Sunday, September 13, 2009

My Two Dates

Online dating is a bitch. Well, dating in general is a bitch.  At least it is for me.  Much of the time it's just awkward but every so often it seems like people act stupid, unfair or cruel -- especially on the Internet!

Sometimes I get guys who start off flirting with me but then never seem to get past that stage.   It's always nice to start like that but if I put any effort into starting a normal, sane, conversation and it just kept going back to this flirting, it's not fun anymore, it's obnoxious.  The worst ones are the ones that sound like a broken record.  Who knows, they are probably drunk.  It's just one of the many experiences that put me on edge about the whole Internet dating game.

And then there are the ones who try to converse but don't seem to have much to say.  The conversation is really just two and three word sentences.  Minus even more points if they insist on using all of the internet/texting alternate spellings. 

Him: "hi"
Me: "Hello"
Him: "wut u in 2?"
Me: "Oh, lots of things.  It's all in my profile.  Anything specific you would like to talk about?"
Him: "like 2 c u." 
Me: ...

Sorry, conversation is over.

Now sometimes I'll let the alternate spelling slide by if there seems to be intelligent and earnest conversation getting through.  I realize that it can be difficult to type for some people and the ironical things is I'm a notorious misspeller over the chat myself.

Many, many months ago, I was contacted by someone named Dan.  The conversation started off much like above but he had just enough to say that kept me interested for longer than usual but I found myself still getting put off by the exchange.  His was acting coy, truthful but terse.  He surmised a lot of correct information about me but refused to answer specific questions I posed to him.   A few times he stated that he would prefer not to answer when I asked him the exact equivalent question he asked me.   WTF? 
  
Despite all of that I did learn that he has a current boyfriend or "bf" has he put it.  And they had been together for around 15 years.  That frustrated me.  Why was he so interested in me?  He already had someone.  Was he looking for an affair?  I know a few people like that and I'm not a fan of that particular lifestyle.  Although, I did wonder if this was an open relationship.  I might be OK with that but at the time I just didn't want to deal with it.  So, I left the conversation hanging and ignored him.   It was stupid, I felt like he was being unfair and I assumed he had cruel intentions.  Besides, I'm more interested in friendships or serious relationships rather than hookups.   And it felt like at this point he was pursuing a hookup.

As the months went by, it appeared like Dan was stalking me, which didn't improve my opinion of him at all. I could see that he was checking my profile for activity every few days.  He could tell when I logged on but I assumed that if he could see that I wasn't visiting his profile he would get the idea that I wasn't interested in him.  I just wanted him to go away.  Although, he wasn't harassing me so I didn't feel the need to block him.

Then many months later he contacts me again.  This time, for whatever reason, I was more relaxed but I was still a bit defensive and felt determined to stay in control of the conversation.  I replied in a curt manner -- or as curt as could be perceived over a short text communication.  He was a bit more open with me this time.  Almost immediately he told me wanted to have a threesome.   WHAAA?!

OK!  That wasn't what I expected.

But I was still suspicions that he was looking for an affair so I asked him in my most snippy tone -- albeit lost in the text only communication - who I would be having a threesome with.  When he told me his boyfriend, Scott, well, of course, this was one of those types of couples.  What is one of those types of couples?  I have no idea, just lots of assumptions and labels and shit that I had been taught over the years about "those" types of couples.  I had so much negative vibe about it all I couldn't even give you specifics. 

But, all this time, he wasn't playing the game I thought he was playing.  After several more exchanges about why he was so coy and discreet I realized I was being a huge hypocritical asshole.  Considering the place we live and the culture of the community and the type of work they were in, etc., I would have done the same thing had I been in his situation.  It was still a game but I had completely misjudged what game he was playing and I immediately thought it was one of those shitty type games.

Although I was skeptical about a threesome, I was curious, and I was also looking for friendship.  I wanted to get to know them and try to understand what it was they were looking for.  Besides, I didn't have any friends out here who were gay.  Dan and Scott offered to take me out to dinner and I accepted. We had a pleasant time talking about the weather, work, religion, and life.  

For whatever reason, whether it was Dan's approach or perhaps just the awkwardness of using simple text based communication, I had gotten it completely wrong.  And I had thought the worst of this person, these people.  The stupid, unfair and cruel thoughts.  My assumptions were simply my bias based solely on labels about people that I had grown up believing.  Stupid, unfair and cruel labels that had become deep seated beliefs fully ingrained into my thinking -- in other words, emotional baggage.   The kind of emotional baggage you don't know you have until it suddenly slaps you upside the head and turns you into an asshole.

Scott did say he wanted to keep in touch.  And I feel like I could be friends with these guys but that part about the threesome...I don't think it will happen.  I'm just not that drawn to the idea enough to really care about it.  Besides, it just brings up a completely different set of emotional baggage.  This time it's a matched set that has never been used.  Boy, they sure look spiffy with their reinforced zippers, castor wheels and rather pleasant blue floral pattern.  Who knows what may be lurking in those bags that will dial up my asshole mode to eleven.

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