I matched with Chris on Hinge and he messaged me fairly quickly after to start our chat. Eager, among other things, is a great way to describe him, as his responses were prompt and he either understood all my jokes or Googled them to be able to understand (Including a very niche reference to Nick Nolte’s mug shot, see below.) when I was referencing how horrible photos of me pre-braces are (braces were a turning point and opened a new world of eyebrow waxing, hair straightening and proper diets (hi anorexia, how are ya?)) So all things seemed to be advancing well.
Chris was lovely, very warm and very open – something that proved to be a game changer for him. We had finally started to have more detailed conversations, moving past our prompts and photos on the app and into actual facets of our lives, when he made an irredeemable mistake. I had mentioned that I had an eating disorder as a teenager and was still struggling to stay on top of it, when he decided to detail his beliefs on body image and weight – something that I find not only extremely triggering, but also rude and inexcusable. I had not prompted this, beyond responding to him asking about my diet and gym regime, mentioning I don’t try fad diets or do anything extreme because I am currently working on a regime that keeps me at the level I need to be to be healthy. I spoke about body image and body confidence, bringing up that it was less about positivity and more about acceptance – acceptance that I won’t always be happy and I won’t always be where I need to be, but that as long as I am healthy I know I am safe and ok and can work through any issues that I may or may not have. Chris went in hard on this.
Ok. So before I jump into what went down next, I thought I’d jump in and say – I don’t preach body acceptance or positivity, I believe in self love and accepting that while you may not always be where you want to be, as long as you’re healthy you are doing brilliantly. I do, however, believe that people like this do not deserve to have a voice- not about me. Not about Lizzo. Not about anyone. They are harmful, rude and downright ignorant.
“I don’t think that is at ALL a healthy idea of life, you are not safe if you are overweight. Take that fat singer, that one everyone’s obsessed with, you know? Hair toss nail girl. She should not be in the public eye until she’s been on a diet and into a gym, that is not at all what little girls should grow up aspiring to be – a fat, ugly, unsuccessful woman with no talent. Girls should be looking up to people who commit themselves to hard work and to looking good, that’s the only way to be truly happy, to work on yourself first before you give yourself to someone else. I have an eating disorder, I’m bulimic. I know I do it so that I’m in the best condition I can be at gym, I absorb the nutrients I need without keeping in the harmful parts and I feel more in place at the gym as a result. I’m never bloated, I never struggle with the extra kilos because I control it. Anyone who thinks that being overweight is beautiful should be stopped, anyone who makes plus-sized clothing should be banned, we should be lowering our obesity rates instead of perpetuating this idea that everyone is beautiful the way they are. The only way you will ever be beautiful or learn to love yourself is to work on yourself until you fit normal clothes.”
A’ight, bud. That’s enough out of you for one day. Wild, right? I was very lucky I opened the message as he sent it, as I saw the typing dots and knew I had to act quickly.
“So you’re telling me that you shouldn’t love yourself if you’re even a little bit overweight? I shouldn’t feel accomplished if I lose weight but I’m still over a certain size? You’re seriously sitting here promoting the dangerous idea that you’ll never be loved unless you’re skinny? Really?? There’s so many things wrong with that I don’t even know where to start. Lizzo, that’s her name, is not only a talented artist but an inspiration to all people, not just girls. She proves that you can be an amazing performer, a successful and talented writer and an all round incredible person without looking like society’s “ideal” woman. She IS beautiful, she SHOULD be accepted, and she SHOULD be given a platform to reach all the people, all the children, struggling with body image issues, with the idea of “imperfection.” and those who feel like they can’t be loved. Lizzo teaches you to love yourself, and if you can’t then she sure as hell will. You can’t sit here and tell me I can’t love myself unless I lose weight – you are part of the problem, you are part of the reason so many people NEED someone like her to lift us up. Take your bullshit attitude elsewhere, bud, that shit doesn’t fly around here.”
Chris, funnily enough, didn’t seem to like this. He flew off the handle about me daring to stand up to him, and every message was met with, you guessed it, Lizzo lyrics. Every message a twist of the knife, as he realized I was not going to listen to his bullshit. He tried to contend that as a “survivor” of Bulimia, he had the right to tell people what they should do to improve. Honey, this isn’t Destiny’s Child, you are not a survivor, you are someone who throws up food to fit in better at the gym.
After much back and forth about what a twat I felt he was being, I blocked him – but not after telling him to go suck a fat one, but that he shouldn’t swallow in case those extra calories came back to bite him. Chris is not the kind of person I ever wish to encounter again, and while I understand he has an eating disorder and isn’t in the best place, mentally, to be having this conversation – neither was I. He told me if I stayed fat, I would never be loved – 2 of my biggest fears. I’m also not “fat”! I’m well within the “healthy” body weight and BMI for someone my age and height. His hateful lecture absolutely spewed entitlement and arrogance, as he felt the absolute need to rip through me and my beliefs about my weight. He dismissed my progress because of my chubby cheeks, told me to give up on the coffee for the staining on my teeth (ex-fucking-cuse me I give up coffee for no one.) Even suggested lip filler, an eye lift and a boob job so that I hit ideal face shape and boob size (apparently they looked “non-existent” in my pictures.) Chris was manipulative and looking for the next girl he could mould into his perfect woman. (Or maybe he had a really good deal with a cosmetic surgeon? Bring in 10 girls and your abdominal implants are free. Mark Sloane called, he doesn’t want your human-garbage-fire of a self in his clinic, thanks.)
Dissing me is one thing, but when it’s Lizzo, the 2019 Entertainer of the Year, with sell out albums and concerts, who built herself up and worked extremely hard to get to where she is? Nah. And, because of her weight? Nah, bitch. Lizzo is an incredible inspiration, someone to be admired and not hated, someone who deserves all the praise in the world for her killer songs and work ethic, I’m sitting here listening to Juice as we speak, pumping me up enough that I forget what a horrific experience this was.
Y’all wanna know the real kicker? Chris is a Personal Trainer at a gym in my area. What a fucking flog.
An odd one, but a lesson I learned from a dating experience, and one I wish to teach with all the love and warmth Mr Rogers taught all of us with. I want to wish y’all a safe and happy 2020 and to take a moment (during what is a peak time for mental health crises) to explain to you why I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions, and why you shouldn’t either.
The year was 2018 and I was head over heels for a boy who changed me in more ways than I will ever be able to describe. This boy was the kind of person who had a presence, an impact, just by standing near you. For the purposes of this story, let’s call him J. While externally, he appeared to be a bit of a meat-head, he was actually quite deep, and for a narcissist he was well educated, thought provoking and inspirational (obviously when he wasn’t being a narcissistic arsehole.) J recommended to me a book I instantly fell in love with, and became obsessed with trying to figure out, and while laying in bed one night while half asleep, I nearly did – much to his surprise. ** For those of you playing at home, the book is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and yes I absolutely recommend it if you have inspiration for over 1000 pages… ** He was big into philosophy and loved a conversation about politics, all while being so gym obsessed he was writing an e-book on fitness and was a member of the Australian Army. J ate books for breakfast, tearing through them at a speed I had never before seen in anyone except myself, and in a lot of ways I felt that I had met my match. But the thing J taught me, and the thing I’m here to talk about, is why you shouldn’t believe in this myth that you need to be a different person or make yourself over just because a new year is starting, he taught me to take the pressure away from New Year’s Eve and to just live.
I joke on here frequently that I am not physically gifted and am quite an awkward person; that my family scoff and laugh at the idea of me doing physical exercise, but did you know that I recently joined a gym and have actually been going 3-4 times a week? During my break from writing, I walked into a gym one day and walked out a member with a fitness plan and a fob to scan in and out with – the real deal. After J and I broke up, I went back to my GP and got myself a Mental Health Care Plan and a referral to a new psychologist to help me unpack what had happened and why I felt so horrifically depressed about something that, in the grand scheme of things, is nothing. I one day decided to give up obsessively checking J’s Facebook profile to see if he had posted about the girl he cheated on me with (he always had when I checked) and after a month I had done it, only now seeing his posts when/if they come up organically. Did you know – It takes 66 days to form a habit, but only 21 days of conscious and consistent effort to break one. Hmmmmm.
So, why am I telling you this? And what does this have to do with J and this whole stupid post? Well, this. J taught me that if you want to make a change, you will make it. You will form or break a habit, you will improve the quality of your life, you will tell someone you love them just because you do and not prompted by Valentine’s Day, you will see your grandparents and not just because it’s one of their birthdays. You want something? Do it. Just because you want it. His words ring in my ears every time I second guess a decision, every time I doubt myself. Sure, in his case, he wanted another girl and didn’t consider me or our relationship when pursuing her, but he lived and will die by that principle. J was never one to back down on something he believed in.
New Year’s Eve and the start of a new year bring with them immense amounts of pressure. Pressure to change your life, to set a goal and work towards it – but to also achieve it in the small space of just that year. It’s the pressure to kick a habit, pressure to get a promotion, meet the love of your life, save $10,000, hit all your fitness goals, attend all the social events you’re invited to, and hey – even try that restaurant you’ve wanted to for ages but never got around to. Sounds exhausting, right? Then, New Year’s Eve rolls around again and due to whatever circumstances and extraneous variables, you haven’t completed your resolutions. Your habit got worse, you lost your job because your company went bust, you had a string of bad dates that never stuck because you wanted it too badly and chose poorly, you saved no money because you needed to pay your bills, you broke your leg in a freak rollerblading accident, you missed social events because of your (understandably) poor mental health and you never went to that damn restaurant. By this point, the countdown has started and you’re an emotional wreck because you didn’t do even the simplest of things you wished to achieve, so by the time the clock strikes 12, you’re so down on yourself that you impulsively set goals for the next year that you’re really, truly, absolutely going to achieve. Lather, rinse repeat. And the truth is, we rarely achieve them as research has shown that by January 12th, most people have ditched their resolutions for the year (Thank you, Science.) This can be a subconscious thing or a conscious effort, but either way it leaves us feeling like we’ve failed. That’s where the second part to this lesson comes in, and was what I followed up a lecture from J with when we started discussing this one year ago today. “Everyone is running their own race. We are all given a chance and are doing the best we can based on where we started the race from.” Ok, so you didn’t save $10,000 but what DID you do? You paid all your bills on time, you kept a roof over your head and food on the table when you had no income and you lived to tell the tale. You didn’t hit your fitness goals, but you were set back to square one in that crazy rollerblading accident and had to do intensive rehab to be able to walk again, and ultimately you did surpass the point you were at before the accident because of how well you took to the rehab schedule. So you didn’t try that restaurant? Shitty date #6 took you to a restaurant you ended up loving so much that you went back with SD’s #9 and #15. You ran your own race and had different obstacles to everyone else – but you finished the race and you’re about to start a new one. J not only taught me the value in setting goals, but in also recognising your efforts in achieving those goals. As someone with an eating disorder, I found it difficult to recognise my efforts if I hadn’t met my goals, because my default mode is and always has been “I’ve failed.” But that didn’t stop J from telling me how healthy I looked when he knew I felt like a failure. It never stopped him from telling me how great I looked in yoga pants, or how he loved how comfortable in my own skin I was while I was around him. J was my biggest fan, despite what I saw as failures on my behalf, he saw them as accomplishments because he saw the struggles I went through to get to where I was, just as I hope you all can look back on 2019 and recognise what you did. Whether it be that you met a personal goal, you beat an illness, you remembered your grandma’s birthday, you went to a social event that you really didn’t want to go to or even that held your head high and stayed strong through the worst of it. You have achieved something, and you have grown.
“Ihope you’re proud of yourself for the times you’ve said “yes,” when all it meant was extra work for you and was seemingly helpful only to someone else.” – Mr Rogers.
J was never in love with me, and that’s ok, because he loved me in the way he could. J taught me to love myself and to appreciate what effort I was going through to be a healthier person; to celebrate the little things without feeling the pressure to be better, or like that cloud of failure was following me around. He made me achieve things without pressure, and encouraged me to be a better person just by loving me for the things I was doing. Never once when I told him I was falling behind in meeting a goal did he drag me through the mud or make me feel like I wasn’t giving it my all. Instead he continued to hold my hand and encourage me to get there no matter how long it took. And you know what? Once I started going easier on myself, I started taking bigger and bigger steps towards achieving those goals – goals that changed when J and I broke up. Your goals are allowed to change to accommodate your life, and if your goal is to hit a fitness goal by a certain time and you do happen to break your leg in a freak rollerblading accident then, first of all please tell me what happened in this accident, but also let yourself readjust that goal. There is absolutely no shame in adjusting your goals. You will still be achieving something incredible, you will just be doing so in your own race and not someone else’s. As Teddy Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” and if you compare yourself to someone who set the same goal as you but didn’t break their leg in that accident (because THEY were the ones on rollerblades who broke YOUR leg) then you’re not treating yourself fairly or giving yourself the best chance at achieving your goals.
So, as it is January 1st; I beg, plead and implore you to stop setting goals with an expiration date that makes you feel like a failure, and to start setting goals with an expiration date and recognising the steps you took towards achieving them when the expiration date comes. Every achievement is an achievement, even if it isn’t the completion of the goal. Doesn’t have to be because it’s a new year, fuck the new year. Set one in June because you can, and make the expiration date 18 months away. Set a goal tomorrow and make the expiration date your birthday – just to see what happens. Run your race, avoid rollerblades and recognise your accomplishments. I hope that in the next year, everyone starts to go a little easier on themselves 🙂
Look (listen.) We’ve all been there. We’ve all accidentally liked someone on a dating app, and it’s always then awkward if they then message you to try and start a chat. This is the story of how wiping donut glaze off my phone landed me in the most uncomfortable Tinder exchange of my life.
So, anyone who knows me knows that I love donuts. I’m pretty simple, if they’re chocolate, cinnamon or they have a nice glaze on them, I’m a happy girl. I would trade a box of trashy cookies from one of those overpriced, overrated cookie companies for a good donut, or even just the smell of a nice donut any day of the week. Yum. So when one night I decided to eat donuts, drink wine and go on a bit of a swiping mission, I should have known that it would go to shit. But alas, my 18-year-old brain was ok with this, as too much sugar and 2 glasses of wine were really not a good combo. I swiped a few guys who I could see myself actively enjoying a conversation with, but then came Steven (name has of course been changed.) I dropped a bit of donut on my phone, and while engrossed in an episode of The Bachelorette (always a dangerous combo in my house.) and accidentally in the process of trying to flick the glaze off with my nail super-liked a guy. And we matched instantly. Ugh…
I decided to put my phone down for a while, as clearly I wasn’t paying enough attention to what I was doing, when suddenly it pings. Steven sent you a message. So not only did he think I really liked him, but he was so quick to message me once we had matched that I had barely looked away before the message arrived. Debating whether or not to open the message (at this stage, there was no option to have read receipts on Tinder and you also couldn’t see when someone was typing like on Hinge) so there was no chance he would know that I had seen it. I opened it and decided it was best to see what he had said to ease my own anxiety. It was quite possibly the most pointed message I have ever received, and one I was not prepared to respond to then, the next day or ever. “So. What is a pretty girl like you doing superliking a guy like me?” (licking the last bit of glaze off my finger while I read, I wondered how something so delicious could land me in so much hot water. Before you sit there and say I’m overreacting, picture yourself in my shoes. A boy you didn’t intend to match with has messaged you asking why you did, awkwardly framing you as out of his league, and for the life of you you can’t even bring yourself to lie and say “I just really liked your bio and wanted to ask…” or “I think you have a great smile!” Because he doesn’t have a bio and you don’t see him as attractive. So what would you say? I decided it was for the best not to respond for now, and to get through what I remember to be an extremely stressful Rose Ceremony (for those of you playing at home, it was Georgia Love’s season, and I wanted to marry Matty J) before I considered anything else. I sat back in my chair awaiting the announcement of the final rose before the boys took Georgia to their hometowns, when there it was again. Ping. Steven sent you a message. This second message disarmed me, maybe more than the first one, because I just didn’t know what he could possibly be saying, or how he could have known I had already seen his message. Did I dare open it? Later. The previews for hometowns were on, there was a recap to read, I had many teeth that needed brushing, I was very full on the schedule for the evening. About an hour later when I eventually got into bed, I decided to open the second message to see what he had to say. “Because, I just can’t work it out- someone so pretty not only liking me, but SUPER liking me… Now, how did this happen, hmm?” (I wish I were kidding, but as I write this, I am sitting here reading the messages.) So, again I put my phone down and decided that it would be best if I didn’t respond right away, I couldn’t think of an excuse and decided that this self loathing mess could be dealt with in the morning. Now, there was nothing especially wrong with the way he looked. He didn’t have a hump and warts all over his face, he didn’t appear to have a second head growing out of his neck and he certainly wasn’t in any kind of poor condition that would mean he should feel so poorly about himself. But was this a fishing technique? His way of boosting his ego? Degrade yourself to a stranger on the internet in hopes they fall in love with you and tell you how spectacular you are? Not my style.
In the morning I checked my phone to see he had again messaged me. I had probably gone to bed at about 22:30 and overnight it appeared he had sent me multiple messages. As someone who, at the time, worked in hospitality, I was used to messaging and swiping at all hours because of my work; but it was the contents of the messages that really concerned me. It was nothing crazy, it was just more self loathing nonsense that I didn’t have the time or energy to deal with. His messages from earlier had come in at 21:38 and 21:39. Here is the hot mess that followed –
Message 3, 22:40 – “Clearly it was an accident or a bet. I’m going to put my money on a bet.” Message 4, 23:23 – “Or maybe you did it because you think you need some humbling and I’m going to be the type of person to do it. Sort of a Beauty and the Beast type situation?” Message 5, 01:02 – “Look, if you’re not even going to respond, why did you even swipe right in the first place? What was the point? Get your kicks having a laugh at me and then never interact? Girls like you ruin dating for guys like me, you think you’re so much better than we are, when clearly you’re all just stuck up moles.”
Yikes. What a charmer. But somehow he hadn’t blocked me? It then dawned on me that he was likely drunk and messaging me from a night out and that’s why he was so full of self hatred. But, does that give anyone (drunk or sober) the right to tell me that just because I haven’t responded to multiple messages, that not only am I a stuck up mole, but that all girls are stuck up moles? Am I so wrong in thinking that he doesn’t have the right? Maybe I am a stuck up mole… As I said in The One with the Poem, I am not one to tolerate much bullshit when it comes down to it. I just don’t have the patience, nor the empathy, to worry about people like this. I decided to respond and at least be a little bit truthful, give him what he so clearly wanted. “Well… That was a lot… I’m guessing you were drunk and/or high? I superliked you by accident while wiping doughnut glaze off my phone, and probably would have responded and spoken to you if you hadn’t been so pointed and aggressive. I don’t see anything wrong with you appearance wise, I just didn’t realize what a superlike was until it was too late. So, I’m sorry if you feel that I gave you the wrong idea, but that doesn’t give you the right to get so aggressive. It wasn’t your looks that have turned me off, it’s your attitude. Good luck with Tinder and with everything else, I hope there is one girl out there who isn’t, as you put it, a stuck up mole.” And with that, I felt the interaction was over. Feeling triumphant, I grabbed some coffee and settled in for a morning of assignments before I went to a late class. Steven messaged me a flimsy apology, trying to flip it back on me that I was “just so pretty he got nervous.” And with that, Steven was blocked and forgotten about. I don’t often wonder what happened to him, but sometimes I do wonder how many other girls he called moles or got drunk and aggressive at.
Thank you so much for reading the latest instalment of Bad Date Diary, even if it is a bit of a time jump! I took some time off during November because I was dating someone, but y’all better believe that he will one day become a story too. I hope you all had a safe festive season, and I will see you again in the new year for a deeper explanation of my absence 😉
Let’s preface this story by saying, if you disagree with
people who take medication for Mental Health purposes, this story will not be
for you. This story is intended to be light hearted and is not me seeking
advice, and as someone who has been taking medication to control mental health
concerns for a number of years, and who has really struggled to find a therapy,
strategy or medication that works for me, I feel that I need a certain level of
understanding and support from anyone I date (or potentially want to date.) I
have also always been a big advocate for people taking measures to help their
mental health and feel better. It’s something I feel passionately about, and
despite any jokes I may make to the contrary, I would never tear someone down for
being passionate about something that I don’t agree with. Aaron, however, was
not of the same mindset.
I met Aaron in mid 2016 and while there were no immediate sparks, we planned to meet for lunch before I had to do an assessment at uni to see if things went better in person. A note before we really get into this – Aaron is a vegan. This fact does bare some weight in the story, especially in reference to my statement about not judging someone based on their life choices, but I wasn’t aware of this until the point he mentions it in this story. Continuing. So we met at Melbourne Central and planned to walk around a bit before getting something to eat, and things immediately seemed weird. He had a hobby I had never really considered or known about before, and when I asked him about it (in a lull in conversation) he almost seemed defensive- even angry, that I had asked. I was simply curious as I had never met someone with an interest in the particular hobby, he acted as though I were attacking him. I asked him questions very carefully in order to find out more information about the hobby (“So how long have you been doing this?” and “Does your family do it too?”) And he responded as if I had asked him what in his right mind possessed him to start such a hobby and why his hobbies weren’t more interesting (“Well Jesus, it’s not that weird, everyone I know does it!” and “Seriously, is it that hard to grasp that I enjoy this?? REALLY?”) I stopped asking questions and asked what he felt like eating, mentioning that there were some great places for Pizza or Pasta nearby. “I’m a Vegan.” Was his only response. No further information or input, leaving it up to me to decide. When we eventually landed on a place really close to campus, all he ordered was a bowl of chips (making me feel self conscious about ordering anything more.) Conversation was a little bit awkward, and eventually I had to leave to go to my assessment and I told him we would talk later.
The next day I had to visit my GP to get a blood test and review how my medication was going, as I felt as though there were something wrong – they didn’t feel like they were working. I can always tell when my meds aren’t working as effectively, as I vigilantly monitor my moods and symptoms, ensuring that if I see a fluctuation that lasts more than 7 days (with no ~ physical ~ reason) I check in with myself and work out what’s going on. So, when I noticed a slump I couldn’t explain I decided to check in while at my next GP appointment. So, while I was waiting Aaron messaged me and asked what I was up to for the day, and then asked me whether I was ok when I said that I was in the waiting room at the doctor’s. I let him know why I was there – never one to shy away from discussing mental health and medication as I feel it creates some much needed awareness for the struggles some people go through. I told him I was doing a check up on my meds and on my current mental state, and that it was nothing serious, just something I needed to stay on top of. Normally, this is the only explanation I need to give, but with Aaron this was just the start of a massive argument.
I hadn’t checked my phone since I sent that message, I instead was called into my appointment, had to go pick up my new prescription and went to get a coffee before I needed to go home and work on my next assignment, so when I did get home and found Aaron berating me for my decision to go on medication (as if I weren’t already on them before that very morning) I knew it was the beginning of the end. “How could you put your body through that? Do you not know how damaging it is to put all those toxic chemicals into your body? You’re already destroying your health eating meat and animal products, how could you then actively choose to put something else in your body like that? Just go outside for a change, get some sun on you and you’ll feel better, it’s not even that hard.”
Ok, Aaron, there are so many things wrong with this. You can NOT tell someone how to live their life, and you certainly can not force your opinion down my throat. I never asked for an opinion, nor did I ask for advice. I was being transparent about my mental health; I was being vulnerable. And this is how it played out. I wasn’t sure how to respond to him, so I decided it best to leave it while I gathered my thoughts. I switched my phone off, disconnected my laptop from the internet and burnt through 2 readings and an assignment (or at least, as far as I could get without needing the internet.) And by the time I responded, I felt as though there were nothing better in the world I could say.
“Right, and what gives you the right to dictate what I can and can’t do with my own body? First to attack my decision to eat meat, which is fine, I’m happy to leave that one alone as it’s your decision what you do and don’t eat, but then to attack my right to be medicated for my mental health concerns? I made the decision to take medication when nothing else was working for me; I have tried as much therapy in as many different styles as possible, with as many different people as possible, and found that day to day it’s easier and better for me to be medicated. I also eat meat because I have a fairly strict diet to follow to remain healthy and balanced, it helps me cope with my eating disorder. Neither of those are yours to comment on and I don’t appreciate you trying to tell me how to live my life when you’ve been in it for less than a month. If you had been expressing concern for my mental health or even just asking a question about why I choose to be on meds, I would respect you more, but attacking me for my choices? I disagree with being a vegan and haven’t once attacked that. But now you think you can attack me? I’m really not interested in this anymore, I’m sorry but this is the one thing that’s non-negotiable for me.”
Again, I would think this was a reasonable end but apparently I was wrong. Aaron had something else to say, some more “friendly advice” to share to critique my every day life and freedom of choice. “You should go and see my friend, I’ll even take you myself to make sure you go. He knows everything and is better than any medication ever will be, I’ve been to see him a lot and he’s cured all my problems. I’ll even drive you – I won’t come in unless you want me to, but I’ll take you and make sure you see him. Just don’t put any of those chemicals in your body, that’s the first step. We can fix the rest.”
Reading that made me feel a lot of things – Aaron was not only controlling, but was righteous and condescending. He had decided he was the fixer of all my problems and that he knew better than I about my own issues. Aaron was convinced we were a good match and that if I were to just give in to his wishes, things would work between us (go figure. One person gives up all their personal beliefs for the other and things workout – for the other person.)
Funnily enough, I did not respond to Aaron, and nor did he message me again. A few years later, he tried to reconnect via Instagram after seeing a body positivity post I had made about my personal progress. He reassured me that he had grown a lot personally since the last time we had spoken, and that he had done some research into the matter and now understood why I had decided to medicate, however the damage had been done and I was not interested in his nonsense at this stage, as my own personal growth lead me to take no shit from someone who only wanted to control all my problems. Aaron tried to tell me a few more times that he still thought my seeing his friend would fix all my problems (so much for personal growth…) but after a while he gave up. I refused to give up meat or meet his friend, and he refused to accept that I was doing what I knew was best for me.
I thought I’d start a section on here for lessons that I
have not only learnt, but also lessons I have taught to others. This can act as
an advice guide for both you and your dates, and hopefully serve as a reminder
to one and all that sometimes we need to learn from experiences we’ve had along
the way, and even if you don’t have these experiences yourself, you can learn
from my many, many failed dates and bad experiences.
I am hoping that I can layer these in between stories so that my lessons are sprinkled in with the experiences that taught me them, and can save you some hardship somewhere along the line. I’m also opening it up to you, the people. If you would like any advice, or if you would like to ask a question, then please contact me or leave a comment and hopefully I can clear things up. I am, by no means, a professional but I do have experience in all matters of the heart, and while I have suffered through terrible dates and heartbreak, I have also loved and been loved and I know that through all of these experiences, I have grown as a person 🙂 so please, let me know if there is something else you would like to see or get advice on!
Do you ever meet someone and wonder Huh, how are you
still single? And then they open their mouth and suddenly it’s like Huh.
THAT’S why you’re still single. And isn’t it funny how sometimes the things
we think we want most turn out to be a bit of a nightmare? This is one of those
stories. It all begins with a boy, a date and an unusual back story.
Meet Alex. He was the older brother of someone I had been
friends with as a child – possibly not the most ideal of scenarios, but still I
felt it was kind of cool. I had had a childhood crush on him that (obviously)
never went anywhere as I lost contact with him and his family over the years.
Then one day up pops a familiar face on Hinge. I didn’t know why I recognized
him, as there was a glitch in the app that meant that sometimes when I was
swiping I could only see one or two photos and a person’s prompts, though
eventually it was worked out that we knew each other from a long time ago, and
a date was planned for dinner the following week. I had been rather busy at
work and in my social life at this stage, so when I started to feel what I
thought was a cold coming on I decided to try and push through; however, as
someone who has pre-existing issues with their sinuses, it should’ve been a red
flag for me, and I probably should have taken more care of it than I did.
The date came, and while we had been chatting quite consistently
before the date via text, when physically together things seemed a little
stilted, and I felt somewhat uncomfortable the entire time. I don’t know what
specifically it was about this whole situation that made me as uncomfortable as
I was, the conversation had been ok via text, but that was about it. He didn’t
have me laughing, we weren’t engaging in any serious conversation, we were only
really covering surface level topics. While there was nothing especially wrong
with that, it also wasn’t as stimulating or interesting as it had been over
text. It felt like he came across as thinking he was better than me, which
wasn’t the most appealing thing in the world. Most of the talking was left up
to me and my nervous stammering, and (much to my horror) he wasn’t interested
in my anecdotes about bad dates or working in hospitality. Que se
Upon sitting down at the table and being provided menus, Alex immediately critiqued the server and made snide comments about not being able to hear her (even though we were in a very busy restaurant with lots of full tables and lots of noise.) and her not doing her job properly. After critiquing her, he decided to list off his likes and dislikes in the food world, effectively ruling out everything on the menu as there was some element on each that he refused to eat. When we ordered and started eating, he also announced that I was “a super slow eater” even after I explained I get anxious eating in front of other people for the first time because of my eating disorder, and after leaving me to do the majority of the talking so that I couldn’t wolf my food down. He asked if I had ever been to the restaurant before, and in truth – I had. I had been on 2 dates to that restaurant prior to this one, and I wasn’t the one who suggested the restaurant and I wasn’t going to say no, seeing as it was a restaurant I really liked and a place I felt comfortable. But when I told him that I had, he started acting incredibly defensively about it, even though I had only said that I had in fact been there before – no further detail. We were given a free dessert (which happened whenever I went to this particular restaurant) and even that didn’t seem to excite him as much as it excited me – a free dessert. He even had the audacity to complain about it!? A FREE DESSERT!? He walked me back to my car, the conversation still stilted and a bit weird, and that was where it got weirder. After struggling to figure out where his head was during the date, and whether or not he liked me- he suddenly became hyper-sexual, making out with me, touching my butt and holding me close enough that I could feel his excitement. Each time I tried to peel myself away to go home, he would grab my arms or wrists and pull me back, locking me into an awkward kiss. At one stage he tried to kiss me while I was talking, and tried to shove his tongue in my mouth. When I pulled away to finish my sentence (me telling him I wanted to head home for the hundredth time) he poked my teeth with his finger and told me he was “more interested in what’s inside there” than what I was saying. (a sentence that still gives me nightmares to this day.) He seemed to think that grabbing a girl, pressing your boner against her hip bone and not letting her out of your death grip was sexy and cute- a fun and flirty way to get around to having sex. Need I remind you all, we were in a car park at this point? I had tried to establish PDA boundaries, and he instead had hurdled over all of them and seemed to want to go for it right there in the car park. This entire experience made me consider where the local convent was and how I would go about applying. It didn’t seem to match up with the (almost) lack of interest I had felt in the restaurant, but I guess some people really aren’t interested in anything but that one thing. I went home that night still feeling that tickle at the back of my nose, but intent on pushing forward I still went to work the next morning.
I did push through, but by Wednesday I had (what I assumed was) a cold, and I was struggling to breathe and walk any distance greater than 20 metres without becoming breathless. I continued to go to work, but by the Friday (when we had planned to see each other again) I was completely unable to move, and coughing so violently I was starting to throw up. I cancelled our date (much to his frustration) and went to bed, sleeping on and off for the next 2 days until Monday rolled back around again. I went back to work, still feeling run down and not entirely certain that the Codral I was taking was helping. I ended up getting sent home from work twice that week, as I was more sick than I was willing to admit, and making everyone around me uncomfortable with how much coughing, sneezing and nose blowing I needed to do. I was definitely not the most fun person to be around at the time, as I was so ill that I was either asleep or using all the little energy I had in order to get up and shower or make a cup of tea. It turns out I had a sinus infection – a nasty, and very uncomfortable situation, but not one I was not used to. Through the week, Alex had tried to reorganize the date to no avail. He would text me on 10 minutes notice and ask if I wanted to come over because he was home alone or because his family were going to be out for a while. Wow.
I was SO sick, and felt so much pressure in my head and sinuses that it constantly felt like my head would explode. I had been avoiding using my phone and staring at screens for too long, as my head was only worsened by the harsh lighting of a screen, and I was trying my best to feel and get better. This meant that my response time to everyone, not just Alex, was awful as I would get through possibly a max of 2 messages before I would want to give up completely and shut my eyes. I responded to whoever I could, whenever I could, and tried to keep a conversation going when it was slowly becoming too much for me. My conversations with people are usually quite detailed and in depth, I rarely have “small talk” conversations off of dating apps, but in my state that level of commitment to each message was not possible. I struggled to even think of a response, let alone to type one out and send it; my brain feeling like a bowl of cold mashed potatoes. Mostly, this did not go unnoticed. My friends are generally good at not picking on me for not responding, but this time something was different. I kept getting reminded that I hadn’t responded to their texts etc. and told that they “missed me” or were wondering where I was. People continued to ask me to hang out, and I said no because the short notice meant I was not well enough to go out, and this continued to annoy people – mostly Alex. A few of the attempts made by these people were almost made out to sound as though they were guilting me about not having been around, with some of them seemingly furious that I had dared not respond to them because I had been taking time for myself. “I haven’t heard from you lately and I have a lot I want to talk about – why aren’t you responding?” “You just don’t seem like yourself since the last time we spoke, I need to tell you about this awful thing that happened but how can I do that if you’re never around?” “OI! Dickhead! Read my texts!” “Maybe if you’d actually responded quicker, we could’ve hung out.” The examples could go on, but I will leave them at my select favourites. I was also subjected to one friend who carried on a conversation and repeatedly sent me messages about a half hour apart each time, as if I were responding; and another boy off Hinge (who will feature in a story of his own very soon) who repeatedly messaged me a few hours apart each time, every day for a week asking if I were better yet. Sigh.
The following week, and not feeling a whole heap better than I had, I went back to work and ended up in the emergency room as the pressure in my head and face had caused me to pass out – turns out I also had an ear infection that I had just been passing off in my head as sinus pain. Thankfully the severity of this incident was a much needed wakeup call for the people who had spent the week guilting me regarding my sudden disappearance. But I hadn’t heard from Alex since my last delayed response on Sunday evening and it was now Monday night, so figured I was finally in the clear. But then came the rant.
On Wednesday, I was sitting at work on a cocktail of lovely anti-biotics and pain meds, and was just settling into the thousands of tasks I had left to do from my absence the week before, when I got a text. For the sake of myself typing, and you reading, I will attempt to paraphrase it and give you as much detail as I can, without boring you with how lengthy and difficult it was to follow. This message basically said that he “struggled to understand how my communication could drop off so much” (despite being sick), that he “didn’t know why I had failed to commit to a second date so many times” (as if no reason were provided) and that we “need to actually go out again to be able to continue things – which I want to do.” (a threat or just total statement of the obvious? You decide) Not really in the mood for any of this nonsense, I sent back a rant about how I had been sick and had ended up in hospital, so my disappearance was anything but me not being interested in him, and was rather me trying not to feel as trashy as I had; including that I had been messaging back when possible and trying to keep a conversation going; trying to keep him posted on how I was feeling (without the gory details) but apparently this was not enough as I had not been responding fast enough for his liking. Oy with the poodles already.
Awaiting another argument, I prepared a list of all the times I had told him how sick I was, and all the times he had asked me to hang out on less than an hour’s notice when I had been bed ridden for days. Alex didn’t take this too kindly – apparently expecting that I give him a play by play of my illness, and finding it unreasonable that I hadn’t prioritized speaking to him when I had been responding to other people (how he knew I had also been speaking with other people, I will never know, but to expect someone I went on one date with become my number one priority instantly is absurd, offensive and completely misguided.) I had completely missed messages from my family regarding some rather exciting news, from my best friends, some of whom were really struggling mentally and going through a lot, and from my work – pretty self-explanatory why that’s important, but I digress. He expected that I respond to him instantly and not “with a 3 hour delay like you have been every single time.” Hmmm. Maybe not? He saw nothing wrong with this expectation, however, and repeatedly told me he didn’t feel unreasonable in expecting that I prioritise him more than I had.
This led to us almost arguing over how this should have gone down – He seemed to think that just because he had been on one date with me, I owed him more of an explanation than me repeatedly telling him I was sick and unable to move or do anything, and should’ve kept him updated at ALL times on how I was feeling. I felt that saying I had been sick was enough, as I thought he would understand when I said “I have a sinus infection.” That I wasn’t in a position to be going out on such short notice as he had been giving me, and that the many times I mentioned that it wasn’t personal, I was just sick, meant that he would have some compassion and stop constantly harassing me about coming over on 10 minutes notice. Sure, bud, I can’t breathe, but I’d LOVE to have sweaty, snotty sex with you and then have to run out because your family are coming home – where do I sign up?
Alex seemed to think his demands were not unreasonable, that wanting me to prioritise him was not unreasonable, and that expecting I have sex with him when my head felt like it was exploding and had no ability to breathe was not at ALL unreasonable, no siree it was not unreasonable in the slightest. Alex turned into a very condescending, controlling man who I am glad to see the back of. While I had tried to explain my struggle at the start (with the vomiting triggering some memories of eating disorders and a fear of ending up in hospital) it had fallen on deaf ears and he had continued to push me and ignore my thoughts and feelings as he imposed his own beliefs about body image, self-worth and ways to cope with a breakup on me (Where that came from, I’ll never know but I got his full set of beliefs about how working out is the best way of coping post-breakup one day while I was asleep.) Each time I had expressed how ill I felt, he had ignored it to instead ask if I wanted to come over while the house was empty – or he had offered to come over at times when he assumed my house would be empty too. His texts were the ones that, when I would respond, he would say “Maybe if you’d actually responded quicker, we could’ve hung out.” I understand only being after one thing from someone, but I also believe in setting clear expectations with someone about what you’re looking for, and if that was all he was looking for, I would have preferred he not message me like that, so constantly and demanding so much, and just let it slide under the rug. I do not even slightly believe that there is any situation acceptable to treat another human being like this, we had only been on one date and had no existing relationship beyond knowing each other as children and said date. But suddenly, I was supposed to let him know at every stage of my illness what I was feeling, and he expected that I give up my sick days to hang out with him – but only when the house was empty and it suited him, and only ever on 10 minutes notice with a window of about an hour each time when he also lived 20 minutes away from me. Factoring in 40 minutes of travel time, can anyone really safely say he was after anything but sex?
After much arguing about how unreasonable it was that he expected me to make him more of a priority when I couldn’t even respond to my own family, I told him I felt it was best we not continue things, as he was expecting too much from me and didn’t seem to care that I was not giving more because I very simply couldn’t. I also told him that I was not interested in someone who couldn’t (or wouldn’t) even check in to see if I was feeling better, and instead kept asking me to come over knowing full well all he wanted was sex, and then got mad because I couldn’t respond (because I was asleep and sick.) Maybe he had a fetish for snot? Is that a thing? I explained that I was uncomfortable from the moment we met and that this constant harassment was no way to get a girl to sleep with you, especially if she was as sick as I had been at the time.
Alex had one response to that. No recognition of issues, no apology for making me feel uncomfortable, not even a response to me asking if he knew how sick I’d been – even after I said I’d been in hospital, as he had made his point abundantly clear that he felt everything he did was completely reasonable; all he said was – “No problemo!”
In mid-2019 when I downloaded Hinge, I felt that maybe this would be a fresh start. As you have seen, and likely will continue to see; I have been on quite a few Hinge dates. This app was intended to connect you with people you will actually like and get along with; and while I had no delusions that I would meet the love of my life on an app, I was still hoping to meet some people I actually had an interest in or something in common with. As with all dating apps, it was very hit or miss meeting people. I have met boys I’ve had a good connection with – if not had a good conversation with. This, however, is definitely not one of those stories. Asher was neither of those things.
Asher was attractive and, based on what I saw on his profile, looked like the kind of person I would enjoy speaking with. He had a prompt about the OJ Simpson trial (big bonus points), had a cool job, had photos with puppies and from music festivals, had linked his Instagram where he had beautifully shot photos and videos from his travels, and one of his prompts was a very amusing story from one of his trips overseas. All up, he had lots of material to discuss, so when I commented on his OJ Simpson prompt, I felt like we would at least be able to have a conversation. Idiot, me. On Hinge, one of the many, many prompts you can select to put on your profile is “Change my mind about…” and all Asher’s profile said was “Change my mind about… The OJ Simpson trial.” Not knowing where his head was on the case, I simply commented- “Are you for or against the final verdict?” A couple of hours later, I got a response. “Guilty lol” Not quite the answer I had expected, but still something I was able to work with. I had a think about how to dig a little deeper with him and landed on this – “Me too, I definitely think he did it. Did you watch the American Crime Story they did on it? Or is your opinion a gut feeling?” Again, I waited a few hours and got this response – “Don know what that is lol just my opinion don’t have a shit fit lol.” (Note – the poor grammar and punctuation throughout these are taken straight from the messages themselves.) Cool. Usually I would end the conversation there and leave it completely alone, but on this occasion I really wanted to know whether he meant “don’t be mad that I haven’t seen the show.” Or whether he genuinely thought I was angry that we agreed and I wanted to discuss it. “Ok so a gut thing. Do you have an opinion on JonBenet Ramsay?” (One of my favourite conspiracies and conversation starters, as almost everyone has an idea or a perspective that I want to hear, and if you have one, please feel free to leave it below!) But this is where the annoying part started. He responded – “Nah Instagram?” Now. Despite having a blog about my bad dates, I am a fiercely private person. All of my social media accounts are private and show as little detail as humanly possible to anyone I’m not friends with. I choose to write under a pseudonym on other blogs, and redact my own name and certain details of myself, my life and my dates in order to remain anonymous – this is why I will not share screenshots of these interactions, and why sometimes I will brush over certain aspects of my life or of these dates. Furthermore, I never link my social media accounts to dating profiles, I don’t give away my Insta handle or my full name to people I’ve only just started talking to and I keep my background details as vague as possible at the start to protect myself, so someone asking me outright if we can switch to a platform I keep locked down isn’t going to fly. In other stories, if I mention “quickly switching” to another medium, I am using my own standard for the word “quickly.” This usually takes a week of actual conversation, and even then I don’t always feel comfortable. So this? This certainly didn’t cut it for me. “Sorry I don’t give it out to people I don’t know, I’m just a bit of a private person.” I understand that on a dating app, you need to be willing to let go of your fierce privacy at some point in order to meet and potentially date people, but I will always at least keep my personal life (where I work, where I hang out, what area I’m from, who my friends are) held close to me until I know I am comfortable enough sharing it. “Oh haha how was your day?” This started the annoying conversation. Once the (incredibly brief) conversation about OJ Simpson was over, he would ask me vague and uninteresting questions about my day and how I was, and when I responded he would then send back the same two responses. The first being “haha” The second, sent immediately after, being “Instagram?” As if this somehow help us get to know one another, as if this could somehow speed up the process for him so that he could get a look inside my life.
I gave up after the fourth time I tried to ask him about anything else (his prompts, his photos, his travel stories, his dogs) and continually got the same responses. I left one of his messages unopened and went about my week as usual, but every now and then saw a message from him asking how my day was and then asking “Instagram?”
What part of being fiercely private did he not understand? I eventually gave up on the prospect of discussing anything further than my Instagram handle with him and unmatched him. But every now and then he pops up when I’m swiping through, and he has since changed one of his prompts to “One thing I want to know about you…” And the Answer? “Instagram?”
I guess sometimes things don’t work out because I’m the bad
date. Bad might even be a bit of a stretch, but bad is also how I would
describe this. I don’t think I’m perfect, and I know that I can be a bit of a
pain, but this story is definitely a rarity, as this was mostly unprovoked and
was just because I was being petty at the time and was fed up with the boy in
Sebastian came into my life around the same time the first
and only person I ever truly loved left, and right before someone who had a
huge impact on me entered my life. Things had not ended well with the guy I
thought I had fallen in love with, and I know that that had some kind of
influence on this story, as this guy was pushy and I wanted to be over it all.
I never advocate for using someone to get over someone else, and I have
truly learnt my lesson because of this situation and know to deal with my own
emotional baggage before I get involved with someone else, as I have been both
the user and the used and I know how difficult it can be to be in both
So a little more on Sebastian. Sebastian was a few years
older than I was, and was nice(ish) to talk to. He had a dorky job, a few nerdy
hobbies and some interests I definitely did not share – which at the time
seemed fine. Sometimes when you meet someone with different hobbies and
interests to you, it can be more fun. You may learn something or even discover
an interest you never knew you had, and as a result, you get to share something
special with them, and they get to share something even more special with you.
Sebastian didn’t seem to mind the different interests, he thrived on them,
taking pride in his dorky interests and sharing as much as he could about as
many of them as he could. He could be a little bit condescending, especially
about having a wealthy family, having been to a fancy private school and living
in what he thought was a nice area, but that definitely wasn’t the worst thing
about him. The worst thing was that he got extremely clingy extremely quickly –
classic stage five clinger if ever I saw one. As someone who values
independence and having their own space, this was a lot to take on board so
quickly, especially from someone who I wasn’t overly interested in and who
(until a certain point) I hadn’t met. We organized to hang out a couple of
times, originally having a coffee at a local café, then going out to dinner and
to see a movie (which he talked through, much to my chagrin as I had suggested
the movie we saw), and then hanging out at an art gallery in the Melbourne CBD
before one final date that I will get to a little later on. He became
progressively clingier as the dates went on, and it started getting really
uncomfortable. Normally, I’m not one to engage in public displays of affection.
If I do, I’m hugging someone hello or goodbye, I might kiss someone in
public if I’ve been seeing them for a while, and usually I try and do it when
no one else is around. The day we went to the art gallery was when it really
ramped up. Sebastian kept trying to hold my hand in the street, and tried to
“romantically” (read awkwardly) pull me in for a kiss by saying “come here…”
with what I can only assume was his bedroom face, before wrapping his arms
around my waist and yanking me closer to him- in the middle of an exhibit. I’m
really not about that. The final date was one that I was also not a huge fan
of, so I will try and keep this brief and then I’ll explain why I was a bad
We were hanging out, had eaten dinner and I think Sebastian thought things were
going to go a little bit further than they were. He started kissing me, really
trying to make out with me, and get heated. This was something I was also not
interested in, but it didn’t stop him from trying. That was when I felt it. I
was wearing a dress, he was wearing dress pants and all of a sudden I felt
something warm on my leg. No – he hadn’t peed on me, but yes, he had gotten
VERY excited and I was suddenly very aware of that. Oy with the
poodles already. Sebastian had cum on my leg and was done for the night. He
promptly informed me he had only ever had sex once, and it was a few years
(exactly to the day) earlier. Wonderful. This for me was way too much
information and I excused myself to the bathroom to wipe my leg clean and get
ahold of myself. Sebastian was a chronic over sharer, a quality in him I was
beginning to strongly dislike. I went back out and he seemed pretty pleased
with himself, wrapping his arms around my waist, pulling me in and kissing my
nose repeatedly (ew ew ew ew ew) and telling me how great I was. The
date ended abruptly then and I went home to shower and rid of the horrific
memory of that night. Each date had had an element worse than the last, from
bragging constantly about having been to a private school, to talking through a
movie I had desperately wanted to see, to being condescending and competitive
about everything (including whose parents love who more – hint, my parents are
divorced and I don’t have a great relationship with one of them, so that
conversation was quite triggering for me.) He told me about crashing his car a
couple of months after he had been given it so his parents bought him a new one
(I had worked hard to earn the money to buy myself a second hand car – he had
been given 2 brand new ones), he told me about competing with his pregnant
sister for who had the better blood pressure, commenting that I wouldn’t
understand as I never had any siblings to compete with, before making the real
kicker of a comment – “What kind of childhood did you even have?” (which
again triggered me as I have a lot of trauma attached to my childhood that I
don’t like thinking about on a date).
Sebastian also never seemed to understand the requests I made about his
behavior in public, let alone the physical cues that went along with them. No
matter how often I pulled away or told him something made me uncomfortable, he
still persisted in doing it. On our second date, he had told his friends
we were going out and they had asked for “a picture of the happy couple!” as if
we were boyfriend and girlfriend already (on our second date.) which I again
mentioned made me uncomfortable after he tried to get a picture with me.
Now, I said I was a bad date at the top of this, but I’ll leave you to judge for yourselves and please let me know what you think when you read the rest of this. I had tried and failed to set up clear boundaries with Sebastian from the start, telling him I wasn’t comfortable with PDA’s, letting him know I wasn’t an affectionate person when I don’t know someone well and didn’t enjoy holding hands or kissing in public, I told him repeatedly that I have an issue with being touched when I haven’t consented and that it takes a bit of time for me to get to that level with anyone. All of this seemingly fell on deaf ears, as he consistently pushed the boundaries and made me feel increasingly uncomfortable. At this point, any time he tried to hold my hand, I pulled it away; I felt that if I walked ahead of him, he wouldn’t try and kiss me in public, and that if I made a physical point of not getting caught in his immediate vicinity, he would get the hint. Actions would hopefully speak louder than words, and with how clingy he was getting, it was the only way I could see fit to get out of it if my words were going nowhere. Sebastian also started getting ridiculously jealous about nothing- my male friends (with girlfriends) were threats, my gay friends were threats – any male I interacted with was a threat to him. I wasn’t even his girlfriend, but the clingy started turning to possessive. This, combined with how competitive and condescending he was becoming made me feel more and more suffocated. I had met Sebastian between semesters at Uni and a week after our last date, my semester started again so I became twice as busy as I had been with work and study. I was sitting in a class one day when Sebastian asked me what I was doing – so I told him what class I was in. “Your entire degree is such a wank wtf.” He responded. Granted, I was in a subject I had chosen as I had deemed it to be an easy pass and needed my elective to be a bit more forgiving than the 3 core units I had to do as well that semester. But does that give him, or anyone for that matter, the right to belittle me and cast judgement on what I had chosen to do? The answer is, and always will be, no. “Wow.” Was the only response I could muster. “No no no not what I meant! Just that that class sounds so different to what I’m used to with Uni.” This was the last straw for me, and I decided to stop responding. Sebastian had disrespected my boundaries, my wishes and my comfort and now he was disrespecting my life choices. Boy, bye.
Sebastian kept hanging on, texting me asking if I wanted to
hang out on various nights, asking if I wanted to come to family events (um,
no.) or to events related to his hobbies – where his family would also be
so oh, what a great chance to meet them. It was that very week I met the
person I dated for the next year, and then that I decided to be a little bit
petty. While studying the night before my first date with this new boy, I
accidentally sent Sebastian a snap intended for one of my closest friends who
had asked me what I was doing the following day and whether I wanted to get
coffee. I had double tapped what I thought was my friend’s snap to reply, and
instead had tapped the one below it from Sebastian to reply to him.
Instead of sending a snap to apologize, I decided to add insult to injury. All
my initial snap had said was “Sorry, I can’t, I’m going to hang out with X,
we’re going to this local cafe.” (Side bar – I haven’t decided what
I’ll call that boy yet as I am still tossing up whether or not to write about
him in one of these posts – so for now he is X.) And without sending any
clarifying snap to let him know I was going on a date with someone else, I left
I had also named the local café in my snap, as we are all from the same area
and know the place I was talking about – Sebastian, too, because he lived 5
minutes away and had asked me to meet him there one day. Ha ha
Sebastian responded with his typical “Who is that?????” and
all I could do was laugh and say “Sorry, wrong person.”
While on the date, I posted an Instagram story where you could clearly see a
man’s hands in the background at the table with me. Sebastian was the first
person to view the story, and immediately messaged me to ask how my day was and
what I had decided to do. I ignored his message and continued on my date,
enjoying what was the start of a mostly fantastic relationship with someone I
clicked with really well. As I got home, X and I were already planning our next
2 dates, and Sebastian sent me a message asking if I were still at that café
and if I wanted to wait there and get coffee when he finished work. No. It was a few days later, after I posted a snap of myself with the caption
“hiking date ready” to my story that I saw Sebastian typing and then nothing. I
later discovered he had blocked me in doing that. Haaaaaa.
On my third date with X (which fell within a week of the
first) I got what I can only describe as the most useless message of my life. I
had made it clear to Sebastian that I wasn’t interested in pursuing things,
even down to outright ignoring him when he wouldn’t accept what I was saying,
and had given him no signs or reason to think he was getting a girlfriend out
of this situation. As I got into X’s car to head off on another hike, I laughed
and read out the following message to him –
“Hey * redacted *, I hope you’re well! I don’t think things between us are
working anymore, and I’m really sorry but I just don’t think it’s going to go any
further. I understand if you’re confused and I’m more than happy to sit down
and talk it out if you need any further information, but I just don’t think
we’re working and I don’t want to hurt you. Thank you for everything and good
luck in the future.”
Sebastian had broken up with me – after weeks of me telling
him he was making me uncomfortable and asking him to stop, while I was in
someone else’s car going out on a date, he ended things. We went on a hike near
Sebastian’s house (as he and X live only minutes from one another but have
never met or had anything to do with one another beyond both knowing me.) and a
few times while driving out on another date, X and I would pass Sebastian on
the street or at the local shops, and every time it looked like we had punched
him in the face.
When I got home from that date with X, after texting him to
accept plans for our 4th date, I decided to text Sebastian back and
give him a piece of my mind.
“Hey bud.” (always the start of a super bitchy text on my behalf)
“Don’t worry your tiny head about it, I’m not in the slightest bit confused.
I don’t want to sit down and talk it out, I know why it’s not working. I want
to give you some advice for the future. If a girl isn’t comfortable with
something you’re doing, don’t do it. And if you get a second date out of her,
don’t immediately tell your friends about it, and if you do, don’t then show
her the message where they’re asking for a picture of “the happy couple.”
That’s probably moving a bit too fast, and combined with the other issue, it
may be a bit much for her. All the best.” And with that he was gone.
Funnily enough, he didn’t text me back, though he is still in
the viewing list of every Instagram story I’ve ever posted. He recently found a
girlfriend and put it on Facebook (something I’m surprised he didn’t try with
me considering how clingy he got.) And while I’m happy for them; I truly, truly
hope she’s either the most tolerant person alive or that he’s grown up
and taken feedback on board.
Otherwise I hope their breakup is public, and I hope I am
able to witness it – I love a good “told ya so” moment.
This story is not for anyone under the age of 16 or who
has strong feelings about pre-marital sex. This story will also get a little
bit graphic and for that I am sorry – this is just a cautionary tale to men and
This one starts off like many of these stories – a pretty
boy, some good conversation and a plan to hang out. The bottle of red was bought,
the time was set, and the outfit was cute. The plans were made hastily and
seemed to be pretty standard, and something I enjoy doing from time to time on
a date – hang out, drink wine and talk, see where it takes us. Ready for a
night of good conversation and good wine, I showered and made myself look and
smell like a functional human being (when at the time I had a nasty sinus
infection and felt less than functional.) And even went so far as to change my
sheets to ensure everything was as appealing as possible. But more on that
Simon showed up in a suit, apparently having been to an event beforehand, which wasn’t what threw me most about him. What threw me most was actually his height. I don’t claim to be anything except petite – I am an incredibly small person, standing at only 5’1. But Simon was not much taller than me, and while he had listed his height at 5’10, he was barely taller than me, coming in closer to 5’6 than anything. I know it’s shallow to be thrown by this, but having expected him to be significantly taller, this was a bit of a surprise to see he had lied on his profile. I moved past this fact, not wanting to appear too shallow, but was then thrown by his voice. His voice came out sounding a little bit like that of a pre-pubescent boy rather than a 26 year old man. Hmmmm. Again, for the sake of the evening I moved past it and tried to enjoy the conversation… Until he told me he had accidentally put his age in wrong on the app. Oh no. At this point, I knew he lived at home and was still at uni studying (a Bachelor’s degree, so I had thought it was weird at 26 but not completely unheard of.) Combining this with the fact he was still rather short, had shown up in an uber (and not driven himself) and sounded like a younger boy, I started panicking a la Monica Gellar when she discovers her boyfriend is actually a senior in high school, not college. According to Simon, he was only 24 – so not too far off and definitely not as bad as I had thought, but still quite a shock when all of these facts came to light. So, I continued on with the date, enjoying his company more and more as we got to know each other.
Then things started heating up, and this is where events really take a turn. Disclaimer – this is your last warning, things aren’t pretty after this and I do reference sex and a sex accident. Click away now if that’s not what you came here for! Go read about poems and milkshakes and live in blissful ignorance as I wish I could when it comes to this story, leave thinking that the worst part was the amount of weird inconsistencies in his profile and information. When we started kissing, Simon immediately shoved his tongue in my mouth and held it in there stiff like a dead fish. Not fun, but not awful, and I tried to keep the kissing as closed mouthed as possible. But then he wanted to take things further, and put his hand down my pants – fine, this is how these things start, I guess we’re not going to waste any time in getting there! I felt a little sting and just assumed it was a nerve or something, not given much time to think about it before he started rubbing his flat hand up and down, side to side down there. Yikes. The weird rubbing became more vigorous until he pulled his hand out and used it to push my head down. Again, fine, I guess this is where things were going anyway, I was just a little disappointed that he had used that hand to push my head down, as I had freshly washed my hair and was not happy that he had done that. After the shortest 2 minutes of my life, he used that same hand to pull my head back up to keep kissing. When we then got to the not pants part, the no-pants-dance if you will; it was as quick and disappointing as I can possibly describe – to the point where we weren’t actually doing anything, he was just rubbing himself against my stomach and panting. Images of Will and Charlotte in The Inbetweeners flashed through my brain, as I lay there wondering why I had done my hair and put makeup on if this is how disappointing it was. After a moment, he seemed to be done and rolled off me, happy with his effort. It was then that I noticed that I had a bit of blood on my leg.
I caught sight of the blood and subtly checked my half of the bed, holding a tissue to it to stop it from dripping on my brand new, beloved quilt cover. I went to the bathroom and discovered his finger nail had sliced my inner thigh – as close to my noonie as possible, but not in or on it. What the actual fuck. I wiped it clean with some water, and wiped the blood off my leg and shoulder (obviously from where he had touched me in the process.) I asked him to leave, claiming I had an early start the next morning, and went to bed. I woke with the alarm I had set to make sure I was up and ready to go on time – as I had another date with someone else; when I noticed it. On my brand new quilt cover. My clean, white, patterned quilt cover that I had saved up for and splurged on when it went on sale – a blood stain in the shape of a finger. This little fuck-knuckle had realized I was bleeding, and rather than ask me if I was ok or check to see where the blood was coming from, he had wiped his fingers on my brand new quilt cover. And how do I know it was his and not mine? Because he was the one laying on the other side of the bed that I don’t sleep on or use – right next to the full, open box of tissues.
When choosing dating app photos, I generally try and choose the same things. A selfie or two – usually with nice subtle makeup, good lighting or a filter; a photo with my dog, a photo with a group of friends from some kind of formal event, a photo of me solo at another formal event. I paint a picture of my life, showing that I scrub up alright sometimes and that I can be social (when really I’m incredibly anxious about everything, all the time…) but I usually try and also pick pictures that paint a cohesive picture of what I look like. So when I met Riley on Hinge, I was incredibly surprised to find out that what I had envisioned, to him at least, was not only deceiving but was an incredible let down. This was also one of my first experiences on Hinge, and it was something that nearly convinced me to delete my account.
Riley seemed as normal as anyone else. Our chats were nice and flowy, he seemed pretty flirty (which at the time I enjoyed), he was interested in true crime and could keep up with my constant stream of ridiculous thoughts, theories and rants about cases I’d been listening to or had read about. He listened to the podcasts I listened to, had his own theories and thoughts on cases I was immensely interested in and seemed to enjoy the back and fourth we had going. This easy flowing, fun conversation is rare in the guys I meet on apps. Usually they’re full of ideas I’ve already heard of. “Have you heard of a podcast called Serial?” No shit, Sherlock, I listened to it in 2014 when it was released. “Have you ever heard of Jonbenet Ramsey?” Hasn’t everyone? “I think you’d really like Dirty John.” Baby, that’s why I’m anxious on dating apps, who are you fooling? This kind of easy conversation continued for a couple of weeks before we decided to try and take things offline and into the real world. We planned to meet at a café midway between where we lived, and agreed to wear something in particular to show that it was us (kind of half as a joke, I thought…)
So I showed up to the café ready to keep talking to to this true crime loving beauty (because he was quite breathtaking to look at) wearing a shirt that said “The Husband Did It.” (to show it was me.) Paired with a pair of denim cut-off shorts and my white converses, I felt cute and ready to talk to this boy; in my element and confident as anything. I sat and waited, not wanting to order a coffee until he arrived, though also not oblivious to the fact he was late, and becoming later by the second. I must have checked my texts, Facebook and Tinder a hundred times before calling it quits and leaving the café. I ordered myself a coffee to go and sulked in the car listening to a podcast, waiting a moment to see if he showed up. When he still hadn’t shown up, I checked the message where he had set a date, time and place and made sure that I was, in fact, at the right place at the right time. Though it’s not something I’ve done before, I’m always anxious that I’ll mess up and stand someone up or go a day too early (how fun is anxiety.) But alas, I had all of the details correct, I was at the agreed upon place, I was at a table (and then in my car) facing the door to the cafe. How could I have possibly missed him? I even texted him to confirm what I already knew, watching to see if anyone outside grabbed their phone – but still, no response. I drove home with my phone at full volume in case he tried to call and ask where I was – but still, no word. I messaged my friends, informing them of my flop of a date, and decided that it was best to just pretend it hadn’t happened.
A day later, I received a message from him that – more than anything, hurt and confused me. “Hey * redacted! *I thought I should explain my absence yesterday but don’t really think I need to. I got to the café and saw you and you looked nothing like your photos, so I thought I’d leave. I don’t know what you did to your photos but it’s deceptive and rude to fool people like that, sucking them in and letting them down so much. Maybe reconsider your photos for next time? I’m gonna block your number now, I’m still a little embarrassed that I fell for all this. Have a nice life, catfish.”
I obviously never heard from Riley again, and spent a great deal of time looking in the mirror feeling like Ross Gellar when Joey sets him up on a date and then cancels it to make Ross want to go back to Rachel. I had never considered that someone could actually walk in and then walk straight out again upon seeing you until that day – and to this day, I still worry sometimes that someone will walk in, see me and walk back out whenever I go on a date.