The Ugly Side of E-Dating

(Okay, a disclaimer. I will NOT be posting the private info of anyone who has contacted me through Craigslist. Everyone will remain anonymous. I will, however, air certain message contents if it illustrates a point, such as: There are people who say mean and crass things for the hell of it. One might wonder why I feel such things need to be illustrated, but the fact of the matter is, e-dating scares a lot of people, and one or two bad apples may turn that person off the e-dating for good — and may well mean they remain single and lonely. And THAT would suck. So, for all those out there with skin not so thick as mine, this is a post for you, all right?)

It’s nice to think that we have this big, shiny world filled with rules and manners and protocol, but the reality is, they’re all guidelines, and it’s a choice as to whether or not you want to join the party of good, decent folk. Sadly, some opt out of that party.

E-dating’s kinda like dating on steroids. Bigger, better, faster, and able to smother you in a blinding second. It’s even worse if you’re female.

I haven’t been inundated with responses to my ad, I’ve had about 60 responses in about 36 hours, but this time I had the smarts to post on the weekend, and by the time the workday rolls around and office slackers everywhere are looking for time to kill on Craigslist, my posting’ll be buried down low. Not quite as fresh of meat, so to speak.

And that’s just fine with me. Fact is, a lot of guys seem to have form letters they send in response, and you know it’s the case because they say NOTHING about your ad. Ignore those. Then there’re the bright guys who send a “You’re interesting” note with two lines and a phone number. And there are the ones who don’t include photos, even when it’s bluntly stated I won’t respond without one. There’s a lot of crap to wade through, is what I’m trying to say.

I find this whole thing rather overwhelming. The trouble is, you need to believe you’re everything you’ve said you are. I do, kinda, but I also remember all the voices in the back of my mind from the folks who decided to opt out of the party, and that’s the part that makes it so much harder.

Let’s put it bluntly. There are some real bastards out there in the world, people who are petty, or have the wrong intentions, or just have chips on their shoulder that make ‘em lash out.

Me, I’m a good gal. One of the nice bunch. I say what I mean, mean what I say, and try to be as nice as I’m able. I’ve been trying to send nice rejection letters out, since there are men who’ll never fit my mold. Most guys are really cool and take it well and wish me all the best. Hence the saying “Take it like a man”, you know?

But assholes abound, nonetheless. Let me give you just a few examples of the ones I’ve encountered. But, here, if you haven’t read the comment and don’t know where my ad is, why don’t you go ahead and read it, then? Click here. In it, I mention I blog, but since Craigslist won’t allow URLs, I had to be coy about where my blog is, et al, by way of giving my Scribe handle and telling ‘em to Google it.

The first notable dick was a guy who took time out of his clearly busy, involved life, to let me know I’m a legend in my own mind (my mind appreciates the notice since it appears to have missed that memo) and that a search of my name yielded just three or four hits. Yeah. Okay. (Google tells me it’s just under a thousand, not a huge number, but still cool.) Whatever. I didn’t claim I was Hemingway or some brilliant writer. Instead, I’m a chick chasing a dream. Some people clearly take issue with such naïve pursuits.

Then there’s this guy, “You seem to know how to write, creative and such, but than you focus on Partner in crime,………. what the heck does that really mean, is that just a loss for words, but you being the writer, must be a writers block. To me that means, lazy, no thought, non creatative and so on.”

I decided to leave his shitty grammar in because I feel like being petty. “Partner in crime,” Mr. Brilliant, means someone I plan to do a whole lotta-lotta sinning with. Lock the doors, turn off the phones, close the windows, call the coppers, ‘cos something nasty’s gonna go down.

Then there’s the guy that sent a few coy one-liners, including after I sent my photo, who I then politely told I was uninterested in because he didn’t know how to volunteer information. So, he responds, “All you have to do is ask, Kittycat.” Well. I don’t want to have to ask. I like a man who can express thought unprovoked. Naïve? No. I’ve dated them before. Functioning braincells, operational voiceboxes, powers of articulation. You know. The expressive man is not the Loch Ness Monster; he does truly exist. So, I said so kindly, at which point he said, “No skin off my ass. I lost interest when I saw your pictures.” Oh, that’s why you persisted in sending more responses? Right.

So, the moral of the story. If you post a public ad, develop a thick skin. There are jerks who will treat you badly. I, wisely or otherwise, posted a public ad that connects to something with my name attached – this blog. I’m trying to take the high road and respond to everyone politely ‘cos the last thing I need is someone spreading rumours that I’m a complete cunt. I recommend staying anonymous, if you can. I’ve done this publically before, and I’ll do so again. If I get a few extra hits, then that’s just spiffy.

But, in the midst of the dicks are some guys who offer a lot of promise. It’ll be hard figuring out into whose baskets to drop my eggs, but we’ll see how it turns out. I’m going slower this time. Last time, I cut off the competition on day two when a sort-of face from the past emerged. Ironically, if it’d been just two weeks later, he’d have shattered his leg and we’d never have met. There are some good aspects to that – I might’ve had an easier time of it at times and so forth, but I don’t know that I’d change anything that happened. I’d have gone through less hardship had we just been friends, but I’d have missed out on some good stuff, too.

So, now I’m going to take my time and see how things progress. I wish it were a little simpler, and wish I could be the heartless cunt that doesn’t let guys down gently, if at all, but I’m not. So, I’ll probably still get some more hate mail. I could be a total bitch and post them publically for all y’all just to get you rallying around me, but that’s beneath me, as I indeed travel the high road.