Yes, I am carefully negotiating the precarious virtual world of online dating. Of course I am speaking from the female perspective but I know the same or similar experiences happen on the male side as well. People are people and often possess the same types of flaws. Nothing is exclusively male or female traits in online dating.
Having been in the online dating scene ten years ago, I wondered how much different the experience would be now vs ten years ago. At first glance, I did not feel anything had changed but after stepping back and talking with a few friends, I did realize that while the experience has not changed fundamentally, I had changed dramatically. I no longer accepted bad behavior as I had previously. What had changed? I finally realized and accepted my self-worth and understood what I to bring to the table (relationship). In the past being overweight, I did not feel I had much to offer and therefore, I did not attract those who had much to offer either.
Now, I am noticing that there is a different general type of man who contacts me or I choose to contact myself. THAT is so different, I take the initiative to send messages to those I feel we might have enough things in common to build a good friendship.
I have found that self-perception varies widely among males on a dating site. There are the very typical “Fibs” about age, it seems common for males to subtract ten years from their age, embellish their body type choosing “fit” when it appears the only thing they have tried to “fit” into was a Lazyboy.
It seems more common in today’s dating world that men expect women to share their phone number after only having said “hello.” CRAZINESS! I do not understand why men expect self-respecting, intelligent, internet savvy women to hand over their phone number so easily? I hear “you can block your number” “what’s the big deal?” a lot. Why should I have to feel obligated to give a stranger my phone number? In the modern online world, once someone has your cell number they can easily and inexpensively acquire your name, address and other personal information. Talk about a stalkers paradise! scary stuff ladies do NOT feel obligated to talk on the phone or text with anyone!
Online dating appears to have evolved into behaviors that used to only be observed in “meat market” bars and clubs. If men cannot respect your boundaries, space and be considerate all I have to say is NEXT! One of my favorites so far was a man (not from my area) who had a profile picture that was straight out of GQ Magazine and claimed to be a Psychologist. He insisted that I give him my phone number up front. I replied nicely that being a psychologist he should understand boundaries and that I was not comfortable providing such information so early in a contact. He then proceeded to say that I had made a Freudian slip and that I really wanted to give him my phone number. I shook my head and typed that he needed to check this slip as it was slipping! He replied that I was “scared” and kept repeating this. I replied to him that is passive aggressive tactics would get no where with me. He persisted. I had to block him. Obviously a “fake” who if in reality he was a psychologist he was a very poor one! I guess he thought his GQ fake photo was supposed to ‘excuse’ his bullying and poor behavior and lack of respect for others. Sad, really sad. But NEXT!
Then there was a man who messaged me and asked me if I got to such and such county which happened to be out of my area. I responded with a “no, why?” He said “I would like to meet you.” I chose to deal with this response with a little humor, “I do believe the roads between here and there run both ways and last I had heard, they removed the police barricades.” No response back. I am gathering there might have been an ankle monitor that prevented him from leaving his county. NEXT!
I have managed to have some very good message exchanges with some men who seem to be very nice, honest and truly seeking something beyond a “booty call.”
Lesson #1: Have a great sense of humor.
Lesson #2: Do not accept bad behavior because you “like” the picture.
Lesson #3: Do not allow anyone make you feel uncomfortable by their questions. If they are too personal, say so and ask them to refrain from those kinds of questions.
Lesson #4: Never give out all of your personal information too soon. Protect yourself from stalkers and those who are just looking to get something for nothing.
Lesson #5: Never assume the profile information/picture is accurate or the information is a real reflection of what the person is seeking online.
BE CAREFUL OUT THERE ONLINE! Stay tuned for the continuing saga!