Last fall I had a date with a guy that I met on OKC. T.’s profile made it clear that he was looking for a casual relationship, as was I. Our conversations made it clear that we had much in common. He took great interest in my blog, something that always sends up a red flag for me. He said many times how eager he was to meet me because he felt like we’d have so much to talk about.
So we meet up. I’m not in my chair more than five minutes before he’s telling me how he never has expectations when it comes to his online dates, but that I was different. He then expanded on this by drawing a diagram with his finger on a napkin indicating how I “filled all the boxes” in terms of what he was looking for.
But then, out of no where, he dropped a bomb.
“The trouble with this is that there’s no hiding from you. There’s no mystique.”
I swallowed my cider and tried to ignore what he had said.Given that he had confessed to reading my blog extensively, my level of insight and perception should not have come as a surprise to him. Since he works in the sociology and psychology field, he and I share certain traits that tend to put a crimp in relationships. Namely that we both read people exceptionally well. My Ex, J, was a psychologist. I’d be lying if I said that our similar insight and ability to analyze situations didn’t cause some strife. But we got through it. I have said many times that I am no walk in the park when it comes to dating.Namely because I often times can predict what a guy will say or do long before he’s even formulated a plan of action in his head.
T. was right in the sense that there would be little mystique. But then…so what? I could see how this might be a problem if we were both looking for something more involved. But we weren’t. At least I wasn’t. According to his profile, neither was he.
Then he dropped another bomb on me:
“I’d love to write for your blog.” He didn’t say it seriously. More like half-jokingly. I just smiled and said nothing, my anger boiling up inside me. Son of a bitch. T. wasn’t interested in the woman behind the profile. He was interested in the woman behind the blog.
When T. said he couldn’t help that he “wasn’t feeling it” I stopped caring. He assured me that he thought I was attractive. It was the personality similarities between us that he wasn’t sure he could get past. We were both very direct, with equal levels of intuition and perception. Tricky. Acceptable. But there was no need to let me in on that little secret, thereby derailing a perfectly fun date.Which makes me wonder if that was what he wanted. Maybe he wanted to throw me off kilter so he could be in control of the dynamic. Or maybe he’s just profoundly stupid like his predecessor, Don Draper. He, too, would say the stupidest of things that would make things worse, not better. They both felt that being “honest” was the “right” thing. But if they were truly as intelligent as they perceived themselves to be, they’d know that total honesty was not going to advance their agenda, whatever that might be.
I got up to leave and put my money on the bar. T. asked me to stay, saying he felt we could still “salvage this.” I explained that I didn’t show up to the date looking for a new girlfriend, and that if all he offered was friendship then there was no point in me sticking around. He tried to talk me down, but my claws were out by that point. I lobbed back every serving of ‘honesty’ he offered and then some. Fuck that noise. Salvage what? Your ego? He eventually paid for our drinks and left. I sat there pondering what had just happened. I guess I felt the same way a guy feels when a woman goes home with him, lets him feel her up, gets undressed and then says she can’t take things further. It’s maddening and hurtful at the same time. T. was a psychological cock tease, no different then the women who let you slide your hand down their pants and then say, ‘Oh, we have to stop. I can’t do this.” His hand is DOWN YOUR PANTS. You’re already doing it!
I felt like I had been bait and switched on my date with T. Casual anything was not on the table. It never was. It made me feel really, really stupid for believing his praise. He was right in that I was not someone with whom he would always have the upper hand. I suppose that is unattractive in some way to some men. Someone who sells himself online the way he did in his profile on the Interwebs, so openly, really shouldn’t be concerned with maintaining a sense of mystery. Things didn’t add up for me, which lead me to believe that even though he said he was being honest, and was to some degree, he really wasn’t. Not with me and possibly not with himself. Bullet dodged.
Another guy I dated last winter pulled something similar. After a few dates he said that he felt like what he truly wanted was something more permanent. He asked me if I saw us headed in that direction. I will fully admit here that I lied to him and said yes. Am I open to something long term or more involved? Absolutely. But I knew he wasn’t it. We continued to date for awhile longer until it was clear I couldn’t give him what he wanted. We never were exclusive. I wouldn’t do that to someone that I knew I didn’t see myself with long term. He had originally said he wanted one thing. Then when he had it, he decided that’s not what he really wanted. In this case, he wasn’t honest with himself about what he was seeking. He didn’t know himself well enough to understand what he could and couldn’t handle. Like I said last week, the real challenge of online dating is finding someone who knows what they want and who they are. Unfortunately, these people often lose out. Knowing what you want and what you can feasibly offer is scary to a lot of people.
When I hear people complain about the lack of honesty in dating and how badly they want the truth, I realize very quickly that they’ve never actually been told the truth. If they did, they’d know why total honesty is bullshit. Additionally, the people who tell you how honest and straightforward they are are also liabilities. They’re not honest as much as they are socially clueless, manipulative or rude. They wield their honesty like a bat with the intention of either hurting someone or maintaining control. It’s not as healthy and wonderful as you think.
Whether you’d like to believe it or not, the person you want and who is most safe to date is the the one who is willing to keep their mouth shut and tell a white lie.