Being in a relationship for such a long time meant that I knew nothing about single life as an adult. I had been with one person for a very long time and I thought that is how all relationships were. The problem with this was that I believed that men didn’t prioritize women, found them a nuisance or a nag, didn’t really care about them, didn’t want to be seen out with them once they had gotten them and didn’t listen or support them, among MANY other damaging beliefs that we will save for later. It is very safe to say I was in a very unhealthy relationship and it had left its mark. I found myself as a 25-year-old woman feeling like a teenager, completely clueless.
So after finishing a long-term prison sentence – also known as the 9-year relationship I was in and my best friend declaring he had feelings for me and me running for the hills in fear, my friend suggested I join an online dating site. I was very unsure, I wasn’t up for meeting crazies that were going to try to lure me back to weird sex caves and wear my face as a mask thanks. She assured me that it was quite common for people to meet through online dating and that she herself had used one and it was a good way of talking to people. She suggested I use it purely as an ego boost ‘put up a pretty picture and just watch the messages come flooding in, it will make you feel good about yourself’. Well I do like being adored I guess…..so I decided it couldn’t hurt, and besides, I didn’t have to actually meet anybody.
I put up a nice picture and barely wrote anything about myself. The messages came flooding in. I mean tons of them. Most were boring messages such as ‘hi’ or ‘hey babe how are you’ (you will hear plenty more on why I dismiss these kinds of messages on online dating sites later). Some messages were more inventive and would have a funny joke or a cheesy chat up line. Some were just vile. I think the most shocking message I received was (if you are particular sensitive to crude or vulgar suggestions please look away for the next sentence, also if you are under the age of 18 perhaps it’s best you too skip the next sentence) ‘fancy a rim job from an experienced tongue?’. Well, just in case for any reason you are wondering whether or not I replied….I am happy to tell you I did not. I wonder if he gets many responses ‘yes please that would be great’. Anyway, the site was working wonderfully as an ego boost. One guy sent me a message and I had a peek at his profile, my jaw dropped – wow, he had a great modelling picture as his main photo and the other couple of pictures were not too shabby. I probably should have considered that any of the men messaging me had only seen one very flattering picture of mine from a photo shoot and they had not read one bit of information about me so therefore could only be interested in a complete fantasy in their head, but no, I forgot to consider that and decided to message back in hopes that I had found Prince Charming straight away. We talked for a bit via message and he rang me a couple of times. He seemed nice enough, I was working in a gym at the time and he was big into fitness and martial arts so we had things in common. He asked me out for a drink and we arranged to meet not too far away from where I lived.
This was going to be my first real date. My first date! I put on a face full of make up and did my hair and dressed up – smart, sexy but casual – I think I must have looked more like a very good-looking drag queen because at the time make up was my very close intimate friend so I was well acquainted with it. I was so nervous and excited. I was more excited to be able to say I was going on a date than actually meeting this guy.
I arrived and he was there, he was ok looking. He bought us both a drink and we sat down. I had no idea what you were supposed to do or talk about on a date so I went into my ‘I’m nervous so I am just going to talk talk talk’ mode and the conversation was flowing. Most of the time I was so happy that I was on a real date I forgot to listen to what he was actually saying and the rest of the time what he was saying was giving me a secret roll of the eyes because he said eevvveerrryytthiinnng iiiinnn thiiiiiisss slooowww ‘I’mmmm juuusssttt sooooo atttt onnneee wiiitth thhheee wooorrrlllddd’ voice. This guy frickin loved himself. Too much. Everything he said sounded structured, planned, not authentic! At one point I noticed he was wearing a very smart watch so I complimented him on it, he came out with this story about buying and selling watches before arrogantly smiling and saying ‘yeeessss, I liiiiikkee toooo thiiiinkkk offff iiiiiit aaaaaassss a tiiiimmeeelleeeesss piiiieeeecccceeee’ and then he laughed at the irony of what he had just said. Oh god just shut up, just say thanks for the compliment, it is taking you forever to say anything. Why don’t you just sit on a throne and arrogantly smile at all your minions below who live to serve you! He then went on to tell me how he is moving to Israel in a couple of months – hang on, you didn’t mention this the entire time we have been speaking….it started to register, he is on a hook up. Well, I am not interested one little bit. I painfully listened to him talk on for a while longer, slumped into the couch we were sitting on as if he was sitting at home – probably because everything on this earth is his right to own as King. When we left – finally – I very politely thanked him for a nice evening and kissed him on the cheek, I could tell he had just registered I was heading straight to my car and he didn’t look at all happy, I didn’t care, I had been on a date – a real date! I didn’t hear from him again and I wasn’t surprised.
The problem was that I had a) no experience in the dating world and b) no experience enjoying life on my own. This meant that I gave someone credit for simply showing an interest in me (something I hadn’t been used to for a very long time). Had I had any sense I would have known what he was all about from the beginning but I had fun and it was nice to be out with someone who wasn’t treating me like one of the boys. Besides he was just a tiny bit of preparation for many a disaster to come and at least he didn’t push me into the arms of my best friend who had declared his love for me and then left me heartbroken……….to then go on date number one with Mr complete and utter disaster (part 1)……………………………………………(oh wait, that is exactly what happened)…