Explaining the sequence of events that led to me foolishly dipping my toe into online dating so soon after my break-up would not be advisable. I did though and in a fit of curiosity I did so via one of those swiping apps (which I have now deleted and, at present, have no intention of re-installing)
Now for the duration of this post I shall be calling the guy in questions Stefan. This is obviously not his name. Just in case you wondered.
So Stefan, appeared and I chose to swipe right. On Tinder he showed as “Steve, 31” and it seemed that was all he had mentioned about himself. He started out with a mildly rude/impudent opening question but in a sea of messages saying things like “anal?” or “how’s you?” it stood out. I replied to him and we started chatting for the whole evening. It was nice. He was funny and into stats and food and a bit weird and I liked that. To be honest as we talked I felt like I could come to like him.
We talked about politics, feminism (we both had watched the documentary “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry), music (his taste was awful – favouring some questionable German hip hop) and books (he recommended a rubbish future dystopia novel I did not finish). I suggested we meet and then he got flighty. Apparently thinking that as we seemed to get on and that maybe, before investing any more time in this, we should meet, is being pushy. He got really weird with me but was still messaging every day and I was enjoying our more esoteric conversations.
Suddenly he went quiet. So after giving it a day or so in case he was busy (I knew he was busy) I sent a silly message “You say it best when you say nothing at all”
His response was pure bile. He told me I was horrible and pushy and needy and all sorts – because I was enjoying conversing with this interesting young man. That was it. I wasn’t picturing dating him, or marriage and kids, I just really liked him and wanted to see what happened.
Anyway – he eventually became super rude and I blocked him on WhatsApp. I am not proud of that as that is not how I prefer to deal with arguments. I would have rather found a way of drawing the conversation to an end that was less impulsive and “violent”.
A month went by, and then he appeared on Tinder again, still as “Steve” but with a bit more of a profile. I decided to give him another chance, I swiped right and so, apparently, did he.
What happened next is weird. He told me I was desperate and needy for wanting to give him a second chance, he said he had respected me when I blocked him but that now he did not respect me anymore. I called him a coward and told him I was not needy or desperate but if he thought that he clearly was not the one for me. I unmatched with him and thought that was that. Until Friday.
I was at work talking to my colleague about weekend plans. She was playing Bryan Adams songs and I was singing along. It was pretty good until suddenly I got a phone notification that Stefan had sent me a message on Twitter. He had decided to ‘apologise’.
Suddenly I was sad. The hurt I thought I was over came back and I was really sad that this person I had felt close to had turned on me. Twice. It took me back to that place of hurt and sadness.
So I told him off and asked what he expected to come from this message and who he was apologising for. He just kept saying that I was great and kind and he liked me and that he was an idiot and that he wanted to be on “good terms” without specifying what that meant.
I am great, he was an idiot but I got the feeling he wanted more and I was not going to put myself out there to be ridiculed again. Eventually I managed to find the words I wanted. I told him the conversation was going nowhere and I stopped talking to him.
So why the blog post? Well 3 reasons:
- It made me realise that I cannot be around anyone who treats me with anything less than the respect I think I deserve. The respect I would show them. I cannot be around people who act like I am less than them, and I wont.
- It made me realise there is a way to stand up to people that feels like me. That feels genuine. That makes me feel happy with my life choices.
- I think honesty is the most important thing to me. If he’d admitted he wanted to hurt me which is why he said what he said, I’d have more questions but would have respected it more. If he’d said he wanted to start talking again, I’d have had to think about it, but would have considered it. I’ve learned that my new rule is that the other person has to walk as many steps towards me as I do towards them. I will not do the emotional heavy lifting anymore.
It also made me decide I might let dating take way more of a back seat for now, as I need time to get more into me and what I want and not let someone else try to tell me who I am. Particularly not someone who gets me so wrong.