I’ve resisted writing explicitly about online dating for a long time because it’s been done to various degrees of death and dying. However, my latest ventures back into the online pool have been different. For starters, I’ve actually given Bumble a proper go which seems to be yielding a better quality of men if not as hefty a basket. The pool seems even smaller than it did previously, and I only narrowly avoided making another eskimo sister with a work colleague recently.
The risk of dating someone that your friends have already dated is high in the big small towns and it’s a scenario I’ve tried to avoid since the awkwardness of my Harvey the Married days. To protect the person involved, I won’t say more except to say no one comes out a winner when you unknowingly share a man with friends.
But back to the pool. The last time I was single, I got my arse handed to me more than once by well-intentioned men whom I served a plate of cold, hard cynicism. Today, I was able to return the favour to a man who goes by the name of LogicTrance. Unfortunately for Mr Trance, his unsolicited attack on my character had no basis in logic. It was evident from his opening message to me and his entire bio that he had been burned or used as a result of online dating in the past. He made no effort to disguise this and took the opportunity to try and evoke some sort of response from me (unedited):
This must be one of those messages where regardless how appealing that may be no reply will be received … these are normally the cases with profiles that have restrictions in place.
The restrictions to which he referred was that in order to message me, men had to craft a message at least 50 characters long. A restriction I find helps filter out the men whose opening lines consist solely of “hi”, “hi there”, “hey there”, “you’re gorgeous” (although rarely using the correct you’re) or other mundane and completely ordinary shit.
My response to him was:
I have restrictions to weed out the men who don’t make any effort. It seems you’ve had a run of fake profiles and I understand the frustration. However, to kick off a message with such cynicism isn’t particularly endearing. I’ve had my share of trolls, perverts and liars which is why my profile is blunt and restricted. But I also sense you wrote that to incite a reaction and in that only have you been successful.
No to be honest women only seem to reply when they have something negative to say, I can guarantee you with my message was pleasant we would not be chatting right now.
Fake profiles don’t bother me I can smell them from a mile away, it’s the women that have wasted my time playing games and then disappearing for no reason at all, one after the other, month after month. And if I accept the fact that they no longer want to talk that’s when they come back and start stirring and calling me names because they are nothing but narcissistic women who love conflicting pain….after a while this has an effect on an individual’s mind but no one here seems to care.
You can take this message as you please because at the end of the day it makes no difference what I write to you.. that has been proven
And it would not bother me if you did not reply because it’s not as if I have approached you in a sense of what this place is actually designed for.
This is, of course, confusing. Why message me at all if you anticipated my response? And if it’s not the response you wanted, then what the hell were you looking for? But, you see, this is what trolls do. They write deliberately enraging messages to try and stir shit. Mr Trance, however, is just an jaded idiot.
Then why message me in the first place? For someone with logic in their profile name, there is very little in your argument.
At last he concedes and reverses tack:
I have to hand it to you, you are right. I guess i messaged you out of frustration and hurt. Sorry as im sure thats not what u signed up for. I hope you find yourself a nice guy. Thank you for listening x
At this point I realise that Mr Trance has realised what a dick he’s been to me without cause. I know this because this was me, six months ago. I remember being messaged by a self-described former pro rugby player, with a bangin’ bod and a vocabulary to match. So, naturally, I was immediately on the defensive, because why the fuck would a hot, intelligent guy be interested in chatting to me. I responded with scathing insecurity and told him we couldn’t possibly have anything in common as I loathe most sport.
He served me up a dose of hard reality and told me I had pre-judged him and wished me well in finding someone who was genuinely interested. It was clear my past experiences had burned me up and it was a sad moment for me. I endeavoured to try and be more open-minded and as a consequence, I probably allowed people into my life I wouldn’t ordinarily have considered. Did it work out? Absolutely not, but there was a valuable lesson in it for me and one I hope I’ve passed on to Mr Trance today.
Yep, online dating sucks the hairiest, sweatiest set of poached eggs imaginable (they absolutely do look like that fellas), but it’s one of those necessary evils to get you outside that immediate dating pool of friends of friends. Universe knows I have enough eskimo sisters to crowd even the largest igloo.