The text said … “call me” – with a number attached.
And so I did.
Now I want to know… Why?
Another day and another match on Bumble aka Tinder for old people. When you match with someone on this app, the woman gets to reach out first. I have a lot of difficulty with this one. What’s the first thing to say to someone here? “Hi, I have no idea what I’m looking for and in fact this may just be an experiment to see if men are still the same as I remember them” doesn’t have much nuance to it. “I haven’t been on a date in 20 years” seems like a mine field. I usually go with something harmless, something from their profile. Date #2 had said something lovely about his ex-wife and kids and so I commented on that. So began the conversation. He immediately told me he hates texting. Red Flag. I LOVE TEXTING. But I can live without it. He immediately wanted to meet IRL. (that’s “in real life” as the kids say) I told him I was moving way slower. I said we could chat a bit more and see. I needed to see someone’s face before I met them. We exchanged numbers. The next day the text popped up at 11am.
“Call me” – with his number.
And I did. Right then and there like a good little soldier. I picked up the phone and called him. Zero boundaries in place. I jumped into the abyss. I got lectured for about 45 minutes about how I needed to be, and what my issues were and why I was being so hard on the dating process and blah blah blah. At the end of the conversation – hours after I’d hung up – I realized that some other version of me was on that call. I don’t even know who she was. Some girlchild had stepped up to speak and got bully whacked right back to her place. She was very unsure of what she was saying and what she was saying was how she actually felt. How dare she!
Having boundaries is difficult.
They are challenged. Questioned. Ridiculed.
You may be backed into a corner and forced to shout your truest truth when things like this are said…
“You need to lighten up.”
“It’s just dating, chill out.”
“Go with the flow.”
“We’re just having fun.”
Any or all of these statements infuriate me. But what do you say? “Men have used me as a chew toy my whole life and I have massive walls thanks to your gender?”
This is the challenging part for me about this online dating nightmare. How much do you say about how you got to this place?
Date #2 wanted to know why I hadn’t dated in years. They all want to know your dating history on the app or other apps. I don’t know why this is, perhaps they are trying to find out if you know other women they’ve fucked or fucked over on the app. I was vague but gave enough information for him to use against me. He basically called bullshit on all of it. This was weird. And hurtful. And made me revert to a small child. We hung up. I was pissed. And I got more pissed as the hours passed. I deleted him from the app so he can’t even find me.
How did that happen? How did an incredibly tough and strong-willed woman get talked right back to the bad place? Was it my fault? Did I reveal too much?
I realized that my first zoom date was a lot of me smiling, ACTING like I was interested. “Wow, that’s so fascinating” came out of my mouth. It was not fascinating. At best it was dull. So, this time it was the real me on the phone and apparently, I need to lighten up. Sigh. I can’t folks. I don’t want or need small talk. I’ve had enough of that in my life. I want real conversations or I’m out. One male friend said – “don’t you have to have the small talk to get to the big talk?” And I guess my answer is – why?
So, I talked to an expert. My friend Kat. She said her therapist told her to say “This is my Crazy. What’s yours.” Weed out the people who aren’t for you. And I like this. Not, “hello I’ve been raped, assaulted, etc. and have issues” crazy but “hi I haven’t been doing this because it seems weird and uncomfortable to me” crazy.
Before date number two and I even got on the phone he said – “are you on social? Here’s my Instagram. Whats yours?” I was afraid to release this information because you know – between my blog and podcast – it’s all my CRAZY. But I did. So when we did talk on the phone I was surprised by how surprised he was at what kind of person I am. I said – well it’s all on my Instagram. He said “Oh I never looked at it.” He just wanted me to see his. Which was a lot of shots of him working out.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is… I’m not going to chill out. I’m going to just be me. I’m going to know my worth, recognize my faults, and live the life I have worked very hard to live.
I’m available to be swept off my feet. And if that’s too hard, or too much to ask – then I’ll stay in my lane. Where I’ve happily been for quite some time. I’ve been sweeping myself off my feet for years. I am awesome.
Date #3 is even better.
Please Stand By.