Tuesday, April 16, 2013

You've Got a Troll Face, or, How NOT to Take Rejection on OKCupid

I wish I had better news to report from the internet-dating-o'sphere, but there's almost never anything to
write home about, unless it's comically bad.

Like this dude.

He sent me a message at 6am, calling me "deliciously evil" and something about wanting to "steal (me) to Texas and keep (me) forever." (Dude is a law enforcement officer, so that's double-cool.) I glanced at his profile, figured we wouldn't be a good match anyway, and simply deleted his message.

8 hours later, this happened:

This happens in internet dating ALL THE TIME. Dude sends gal message that isn't particularly cogent to begin with, then, almost immediately (whether or not they get a response), gets aggressive. When he's shot down or questioned, he gets even MORE aggressive.

Guys, this isn't going to work. I mean, ok, maybe it is, and you can keep dating submissive/passive aggressive ladies who are in to that sort of thing. But if you're putting out crazy, you're likely pulling in crazy, too. And then you don't really have a leg to stand on when you whine about how all the ladies you meet are kind've apeshit.

Plus, it's just plain disrespectful. If someone doesn't understand you, or where you're coming from, that's no reason to resort to namecalling and insults. It's not attractive when you're 12, it's even less attractive when you're 30-something.

And let's talk about creepy for a hot minute, ok? If you went up to someone in real life, having never met them before, and told them that you'd like to "steal them away and keep them forever," - how do you think that would come off? I mean, assuming you're not at the BDSM club or something. (Not that any/everyone into BDSM is in to those sorts of lines, either - the dynamic of "capturing" clearly requires boundaries that only exist AFTER an initial meeting.) Go up to someone on the street and say that, and let me know how that goes.

Like my friend Melzah pointed out, "people are not possessions!" And referring to them as such ("keeping," like I'm a sticker book or something) reduces individuals to objects. When you say "I want to keep you," you're not saying "I like you," "I think you're awesome," or even "I want to be with you forever." You're saying "You are my desire, I want to maintain mastery over you, and I don't really care what your say in the matter is." And, hey, if that's the boundaries you've set up with your SO, that's supercool. But if those boundaries AREN'T in place? Train to Creepsville.

Being wary of such an approach doesn't make someone paranoid, let alone "less," for being wary. It means that we exist in a reality that's real, where people say terrible things without provocation, and where we expect to have our boundaries crossed, with or without permission. And but there's no reason we should willingly LET those boundaries be crossed, not even in jest.

Calling someone out on such things speak only to your OWN perceptions of power and equality - or, really, the lack thereof.

Of course, I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir, here. Guys who respond like this generally aren't interested in being told that they're wrong, or that their behavior could stand to be amended (especially not in the interested of being nice to anyone, let alone respecting the people of their preferred gender identity.)

As for the rest of the interaction - I really liked the part where because I'm suddenly a troll face (his first message praised my looks), I'm supposed to have lower standards or be more understanding of people treating me like shit - it went about the way you'd think it would:

I blocked him after this, though not before he managed to get in one last jab, suggesting that the body shot I have up on the site - a beach shot, no less (and I'm not even going to humblebrag here - that shot has ZERO things to be ashamed of in it) - should be removed.

Guys, here's one last thing: if you're going to slam a girl on her figure, at least have the common sense, if not decency, to not do it do someone who's in better shape than you are.