Why Do Men Get Away With Being Assholes?

Furious woman

Name: Dragon Lady
Question: Hey Moxie,

I’ve been a longtime reader of your blog and have become a big fan of most of your advice over the years- you’re just about always right in your advice columns!  Perhaps this question is burnout related. I’ve been online dating in a major Northeastern city for a couple of years now, to varying degrees of success. I’m still single, though, so I haven’t found what I’m looking for yet.

My core question, to keep things succinct, is that, on and off, I’ve been struggling with feeling a good deal of anger towards men. I do not get overly invested up front and do not pursue men patently out of my league. I stay realistic about my expectations and am looking for someone similar. After two years of ups and downs though, and witnessing single friends of mine also go through numerous disappointments, I’m having a hard time combating this sense of anger and bitterness towards men in general.

Basically, I feel as though men get to behave in as craven and cruel a manner as they want, and they never suffer or get called out on it. It’s led to a few embarrassing text exchanges, for sure. The supermarket mentality is in full swing even in men in their 20s, and they can be infuriatingly vague about what they are looking for. Moxie, I’ve never been a “crazy girl” but the behavior of men out there is inching me towards their territory. I believe in having an internal locus of control however and could use some advice about how not to let these feelings of anger and of feeling slighted get the better of me. For reference, I have a good job, a great group of friends, and a healthy lifestyle and hobbies outside of dating. I’ve slipped in and out of phases like this before, but could use an objective point of view. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Age: 27


I do not get overly invested up front and do not pursue men patently out of my league. I stay realistic about my expectations and am looking for someone similar.


Let’s start here. I’m sure many people – even me – believe that they don’t shoot out of their league and keep their expectations in check. But even I can admit to frequently aiming a little higher than I know I can pull “just to see if they respond.” So, while you probably are staying realistic for the most part, I’m going to guess you’re taking chances here and there like so many of us do.

Guys aren’t any bigger assholes than women who use these sites and apps are. Everybody sucks. Everybody. The goal now is to find someone who doesn’t suck as hard as the others. People just don’t care.  I’ve now received seven matches on Bumble and have messages all seven of them. Know how many of them responded? Zero. And now Bumble has instituted a new policy where the guy has to respond to the woman’s initial message within 24 hours or the connection is gone. It’s like these people who make these apps don’t even date themselves and don’t understand how people think or function.

Your frustration is universal and runs across both genders. Trust me, the comments of this post are going to fill up with whiny dudes talking about how hard online dating is for them, so there. This is not a gender issue, this is a medium issue. These apps are fostering a flaky, no accountability, no effort environment, and it’s spreading over to traditional online dating.  What you’re struggling to accept is that this so called “craven” behavior – ghosting, cancelling plans, looking for hook-ups – is now the baseline norm. These sites and apps ARE NOT the place to look for relationships. They’re just not. They are a means to get dates only. The days of wedding announcements from people who met cute on Match.com are over.

As I have said numerous times now: dating these days is a slog and I don’t find it worth my time. If I use an app, I swipe here and there and close out. It has absolutely no meaning for me. You’re getting angry because you’re getting invested, and that’s your mistake. Nowadays, you shouldn’t be giving a shit until several dates in. That’s the honest to God to truth. While a few years ago it was safe to relax after a couple of dates and let go a a bit, now that window of time has stretched to several dates. People use to ghost after just a couple of date. Now you could date someone regularly for a month and then one day – poof! – they’re just gone.

I just don’t know how many times or in how many different ways I can say this: the online dating we knew a couple of years ago is dead. It’s a whole new ballgame thanks to the swipe related apps. The only way to survive it is to not care. I know that sounds depressing and dire, but it’s the truth. People simply do not use traditional online dating anymore, and the ones who do have to.

I wish I could put a more positive spin on this but I can’t. It sucks. It’s infuriatingly hard to make a match and just as hard to get people to respond, let alone set up a date.




Sometimes the love of your life is the love of your life. (R)


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51 Responses to “Why Do Men Get Away With Being Assholes?”

  1. DrivingMeNutes Says:

    It seems to me that Bumble was supposed to cure a “vice” of app-dating — namely, that people don’t communicate with their matches. But the vice, as it turns out, was really a virtue. There is literally no chance that you will become exclusive with someone immediately upon matching with them. The whole point of a dating app is to match with a lot of people, talk to some of them and maybe date a few of them. Forcing people to respond within 24 hours fto every single match makes no sense because you can’t possibly carry on conversations with every match at the same time. I often think that these gimmicks are not well thought through. And, as you point out, the people designing the apps dont appear to be the most effective daters.

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    • Duped Don Says:

      I actually like that feature because it filters out the flakes very early in the process. If you’re serious about dating sometimes, you can find a few minutes in the next 24 hours to say hello. Also, the matches on Bumble are so few and far between (at least for me) that I’m rarely matched with multiple women at the same time.

      Now, the funny thing is that some women have already found a work-around. Last week a gorgeous woman messaged me immediately after matching and told me to look for her on Facebook. I realized she was a friend of a close relative. I talked to my relative and the girl checked-out.

      We talked on Bumble for a bit longer, then I asked if she wanted me to friend-request her (why else would she ask me to check out her page), she said “sure!”. So we become Facebook friends and she un-matches me on Bumble, so far so good.

      We commence to small chats on Facebook, then I ask her out. Crickets. I make more small talk and she responds, then I reference getting together again. Crickets.

      Then it hits me: She’s using Facebook as “hot guy storage”!!! Now I’m in the uneasy position of unfriending her (which I generally consider to be rude), but at the same time I only friend requested her in order to pursue a date.

      I ultimately unfriended her and chalked-it-up as a lesson learned: don’t friend women you’re not friends with. You could end up being a pawn in their devious plan.

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      • fuzzilla Says:

        **So we become Facebook friends and she un-matches me on Bumble, so far so good.**

        Why is unmatching you on Bumble a good thing? Is that a normal step in the process after you’ve talked to someone..?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

        • Duped Don Says:

          In my experience, these apps are just a means to move to the next communication medium. Now, 95% of the time this involves moving to texting, not Facebook, so this was admittedly a bit strange. But because she was a friend of the family, I looked past this.

          But yes usually when I exchange numbers with someone, whether it be though Tinder or Bumble, it doesn’t make any sense to retain the match anymore. The app has served its purpose (moving to the next stage) at that point and the match can be removed.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

      • DrivingMeNutes Says:

        No offense but your comment confirms my fear that these apps cater to the clueless masses who suck at dating. Good success story tho.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

        • Duped Don Says:

          I agree. I find it helps to frame online dating as much as a means of entertainment as it is about dating. If you get past the hurt feelings the whole thing is really comical.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

          • ATWYSingle Says:

            Don – Please stop vommenting using different aliases. Pick one and stick to it. I’m not going to keep approving your comments. It’s a pain in the ass.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

            • Duped Don Says:

              Am I vommenting? I thought I was trying to be helpful by relaying a personal experience.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

      • Timothy Horrigan Says:

        I would have left her on my Facebook Friends list, but I am one of those people with over 1000 Facebook friends even though I have a few close friends.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  2. CoolDude Says:

    I feel for you OP. I went through the same phase a few years ago though obviously on the opposite gender end. I’d go out with girls, have a great time and then they’d either ghost or give me the “sorry, we’re just not a fit.” Sometimes it’s you, sometimes it’s them. There are plenty of men who are just as frustrated as women but those trend pieces just don’t generate as much internet traffic and eyeballs so you don’t see a lot of those. Thing to remember about love/dating, it doesn’t work until it finally does that one time.

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  3. KK Says:

    Wasn’t there an article in the NY Times a few weeks ago about people meeting their spouses on Tinder? I don’t know, man. A good friend of mine met her bf of over a year on tinder
    So i guess it is possible. I just…i dont know. I think the anonymity of app-based dating, which now turns a person solely into a picture, makes people extra discardible.

    People have always treated each other like shit. Ghosting is not new. Now it is easier to do so.

    And yes. I too have a hard time not being bitter about men. I logically think that women must be as bad as men. I logically get it. But believing it? No.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 9

    • tim Says:

      I hear the ‘logically I get it, but believing it? LOL’ sentiment.

      I hear what you say about making people into pictures. But, before, those very people would likely have been less than a picture to you. They would have been at most a shadow in the background, or a passing face.Yes it makes people discardable,but those people would have been as good as discarded before. Humans are in a time where we are learning how to deal with being connected to everyone. WEIRDDDD

      As for guys, …. I have a hard time not being bitter about guys, and girls and what have you…. aka, about everyone. Don’t let the shittyness of people take you from that epic dope sexyman.

      I was absolutely exploded with pain by my ex (a lady,,, or girl lol. [seriously, she had issues{so did I, but I didn’t need to tear her down}])) and while I will include that this was a quality crushing, as opposed to a quantity of crushings (which I assume you are talking about) but I believe. I am on a dark sea, but I keep my head up. So can you. :)

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  4. Dave Says:

    OP – Not much else I can add here besides wishing you good luck and agreeing with the importance of having a thick skin as Moxie suggested.

    After spending a few months in a relationship that didn’t work out, putting myself back “into the fray” of OKC I found my motivation waning and feeling pretty meh about the whole idea. Went on one date that didn’t go anywhere and it made me realize that things hadn’t been all that bad with my last relationship.

    We talked, worked things out and things are progressing well so far. Both of us haven’t had the best of luck with online dating…so it felt right to me to give it another shot. :)

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  5. fuzzilla Says:

    Oh yeah, I’ve totally been there. I’d take lots and lots of breaks from online dating to preserve my sanity and, as Moxie said, have extremely low expectations – not in the sense that you deserve less, more like, “These people are all just pixels on a screen ’til we actually meet.” Expect less and be pleasantly surprised by more.

    I was just about to take another break when I met my current manfriend (I forced myself to push on through because I had a summer off school and a lot of classes in the fall so I was like, “This is your window of opportunity, gurl”). So a combo of “in it to win it” and “get out before you get stabby” was the strategy I pieced together.

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    • TheTallOne Says:

      Lmao at “get out before you get stabby”. So true, though. When you hit that level of burnout where you want to reply back to all of the creepers and call them out on their weird message or shitty dating behavior? Take a break.

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    • Eliza Says:

      Fuzz…that is my approach. Meet at a public place…IF and when you actually meet. 90% of people…both men and women, hide behind their monitors. Why? Because it’s just a game, passing time to see who will reply to them, and feed their egos, perhaps they are just lonely for the moment…and want to cyber chat back and forth…and have spare time. Or are married or in unfulfilling relationships…and need some boost. Yes, it’s pathetic. but that’s reality. Or they just don’t like themselves…or where they are in life, or how they look…and want to remain anonymous. Keeping your expectations low, saves one from that frustration, and keeps it real. I personally don’t go out of my way to meet anyone. Starbucks…I can spare like 15-20 min. at the most…and make it work around MY schedule. And when something that brief is set up–I also don’t count on the other party even having the common decency to show up, or touch base if they can’t make it…hence, the location is like 5 min. from where I live/work…and when I have absolutely nothing else going on! lol. That’s how I work it. And ghosting? Sure, it’s common everywhere. I overhear women talk, and then do not wonder why men are just as bitter/angered by the “singles scene” and women. It sucks for both genders. Thoughtless, self-serving attitudes are prevalent in both genders. So the OP should take some solace there knowing she is not alone, and that men encounter the same nonsense. This milli-second swiping apps have made online dating even more impersonal than it was. The same with texting. People seem to want to avoid “talking to one another”…they prefer to bury their faces in their cells…to the point of not even avoiding oncoming traffic! Social media and the cells have people in trances. So sad.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5

  6. Glazer Says:

    I’m as apathetic as ever.

    Keeping expectations low but TRYING to staying positive.

    I dunno. When 2 veteran apathetic daters meet? Talk about…meh….

    Seems like everybody is waiting for the…shoe to drop.

    ‘When is he gonna make a move for sex’ vs. ‘What does she wanna know before I make a move?’

    It all feels contrived, despite trying to be fresh about it.

    Even expecting monogamy after sex is a bad idea it seems.

    I know this sounds shallow, but if all I’m finding is sex and short term shenanigans, how much do I budget for that?

    It’s not like I’m making friends in the process.

    I think meeting someone offline has a better chance of a long term relationship versus forcing some chemistry with a stranger.


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    • Dave Says:

      I’ve definitely been there. Many months of ignored messages and dates that went nowhere…then I met someone that I wasn’t so sure about but after a few dates things just sort of clicked and I remember thinking “how did this happen exactly?”.

      I think sometimes we just start going through the motions and forget that ultimately, we are looking for companionship. But taking a break to hit the reset button is definitely a good thing now and then…I did that a while back and it really helped me to come back with a fresh new perspective (and a lot more patience).

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  7. Rocky Says:

    I agree with all posters that one must accept a lot of bad behavior and develop a thick skin.

    I do not agree that the remedy for this is apathy. If you don’t care, you might as well not bother. You’re sabotaging yourself. I can think of at least two reasons why.

    First, conversation takes effort. If you don’t care, you will be a lousy date and impress no one.
    Second, if you don’t care, no one will impress you.

    Self fulfilling prophecy.

    I know it is irritating, exhausting and – yes – painful to care and have to deal with all the bad behavior out there. But I don’t think there is any other option, if you want to date at all. You need friends who will listen to you vent when you have to, maybe a dammit doll, but apathy is not the answer.

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  8. Ben Iyyar Says:

    I wonder if online dating makes us lazy and demanding, because we get to vet our potential dates a t least a little before we go out with them. I believe this pre date exam creates a false belief that most of our dates should have a better chance of success than a random encounter because we have so much in common.I know for a fact that everyone is a mix of warts and beauty, and it is up to us to figure how much of each we will accept in a partner. And they also get to decide how much we fit their bill! The online profile does a lot, but only so far. Most of the women I dated I did not find suitable for me, and I did not find favor in the eyes of a fair number of women who dated me. So I kept looking until my wife to be finally found me! That’s all you can do.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

    • Eliza Says:

      Ben…actually online dating really doesn’t accomplish much…all it does – is provide a platform for people to post pics of themselves…and even so–plenty of people not only deceive by portraying themselves in a way that is completely nothing to how they truly are…but probably more like how they “see themselves”. A profile can be a complete farce…and written by a great writer…or based on one’s own “lenses”…not on reality. Some people are truly delusional about who they are, how young they look, or how “easy going and funny they are”. It’s all subjective. So a picture is not worth a thousand words in my view. Nothing, but an actual face to face encounter can determine chemistry. Nothing. So these online ads only serve as a virtual representation of what a person wants the outside world to see and judge them on. Deceptive? Perhaps. This is why I prefer to just go out and possibly meet someone face to face. Online does make the lazy person lazier. Dating, and relationships require some effort…so grocery shopping for someone online usually is not the answer. You need to step outside your comfort zone, and expend some energy to meet people – IRL, not by cyber-chatting endlessly. Good luck doing that with the likes of Bumble, Tinder or OKC.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  9. D. Says:

    I think a big part of this is about what it is exactly that you’re looking for and how/why you use dating apps.

    Moxie’s right in that — for the most part — online dating (website or app based) isn’t really designed to create relationships (regardless of the bullshit that Eharmony peddles). These are merely tools to make it easier to meet people. Period. End of story.

    A lot depends on what your goals — both short- and long-term — are. If you go into dating with the attitude of “I want to find a relationship,” and you pursue that goal pretty seriously, well, you’ll likely end up burned out, frustrated, and embittered. All of which can lead to a kind of death-spiral where you approach dating from a really negative perspective, expect the worst, date defensively, and generally do things that almost ensure you will not find a relationship.

    On the other hand, if you go in with the attitude of “I’m gonna meet someone and have a nice date this weekend,” you stand a fighting chance of actually accomplishing your goal. That’s my advice: change your focus away from pursuing a relationship and towards pursuing dates. That’s not to say you abandon all hope for a relationship. Just that you don’t focus on it, and let things develop, if they develop. And if not, no big deal.

    In other words, it’s fine to want a relationship in general. That’s a good goal to have. But there’s nothing that requires you to actively pursue finding a relationship with single-minded intensity. You can date multiple people at once and see if anything develops further. You can date people short term with the understanding that you’re basically just killing time until something better comes along. You can date people because they’re fun even though you know it probably won’t lead to something more — all while looking around to hopefully find something better. It doesn’t have to be all-in with each person you meet until either you determine there’s no long-term potential, or they ghost/flake/do something shitty.

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    • fuzzilla Says:

      **If you go into dating with the attitude of “I want to find a relationship,” and you pursue that goal pretty seriously, well, you’ll likely end up burned out, frustrated, and embittered.**

      Yeah. It’s not wrong to want a relationship, and you shouldn’t try to talk yourself out of it if that’s what you want. Just be prepared for how much trial and error it takes to get there. That doesn’t mean you go in expecting the other person to be an asshole and you’ll have a terrible time. But it kinda does mean you expect them to be a “one date wonder” and have a pleasant but forgettable time, ’til someone provides you with good reason to believe otherwise.

      It’s always better to focus on small, achievable goals – not, “Why don’t I look like the chick in the magazine?” but, “Can I run faster than I did last week?” It’s about preserving your morale along the way, not giving up your big picture goals.

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    • Goldie Says:

      I wish I could upvote this multiple times. That’s what I didn’t like in online dating, that relentless push, push, push to close the deal, to become exclusive, to commit to a relationship after three, four, five dates. If you go on five dates and then realize you’re not working as a couple, the other person gets mad at you for wasting their time. I like your approach so much better. You get out of the house, meet new people, listen to them talk about themselves, maybe do something interesting together, and if that grows into something more, good! If not, you keep going out and meeting new people. If the other person fades on you or tells you it’s not working out, thank them for telling you now rather than later, believe them that it really would not have worked out FOR YOU as well as for them, and go meet some more new people. Just like we used to do back in the last century, when it worked great.

      After two serious LTRs that came out of online dating, and more first/second/third dates than I can count, I have come to realize that it is so so so incredibly hard to find someone you could have a sustainable, reasonably happy life partnership with, and they with you. My last ex’s parting words to me literally were, “on paper, we’re a perfect couple, I don’t understand why something is missing” – because it takes even more than being a perfect couple on paper (which is not an easy thing to find on a dating site/app to begin with) to really be that couple with a good healthy connection between them. There is no way to find that within three dates with a total stranger. I’m coming to a realization that you absolutely have to take it slow, in the way you say it – make it about going on dates, meeting new people, and seeing what happens, not about “Always Be Closing”. And, if my past experience is any indication, you end up with more friends/casual friends/activity partners and even business connections when you date with this attitude.

      Unfortunately, I’m afraid that a lot of the people we’ll meet online will brand us as a player or a flake for having that approach. I’ll be happy to be proven wrong on this one.

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      • D. Says:

        Unfortunately, I’m afraid that a lot of the people we’ll meet online will brand us as a player or a flake for having that approach. I’ll be happy to be proven wrong on this one.

        This is worth discussing, because I think it’s something that can end up paralyzing people — especially those who feel they’ve gotten the short (and sometimes pointy) end of the stick in the past. There can often be this sense that, because you know how disappointing/frustrating it can be to have someone lose interest, you worry about the other person feeling bad if and when you lose interest in them or aren’t that interested to begin with.

        Put simply, that’s not your problem. Most of the time that’s just basic disappointment at the fact that this other person wasn’t into them to the degree they wanted. People tend to demonize those whom they date when they turned out to just not be that interested. While it’s true that, sometimes, the method by which people make that clear can be rude or inconsiderate, in most cases, simply losing interest alone doesn’t make someone a bad person.

        You don’t owe someone else the relationship with you that they want, especially not in early dating (and, really, anything before about 2 months is early dating — and probably for a while after that, too), and especially not when you just aren’t into them. Are you supposed to just date them anyway, even though you’re not interested? Were you supposed to know in advance that you wouldn’t be interested, if you gave them a real chance and didn’t otherwise mislead them? Generally speaking, my attitude is that as long as you didn’t act like a jerk or mislead the other person, it’s really not your responsibility to handle their disappointment.

        Moreover, worrying about that can lead you to be really hesitant to make any kind of move at all, and can paralyze you with the concern of “But what if they end up sad at the end?!” Dating is risky. Everyone who dates either knows or should know that they are running the risk of their feelings being hurt, so “caveat dator.” You’re responsible for managing your own feelings and for being enough of a grownup to recognize when someone really was a jackass towards you, and when you’re just bummed that it didn’t work out.

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        • mxf Says:

          I agree with all this. I had that fear of letting people down when I first started dating, and I think it held me back quite a bit. I would end up going on second or third dates with anyone who was forcefully enthusiastic about seeing me again, even if I was ambivalent, because I didn’t see the harm in letting their conviction carry us both along.

          But, unsurprisingly, those connections never developed on my side, and it made for a couple of awkward exits when I faced that reality. I wanted to be able to feel my own enthusiasm about getting to know someone. Plus, after I was the one on the unrequited-enthusiasm end a couple of times, and it didn’t make me feel like I was dying, I was able to relax a lot. But I did make myself tell people directly why I wasn’t moving forward with more dates. It helped me enormously with being able to say what I want from situations in general.

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    • Matt Says:

      “You can date people short term with the understanding that you’re basically just killing time until something better comes along. You can date people because they’re fun even though you know it probably won’t lead to something more — all while looking around to hopefully find something better.”

      The problem with that is even though YOU might be doing that, the other person isn’t necessarily doing the same thing. Even when you try to manage their expectations about what’s going to happen, there will still be feelings rejection when you cut it off.

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      • D. Says:

        The problem with that is even though YOU might be doing that, the other person isn’t necessarily doing the same thing. Even when you try to manage their expectations about what’s going to happen, there will still be feelings rejection when you cut it off.

        Which, as I said, is their problem, not yours.

        You aren’t responsible for their feelings, and they aren’t responsible for yours, as long as neither of you has actively misled the other.

        Grownups understand that there are no guarantees in dating, and that nobody owes you another date. If you’re having fun with someone, continue to date them. Simple as that.

        Now, if you KNOW they want something more WITH YOU and that they will interpret your continuing to date them as you wanting more with them, AND you know that you don’t, yeah, you should probably not be a dick and call it off. At that point, I’d say continuing to date someone is basically leading them on.

        But outside of that scenario, if you’re just enjoying each others’ company, and nobody’s said anything either way, then why worry about it? Just continue to date them and if they bring the issue up, then you can decide which way to go. If you end up losing interest prior to that because someone better came along, so what? It’s not like you are contractually bound to keep dating this other person. Christ, it’s just dating, not marriage!

        I think it’s really, really easy to get overly focused on managing the future, trying to anticipate where everything is headed, both for your own sake and for the other person. And the problem with that is often that, while you’re busy trying to navigate a future that hasn’t happened yet, you aren’t paying attention to the present and what’s right in front of you. That can lead you to ignoring/missing red flags, or putting yourself in a “White Knight” position where you make yourself responsible for everyone else’s feelings, often at the expense of your own. That might feel morally good on a level, but it also usually winds up keeping you perpetually single.

        You can actually make a better connection with someone and build a real relationship more easily if you aren’t spending your time trying to protect the other person’s feelings and are, instead, focusing on your own. And I don’t mean in terms of, like, selfish indulgence. I’m talking about being focused on the present with this person and actually engaging with them in the moment. Basically, you can’t build a relationship with someone if you don’t have a foundation of shared experiences for it, and you can’t create real shared experiences if you aren’t present in the moment with them and always have your eye/mind looking towards the future.

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        • fuzzilla Says:

          **You can actually make a better connection with someone and build a real relationship more easily if you aren’t spending your time trying to protect the other person’s feelings**

          Yeah, it muddies the waters if you try to guess the other person’s feelings because you could easily be wrong (whether you’re the “let’s just see” party or you’re on the “OMG, I like him/her soooo much” end). Sure, move on if the other person makes it obvious they’re crazy about you and you ain’t feelin’ it, but sometimes “let’s just see how things go” really is the best course of action. Advocate for yourself and assume the other person is enough of an adult to do so for themselves.

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        • DrivingMeNutes Says:

          There is no one that does not already know this. The reason people feel guilty is because they pretty much know the other person “wants more” at a given time whether it’s been discussed or not. It’s true it’s not your problem – but that’s true whether you are “leading them on” intentionally or not. Either way, no consequence other than guilt. Grownups already know this.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

          • D. Says:

            You would think, right? And yet, it’s still a lesson that some folks have to learn.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

        • Goldie Says:

          I had one scary experience, where I told the guy on date 5 that it wasn’t working between us, and he didn’t take it very well. Or rather, he took it well at first. Then an hour later, started bombarding me with angry texts. Then, another two hours later, with apologies and sappy texts. Then three days later, sent a bunch of angry messages from his phone at midnight to an email address I’d never given him. Then denied ever sending the messages. He was 6’6″, knew where I lived, and had bragged to me that his uncle was “a lawyer for the local mafia”. All of that left me a bit terrified. Admittedly, nothing else happened, so I wasted $10 on pepper spray for nothing. I will also admit to the fact that I’d started dating too soon after a big breakup, and my judgment wasn’t what it usually is. Otherwise, that weirdo would’ve never made it past one date. But I think this is still something to keep in mind when you’re letting people down gently. They could get angry and do stupid things.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

          • Colin Says:

            Goldie, let me ask you this. Of those 5 dates, how many did he pay for? How much did you pay for? If it wasn’t 50-50, I think he has a right to be mad although stalking and threatening is taking it too far. Do you feel any guilt that you started dating him too soon after the breakup?

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 1 Thumb down 10

            • Goldie Says:

              I keep my dates inexpensive. The first one was coffee. The last one I got an appetizer and couldn’t even touch it because I was too upset, at the end I asked him if he wanted to box it and take it home and he said sure. Something cheapish in between. He paid, because the guys in my age group/geographical area insist on paying. The usual song and dance, I’d wave my wallet at him, he’d say “I’ve got it”, repeat on the next date. Either way he made it explicitly clear that he was mad about me having wasted his time, not his money. How you can get to know a person better without spending both your and their time, I cannot tell you. I do not have that ability.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

            • D. Says:

              Eh, not really. He has a right to be disappointed, sure, but not mad about it. Unless Goldie, like, knowingly bullshitted him into going on additional dates when she already knew she wasn’t interested in him, he’s got no reason to be pissed.

              Most guys understand that the social mores surrounding dating still pretty much assume that he’ll be paying early on. If a woman chips in here or there, gets the tab, buys drinks or whatever, cool, but the unwritten expectation is that the guy’s gonna pay. You can rant about it, but that doesn’t change the fact. You can try to buck the trend and ask her to pay, but that carries risks, too (namely that she won’t go out with you again).

              And let’s flip it around for a second here. While sex and spending money on a date aren’t the same thing in an apples-to-apples comparison, they’re often used as the thing that the other party has to “give up” or risk in dating. So, let’s say she slept with him on date 2 or so, and then on every date after that. Does the fact that they slept together entitle her to be mad at him if he loses interest after date 5 and calls it off?

              Of course not. That’s fucking absurd (no pun intended).

              It’s simple, really. Nobody owes you anything because you took a risk in dating. And dating is, ultimately, all a bit of a risk. Early dating can blow up in your face any time, often for no reason whatsoever other than “Sorry, just not interested in continuing this.” Paying money for dates, sex on dates, even early statements involving “futurespeak” like “I can’t wait to introduce you to [other people in my life]” aren’t binding contracts.

              You can be disappointed that it didn’t work out, sure. Maybe even think of the other person as a flake or an idiot or whathaveyou. But most of the time, that’s just frustration about the rug having been pulled out from under you, and is more just about your own disappointment than about them being a bad person.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

            • Parenting Says:

              Dude, that has nothing to do with psycho behavior. I had a guy I never even met blow up my phone for HOURS alternately begging for a second chance at a date and calling me every name in the book.

              Sane guys say, “You’re not in the right frame of mind to date me. Best of luck. Bye.” They don’t go psycho on you because they bought you a couple of lobsters.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

          • BTownGirl Says:

            Not to be rude, but this is one for the I Love Drama books.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  10. SalsaSeeksCheeps Says:

    The online sites are not for networking or making friends.

    Your supposed to be pursuing relationships, which include sex.

    Get over it ladies. Y’all know how this works. You get the commitment after the sex, not before.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 24

    • Eliza Says:

      No Salsa…nothing is guaranteed. And it’s not a barter system here–you do not exchange “sex” for “commitment” – welcome to 2016. Doesn’t work that way.
      Online sites/apps are for “dating”, that does not equate to “pursuing relationships”.
      Completely different ideas there.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

    • Colin Says:

      I totally agree. I’m sure this post will receive a lot of dislikes but, overall, dating is just a game. Women are worried about men using them for sex. Men are worried about women using them for money and free meals. Some women require a higher price (i.e. more dates) than others for sex. Why not just negotiate everything upfront? that way everyone is happy

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

      • Eliza Says:

        Colin. This is why I do not accept “free meals” from any man. I will buy my own $2.99 coffee if/when we meet at a Starbucks. Secondly, I don’t exchange sex for security or commitment, nor do I exchange sex for a meal/night out. I will get intimate when I feel comfortable and ready to do so. Dating doesn’t have to be a game if people were upfront. Also, I can’t negotiate my feelings that way.
        It’s not a transaction. The oldest profession in the world can be negotiated as you know.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  11. LTL FTC Says:

    Faster answer to LW: you’re not doing as good a job hiding your anger towards men as you think you are. Dollars to donuts, I bet you have a long list of “do not contact me if” in your profile and expect men to audition for your affections while making no effort to make a good impression yourself. Get out of the dating pool and don’t come back until you don’t lithe your target audience.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 20

  12. LTL FTC Says:

    “Loathe” not lithe.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  13. Matt Says:

    “Everybody sucks. Everybody.” What a remarkably pessimistic and cynical view of things.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 5

  14. So Says:

    “Everybody sucks. Everybody.” What a remarkably sagacious and kind view of all human beings!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

  15. Mark Says:

    Dragon Lady (the LW)

    You mention on line dating and your building frustrations.

    Some would say that on line dating has progressed (others might say regressed) from profile driven to swipe left or right. In essence, the process has telescoped. Telescoped as in quick decisions. This process reinforces the mentality of a photo is not a person until you actually meet and know the person. It may not seem right or fair, but that’s the way it is.

    No responses, people flaking out, bailing, etc? Sorry, but that’s the current norm. Just as men have complained about the difficulties they have experienced in the past using the medium, I wouldn’t be surprised that your frustrations are becoming the current norm for women and men.

    Consider this part of your letter:
    “Basically, I feel as though men get to behave in as craven and cruel a manner as they want, and they never suffer or get called out on it. It’s led to a few embarrassing text exchanges, for sure. The supermarket mentality is in full swing even in men in their 20s, and they can be infuriatingly vague about what they are looking for.”

    When you translate that lack of success into anger, mistrust then you need to: re calibrate your expectations, alter your mind set as to lack of success. This anger may even com across in your profile, photo’s etc. when you meet people, this pent up feeling can easily be picked up on. Can’t speak for others, but I wouldn’t want to be around someone with a chip on their shoulder, much less date them.

    Moxie does make a valid point. If you choose to use this medium, then a thicker skin is needed.

    Best of luck and hope things improve.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  16. Colin Says:

    I totally agree with Moxie on this one. It works both ways. Why do men get away with being a*holes? Why do women get away with being b*ches? If a guy sleeps with a woman after 3-4 dates then dumps her, he’s an a*hole. But if a woman goes out with a guy and enjoys 3-4 free meals and then tells him “we’re just not a fit”, that’s okay. Double standard!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 11

    • Goldie Says:

      Like multiple commenters above have said, no one owes anybody anything. Yes the guy can go out with me 3-4 times, have sex, and then decide I’m not it. Totally fair. Does not make him an a*hole. What’s the alternative seriously? I for one would not want a man to keep dating me out of obligation or guilt because he thinks he has to, since we’ve had sex. Just like you, I assume, would not want to end up in a LTR or marriage where the woman feels obligated to stay with you for no reason other than that, way back when, you bought her three or four meals. Doesn’t that sound ridiculous to you? Isn’t it actually a good thing that people do not operate that way?

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

    • Yvonne Says:

      Right, because sharing your body with someone is the same as sharing a meal.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

    • Eliza Says:

      That’s why – just go dutch. So the men don’t whine/cry about a $20 meal. Expect very little, and just see if the person is somewhat compatible.

      But nothing worse than a man whining about paying for meal like some little girl that got her balloon popped. Pathetic.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

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