Let me just preface this by saying; if you have these turned on you are a monster who just wants to watch the world burn. I’m obviously talking from a dating perspective here – I understand some people need to have them turned on for work purposes, but in general, I’m not a fan.
There’s nothing more emotionally crushing than asking a potential love interest a lighthearted question such as “How was your day?” or “Did that presentation go okay?” and seeing that it’s been read but getting no response, OR getting a response so late in the game that the question being asked is now irrelevant. If we have crossed over into a new day, then you have taken too long to respond and I no longer care what your answer is.
Eventually he does text back though, and then what? What are the options?
1 – You keep your response time normal like everything’s peachy because you can’t let the crazy out this early on,
2 – You think, ‘Game on’, and double the time he took to write back,
3 – You don’t respond and wait till he texts again (yeah that’s right bitch, you can double text if you want me, commit the ultimate texting faux pas), or
4 – You block his number from ever contacting you again because he clearly hates you and was probably banging someone else when you texted.
Is it all part of a game? I personally would say I’m too old for games and tend not to play them too hard till a card like this is drawn and then I start channeling Britney Spears… Oh, it is ONNN!
TechCrunch describe read receipts as an “effortless way to make people feel ignored”. Read receipts are just a way for someone to get the upper hand! They say, “I was soooo busy I just couldn’t respond”. As if! It takes 23 seconds to send a text, even something like, “Hey I’m just having dinner, will call you later”, is better than nothing.
It’s so much more insulting to know that someone has read your text and has absolutely no sense of urgency to write back… It’s as if they don’t GAF. I’m putting a plea out: for the love of god, say no to read receipts. Just turn them off! Respond to my text when you see fit but don’t leave me counting the minutes since knowing you last read my text.
I’d much rather come up with theories such as your phone is dead/lost/stolen, you’ve fallen asleep, you’ve written a reply but forgotten to press send, your cat is sleeping on your phone, all your fingers broke simultaneously, you’re in jail or you’ve died in a fire.
In a recent bid to go off the (dating) grid I decided to delete all my dating profiles to take a break, re-focus, and try to shake the jaded animosity the online dating world had drawn out of me.
It was around this time that I was also quite enjoying the trance music scene and had been added to a Facebook group that kept its members updated on the latest trance news and events. Someone had posted some video footage from an event I had attended and I ‘liked’ it, nek minnit the guy that had posted the video had sent me a private message on Facebook asking me out! Was Facebook the new Tinder?
Earlier that day I had been asked by a friend what I was looking for in a partner because she was going to see if any of her guy friends fit the bill. I came up with 5 things off the top of my head (in no particular order):
Good sense of humour
Able to carry a conversation
Stuff in common – I’d love to date someone into house/progressive/trance music
Likes to go out and be social, gigs, festivals etc. No homebodies.
I thought to myself, well this dude obviously ticks two of those boxes seeing as he was into the same music/festivals as I was, so I thought I’d give him a chance. Could you imagine if that’s all I had to do this whole time? Just write some shit down and the universe would hand it to me? Sound too good to be true??
We chatted over Facebook messenger for a while and I learned he was tall (tick!), 35 (age appropriate: tick!), studying law (brains: tick!), previously worked in IT (was made redundant and took the opportunity to go back to study) and owned a house on the Central Coast (shit together: tick!). Normally a potential match would be eliminated if I found out they lived that far away (Mordor), but seeing as he was constantly in Sydney due to study, I decided to roll with it. We messaged back and forth for hours, sending each other music tracks and just getting to know one another – he seemed normal enough. He promised to call me the following evening and we said goodnight.
I have mixed emotions regarding talking to guys on the phone. It stresses me out and I find it highly invasive – at least with a text you can read it and respond when you have the time, a phone call is so demanding and quite full-on if you don’t know the person very well. I don’t even phone my friends much, let alone speak to some stranger I met over Facebook! But then on the other hand, speaking to someone voice-on-voice can give you a better idea of the person they are so when the phone call came, I answered.
We actually got on really well, spoke for over an hour and he ‘got’ my sense of humour so I was feeling pretty optimistic about actually meeting this guy. Better yet he didn’t sound like a coastie bogan! Miracle!
We texted over the next couple of days and during one conversation he revealed he had been previously engaged, and the reason the marriage didn’t go ahead was because his fiance died from Leukemia. CLASSIC OVERSHARE. Although I empathized with him, it was probably a little soon to be divulging this to someone you hadn’t even met yet… Nonetheless I was still willing to give it a shot.
Then he suggested we go to quite a lavish restaurant for our first date which I’m sure most girls would find incredibly romantic but that sort of arrangement is way too much in my opinion for a first meeting. Maybe for like the 3rd/4th date but for date #1 I wanted to do something more casual just in case (god forbid) I had to pull a Houdini. What if we didn’t get along and I was trapped on a 3-course date? Hell no.
We decided on lunch and drinks the following Sunday. Whilst deciding on a place he asked me if I’d seen 50 Shades of Grey (it had just come out at the movies) but I’d seen it immediately with my girlfriends and told him so. He was mildly upset because he thought we could’ve seen it together after lunch. I mused that it was an odd movie choice for a guy and that’s when he casually mentioned he “practices”. So what – I was dating Christian Grey now??
The clincher for me though was the message I received early on Valentine’s Day:
My reaction after getting that was actual horror. WHY did this guy think that this was OK? If the over-the-top first date, incessant texting and S&M hadn’t turned me off at this point, this ridiculous gesture on Valentine’s Day had sealed the deal. The date was off.
I thought I was blunt enough for him to take the hint but apparently not. He continued to text me sporadically for the next two months.
I’m not sure what dating game he’s familiar with but whatever it is it’s not from this world. And “easy going” must roughly translate to “casual stalker” surely? He even went to the lengths of filming his bird saying “Hello” over and over again to try and spark a response:
At least he hadn’t trained it to say “Hello Claudia” or “I love you” because then I probably would’ve alerted the police. From this moment forward he was referred to as “Bird Man”.
Even throwing the dead fiance in as a last ditch attempt of contact! Nooooo!! I don’t think I’ve ever experienced desperation level 861 but now I can safely say I have. Chalk that one up to the list! Maybe I’ll do a follow up text in a year’s time like this guy did:
I sometimes see guys on Tinder that I’ve matched with before because when you delete the app then re-download it (5th time lucky for me!!) it wipes any history and your dating pool is replenished. Thank god for that, right?
I had seen Steve a few times on Tinder and more recently Happn so I decided it was about time we went for a drink. I also noticed that we had a mutual friend which always seems to make things less creepy. Speaking of creepy, please excuse the time that I sent my first message, it was a Wednesday night (not typical for a booty call) and I had insomnia. He seemed normal enough, he was tall AF, and there I was thinking, “This’ll be funny, a fellow veteran of Tinder, imagine the lols!” Not quite.
So a grown man was basically throwing a tantrum because a) I wasn’t available at an hours’ notice, and b) I wouldn’t go over to his place for an initial meeting. Is this real life?
Obviously he was trying to say that you can tell if a person is a reputable human being by the photos they upload on Tinder. Um, I’m sorry what? Just because you opted for a picture of you on the beach doesn’t make you a non-serial killer. Although I suppose if you were posing with a dead corpse I may have my suspicions… My point is you can’t tell shit about someone from their pics. Dumbest statement ever, made even dumber by the misspell.
Shortly after this exchange he unmatched me, never to be seen again. Oh, except through our mutual friend on Facebook! May as well hit her up and find out how she knows this freak. Turns out she had dated him a couple of times last year and she offered this insight; “He didn’t seem too bad. A little keen but harmless enough”. So he WASN’T a serial killer?? Dammit did I just lose my one chance at true love? Ah well, plenty more dregs in the sea, all aboard the Tinder Train to continue my journey!
I had been talking to Ben on Tinder for a short period of time when he asked me to have dinner with him and perhaps see a movie. A movie for a first date was an odd suggestion coming from someone over the age of 13 (this guy was 31), but I tentatively agreed. Obviously if he turned out to be a freak I wouldn’t be spending 2 hours in a dark cinema with him. We organized to meet one Friday evening and it wasn’t till a couple of people asked me in the lead up what he did for work, that I realized I didn’t actually know a lot about this guy. But that’s what a date is for, to get to know someone better and at least we’d have heaps to talk about, right?
I’d almost reached the bar when he rang to ask what drink I’d like. Major points for that one Romeo, drink on arrival, impressive! Luckily he was standing at the bar with our two drinks because his pics on Tinder were all surfing shots taken from 26km away except for one which was dark and grainy… It was practically a blind date.
He was tall, dressed well and wasn’t channeling Quasimodo released from the bell tower so we were on track for a great date…or so I thought. We took a seat in the cocktail lounge area and the conversation turned to his recent move to Sydney. He had moved around a bit and I asked if this was related to his job. That’s when the first bomb dropped, “I was previously married… well technically I’m still married but we’ve been separated for over 12 months”. I’m thinking ok, well whatever… we’re both in our 30s… people have pasts… it’s not the end of the world… I let it slide. He then dropped a second bomb, “I also have 2 children”.
MAJOR deal breaker! Definitely something you should mention before the first date.
Me: “Why wouldn’t you tell me that?”
Him: “I usually do bring it up quite quickly but because we hadn’t been talking for very long, as I was telling you just now I realized it hadn’t been discussed.”
I asked him how old they were… 3 and 6 so it’s not like they were even close to being able to take care of themselves! I started rambling as to why him having children wasn’t going to work for me:
I’m not maternal at all
I don’t know if I want kids
I can’t even take care of myself let alone raise another human being
Do you know what he said? “Well that’s the perfect answer.” I was like:
Perfect answer for what exactly?
He asked me if we should just call it right there and end the date which in hindsight I probably should’ve but felt like a total bitch to just be like, “Cya round”, so we continued the date and he bought us another round of drinks.
I asked him why the marriage ended and he told me that he found out his wife was cheating on him. After he’d found an incriminating text he apparently “snapped”, moved states, unknowingly signed over both their properties, his ute etc. to her and basically lost everything overnight. He hadn’t seen his kids either. Now at this point I’m thinking; there’s more to this story than what he’s telling me. So I queried his use of the word “snapped”, what did he mean by that? Did he mean that he had anger issues and was going to hurt somebody or what? That’s when the third bomb was revealed: he had STAGE ONE BI POLAR. Oh good!
Me: “Sooooo, you’re medicated?”
Him: “Oh nah I just manage it with diet”.
Me: “What, really?”
Him: “Nah I’m kidding, I’m medicated”.
He was turning it into a joke?? The only laughter heard was from me nervously trying to laugh it off like it was nothing. He explained that his diagnosis was characterized by anxiety and depression, which let’s face it, are fairly common practice these days anyway, and with that he ordered more drinks.
I actually felt bad for the guy… Cheating wife, losing everything overnight, not being able to see his kids and now bi polar? He seemed like a lovely guy, he had definitely been well trained in terms of being polite and attentive; he’d just had a bad run.
He had paid for every round without hesitation but I was kinda thinking well, so he should after basically misleading me. I’m not sure how the next bomb was brought up; it’s like it came out of nowhere. I had navigated the date like a minefield and it wasn’t over yet.
“I should probably also mention that I have Lupus”.
The first thing that came into my head is: this is a serious illness, like on the level of MS, but I couldn’t quite remember what it was. He explained to me that it’s when a person has too many white blood cells which means that they heal really fast if they cut themselves but the downside is chronic pain in their day-to-day lives.
Funnily enough I saw a program later that week where a woman couldn’t get out of bed, go in the sun or go to work because she had Lupus. Obviously this guy wasn’t suffering too badly seeing as he was getting around on a surf board and holding down a job but still, most people aren’t signing up to be a caregiver on the first date.
He didn’t really go into all the symptoms, just the boosted healing power, chronic pain and said it was an auto immune disease. I also suffer from an auto immune disease (ulcerative colitis) so I jumped in with that, again trying to make light of it, laugh it off and not make it awkward but internally I was starting to panic. How do I get out of this date??
We ended up moving to the bistro area to get some food – thank god because I was drinking on an empty stomach and was starting to get tipsy. He was also getting drunk and quite frankly, a bit annoying, saying childish things and starting to rub me the wrong way. He wanted a chicken Caesar salad under the guise of it being a “healthy” option which I laughed at and pretty much bullied him into getting a steak. First of all; what man orders a salad, and second of all; a Caesar salad was potentially the unhealthiest choice on the menu.
He got up to go and order our food saying, “Oh I’ll get this,” but he didn’t seem happy about it. Oh no was I supposed to offer to pay? Great, now he’s got the shits! I’m feeling really uncomfortable about the whole situation so while he’s up at the counter paying for our order I’m literally scanning the room judging how far away the door is. Could I make a break for it? But no, that’s totally mean. Him turning back to our seats and I’m just gone? LOL. Ok, I’m lying. If the door had been closer I would’ve done it. I wanted OUT.
He came back to the table and got out his phone saying, “So are we going to see this movie? I should check the times…” I couldn’t believe this guy was still thinking the date was going well enough that we would continue it for another 2 hours!! I looked at him with a pained look and shook my head. He said, “So you don’t want to see a movie with me?” I tried to let him down gently but it didn’t quite work.
Him (bitterly): “Oh, so I’ve just paid for your dinner…”
Me (babbling): “No that’s fine, I’m happy to pay for my meal… look I’m not having a terrible time I just don’t think I want to see the movie. There’s been a lot of new information to process on this date but at the same time you’re new to Sydney, I have quite a few connections, we could still be mates”.
Meanwhile there’s no way in hell I was ever seeing or speaking to this man again but I didn’t need him flying off the handle at me in a public place. He did anyway, standing up to say, “Well that just shows how pretentious you are. Enjoy your meal”. And with that he WALKED OUT! I was sitting at the table actually laughing, I could not believe how this had panned out.
I ran up to the kitchen window to cancel our meals but it was too late they would be ready in 5 minutes. Fuck, what do I do now? I saw a guy seated near me and his mate was approaching with beers. I walked up to their table and said:
Me: “This is really random, but have you guys eaten?”
One said yes, the other no.
Me: “Reason I ask is that I’ve just had a Tinder date go terribly wrong and I was wondering if you guys wanted our food?”
Guy 1: “Please sit down and join us! We need to hear this story”.
So I filled them in on the date and we had a good laugh. I ate my schnitzel while the boys shared his steak saying things like, “This steak is too well done, I didn’t order this!” We had so much fun and held great banter. One of the guys even gave me his number under the premise that I’d send him the link to my blog once it was up and running. I doubted this was the only reason seeing as his friend kept mentioning that he was single and even took a picture of us on his phone saying, “Cute couple!” So not only had I turned the date from hell into an enjoyable experience with complete strangers, but I now had another guy’s phone number as well. #winning!
I received a text from Ben during dinner:
“You know so many people, but your on Tinder…. Good one”
I read it out to the boys and we laughed at his incorrect use of ‘your’. Another text came through minutes later.
“Your beautiful by the way!”
LOL was this guy serious? Obviously that’s the bi polar coming out?
I’m not sure if your phone does this but when I add new numbers to it, it syncs with Facebook and brings them up in your “People You May Know” section. The guy who gave me his number soon pops up on Facebook and guess what? He’s far from single! Every pic is of him and what I assume to be his significant other. What a dickhead! Does nothing to restore my faith in men, let me tell you.
I also received a further text from Ben at about 7am the next day saying; “Thanks for lastnight, thus is how it ended” (spelling errors on point), with a picture of a pokie machine. At first I was confused thinking – is he saying I drove him to gamble? But then I looked closer and realized he’d won over a grand so then I didn’t feel so bad for letting him pay for everything!
OK so unless you’ve been living under a rock for some time, you will have heard about the dating app Tinder. How it works is this: you judge a potential match based on their profile photos (and possibly a vague, irrelevant tag line) by swiping right for yes or left for no. If both parties have mutually liked one another, a match is made and 90% of the time that’s it. No one actually messages each other, it’s like a Mexican stand-off as to who will write first. And so you keep on playing i.e. swiping as fast as your thumb will allow.
I have a love-hate relationship with Tinder… well mostly hate tbh. I have deleted and re-downloaded it about 5 times over the space of a year and a half. Why do I keep getting lured back? I’ll tell you. A few of my close friends have met partners through Tinder and are still happily together. This small percentage of successful interactions keeps the dream alive for me. Maybe it’ll be different this time? But it never is.
We are living in such a fickle generation where everyone is waiting for the next best thing. We as a society have been geared to always be chasing instant gratification. Hungry? Order food to your door. Bored? Stream movies (porn) right to your tv or laptop. Need something new but can’t afford it? Credit cards!
Enter Tinder; dating takeaway! Why go out to a bar and be rejected publicly when you can do it within the safety of your home – it’s far more efficient and far less humiliating. Better yet – it’s free! I liken Tinder to watching Foxtel; you find something that you could be okay watching, but you keep flicking just in case something better is on. Why settle when you have a million channels to choose from? I find online dating tedious and quite frankly, boring! Being asked how my day was, or better yet, how was work, does nothing to get my fires burning. Unless it’s my rage fire.
But yet the hope remains that I will someday come across someone who doesn’t open with the word, “Hey” or “What’s your Snapchat so I can send you a dick pic?”
Well there it is, my first post done and dusted. Stay tuned, I’m just getting started 😉