Shut it down, and shut it down fast

I’m back in the dubious world of online dating. I gave it a rest for a few months, and then decided to give it another go. I was emailing back and forth with a really nice guy – who is half a continent away. I knew it was a no-go, but it was a good warm up.

For those of you not familiar with the general online dating scheme, it’s generally that you get certain matches based on how much you have in common (assuming that everyone has answered honestly). You look at those matches if you want, and decide if you want to indicate further interest.

One day last week, I got an email from a man whose profile I’d viewed. I wasn’t interested, so I just moved along. The thing that really got my guard up about his profile was the level of try-hard. Sure, you want to put your best face forward, but go too far and you’re going to be perceived as desperate at best and – shall we say – “off” at worst. If we’re doing a scale, 1 would be “Fuck you, because I don’t give a fuck,” 5* would be “I am a sane, rational human being that you may like,” and 10 would be, “NOTICE ME, PLEASE.” This profile was an 11, ergo the moving along. I didn’t think much of it, or him, afterward.

Within 24 hours, he sends me this long email going on and on about himself and about me (telling me that he could see deeper than my profile). I sent back what was basically, “Oh, thanks,” because I didn’t want to be rude; it must be a woman thing because I can’t think of one man who would reply rather than just hit the “Not Interested” button. I didn’t want to be a complete asshole because he’d put some effort into his email. This was a mistake.

He ran with it, and ran hard. Another long email followed. Comments on several of my photos followed. When I didn’t respond, another long email, completely oblivious to my disinterest followed. It became clear that I’d gotten myself into this, and I’d have to get myself out. I’ve found that boring the shit out of them usually works; they get bored and stop communicating, so I don’t have to sever the communication and risk being verbally abused. Everybody wins!

Gene Wilder as Condescending Willy Wonka: "Oh, so you're bored...Please tell us all about it on Facebook. It's so riveting.

My goal is to make him think exactly this.

So, following that third email, I answered again. I was so dull and blase that I wanted to clone myself just so I could roll my eyes and walk away from me. Didn’t work. He emailed again, and included that he was going to settle his mother’s business as she was entering a nursing home due to Alzheimer’s. That, I felt bad about and can certainly relate. So, I wrote back, wished him luck and – in order to make myself less palatable in another way – threw in a couple of sentences about how my mother’s illness brought out the worst in some people and caused a rift in the family. Bitching about family is a tried-and-true way to get some points deducted…at least it has been. I also answered his question about my job since it was an actual direct question.

Instead of being put off, he decided that I needed some mansplaining.

Graphic from Lost in Space, with the robot saying, "Danger Will Robinson."

Goddamn right.

Infraction 1: Your job seems busy, I guess. Well, if that’s what you like I suppose.

Excuse me? Yes my job is busy, and yes I do like it. Keep your side eye to yourself, chipmunk.

Infraction 2: I’m an only child, but this is how you should feel and this is how you should act regarding the family issue. This isn’t advice, though.

EXCUSE ME?! You don’t know me, you don’t know my history, and despite reading the two sentences that I wrote you, you have no idea about the severity of the situation. And you’re not giving me advice? Do you know what that leaves? It leaves you dictating how I should think and act. I know where that leads.

Closed fist with tape around each finger, spelling the word OBEY.

Here. It leads here.

Fuck. That. Shit. I did what I should have done initially and shut him the hell down. I wrote him and said that we will not be communicating any more, and it’s because he doesn’t know me, yet finds it acceptable to tell me how to be; I really only wanted to cuss him out. I also blocked him from contacting me again, because he would have certainly tried to make me see the error of my ways, and I am not playing that game.

My lesson is learned. No more polite and no more benefits of the doubt. I go with my first instinct from now on because she’s never wronged me before. It’s bad enough that I’m a Cassandra; I’m not going to Cassandra myself. Learn from my fail, and if you have a bad gut feeling about someone, roll with it.

* A 5 is as magical and rare as a rainbow-shitting unicorn.

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