not to trigger a bad experience or past moment is important. However I have always found those boundaries are hard to explain and even harder to express in the moment.
But, with work, I have gotten pretty good at it. And, let me tell you, it has helped me so much in my relationships. First if the person is open to hearing why the thing they said may have made me uncomfortable that is a great start. Second if they broach it in a different way the next time it may come up, allowing them to still be open and honest, but not invasive on my own personal “space” it is truly a magical moment. To be aware of how what you say can affect others is so important, especially in the age of inflectionaless texts.
So, while I am not some poor snowflake that will crumble, there are things from my experiences in life that will make my brain go “EEEEKKK” and can affect my entire mood. But if someone is aware of those, and I make a conscious effort to inform them, as they will have no way of knowing as we get to know each other, I feel like we can grow together, being mindful of each others triggers and past experiences that are not specific to one another but can still make one another uncomfortable. So that freedom to speak up at the moment is so important to me and it is important that others do it with me too. I cannot dodge every mine laid down in the field by past experiences, relationships, etc. Eventually I will hit one. And as unintentional as it may be, as I have no intention to cause harm or discomfort, letting me know, or I letting you know when you hit one, can help two people really move forward in the communication that truly builds a relationship, friendship, or amicable human interaction.
We all have some baggage. We all have bad experiences. But we also don’t know these things when we are new to one another. Exploration is part of getting to know someone, so if both people approach it with this attitude, I find those “oops” moments to be something less of a “FUCK THIS IS NEVER GOING TO WORK” and more of a “My bad, learned, noted, will broach differently next time”. This isn’t censorship, this is compassion and understanding of a fellow human.
So please feel free to step on all my mines. Just know I have learned over time, to let you know at the time of explosion, what just happened, why it happened, what it makes me feel like, and how I would prefer we approach it in the future. And if you have a suggestion of your own as well, please feel free to chime in and I will do the same for you! Afterall, even though with all the left and right swipes of people we can bring in and out of our lives, we are both getting to know one another for the first time uniquely.
If we hold onto to too many of our past experiences and judge others upon them without speaking up, just looking at them as “oh man they are about to step on that moment in my life, they must be just like the last person who placed it” the other person has no chance in hell to ever navigate the “minefield” of “experiences”. So please help me navigate and I will you so that even if we do happen to stumble, we know and can grow as humans, as two people together, and become stronger because of it.
So as important as it is to be mindful of others and how they feel. Being able to express your own comforts and discomforts is equally important.
Something I truly believe in is this: I am not your ex, but if you go into the relationship assuming I very likely could be, I stand no chance to be a unique person that grows with you as an individual. It is like gambling at that point and the house holds all the cards. This also lets you know a lot about how open a person is to actually meeting someone new or if they need to do some self healing exploration first.
Question: What’s more dangerous these days then the lack of inflection in a text?
Anwer: A friend reading that text out of context without the inflection and being asked to “interpret” it.
This has been going on way before texting existed but before you could scroll back up through a conversation you had with someone else, you had to remember the experience and then explain it in your words. Most of the time this one factor “in your words” needing you to explain how you interpreted the situation would give a friend the ability to go, “Ok this is your crazy showing” or go “Nope that shit is fucked and you need to get a restraining order”.
But not today. Today we get judged based off our ability to drop a stand up routine straight out of the gate. Do I look like Eddie Murphy? I mean he is one sexy bitch, but let me at least get your name first before I entertain you for free. What happened to “be yourself” you may ask? Well no one wants “yourself” because that may include having a shitty day and wanting to talk about it. Not to say everyone hates it, some people understand interaction and compassion and don’t feel like you are bringing them down by being in the moment. But for the majority that want an adventure and sarcasm, good luck saying anything other than George Carlin’s greatest hits as an intro.
Also don’t share. They don’t want you to have walls, they want you to be this open book, but the minute you share something with them, be it a piece of writing that is in context to the conversation, a photo, or a past story, they immediately go: “Well fuck, now he thinks I am that person, I am not that person, fuck, am I that person, why do I need to explain myself to this person I don’t know, fuck I need to show this to a friend!”
Now you are done. The minute it is in their head and they don’t bring it up right away to you to clarify it’s over before it even had a chance to start. The friend will obviously side with them over you the random creeper on an “online dating” platform. Because, it is never them who is the problem, it is always the other person. They have their shit together. They are open. They have a Myers briggs profile. They know their astrological sign. And so without you knowing, they are taking your text, the one line or two or ten that they selected and letting it fester in their brain, picking it apart to the point where logic is no longer even in the equation, mixed with a second or third opinion of someone else who has no idea who you are. Then they wait, they formulate, they speculate. This is where the game of telephone with their own psychi starts.
You basically now killed their first born with your charming Eddie Murphy stand up one liner. Somewhere in between the first text and the few hours you were excitedly waiting for them to be done with their evening so you could continue talking and (the key part) “GETTING TO KNOW ONE ANOTHER”, they have started their textual breakup for a relationship that never got started. A textual spew that is created for one reason and one reason alone, to make them feel less insecure about themselves. To give them the upper hand in a situation where no one needed the upper hand. To lull themselves into false sense of approval. “OK, he is going to get defensive when I say the following, and when that happens, me and my friends will have been right”. What they are missing is the fact that we probably have known each other for less than a 24 hour period and when you throw a wall of text at me saying “You are X Y AND Z” of course I am going to try to defend myself. I mean honestly at this point I should just turn off texting, but alas I am not that strong. So, I, as calmly as I can via text, try to figure out what is happening, why it is happening, when I said all these things I am being accused of saying, even though I am 99% sure I didn’t, and where they got expounded so out of proportion. Problem is it is impossible, I cannot make out where it is derived from anymore. But I already know the outcome here regardless of even if I was to deliver a speech that rivaled that of Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men definitively proving my “innocence”.
So in under 24 hours we are about to have our first fight. We have skipped the line, did not pass go, and when directly to jail. Guilty unable to prove innocence just waiting until someone hits the block button.
“I feel judged”(you feeling judged is not on me, that is something you are holding onto)
“You are so defensive, why would you be like that”(cause you are yelling at me for shit I don’t even understand at this point)
“You said people do this horrible stuff, I AM NOT THAT PERSON” (yes people, not you… I was giving you the benefit of the oh fuck it, you just kinda proved my point)
“You need a therapist”(ok.. After these interactions I don’t disagree.)
“I am just the innocent bystander here”(who literally just made up an entire fake scenario you needed to spew at me instead of just moving on, so you felt vindicated from a story you made up)
“See you are still being defensive.” (you are still texting me bullshit, having counterpoints is not being defensive, back in my day this was called debate, conversation, or interaction. But we did it with voices and face to face, try it sometime, you may be surprised at how the other person may not be yelling at you and may actually be calm, collected, and a bit surprised.)
“You are judging me for things I haven’t done” (nope, I am talking about my past openly, you are applying it to yourself out of context for some reason, actually the reason is probably you holding onto something from YOUR past, the same thing you said: you wish I would not apply my own past to you.)
“My friends were right” (hahahaha)
The problem is I could continue this. It only goes on and on. But it is based in a baseless world of inflection-less words. Words people don’t seem to understand can be changed or clarified these days if more context is needed. But nope, let’s form the worst case scenarios and just go bat shit crazy on someone else.
I run across this enough and I wonder, hmm, perhaps I am the crazy one. But then I take a step back and realize, nope I just avoided a seriously fucked up scenario with a person who will fester ideas and not tell me until they are sure they have a winning Trump card. Problem is, there was never a contest or argument to be won. So, maybe I share too soon, but if it allows me to weed out these types of people who can only see one dimensionally in a very 3 dimensional world, I guess I can endure the frustration and angst a little bit more.
This is one of those cases by the way where I suggest the usage of the block button. And we all know how I feel about that.
Online dating has a major catch. I call it the “Oh and one more thing”. This will probably be the name of my book or the next stand up comedy routine. These are the things you will not find out about a person until you are
A: About to centimeters away from their vagina. (before sex)
B: They are laying on you naked afterwards. (after sex)
C: You just won’t find out until you have had at least a month of dates. (lots of sex)
It doesn’t matter how many correspondents you have enjoyed with the person, how many texts have been exchanged, how many facetime calls you have done. These are the things where you are sitting there thinking, “Oh, this is nice, I wonder what she is doing tomorrow….” Then bam, they start saying, “OH AND ONE MORE THING”.
Now before I get into the heavy ones, let’s talk about the normal things you can expect to experience on online dating before even getting to the OOMT’s. (Yes that is the abbreviation I have created for it)
First you have the normal “white lies”.
Profile: I am 20, see my amazing awesome modeling pictures?
Reality: I was 20, 20 years ago, when I posted those pictures, 20 years before that.
This can break off into I am “athletic, skinny, fit, etc”
The weirdest part about this one is, do you think I am going to like you more or less if you told me your actual age? Because you tell me when we meet. So why are we bullshitting and setting up the meeting on a lie?
Now you have the subtle ones:
Profile: I like traveling, people who are sarcastic, long walks on the beach, love dogs, have a kid, and kitty cats.
Or it is a little more subtle…
Profile: Photo on their profile of them at a Gwar concert doing shots and in the background is a tiny child holding up a sign that says Mom and an arrow pointing at them.
And lastly before we get into the “OOMT” ones expect many people to have these following reasons for being on online dating:
I wanted an ego boost.
I just broke up with an ex, in no way am I ready to date, but I signed up because I didn’t know what else to do.
Feels inadequate for some reason.
Friend made them do it.
Wants to fuck.
One thing you will never have to worry about finding out later:
“I am a vegan”
Usually followed by, “but this doesn’t mean you have to be one and I can eat anywhere.” Which is a blatant lie, unless of course you don’t eat pizza, hamburgers, or are a Vegan as well. But don’t worry they will make sure to hold that Vegan status up in the air like Rafiki did to Simba over the cliff.
Ok, now here are the OOMT’s I have encountered in my time with Online Dating:
Setup: We had a beautiful day of talking, laying in the park, having dinner, maybe some drinks, and we go back to her place fall asleep together without having sex. Wake up the next day, go sunbathing on their rooftop, walk around NYC for a little and head back to get take out. So what do you think would happen next after such a nice two day excurtion, if you guessed sex, you are correct.
OOMT: So I am about a hair length away from consummating this wonderful extended date as she leans into my ear and whispers, “Oh by the way, I have herpes”. To which my penis retracts into my throat and I am not sure what to do as I am suspended only by my now wobbling muscles. I get up, sit on the side of the bed, I ask “uhm, can you explain this more to me…” and they say “most guys don’t mind”. Yup. The infamous, get him to think with his dick so he doesn’t make an educated decision on whether or not he wants to engage in this. While this is one of those situations where I am not upset with the person because an STD sucks and I am not sure when the best time is to tell someone, I definitely know it isn’t when you are about a centimeter away from her vagina.
Setup: Meet at the bar, sit down for drinks, they say they are hungry and begin to order an extraordinary amount of food. Which at first seems awesome, because they are comfortable eating infront of you and just being comfortable.. However…
OOMT: After the order is placed they say, “I am just looking for a friend right now” the catch, and usually not verbally said, “that will buy me dinner”.
Setup: You meet a very nice person. You get along extremely well. Shit you even have a connection that feels out of this world good. You can see in her eyes she likes you back, the conversation is fantastic, everything is just going well. Around the second or third date you go to kiss her.
OOMT: She pulls away and says, “I currently live with my ex boyfriend because it makes sense monetarily, I just broke up with a guy who broke my heart, but we still text regularly, and I am just not emotionally available for someone in my life right now.” SO WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU DOING ON A DATING SITE?! You can break this one into a two parter as well, where you meet someone and they say they live with their ex and it is over, but if they find out about you, they will flip the fuck out and ruin the others life. To which they will hold you accountable for it and daemonize you regardless of the time you spent together.
Setup: You have had a few dates and are at the point where they come over to have sex. You begin to kiss and get naked and start sexing…
OOMT: They have a traumatic past with rape and submission to the point where all of a sudden this person is pushing at you, squirming, and saying no very loudly. You jump off because you are now scared shitless that you hurt them, read the signs wrong, or did something wrong. You ask if they are OK, they say yes, sorry, and to keep going, so you try one more time and are met with the exact same reaction. You get up, take your condom, immediately flush it down the toilet because at this point you don’t know what the fuck is happening, come back into the room, they are smoking a cigarette at the window. You sit down next to them and ask, what just happened? Are you OK? They look at you with a confused look on their face and say, “What? I thought you were done.” To which you then explain what just happened and they say, no that didn’t happen. You ask them kindly to leave, they then tell you about their rape fantasy due to past trauma which they basically were blacking out not remembering the moment for the time being. At this point you let them sober up and walk them to their car, not sure what the hell to think and trying to figure out how to change your address.
Setup: You meet someone who you believe is kind and you would like to spend more time with. You end up spending a good amount of your time getting to know them and growing your connection. Then…
OOMT: You find out they are self medicating for severe bipolar disorder and don’t believe in doctors to help because they have their shit together. On top of that they are only a vegan because it allows them to foster their eating disorder. Ultimately leading to them sitting in your bathtub telling you they are afraid of your moving boxes and threatening to kill themselves, so when you call the cops, you are shocked when confronted by someone with a badge how all of a sudden they are coherent and no longer afraid of your moving boxes, leading you to only one logical next move… ask the police to stay while she gathers her stuff and leaves.
Setup: You fall madly in love with someone who says they used to have a problem with drugs but they fixed it. Knowing little about addiction of this magnitude you take them on face value.
OOMT: Eventually they look up what an overdose of vicodin is and take triple the dose before coming over to your house where you have to hold them in the shower, call a hotline, and almost call a hospital. In my case this eventually lead to me learning a lot more about addiction, how she was an EMT but could only function if she took morphine, eventually helping her check into rehab, and realizing I was no longer able to be a part of her life because she needed to change so much that I didn’t even really know her anymore. All while being cheated on with her ex drug dealer boyfriend and so many other wonderful moments. Honestly though this one was one of the most amazing moments for me because I learned a lot about the subject and people in general.
Setup: You have gone on a few dates with someone and everything has been pretty great. You ask her to dinner again and she accepts. You meet at her place and suggest a few places. She says OK to your first choice of Thai food.
OOMT: As you walk into the restaurant she loudly says, this place smells like they eat cats here. She is overtly rude to the waiter for no reason, she coffs at the two languages on the menu and emotes loudly via huffs and puffs about how everything sounds horrible and she hates these people’s food. You realize, holy shit, this girl is racist. You ask if she wants to leave as you are secretly apologizing to the staff around you while she isn’t looking and she insists that you should stay since you are already there. Her food comes, probably with a side of spit, takes one bite and goes, “wow this is really good”.
Setup: You are on your 3rd or 4th week of dating and you go to a restaurant. The check comes, you ask her if she wouldn’t mind splitting it after carrying the bill for the previous dates.
OOMT: Her face goes blank, she slaps her card on the table, she stops talking to you for remainder of the dinner. As you are walking her home, you try to figure out what the hell just happened and finally get out of her, “I have never had to split a dinner with any of my previous dates or boyfriends, I don’t know how to react to this. It’s fine… it’s fine… ” But it is not fine. Now let me be clear sure I could pay for all the dinners, but I want a partner in everything in my life, not just the romance, but the mental parts, the financial parts, the partnership of life. I don’t see it as a disconnect from chivalry but a realistic approach to a sustainable relationship.
Money has always been something I have loved and hated, had lots of it, had very little of it. So to me it is just something you work on together, and when it is assumed immediately that as the guy you are supposed to support everything it is a turn off to what i see as an unbalanced relationship this day and age.
Setup: You go over to a girl you have been seeing for a bit’s house to watch a movie. She gives you her laptop to pick a netflix movie while she freshens up. As you are browsing Netflix you see the other open tabs on her laptop.
And then you combine everything you just experienced into one:
Setup: You meet someone, everything is going really well, you have great chemistry, conversation, interactions. You have some really great sex. As she lays on you afterwards and you are in your happy place thinking, this she be nice to continue to get to know more about and the awkward parts are out of the way, she says
OOMT: “Oh by the way, I have a sugar daddy. I fuck him 1 or 2 times a week and he pays for everything for me, bills, expenses, etc. I don’t plan on stopping.” Then on top of that she says, “I don’t really want a relationship and don’t see you as someone I would marry because you won’t financially support me and you want an equal relationship monetarily, but I think we would make great partners until that time comes when I want that.” Meanwhile you are butt ass naked, her on top of you, unable to move because you don’t know how to react to everything you were just hit with, and stay quiet for majority of the evening before she leaves. Now thinking, why would I want to share my life with you for an extended period of time, knowing I am not the person you are looking for, thus wasting my time, just for some sex?
Do I want to spend time getting to know you, knowing I am not your money maker? Do I want to share my experiences and life with you knowing I will eventually have to retell it to the person I actually want to end up with afterwards?
Setup: You meet someone, you have a wonderful time. You date quite a few times. You obviously have sex at some point. Eventually it doesn’t work out and you end it.
OOMT: You get a text at 1am saying “I am pregnant”. Now this from a person who if they broke their nail would send you 50 texts throughout the day about said nail, you have a feeling this is some fucked up vindictive way to get back at you for ending the relationship. But you sit there for weeks with a pit in your stomach wondering if they will call or say more or if you should just wait it out. Wanting to do the right thing regardless, you are stuck feeling the worst you will ever feel. Spoiler: it was a vindictive lie.
Setup: You have a fantastic conversation via text and email before meeting. You find their textul wit and intelligence fascinating and you are looking forward to meeting in person.
So these are just some of the “Oh and one more thing” moments I have experienced. I am never prepared for them. I never see them coming and I consider myself a pretty intuitive person. But unfortunately online dating has become this place where people use it as the last bastion of internet anonymity. Thinking that if they either play off your hormones or “relationship status” they can drop things on you that are absolutely relationship changing tidbits of information. So whether they made the profile for an ego boost, a low sense of self confidence, believing online dating is a place where they can be what their profile says they are, or the infamous OOMT, you are stuck looking at your ceiling, uncomfortable and questioning why the fuck you are still on these apps. And since most dating is done through apps these days, if you will actually find someone who uses the app for the same reasons you do: because it is a wonderful way to meet people if you don’t feel like frequenting a bar that smells like piss and regret every night, it could be quite pleasant. For now though, I continue to stare at my ceiling in disbelief.
It seems like today we are just itching to purge people from our lives. We have forgotten what it is to disagree with others, what it was like to not have a swipe at our finger tips when we felt down or alone or loss. We forgot what it was like to debate, let alone get things wrong when we can just “google it”. But can you google the wrong inflection, a lapse of judgement, a misguided thought? No, but you can work together with someone to let them know how it makes you feel and see how they react from there…
But why have a confrontation when you can literally just hit “block friend”, “hide comments”, “block number”, “remove follower” from the new world, the online world.
Black Mirror is a TV Series that rides the edge of what could go terribly wrong with technology, yet it is not so far from the truth. Maybe we can’t block faces, and voices from right infront of us and we still have to deal with arguments and fights with people we love, but before we love, before we give the breadth to love, we are so damn eager to purge anything that isn’t exactly what we want at that very moment, no room for improvement, learning, growth, explanation, debate… anything less than instant gratification to our metaphorical lists of Do’s and Don’t, a click of a few keys and we have erased the barely a memory person from our life. And we swipe right again, saying “This time will be different”… “This time I won’t make the same mistakes”… “This time, I will find love”.
My question is how do you intent to change or find love when you never gave a memory enough time to learn from, an interaction enough time to grow, or a possible romantic encounter the life to have it’s ups and downs. You were so ready to purge you didn’t realize you were blocking your own ability to grow at the same time.
I am tired of this paradigm of “I want to feel protected by my man”.
If the guy was raised with any fucking morals or compass to good, of course he is going to fight for you and “protect you”. it is an instinct. It is something built into the core of our beings we fight for the things we love. But being Chivalrous and Caring is just gestures it isn’t a partnership. It isn’t an equality. Just because I make you feel safe, doesn’t mean you make me feel loved. If anything you wanting to just lay in my arms feeling safe makes me feel empty as fuck.
Why can’t more people want to share the passion of a relationship and grow with one another? Why can’t the entire relationship be dominant. Why do we have to fulfill roles? One is submissive one is the other. Fuck that shit, if I pull your hair, pull mine right back. Show some initiative in a relationship so I know I am not just dating my cat. I can get all this from a furry friend with way less effort.
The reason I want a human is to be inspired, to help inspire, to become partners in crime in this world that needs to be stolen day by day. Stop hiding behind your “I don’t want to get my heart broken” and your “I open up when I know you better” ‘s let this shit hang out and fly free. Because the worst that happens is you realize sooner and faster if you are meant to be and you can dive into the meat of things. You can achieve love.
But if your idea of love is me being some sort of prince charming, you are cruelly mistaken. Prince charming is a rebound for a girl who just got fucked up by a wicked spell. I don’t want to be your rebound. I will happily carry you over puddles and open your door and kiss your forehead, but if I have no inspiration to continue doing it after you open up to me… perhaps this is the reason many women think men just put up a front when they first meet. Because at the end of the day it just isn’t inspiring anymore to do the chivalry because we are not getting an equal relationship.
Meh, most guys are dicks, societally influenced to be alpha. But me, 5 sisters, abusive mother, absent father, I want someone to tackle the world together. I want to create our own memories, traditions, and for us to be stronger together than we would alone. Never wondering if “Am I sacrificing my career choices and ambitions for this relationship” because the work done together in the relationship is what is actually driving us both to become better at it all.
When you take a selfie with your significant other the way you both look at the camera and each other is extremely telling of the disconnect or connection you have. Micro expressions for life. In this world we live in where impressing the invisible likes is more important to actual connection it is very easy to see relationships on the rocks just from one picture.
Lately I have been wondering how much we hinder our actual ability to form meaningful relationships because of the internet. We have this sense of being connected all the time, yet we are further apart than ever as well. It is like being in a “comfortable” relationship, not for the happiness or love, but because it brings us consistency and doesn’t impose on our comfort zones. Tell you what, I would rather be single and lonely than together and unhappy. We do this with so much in life, jobs, living arrangements, relationships; grasping onto that safety blanket of our own insecurities and the technology has the potential to unlock so much more for us but we choose to hide behind it. We grasp onto whatever semblance of anonymity we feel it holds for us still. A picture from yesterday on instagram with 1000 likes doesn’t satiate us for more than a fleeting second. We need to open our eyes and enjoy the world around us, using the tech to enhance it, not as a passive blockade, sheltering ourselves from mystery, intrigue, and the unknown.
This bubble of tech we have created around us is not healthy. Not just the internet, but texts, emails, and any other forms of communication that require electricity(minus the infamous phone call which I truly miss with all my heart.)) I loved talking on the phone. It brought me happiness. Sure you can text and chat with people all day at the computer or on your phone, but you get no human inflection, voice, or warm fuzzy feelings when you see someone’s name pop up on your caller ID. Instead we get annoyed, and ask for features built into our phones to send automated texts to allow us to skip calls with courtesy. I still leave messages, and they are damn amusing, but when is the last time you did when you weren’t feeling playful? A voicemail account being setup these days is rare, and even rarer for us not to instinctually hang up immediately when we hear the start of an intro to it telling us to leave one. I remember when I was younger, not getting a phone call every day at least 3 or 4 times sent you into a spiral of depression, now I feel like the constant “connection” can do the exact same thing.
How are we to really connect with someone and fight for things we truly think are worthwhile when we are stuck in the digital void where we say enough to feel connected but never pull the trigger of connecting. And if we do meet someone it is like a job interview, with 10 others lined up afterwards on both ends, we want to be there but at the same time we find “in person” to be a waste of time. Then on top of it all we don’t give ourselves the disconnect needed to let each person we meet sink in. We are constantly missing opportunities to meet people because it is so “convenient” to stay in “limbo”, messaging just enough to stay on the radar but never actually making the effort to go beyond avoiding opening a text, forbid we let the other person know it was “read” before we are “ready”.
I mean you all know what I am talking about, who doesn’t open up Facebook messenger or texts and skim the first few words to avoid that “read” receipt. It is a cyber warfare against true connection and we are all the ones to blame. This goes beyond hunger games and just starves us of humanity and interpersonal connections we need.
We fight for minutes in the day so we can snap judge character and personalities, yet when we only pursue the “instant connection”. And from what I have seen these connections don’t last because they too are based on instant gratification. What if that person we had in queue didn’t have that instant connection due to mitigating circumstances? What if the “perfect first date” which doesn’t exist, was a flop, but the second one would have been truly mind blowing. I believe 100% that you can fall in love, and by that I mean letting time give you the full picture of a person in-front of you making you want more and more of the addictive drug.
I miss the days of talking for hours on the phone with someone I knew I couldn’t see but wanted to so badly. I miss not looking at read receipts and wondering if the other person would reply. I also miss delayed gratification.
I dunno, I enjoy what technology provides for us, but I find it to be a very lonely place where we literally are surrounded by people 24/7. I think there was something to be said about not having instant access to all the information at once, something that inspired us, made us better, and taught us the value of debate/conversation over facts.
So for me, it is going to be a conscious effort for less digital-shenanigans, and more “going on that first date”, second date, and hopefully third.
Trauma in my past built in this amazing ability to process a thousand possible scenarios from something as simple as a sudden breath, micro expression on a face, or even the lack of words. When you have to protect yourself by being prepared for every possible outcome, you learn to adapt. It comes in handy now because it gives me an insight I don’t think I would have had otherwise. There is a reason I tattoo’d “And go The Fools among” on my arm. I am The Fool, seeing the world for what it truly is, but being allowed a glimpse of others lives and jesting at opportune moments.
The problem is I am no longer having this trauma in my life, so when I am with someone else, especially in a romantic situation, it is so goddamn important for them to tell me what is on their mind and not leave me fishing. Sure these thousands of scenarios, I process, happen in a millisecond, but they are exhausting.
All I can hope for is someone in my life that can understand that when they are honest, open, and transparent with me, it allows me to be with them on such a deeper level. By giving my brain a breather, I don’t have to be defensive beyond my control(not even a visible defense), but I can hold their hand, and trust where we will lead each other, because I don’t have to concentrate on their face or lack of words, but what is ahead of us both, enjoying it together, in the moment.
You should see me, when the proud Leo gets all self conscious and nervous. It’s either adorable or frightening. Not sure yet.
I’m all “social situations master” but when I like someone I get derpy.
That to me is what it is all about though. Not love. But the act of getting to know someone and knowing if it is a good mix. When all your past experiences and knowledge get tossed out the window for what is right in front of you and you stumble and derp, but regardless your core and theirs line up in such a way that either you both don’t notice or you just feel comfortable figuring out how to interact together as human being beyond the simple physical.
And allowing yourself to do that is what makes or breaks 99% of relationships before they start because one or the other isn’t willing to do it. To be open to that vulnerability is important.
Maybe it comes down to timing or instinct or defense. Whatever it is, it can either mimic the song Maria from west side story or be a really bad Kanye riff.
I thought really long about how to answer it… Love is hard to define let alone know the answer, if there is one.
I often find myself watching a lot of romantic comedies in hopes that one day the end of the movie will come with some sort of revelation or reveal as to what it actually is. Funny part is, I have, over the years, comes to enjoy the romantic comedies that leave the “answer” blank more than the ones that try to package in neatly in a box for the viewers. Sure love is about the ups and downs and laughs and crying you see in the films but when the film ends, the cameras stop rolling, those fictional characters carry on in their fictional world without an audience and regardless of it filming or not their lives are still in motion. And in that moment where we can’t see it, we can’t voyeuristically watch in hopes of the end all be all answer to “what is love” that is where I believe love is. The fact that regardless of the time when the cameras are rolling and lights blasting when it all goes dark the two people left continue to live their lives together… The montages and cuts from scene to scene are now flowing minute to minute and that relationship is built for those two characters to continue forward with, no fast forward, no rewind, no pause. Just each other. To me… That is love.
I have been in my fair share of breakups. I was recently talking with someone very close to me and she explained her recent breakup. It resonated with me. She told me how she felt as though she were ready for it, but regardless she sat there and cried. She even asked if she could have a moment to just sit and cry before leaving to go to work. The guy said, yes take all the time you need. This causing more tears to roll from her eyes. His kindness was comforting but felt dissociated and wrong because they were no longer a couple now.
She said to him, “I really do care about you and understand this and am going to be OK with it..” But what she asked next hit home, “I just need to know, as you seem really composed, do you care about this at all? Do you, did you care about me?”
That stone cold demeanor I am all too familiar with, because I have done it. When I have broken up with someone, I have put a lot of thought into it and have convinced myself as to why I have to make the hard step to ending the relationship, why I have to step away from the comfort, or hardship. This isn’t something I just came up with the night before but something I have been going over in my head for weeks at a time. So when it comes to the actual day when I say it, it feels disconnected because I am sitting there with multiple aspects of my mind guiding me:
-The need to make sure they understand we just didn’t have that connection to work and to not blame anyone for us not being compatible.
-The want to make sure that this person that I just spent a significant portion of my life with understands I am there for them at that moment in time.
-And finally the organization of the words I am going to use to do it.
It is like being in a defensive mode, ready for anything at any moment and preparing for it. It is almost as if because I have so many things going on in my head, my normal bubbly, excitable self, becomes for a lack of a better word, monotonous and business like. My face gets emotionless, my eyes blank hardly blinking, my body calm and lifeless. I already disconnected from the relationship maybe minutes or hours before I make the words come to my lips, “I think we should breakup”.
It is to prepare for every situation possible, something I have as a defense mechanism in my own body and mind due to the way I was raised and the childhood I had both at home and socially. I constantly tried to gauge those around me who were closed off or accepting of me, being on complete defense at all times, to prepare for what might be said, and if it was said, how I would diffuse it or recoil and hide.
This is not the healthiest way to live and I suppose one of the reasons my relationships haven’t done so well in the past, but it is also why I am in need of someone very sensitive to the fact that I don’t just want to know what is on their mind, but I need to know what is on their mind for the first few months, years etc, just so that I can fully trust them to not throw in a wrench like my family used to or my “friends” did. (I was not the popular kid, let’s just leave it at that) And even more so I can get out of my head, analyzing every breath, sigh, or micro expression, and just be there with them. So I don’t have to have my mind going on so many different scenarios every millisecond that I get to breath and be with them.
So when I heard my friend tell me about what had happened, I told her the truth, people like me, and often men in general have a different reaction to breakups, especially if they are the one instigating it. Men and myself tend to get through the initial breakup with what seems like ease and an emotionless display, meanwhile women usually let the hurt and struggle of the breakup to the front immediately. But ask anyone like me, ask them, “What happens a month or 2 down the road after the breakup?” We cry. We cry or we feel the loss. What takes women seconds to do, us men take a serious mental break before we truly feel it. And trust me we feel it. We don’t skip that part, we just go on a mini brain vacation prior. But when we get our first sensory memory of you and it brings back the comfort or love we had with each other, we let it out. And then we take a slightly longer time to recover. I feel as though women rebound for the first month whereas men are a little more dangerous. We could feel OK right away and even date again right away, but when we get that sting a month or so later, we can self destruct whatever we just built.
So women, yes we feel, but we are in a “stance” during the breakup. We are protecting either ourselves, you, or validating it in a different way. Healthy or not, there is a lot of truth here.
“Fun” fact most breakups happen around holidays, birthdays, and important moments in life when we would want it least, not because it is being insensitive but because these moments make us reflect on what we can invest emotionally and even monetarily in our significant other, which can often reveal a lot about how we actually feel.
How do you get the exposure to an online dating profile in a sea of hundreds of thousands without sacrificing integrity and a sense of self? When my dad met his wife via online dating there was a much smaller pool of people who knew what online dating was. Now it is normal for a profile to start with “My friend made me make this profile” Or “I figured, since so many of my friends use this, I would try it out”.
Now no matter what I write here, I feel like I am holding a loaded gun and it scares me. I find self proclaimed “people gurus” often have the least idea of what a person is truly feeling. I call it being observant. Would it be so bad to fall into a mold of just being a “creative person” and taking the risk of writing this article? Or is the gun going to go off in my pocket for my own dating life?
We Control Our Content
Like many others I have googled “best dating profile”. And I kept coming up with the same conclusion over and over: Be anything but yourself. Uhmm… to which I think, we don’t have to dumb down our profiles. We control what is the “norm” when the content is driven by the users. Like life we have a choice to change, but it requires all of us. We want quick information, we want truth and honesty in profiles, we want an insight to those on these dating sites to cut out the bar hopping annoyance; so why not do it? Instead we wonder why, in a world of bite sized information, we feel ill informed on our dates, why they turn out to be a game of potluck when technology is giving us a way to make faster connections. We may like our news and coffee quick, but we all yearn for a “love” of some sort that lasts; are we all willing to put in the effort? Why can’t we just be ourselves? I have come to the conclusion that we have told ourselves we can’t. We have literally said, “I am too lazy, I do not accept, I will fill this out later”. We have accepted dating sites in their current form as “the way it is” instead of “what we want!”
I really enjoyed reading through your profile actually, it shows you are a mulch-dimensional person; unlike most profiles (and messages) on this website. Although, I do fall under my own criticism, I kept mine short and quite to the surface for “shits and giggles”. “ -Okcupid User
“Hello there 🙂 It was a treat to read your profile…you have a lot too say and you seem like a big thinker which is hot in my book lol. I can’t say I’ve invested as much in mine but you have me thinking I should lol.” – OKCupid User
We are setting the standards low for these sites by not actually putting in effort. Do we not realize we are the “customer” in this case.
Instead of following some “guide book” we can choose to be whatever we want and the site, in order to maintain its monetary worth has to adjust to us, not the other way around!
We are so caught up on instant gratification and the idea that we can have the “winning” profile that we forget to be ourselves, at all of the places, a dating site. The place to potentially find someone for the rest of our lives, like my father did. We are compromising on our own happy ending.
We have accepted the fact that OKCupid is turning our dating into highschool crushes. “Check Yes or No if you ‘like’ me”. Popular kids are marked by a red mark under their message box saying they “reply selectively and then the rest have orange or green.
I felt compelled to message you (despite the ominous red message saying you “reply very selectively.”) – OKCupid User
The site plays on humanities yearn for the “chase”, even if the excitement fizzles out after we actually get to know the other person. Get rated highly often, well OKCupid will now show you to more people who also are considered “attractive”.
P.S. Did you know OkCupid scales their subscription model depending on your age, sex, and location? It can range from 4.95 to 29.95. The younger and more “desirable” demographic you fit into, the lower the price. You can game this system as well, by changing your age and sex to that before purchasing the A-List.
Breaking the “Code”
It is programmed social interaction in 1’s and 0’s. So of course there are tons of “how to game the system” articles. Someone wrote the code, so it makes sense that someone else figured it out.
I have this plethora of information I have gathered, not because I am seeking to write a self help book, a “Rules of Engagement” book, or even boost my ego. I feel a deep desire to publish this article about my experience because, finally in a world oversaturated with online dating profiles, inundated google search results for “dating guidelines” consisting of compromises that go against the very definition (mutual concession), I have found a way to be myself 100%. But how can I talk about this publicly without being considered someone who has “manipulated the system” or worse yet, the people who I am interacting with? How do I tell people about this amazing feeling I have now, that I have validated my ability to be me without pulling the trigger on my own hard work? Especially because I still am looking for that person that makes an article like this obsolete in my life. A person who makes me shut down a dating profile for good. I am actually looking for the means to an end, to create a beautiful beginning; naturally, organically, and somewhat digitalized.
I have read, watched, listened to so many of the “how I hacked online dating”. Each has their own formula, statistical analytics, and long winded explanations.(My right brained personality can’t even open excel without wanting to rip out my eyes) But at the end of the day, would I be meeting people who really just wanted a guy who was “sarcastic and humorous with a side of manliness” or would I meet people I could truly connect with? How can I maintain my integrity and personality and follow all these “rules”? The truth is, for me, I can’t. I want to be able to go on that first date and know I can be 100% myself and I won’t feel upset or empty afterwards because I was portraying someone else’s ideal man, the “norm” of bar hopping, and “sarcasm/humor”.
“Most dating advice exists to “solve” this grey area for people. Say this line. Text her this. Call him this many times. Wear that. Much of it gets exceedingly analytical, to the point where some men and women actually spend more time analyzing behaviors than actually, you know, behaving. Frustration with this grey area also drives many people to unnecessary manipulation, drama and game-playing. “ – Mark Manson
Sure I have used some of the statistics to my advantage. OkCupid being the weapon of choice, has released many breakdowns of what people on their site are attracted to, photo and profile etiquette, and subsequent articles published about the best practices for the site. But it made me cringe when I would look at the “top” profiles listed in these articles. If one more person told me to keep my profile short, I was going to scream. I have a lot to say dammit!
“Far too many people are looking for the right person, instead of trying to be the right person.”
HDR Black and White main photo(for that “manliness” appeal which I address in my profile to make sure there is no deviation from WHO I am**)
a dress shirt(for that classy approach)
a cat(luckily I own two and love them unconditionally, although only one makes for a good model)
combined with a self deprecating joke caption.
I follow up this piece of the puzzle with a very straight forward blurb in my profile that let’s me still be myself even though I succumb to the “statistics”.
**“If you are looking for the guy who is mysterious, I may not be your choice, not because I am not good at keeping the intrigue going, keeping you on your toes, or being a “man”, but because I choose communication over fighting down the road over notions of “who I am with you” and “who I am with myself”. I can dress nice, I can grow a beard, I can also shave and look like a total bum. I am great with my hands, but also text faster than a jack rabbit, doing what jack rabbits do quickly. Perception really. Your wants at the time of reading this and my perception of what I want. Does that mean if we agree with each others profiles it is inception? *epic music here*”
The rest of my photos are snippets of who I am, I include pictures I think I look good in(always followed by a caption that is not serious) and then my goofy side(followed by a caption that is serious). Playing off the contrasts of oneself.
The only photo that even uses a formula is my profile photo in black and white. The rest are just as many different variations of myself that I can provide. We have good days, bad days, exciting and boring days. So I want to show all of that. I want to be transparent.
I have tried many many iterations of my profile, from a casual 1 line response, a ridiculously stupid humor only profile, to one where I tell all. Each got different types of responses, but none were even remotely personal. The less I wrote the more I got approached, but that approach often fizzled out before the first meet. I felt as if I was compromising myself by catering to the “percentages”.
The problem with all of my profiles is the length, it is said by every article about online dating statistics that a long profile is a death sentence.
I refused to believe you couldn’t write a long profile if you had something of interest or passionate to say. The problem is to get someone to actually read it. I found that if I put a disclaimer up front saying:
“My profile is long, if you are pressed on time you can skip it”
…was the tiny piece to the puzzle that made it OK. It allows those who don’t want to read it to just message me, that I am approachable, and feel as though looking at the pictures is a good enough start, but it also gives off the feeling of a challenge or accomplishment to those who might slog through my stream of consciousness.
“I actually read your entire profile…” -OKCupid User
Then it becomes difficult, how do you validate someone reading a small novel that is your “profile”? How do you not come across as too jaded or make the other person feel as though you are too good for them or have nothing left to offer? How do you convince a world addicted to 140 character limits that 500 words isn’t the finale of my personality?
“I read through your profile, and there were moment that I thought … “hmmm… This guy is a little too honest.” … Then I thought, “I use to be that honest… When did that become a bad thing?” “ -OKCupid User
This is what I thought, why can’t I be honest? Why can’t I be the un-abated version of me? I wanted the first conversations to not come as a shock as I clumsily fumble my way through the “getting to know” process. I wanted people to already understand I was not the perfect one liner, but someone who would blindly feel around to get to the deeper stuff, unafraid to humble myself or admit to it not working out. (and trust me this isn’t something you just inherently know how to do, but with some effort you can learn)
I look at an “About Me” as a place to really talk about me, not just pepper with ideas my mother has told me about myself, although those are nice too. Although, again, statistically improper:
“2) Don’t make your “About Me” opening section so long that even your mother would find it boring.“
One rule of thumb: If someone has to scroll down more than twice to get to the end of it, it’s way too fucking long. Give people an overview of who you are and what you care about. You don’t need to go into how much you’d love to find a man/woman to be your “partner in crime” (shudder) and everything you’re looking for in a relationship. Your objective at this stage is to find someone you can stand and who can stand you; don’t jump the gun. You can bore people with your hopes and dreams for love later.
Also, avoid listing adjectives to describe yourself such as the mundane “attractive,” “intelligent” or “funny” (see above). This is standard advice for writing that you’ve probably heard: Show, don’t tell. If you describe what you’re like and what you’re doing with your life, people reading your profile can see for themselves that you’re attractive, smart or funny. (Or not.)”
I mean I am not going to write a book, but I find self awareness to be sexy, so why not try my own hand at it as well? So I use the about me to give the general idea. But you need more than empty words on a website to show your true passion for your “idea” of yourself. This is where the section “What am I doing with my life” helped significantly.
My occupation as a photographer carries all sorts of stigmas, the most popular being:
“ I feel like you probably meet a lot of really beautiful people through your photography, so it amazes me that you are even on an online dating site. “ – OKCupid user
My own business model has been refined over and over again to try to break free of that, so I decided why not literally take the work I put into my mission statement for my photography and copy paste it here? Is it personal and exposing, sure! But if I am putting so much effort into my job, why can’t I do the same with my love life? It is many years of work and the blunt truth. It also shows passion, which I and apparently many others find sexy. So instead of looking at me as the guy who looks at “hot girls” all day, it shows that I am on a dating site, so obviously I am not trying to date my work and looking for something real here..
Add onto that, that passion doesn’t always pay the bills, hopefully the people I will attract, will understand I am doing what I love and all others need not apply. I will lose the “wallstreet” types here but I am trying to ease the blow of my work so later on, I don’t have to defend my career choice, and instead share it and be supported for it. I had the high paying job, sports car, beautiful apartment, and feeling of “making it”, but it didn’t make me happy or fulfilled.
My work section is a topic for many to intro themselves to me with, it plays into those who put an emphasis on work over the other sections of the profile provided, but again it is 100% me, no compromise needed.
Being yourself is OK, the validation:
Instead of breaking down every aspect of my profile, since honestly it has been written over time and is extremely stream of consciousness, let me explain why I feel it has been validated, against all odds, statistics, and google results.
“Hi 🙂 so I saw that you “liked” me and after enjoying your (very detailed) 🙂 profile I thought I would send a message rather than just a like back. Since you were so thorough in your descriptions I’ll just go ahead and put my truths out there too.
I love photography but the only class I’ve ever taken was my freshman year of college and only camera I have is my iPhone but still try to capture the special people, places and things I see that I know I’ll want to remember forever.
So I think that’s a lot for a first hello 🙂 especially since it’s 4am! I’ll let you digest and get back to me.
And thank you, your openness allowed for mine in return. It’s very much appreciated as it’s such a rarity now a days in life and especially in the online dating world :)” – OKCupid User
The technical “trick”
(Image representative of an hour during a 24 hour period)
You can rate people on OkCupid from 1-5 stars. Clicking the 5 star sends an email saying you like them, if they like you back it starts the conversation via a “You like each other” canned message. It removes your need for an opener and you know they are “interested” for the first convo at least.
5 Starring everyone isn’t as dumb as it sounds, it is sort of like being your own wingman(woman). You have to talk to everyone in order to finally catch the eye of the person you really want to talk to. But the reaction I could have never predicted.
“I must say, I initially “liked” you because of your cool profile pictures (…and, you have a cat in your main one…I mean, that’s kinda unfair…). Then, I read your absolutely refreshingly honest and interesting profile (yes, I read it all), and, though I rarely message people, I felt compelled to message you (despite the ominous red message saying you “reply very selectively.”)” – OKCupid User
I “like” you
The “like” button has a lot of mind fuckery power attached to it, when in turn if the site exposed people to one another in a more organic way such as a real life encounter, there would be more people seeing these kinds of interactions. But for now it is basically throwing empty promises at the wall, hoping someone will walk by in time to catch it. It feels degrading. It has the “celebrity effect”, where you are creating a bigger pool of “views” in order to catch the eye of someone who mixes well with you, but also having to not take the “fame” to your head and act better than other.
“Engaging, thorough, and much foresight = your profile… It’s overwhelming, yet a relief! Finally, someone on this site says it ‘as it is!’” -Okcupid User
“Hello there 🙂 It was a treat to read your profile…you have a lot too say and you seem like a big thinker which is hot in my book lol. I can’t say I’ve invested as much in mine but you have me thinking I should lol.” -Okcupid User
But if they knew the site did it automatically, would the “like” still make them respond? Would we once again fall into the idea that a long profile = dating suicide even though it is clear from the responses I have gotten we truly want more from these dating sites?
“Hello! I read your profile (twice…alright, three times actually haha!) and really enjoyed what you had to say! I appreciate the honesty and detail you put into your writing. That is so rare!” -Okcupid User
I’ve gotten some of the kindest heartfelt replies and messages from being myself; A kid at heart, a thinker, and a goofball stumbling over my words in person.
You get out what you put in
“I don’t write long messages usually but I thought you seemed worth the energy.” -OKCupid User
We apply this theory to our day jobs and so many other aspects of life, but because we have “labeled” online dating as a fo-pa, joke, or don’t fully understand it yet, I feel like we still are not completely ready to use it to make true connections. Can we truly be OK with a slightly digitized way of meeting when we still hardly know how to do it in person? We are happier feeling like we can carry around the “trophies” or “abundance of choice” in our pockets via our smartphones, than actually thinking beyond the instant gratification or validation of our egos.
Directly from an article that turned me on to the 5 star “trick” in the first place:
“It’s easy to see how the attention could become addictive, so I ask James: When does it end?
“I don’t know,” he says. He describes himself as “romantic,” but, like a lot of people who log on and see thousands of singles within a mile of their Zip Code, he’s not really stressed about the end. “A lot of us want the best: the best job, the best apartment, the best significant other,” he says. And in his case, that might mean being the best bachelor as well—someone with the best stories of dating adventures to tell. In fact, he can’t stop thinking about this one incredible woman he met recently; they danced until two in the morning. Then he tells me about another beautiful, smart woman who fed him meat loaf at three in the morning. And then there was that woman with …”
Not only can online dating become almost addicting with the “choices” it can work the opposite way by us fearing the other person’s choices as well. Dating can be intimidating.. with all the different dates we go on, it feels like a rush to the metaphorical finish line of “pulling full attention”. So we work hard to get it, but do we compromise just being ourselves for the “win”? – http://lostintxtlation.tumblr.com/post/91546586723/intimi-dating
I am online for dating because I believe in the idea that technology can help us to skip some of the less desirable parts of “meeting” and truly make great connections. If we don’t invest some time into an honest profile, aren’t we just showing our faces for a physical attraction and then drudging through figuring out what in the profile was real and a boasted version of self? How does this differ than going to a bar? We have so much more control over our “self” on these sites than we admit to and I feel like it is time we start acting on it. Putting in the same effort we do with our jobs, passions, and careers into our love life as well. Eventually we have to meet face to face with the person we start talking to to really get a feel for a good match, so why waste time with “white lies”.
If I ever find someone who truly believes in this too, I think the entire date, interaction, and experience will be much more enjoyable to both people. But remember, I don’t love you….
Hey I just met you, and this is crazy, “I don’t love you”… txt me maybe? This is what present day society seems to defend harder than “I love you”.
Scenario: You meet someone, you have a good night, and now you are presented with a conundrum… do you use technology to enhance the ability to reflect on the moments you just had, using the time away from one another to use as time to know each other more through the wonderful noninvasive form of messaging… or do you get lost in their past memories on facebook ignoring the ones you just had… or even worse are you forced into a situation of who can hold off from responding the quickest to messages we all know are read immediately or at the quickest convenience. We are secretly defending our “dislike” for one another than our possible “like”. We are being punished for what used to be a legitimate way of decompressing from a date: reveling in the glow of the night the next day. There is a reason songs like “Maria” from West Side Story were written. It is because on a good date, we hear music, and we don’t want to stop singing about it. We are not in love, we are in like, and it is really fun to share that feeling rather than feeling as if it will expose our “true intentions” to love them by the end of the day…
“Trying something completely different here. I am going to stray from the long profile, just gonna express it how it is; if there is an attraction, let’s meetup and take it from there. I can write a TON here, (request my old profile if you dare lol), but then I find there is too much “Type A” or “Type B” stereotyping without inflection, voice, and just plain getting to know one another organically. I have multiple parts to who I am, as I hope you do too and would rather get to know you via conversation to portray those. So anything beyond this point is just fluff, if you liked my pictures, in my opinion.. but feel free to wander.”
The reason for this is because online dating isn’t organic, not in the slightest, but I think that is OK, as long as we accept it for what it is and skip the bullshit inorganic parts of it and try our hand at meeting if there is an attraction. I mean if I thought you were attractive in person I would talk to you right away, not text you for days until we met again. I mean how much time do you want to invest into someone who might be super attractive but pheromones are just off and you can’t stand the smell of one another?
A dating profile or online dating “resume” as I like to call it, can never summate the stuff in your head. I want to find someone who understands the idea of discussion. The idea that if I say something weird, I don’t have to dive into the ditch I just dug, but be able to continue the conversation to other parts of the plot to see if there is another hole we can fall into together. The idea that living through someones past or stalking someones profile after a date is not giving your own mind the ability to breath and enjoy the moment you just created. Oversaturating your mind with their life not the moment you just had together.
We prefer to open up with questions that are shallow, but have a proven record of working.
“Did you get into any trouble last weekend?”
“Have any trouble planned for this weekend?”
This is how we open. Our first encounter is based on a very general idea of sparking conversation but we do it in a way that is trivial. “So how did you and X meet” Oh well I asked her what kinda trouble she was getting into and she told me “lots”. Then we got a drink and boned… wow…
I am a bit old school when I think about it in terms of asking someone to be my girlfriend or date, I believe since we only get one chance to do this with someone, it should be memorable. I like to let things happen organically, but I also like the grand gestures as well.
Organic or not if two people are open to something it can work. Problem is as you most people see it as “an experiment". I think what that truly means however is “fear of the unknown”. Online dating isn’t any more awkward than meeting in a bar. It all stems on one thing, actually meeting. These back and forths mean nothing until you hear my voice, see my face, and actually get a gut feeling for someone rather than an educated guess. I have strong opinions about online dating and I believe that is healthy. Because in actuality if someone found love from it, they would not turn it down.
In the end we have to meet. Meeting is the only way to really know if the kind messages, sexy profile photos, or short or long profile are true to life. Being honest before hand is awesome and helps us to know if we want to spend our precious time with another person and online dating helps with this, especially for those of us with busy schedules. But it falls short with the amount of ways we can communicate prior to meeting. The first step to meeting is often exchanging numbers and texting. So we move away from the convenience of a keyboard where we can type many more words per minute, to a tiny screen in which we usually send texts of little to no consequence as fillers until we meet. Watching the little chat bubble pop up and down as the other person perfects their three word text to not feel too overbearing or interested.
“One of writing’s traditional advantages over speech is the time it affords you to collect your thoughts. This time empowers you to calculate your words’ effects on their reader. Rather than blurting out “YOU’RE SO HOT,” you pen a pleasing phrase: “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”
Text and instant messages, however, are eroding this advantage. We don’t correspond over text and instant messages, like we do in letters; we chat in quick informal exchanges, like we do face-to-face. One of the underpinnings of spoken conversation is what’s known in linguistics as turn-taking. “We need some way of determining when someone else’s turn is over and ours can begin”.
The most common-sense workaround, of course, is to prepare your thoughts mentally before you begin typing them. That sounds easy enough, but some of us actually use writing as a way of working out our thoughts, not simply recording them after they’re fully formed. If nothing else we don’t consider the words blurted out of our mouths a finality but something that can be correct as can a word be spell checked after the entire paper has been written.”
The world isn’t ready for online dating if you ask me. It is a place to go after a breakup or to get recognition when you feel you have a flaw. It is made up of tutorials created by those who have written the same self help guides to sitting in a cubicle. The amount of messages that tell me mine is refreshing but theirs is “still a work in process” is proof enough in my eyes.
I will admit, I fell victim to the “OKRebound” after a bad breakup. I, as they like to call it, “serial dated”. A few dates a week to the point where I was showering just to go back out. It was vindicating and empty. But even when I explained it to people I met, they seemed to get it and accept it as a form of acceptable behavior. It was surreal. Actually the more my phone buzzed on the table with OKCupid notifications the more likely they would “be interested in me” without me having to say a word. It was a fucked up reverse psychology thing. I got over it pretty fast however. That isn’t what I wanted. And if someone else was going to like me more because of the “likes” I had, it was not a good indicator.
I wish I could express to people how online dating has as much potential as we allow it to and right now we aren’t allowing it more than a drunken nights dare or “I was bored so I made this profile… Oops did I post a shot of my ass in a bikini… Oh and I like long walks on the beach and sacrasm and the extra attention” *breaks computer screen*
“The Law of “Fuck Yes or No” states that when you want to get involved with someone new, in whatever capacity, they must inspire you to say “Fuck Yes” in order for you to proceed with them.
The Law of “Fuck Yes or No” also states that when you want to get involved with someone new, in whatever capacity, THEY must respond with a “Fuck Yes” in order for you to proceed with them.” – http://markmanson.net/fuck-yes/
Being online, is sort of like a gamification of dating to people.
“Haha I’m over it I just use it as a form of entertainment now just cuz I think what people say is funny I haven’t actually “used” it for what it’s for for a long time hAha you?” – OKCupid User
OkCupid’s Most Desirable
I got this message a month or two back. I was dumbfounded.
I knew the quantity of messages I was getting was not normal, but it was strange to get a message like this. It helped to validate that I could have a profile true to self and be considered desirable but it was a short lived moment when you compare it to who was actually picked to do the interview. I did not end up being used because they found someone who was much more TV worthy than I was, talking about how he uses “smileys” and “swiping techniques”, bragging about his lack of honest profile, how he lies on dates, and his general need to fuck as many people as he can through manipulation. You can watch that entire interview here: http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/video/online-dating-secrets-desirable-24753151
I warn you though, I almost shut down my profile after watching this. It literally made me furious with humanity for letting someone like this exist, let alone thrive.
Why I still have a profile
Why am I on here? Because I believe there are other people who trust in a convenience like this and will use it the way they want versus how a YouTube video or article in the Huffington post tells you how to. And they will be genuine and accept it for what it is, an online meeting system in which you allow to match you with others and then go from there. Because it is convenient, not a bar that smells like piss and regret, a place you don’t want to be, or are too busy to be.
Because out of all the people I have met I have learned many things about online dating, more than I ever thought I wanted to know, and sadly these things show me how much people fall into to groups or patterns. I can change my profile picture to attract a specific nationality or put emphasis on a certain part of my profile for a specific type of personality. But it is when I go out on a date and those formulas and structures get blown out of the water and I am no longer giving my thesis or biography to the person across the table but talking to them because it is enjoyable, but mostly when I become scared… Scared that conversations break all conventions and preconceived notions Leaving me in a spot of vulnerability to want to share all but not knowing… Just feeling the need to do it anyway, that is what I date for. That 1 out of 100(that is different for every person) that will truly make me feel the the possibility of love and having to put every ounce of myself out on the table to make sure I give it my all regardless of the outcome. To open my heart I must be open to the idea of heart break. That is how I approach dating even if I start to see patterns or stereotypes or formulas for successful or unsuccessful dating profiles, first dates, and the like. Because in the end no matter what the formula is and what you think you know when you find the person right for you, the reason it is a magical moment is because you are no longer running on rails but off course, enjoying and living a moment.
But even if we go on a successful date we are still littered with obstacles to overcome.
It is so incredibly complicated getting to the second date these days. The rules of “3 days before a call” have long been muddied, if not completely forgotten. Now you are faced with the dilemma of liking an Instagram photo, responding to a Facebook post, texting an indifferent message once every day or two so not to seem too interested but still interested enough until schedules line up. The balancing act of texts between multiple dates, hoping you don’t message the wrong person the wrong response, timing your texts so not to be assumed you are overbearing.
All these unspoken “rules”, impossible to master without literally not giving a shit, because texts are usually two or three lines of nothing of consequence. So you sit there looking at your time stamps and read recipes wondering if the other person:
Someone actually suggested, after reading the article above, an app that allows you to further disconnect from your date to the online ether by having the app follow up on dates you have been on so you can let the person know without actually talking to them if you wish to go on a second date or not. I guarantee this becomes a reality and more reasons to feel completely disconnected from the person you are meeting or just met.
The OK in Cupid
I believe online dating is incomplete. It, by the very nature of humanity, is an iteration… constantly evolving to what we define it as. To say I have the answers or know where to go from here would be a farce. Whether online dating is just a way to get “experience” a so called practice date, or it will eventually evolve into a place where we don’t hide behind whatever semblance of online anonymity we are holding onto and finally realize how important we are to one another. Ultimately I just want to be able to find someone to come home to, to be real with… “the one person for me” is better than the girl of my dreams, she is real. So for now I say OK to being myself. I say OK to breaking the “online dating rules”. I say OK to OKcupid, where I am actually looking for something organic, in this inorganic clusterfuck that is online dating, because in the end, it is me I have to be OK with. And if you have two people who are just OK, you have two people in a better place than the “perfect online dating profile” you have something real, explosive, difficult, frustrating, exciting, and explorable. That there is the very inexplicable definition of love, which to me is the perfect beginning, because love is not enough...
A few things on my mind that make a good match, never really compiled together, usually thought about at different times, but compiled here in one list. The things that make me say “I love that about you”.
Confidence: When someone is constantly questioning their “self” it brings me down. I have my own “issues” and when two people cannot compliment one another’s issues versus just being conscious about them and accepting each other with them, it can turn toxic quickly. I don’t expect sunshine and roses every day, but I expect an understanding of one’s own issues. For instance, I know that I need affirmation of small things in my life… this quote taken from an astrology blog sums it up perfectly:
“I learned to understand my Leo by understanding that he needed positive re-enforcement for the little things. He needed me to be open to letting it all hang out with him or he tended to think I was not interested or had anything interesting to offer. This was out of my comfort zone but when I let go a little bit to him, it was a warm embrace that followed”
Sexuality: I have come to realize I am an extremely sexual person. Not in terms of OMG SEX, but in terms of being very in tune with what I like, what I like to give, how the person I am with needs to make me feel in order for me to want to give, and how I can often get lost in giving that I forget to take.
I have some kinks for sure, but they aren’t crazy; for example clothing textures: simple white bikini cut panties, the long tshirt and underwear, wireless bras(very european style), latex(my kryptonite), leggings(a lifestyle not just fashion), essentially I have realized I like smooth over lace. Don’t get me wrong lace is sexy, but I will 9 times out of ten be turned on by something that is silky or smooth or even simple cotton over a lace garment, mostly because it is nice to touch. I will often find a well put together outfit sexier than being naked.
I love to try new things. There is this wonderful place called the internet and while some may consider it a waste and you just “do” when sexing, I believe in learning, getting better, and trying new things. I recently ran across a video that showed a man having multiple orgasms from a certain type of tease/denial, it would be amazing if I found someone open to trying these things and not afraid to talk about them. Being afraid to talk about sex is a turn off. To me sex at its core definition is the default, everything else is the lead up and exciting parts. There is also something to be said for understanding when sex and making love is amazing and when foreplay is as well. Finding that comfort level with someone is also important so the new things aren’t scary, but exciting. Shit I wrote a review on one of the coolest sex toys for men with my real name attached to it because I believe in anything that will help to bring us to a better orgasm!
I have learned a ton about the female anatomy and pride myself on being very in tune with what feels good for a woman. I know in my mind that I will not rest until I get the woman to orgasm. It brings me pleasure, so I look at it in the same respect when reversed. If I think someone is giving up or isn’t into pleasing me, I will have trouble getting off. I am not the easiest to please but I would hope they would do everything they could to attempt to. To know someone is going to “stop soon” makes it hard to just be in the moment and turns into a “performance anxiety” rather than a pleasurable experience. If I have learned not only from experience but from watching, reading, etc… why should I expect any less from them?
One other thing, being equally dominant. I am by default the dominant one, but internally submissive. To grab someone by the back of the head and push them toward a wall for a monumental kiss to be reversed into that same wall is mind blowing to me. TO never know the outcome because both people are scheming (so to say) the next move.
Body Temperature: This is going to sound weird, but I run hot. I always have. I literally have a fan at the foot of my bed for my feet sometimes. So finding someone who I can lay next to and not be uncomfortable because of our temperatures is important. Not a deal breaker but an added bonus.
Voice: I never thought someones voice could be so important, but the sound of someone is extremely important. Being able to love to hear the person you are with is great. It is amazing when you meet someone you love to hear. You don’t even realize until you meet them, because it isn’t something I would consider a “first impression” kind of thing. It just soothes the soul so to say.
Body type in relation to mine: I don’t really have a set body type, height, or preference except for the fact that when I hold someone I want to feel as though I can hold them close. I want to feel their arm pull my arm close as we spoon and our bodies matching up in the right curves. I put a specific amount of energy into taking care of my body so I often look for someone who does so as well. While it is nice to meet those with fast metabolisms, I want someone that will be an inspiration to me and me to them when we get older. I want us to be able to push each other to stay fit, strong, and virile when our bodies begin to break down. I don’t want to be that old guy who sits all the time, I want to be the one who takes trips to exotic islands and makes the young people go “whoa I wanna be like that when I get older”.
Socially Adept: I want someone who has the ability to compliment my outward personality. When we go to an event I want to be able to branch off from each other and not have to worry. I also want us to work well as a whole when interacting. Complementing one anothers statements and sentences, making for an interesting conversation.
Phone Calls: If you get anxiety using a phone to call someone rather than text, it may be a deal breaker. Now if you call me instead of text, you have secretly made me smile from cheek to cheek.
Forward Thinking: I apply this to the idea of one day perhaps having a child. I want my wife to be someone who wants to raise a child in an environment where the kid is open with the parents. Feels safe with the parents. Maybe doesn’t want to go to the movies every friday night with us, but during breakfast can tell us if their life is OK and can call us when to drunk to drive at some party. I always think of the parents in the modern adaptation of The Scarlet Letter called “Easy A”.
Calm but not passive: My life growing up was hectic. My parents were masters at making mountains out of mole hills. I want someone who understands what is important and what is not. What is OK when it goes wrong and when it is actually time to freak out.
Balances Work and Life: I love working, I love passion, I love drive, but I also know that majority of the work we do is filler until we die. Morbid eh? But I believe that putting more emphasis on relationships and the people around you is more important than the work till you drop attitude. We only get one shot at this, so I want to be able to love hard and work hard all at once. Finding the balance between what you love and who you love is important.
Looking good together: Nothing feeds my Leo ego more than when I am with my significant other and someone says, “You two look so cute together” or “Where are you two from?” This means we probably have a matching sense of style, give off a good aura, and look good together. I absolutely love that. Plus anytime someone asks me where I am from as if I am not from the US, I take that as a compliment considering I think European culture and style is far more eloquent.
Cultured: I spent a lot of my life abroad and have adjusted my ways to many of the things I found interesting and more befitting of my lifestyle. I don’t go crazy when I see boobs, I don’t objectify women, I don’t use words like rape, gay, and fag. I want someone who is equally cultured. Who doesn’t HAVE to travel all the time, but enjoys it knowing they can get the same “cultural” feel with the person they are with and how they adjust their own lifestyle. It isn’t where we live, but how we live.
Running to Jump Together: I want to feel like Mr. and Mrs. Smith with my significant other. Each with their own specialties, but both extremely competent at survival and basic instinct skills. I want to trust that I can jump into traffic with my significant other and come out unscathed without having to endanger myself by worrying about them. The ability to adapt to multiple situations that didn’t always have an app to solve it or a service to complete it. Mind you I don’t mind using those after trying once, but at least give it a shot.
These are just a few things I have seen that I like to be lined up. Do I need them all, NOPE, do I like them, yup. Might they change in a day, sure. Do I have a mold, no. Do I hold people to ridiculous standards, not really. All in all I expect someone I am going to love and allow into my life so intimately to be someone who I can say puts into life the same effort that I do. The rest is just frosting on the cake. Because it really sucks when you feel as though you are approaching life so differently than the person you are with that it almost hinders growth. It is the difference between traveling with someone and traveling on someone.
I hope you don’t know what you want! I mean, that would be fucking terrible. The worst thing in this world is to meet someone who knows what they love, follows their passions, and has an intense personality about it. This comes second only to “googling it” in person and using hashtags in your vernacular…
When did we decide it was a bad idea to think about the future? Why is it such a faux pas to imagine what your possible kids will look like or how a person will be as the mother of your possible children? Am I the only one who thinks of these things within minutes of meeting someone? I am not applying it to the person to put into effect right away, but of course it is natural to think of these things. It is kinda biology. These fleeting thoughts are important and very subconscious in how they are controlled, but most people seem to be afraid of them. Society has put a stigma on it if by accident you slip and say something about the future too quick. You are then categorized as overbearing or clingy. But it isn’t meant that way. I think there is a bit inside all of us that has envy over those who exude a sense of “self purpose”. The people who knew what they wanted to do with their lives since they were in middle school usually get scoffed at. I think it stems from jealousy of not always being in the same boat. Personally I bounce around from many passions, but I am aware of what those are and I am also aware of passions I should not pursue, because quite honestly I don’t have the skills for them. So if applied to dating, if you were to say, “Oh man my Mom would love you” oh the repercussions… I don’t know when we started looking at one another as if one sentence is the summation of an entire whole of who we are, but it is crap.
The brain does not generate distinct “thoughts,” so it is impossible to calculate how many thoughts the brain has per second. In addition, there are a number of subconscious processes that occur in the brain at all times. The stream of thinking people seem to hear in their brains is only part of what the brain is doing at any one time, and inhibitory processes prevent people from being conscious of all of these thoughts. The human brain is always active.
A dating profile or online dating “resume” as I like to call it, can never summate the stuff in your head. I want to find someone who understands the idea of discussion. The idea that if I say something, I don’t have to dive into the ditch I just dug, but be able to continue the conversation to other parts of the plot to see if there is another hole we can fall into together.
We prefer to open up with questions that are shallow, but have a proven record of working.
“Did you get into any trouble last weekend?”
“Have any trouble planned for this weekend?”
This is how we open. Our first encounter is based on a very general idea of sparking conversation but we do it in a way that is trivial. “So how did you and X meet” Oh well I asked her what kinda trouble she was getting into and she told me “lots”. Then we got a drink and boned… wow…
I am a bit old school when I think about it in terms of asking someone to be my girlfriend or date, I believe since we only get one chance to do this with someone, it should be memorable. I like to let things happen organically, but I also like the grand gestures as well.
I have thought about how it might be to have someone to come home to, wake up to, bring home on holidays, get an animal with, own a house with, marry, kiss, fuck, cuddle, and everything in between since I was young. So I don’t think getting older is making me want the answers any quicker nor has it changed when I think of them. But they still happen when my brain decides to think of them.
If I feel a connection with someone, my brain goes off to many different places. If I happen to slip an actually feeling here or there, it should be cute, not creepy. The difference between me and the thought process is that I know, because I am not an idiot, that I don’t expect these bigger picture things right off the bat, I know I don’t know you that well yet, and I know they are just natural emotions to have, but I am not afraid of them, because if, after we get to know one another, it is working, I can’t wait to experience them with you.
We have 90% control over how we perceive things and how we deal with them. For some reason we have decided that these fleeting thoughts, these tiny moments in a bigger conversation, and these things that might make us feel a little bit uneasy, are deal breakers. Instead perhaps we should embrace conversation and reflection, allowing us to truly open ourselves up to the person in front of us, letting us know if we actually want to follow through on the “warm fuzzy puppy dog” feelings down the road, instead of hiding them and pretending to be in a position of “power”. The power balance in a relationship is important, but the power balance when you first meet is even more. If you don’t allow yourself to lose a little control, you are wasting time in a life not filled with that much of it. I believe in the idea of allowing things to be wrong, in order to correct them or talk them out. I believe in the idea of telling how I am that day when asked, even if I am shitty. In the end, that is who I am, and in the larger scheme that is how you get to know someone. One day at a time, one moment at a time, one thought, one emotion, one date at a time. Because at the end of the day, when we just met I don’t already love you and I probably don’t even miss you.
Hey I just met you, and this is crazy, “I don’t love you”… txt me maybe? This is what present day society seems to defend harder than “I love you”.
Scenario: You meet someone, you have a good night, and now you are presented with a conundrum… do you use technology to enhance the ability to reflect on the moments you just had, using the time away from one another to use as time to know each other more through the wonderful noninvasive form of messaging… or do you get lost in their past memories on facebook ignoring the ones you just had… or even worse are you forced into a situation of who can hold off from responding the quickest to messages we all know are read immediately or at the quickest convenience. We are secretly defending our “dislike” for one another than our possible “like”. We are being punished for what used to be a legitimate way of decompressing from a date: reveling in the glow of the night the next day. There is a reason songs like “Maria” from West Side Story were written. It is because on a good date, we hear music, and we don’t want to stop singing about it. We are not in love, we are in like, and it is really fun to share that feeling rather than feeling as if it will expose our “true intentions” to love them by the end of the day… Some of my best childhood memories include talking about the same kiss over and over with my date the next day on the phone when we couldn’t see each other for another week due to school, work, or our parents haha. It is old wives gossip, but about the feelings you are being swelled up with. Now we have so many ways to do it and instead of embracing it, we outcast it, we make those who use it feel restricted, and we ultimately restrict our own growth and natural inclination to be “obsessed” in the best possible definition of the word. Why does it matter if we give off the “vibe” that we have 1 or 20 different people we are talking to at once. There used to be a thing called courtship and even less exciting, interest that doesn’t fade the minute the date ends. I prefer interest, intrigue, and the yearn for more. I choose to embrace it, regardless of my future dating schedule that I feel inclined to play out or my past dates. If that night felt amazing, I want to share that moment with you for a little longer. And for someone that multi tasks his breaths, it is extremely valid.
Personally, the last time I said I love you to someone it literally took my chest almost exploding to squeeze it out and when it came out it was messy, tear filled, but it felt right. I love you is probably the hardest phrase for me to squeeze out of my mind, heart, and mouth. With the amount of divorces within my family, I air on the side of caution as it is. I believe in the small grand gestures still. I believe that asking someone to be your girlfriend is as important as to marry you, because you only get to do it once in the relationship.
Although I must admit if you looked at this blog out of context of me as a whole you might think all I want is love, but I just love to think about it, discuss it, and those thoughts are literally a fleeting second of a billion others. I analyse, I think, I observe. This is all part of who I am. I will pick sides of the fence and dig in, not because I expect to be right, but I believe in choosing things with the chance of a conversation later on to change it. I eat humble pie well. But I grew up with a lot of teeter tottering of those around me, so I built into myself the ability to decide and move forward. I think that alone can often scare people, because they don’t want the “conflict” or “debate”. To me it is part of the normal conversation. I often get told “let it happen”, “don’t think too much”, but I can’t. I am not wired that way. That is OK too, it just may differ from another, and that is OK too. But both are valid as long as you feel it is the way you want to be.
“I observe the world around me way more intensely than some, which may sound like it is stressful, but for me it is just the quick fire of a synapse in the brain, and it is over. I can totally chew gum and walk at the same time. This is why my heart, under a microscope, is probably bandaged up, split, cracked, and splintered, but still pumping strong. So if you can multitask thoughts, understand that I am not married to just one outcome of a conversation, and enjoy talking because it leads to… more talking.”
This often relates to first dates in terms that I think I am still trying to convince people I am worth their time when first meeting. Sure I have been making sure to take care of myself and the slew of new things I have learned:
One thing I am yet to shake is my childhood need for acceptance… approval… making them know I am worth their time. That is one backward ass sentence. But when you feel like you are in a proverbial rush to the finish, the finish being “interest” or “other suitors”, you can often find yourself giving so much so fast that it becomes a less intimate way of sharing and just a bullet list of things you don’t want to have to regurgitate. Thinking the shock and awe value floating over your head later might hurt things. Mind you these things are you, but I have often convinced myself if we don’t get it all out on the table right now we will probably ruin everything later or run out of time to tell them in the first place before the race ends. The difference between the European “How was your day” and the American answer of Good, versus “Well actually it was X Y Z, good or bad”. But this is where time is truly needed:
And it is amazing how time can slow when two people are ready and willing to step forward together.
What I forgot and is extremely important… when a person is interested in you for you, they make it known. There is no romantic comedy “chase”. There may be some resistance where they will tease back, but they will put forth effort too, they will want to see you, text you, talk to you, like your posts, etc. You won’t just one day “come out of the romantic closet” to the other person. Interest goes both ways and manifests both ways. If they cannot show it and you need it to be shown, perhaps it isn’t the right match. If you like to put in effort and they can show you what you need to feel the sense of approval than so be it! But it is so true that just going with the flow in this scenario is a better decision.
Reading a book is stimulating and it has things like structure and grammar etc. However a book seems like a comfort.
A book is something that has an ending, a preconceived idea. It has a direction and follows it, or intentionally breaks it for drama comedy or action.
A book caters to the idea of needing that closure or that happy ending regardless of happy or sad that say a movie does.
But a txt message or an email or a conversation… Those are the tough ones. They may not have the best grammar, or even a complete though, but looking and reading them and actually hearing them determine the next chapter.
Every phrase I say fits into this story I conceptualize when I wake up, when I sleep at night, etc.
Why is it so hard to see bigger than the sentence or lines or script I have made for myself day by day.
I just want you(meaning anyone) to read past the lines, I am not a dead poet but dammit a little analysis never hurt.
You can say write or act out a million things in a day, and it can all happen at once, analysis, your heart, feelings, future conversations, past thoughts. Please don’t try to read me like a book.
I will not fall into your structure nor will I fight against it for no reason. I will loose sight of things like anyone and humble when wrong. I can feel more from seeing your face or hearing your voice or reading a letter you wrote between lunches.
And that is just it, I will and want that feel.
My process to feel may be a bit different but it isn’t closed to the affects.
It’s funny I was just talking about a “sense of adventure” with a friend. We determined that I do indeed have one(golf clap), but I consider my time very important these days and find myself less inclined to be adventurous with random people. I would rather people I really enjoy the company of be the ones I give my spare time to and then opt to be stranded on an island with. I could leave a situation but I would prefer to not have to worry about leaving, but camping out for awhile. While this contradicts the word “adventure”, it makes the actual adventure itself so much more fun, rather than just the preconceived notion.
I suffer from some sort of social anxiety, which is ironic since I am literally a social butterfly by nature. I graduated as a theatre major because I could see nothing else for my in my life than interacting with others and putting myself out there for all to see. I was making myself “google-able” before it even existed. It is my default to be expressive and outloud. I thrive the more people are around me and the more people I can put on a show for.
But along the way, my brain changed, my comfort changed, my chemistry changed. I developed the need to know if there was a bathroom where I was going, not because I need to use it but because it signifies the comforts I have in my own home. It represents the “safety-blanket” of a space I have made my own. And at first it was debilitating. I felt like I would never be able to be myself again and I was a broken fragment of myself, but over time I learned it, I adapted to it, and I conquered some of it. It will be a constant struggle but I am OK with it as long as I am learning and evolving with it.
I wasn’t always like this, shit I was always the first one out the door and last one in. I would jump before you could even suggest it. I used to consider my time wasted if I wasn’t out and about even if that meant me not enjoying my evening. One day it clicked that happiness isn’t about being out all the time but doing what feels good at the time you want it. Watch a movie instead of driving around a parking lot or going to the bar or vice versa. But forcing it to happen was my downfall back when. It is that “holiday” pressure. Let’s get blasted because it is New Years, always ended up in the toilet. Not my idea of how to start the New Year. I would rather just go anyday I feel like it. tangeeennttt…
So dating can often be a scary thing… First dates are not scary to me whatsoever, however. I know I can hold my own, I know I will be myself, I know if they don’t accept me for me, then it wasn’t meant to be.(mind you I am still learning how to self preserve) Sure I will be upset if they are a beautiful person and I don’t understand why they don’t like me back, but I can’t control that, I can’t be in everyone’s head(as much as I try by expressions and tonality). I am one of those people who would choose insanity, while being able to hear every thought of every person than to be naive and sane.
But ultimately I make sure I am the best version of myself that I can be, that includes telling people about my shitty day or good day when asked. I don’t have the mind space to have different personalities for people or situations. Sure I know what is socially acceptable behavior or not, but I choose to be the same “version” of myself to the best of my ability in every case.
On some of these dates I have been on I feel like I need to be more careful who I get stuck with and when. Because I think a lot of my anxiety is not about being in control but lack of control. I under estimate my own ability to leave a situation that doesn’t make me happy. I am slowly learning to navigate that. Instead of going to a happy place, I am facing it more head on and learning when I am going because I just don’t want to be somewhere or if I am trying to escape myself. I often feel like I will disappoint someone if I say no. Learning to balance my yes’s and no’s is still a struggle.
I am learning how to tell someone I would like to get to know them before doing some crazy adventure. Seems to be an online dating thing where your first message has to “amaze them” or your first date has to be “an adventure”.. if I met you in person it would be different because I could get a feel for you, but online, I want to at least meet you before the crazy fun begins! I blame this on the idea that online dating overloads you with so many options you are looking for someone to “best” the other person.
My name is Tristan and I am a photographer/director and hopeful romantic. I am here sharing my writing, a journal entry to myself with the intent of others reading it. I talk in a very open stream of consciousness. Feel free to get lost.