Aloof

Want to hear another tragic tale about how yours truly embarked on a quest for human companionship and, in turn, got royally knocked on her ass again? Okay, here we go.

Today’s story starts where the majority of stories of this sort start nowadays: The Tinder.  It started with a mutual right-swipe of the finger, and an impressive pun in the form of a pickup line. For anonymity purposes, we’ll call him simply by his initials: “AL.”

No one is immune to the alluring power of a good pun, not even me. So I humored him.

AL was intriguing. The kind of intriguing that kept us talking for six consecutive hours on our first date-we even got ejected from the little diner that we were having brunch at for staying too long. He had a way of conversing that kept my mind firing at a rapid pace, and the conversation flowed effortlessly. He was genuinely interested in what I had to say, and would often push me to provide more substance to my answers in order to understand me better.

We talked nonstop, both in person and over text message. Our dates increased exponentially in duration, as well as in frequency. We’d spend an entire day together, visiting the planetarium, loitering aimlessly downtown, showing each other books we were interested in at Barnes and Noble. He even bought me one of the books I’d mentioned and gifted it to me the next time I saw him.

He was polite, respectful, a self-proclaimed feminist with hypersensitivity to consent and ensuring that I felt safe, validated, and comfortable at all times.

His friends seemed to really like me.

AL was also a pretty boy, in every sense of the word. He was muscular, had a neat, slick hair cut, scruffy facial hair, and dark brown eyes. He was a bit narcissistic, as well as greedy; money-hungry. He talked a lot about money, and how important it was to him that one day he’d be “loaded.” I didn’t fully understand or agree with this hunger for tangible wealth, but was encouraging and pleasant whenever these conversations arose.

Overall, AL was quite the stand-up guy. He was the type to send me a message after a date thanking me for my company, and expressing how sincerely he enjoyed spending time with me. He told me when he missed me. He was a forehead-kisser, as well as a snuggler. He owned stuffed animals, and wasn’t shy about expressing his emotions or love for Disney films. He’d heat up a rice bag in order to keep my toes warm in his freezing apartment, and offer to make me coffee in the morning before I went to work. In other words, and all-around sweetheart. And in other, OTHER words, too good to be true.

From one day to the next, the text messages went from engaging to aloof. We went from seeing each other all weekend and a couple times during the week to not at all. I saw it coming. Or ending, rather. Not that it was anything per se, our entire story lasted for a duration of a month and a half.

Then, on Friday, AL asked if I had time for a chat after work. My heart sank into my stomach, and my suspicions were confirmed.

He came to my apartment and flopped back onto my bed, his hands covering his eyes. He couldn’t commit to me, he said. He ran into a girl he still had deep feelings for downtown earlier that week, and he has to see what becomes of them. I bit my lip. Disappointed, but not surprised.

I shrugged and told him I understood. He apologized. Again, and again, and then again. Profusely. I wasn’t upset, but told him that I swiftly would be if he apologized again. I didn’t cry. I was stoic. All I wanted was for him to leave.

He wishes he’d ran into this girl a month and a half ago, before he’d ever met me. (Read: he wishes he’d never met me.) So that I wouldn’t become “collateral damage” to his devastating situation that forced him to “hurt” me.

The whole ordeal lasted an entire hour.

I told him that it’s his life, and he’s gotta do what he’s gotta do. I told him that I’m more than fine, I’ve dealt with MUCH worse, and am actually quite comfortable going about life in a solitary fashion. He’ll go his way, I’ll go mine. Most people are temporary, including him.

That sounds so final, he winces.

But it was final. That was the end of our fling.

It’s disappointing because whatever we had escalated so quickly, and absorbed all of my time. It’s going to be an adjustment, the absence of someone I’d been consistently interacting with for over a month. But that will be that, and I will inevitably stumble upon another suitor that may or may not waste more of my time, and all of this will be but a blimp on my rearview.

I’ve never been “dumped” before, and it’s certainly not my favorite feeling in the world. I’d prefer to not allow people to gain positions in my life where they have the power to hurt me. And it will probably be quite some time until I do so again.

AL, you were a good guy. But not good enough to hurt me the way you probably think you have. You’re just another guy who tugged at my emotions for a short time, and then dipped out. There are dozens just like you, and I’m willing to bet that there will be more to come.

I’m not heartbroken, I’m not hurting. I’m not doubting my worth or likeability. But I am withdrawing into myself slightly further than I was before this experience.

M.

 

 

 

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Cyber Courtship

Alright humans, we need to have a talk.

Have you heard of Yik Yak? Maybe it’s a very well-known app, and i’m just behind the times as per usual, but it has been installed on my SmartPhone as of recently. I love it. It’s like, you can post anything you freaking want to, and every Yik Yaker in your area can see it without having a clue as to who the author is.

This app can be used for good, or it can be used for evil. For the most part, the newsfeed consists of humorous, slightly embarrassing entries. But, as with most things, there’s gotta be a couple of assholes who ruin it for everyone.

I’ve noticed a lot of posts on the Yak from young men (assumption) complaining about girls catfishing them on online dating sites, i.e. Tinder. One of the posts was complaining about girls that look “thick” or whatever terminology the kids are using these days, but in real life they’re just fat. I dunno, a lot of really fat-shaming comments were made in response, which was completely problematic on its own, but it got me thinking about this whole catfishing and online dating business.

So, we have social networking platforms that enable us to share everything from photos of our food to photos of ours and others’ faces with our dear friends, enemies, and strangers from Ethiopia of whom we’ve never met before, but accepted their friend requests anyway to be polite. (Guilty as charged.)

It’s no secret that basically anything posted on the World Wide Web can be viewed by anyone with access to it. Because of this, we tend to shed ourselves in the best light possible, because let’s face it, at one point or another, someone is going to see something we’ve posted on our personal pages, and it will change their opinions of us forever.

This applies especially to dating or “hook-up” apps such as Tinder. The intended use of these apps is to find an attractive being to date or make out with or whatever activities you guys do when you meet up with a Match from Tinder. I don’t wanna know.

With the objective of making oneself attractive to others, it would only make sense that we post only the best photos of ourselves, complete with the best filters that Instagram has to offer. That’s not just us ladies, I know dudes be using that Sepia as well. And yes, editing photos enables us to present ourselves in completely unrealistic ways.

Back to the catfishing, I don’t think that enhancing one’s profile photos is considered catfishing. People on dating websites should be going into these accounts with the knowledge that the information presented on anyone’s profile is a reflection of them on their very best days, plus or minus a filter.

So stop getting upset when the individual you are meeting up with from these sites doesn’t look quite like his/her photos. That would be an unrealistic expectation.

Actually, y’know what, scratch everything I just said. My real advice to you would be to get yourself off the computer and go meet some people face-to-face so that you can avoid the whole catfishing problem all together.

Swipe right!

M.