Every so often, for some reason, I decide to take a dip in the shallow waters of the dating pool and am typically horrified by what I find there. In fairness, I will say that I realize that there is probably something very wrong with me, too. I fall for the wrong types, I reject the guys that would be perfect for me, I give too much, I give too little, I don’t know what I’m really looking for- it’s a tale as old as time. I’m well aware that I’m not perfect, and I don’t go into dating (especially not online!) seeking someone perfect either.
Nevertheless, I was still shocked by the level of clinginess, entitlement, and intrusiveness I encountered, particularly from two specimens. I was cautious. We chatted briefly, moved to texting for a while, and then had a phone conversation or two before meeting. I met each one of them one time, and one time only, for a platonic activity like lunch or a cup of coffee. One time.
So color me surprised when, after meeting on a singular occasion, upon deciding that I didn’t think there was necessarily chemistry or a good fit there (and I don’t like wasting peoples’ time, nor my own), I was heavily interrogated about why I would make such a decision, why I was “saying it was over” (dude, nothing even started yet for it to be “over”), called rude, and essentially harangued for days about meeting up again to discuss “where things went wrong”. While I realize it could have been a lot worse (trust me, a dick pic will not make me suddenly change my mind*) and a lot more dangerous, this still made me extremely unsettled, for two reasons in particular.
First of all, there’s the ridiculous trope of the relationship-crazed female. She’s clingy, she’s needy, she’s obsessed. She will check your text messages because she suspects you’re cheating, she will bother you incessantly, she will lose her mind if you try to end things. You’ve seen her in movies, you’ve read about her in books, and you’ve heard about her from your friends. The thing is, this behavior isn’t exclusive to the female sex – it cuts across gender lines and sexual orientations – yet the idea of the crazy bitch is omnipresent. This needs to stop right now.
Secondly, I may not be anything special, but I do know that I don’t need to justify decisions about relationships or how I choose to spend my time or what I do with my body to anybody. Especially not someone I quite literally just met in person, and not even to someone I met several times, kissed, or even slept with. Sure, if we were in a long or serious relationship, it would warrant some level of discussion; outside of that, I don’t really have to explain anything to you. I can do it without being a jerk, without stringing you along, and with utmost respect (and I have), and I don’t deserve to be called rude, ungrateful, or to have to give specific evidence for why I’m not feelin’ you. Seriously.
Needless to say, I did not meet up to discuss where things went wrong and do not plan to. I just keep revisiting this behavior and imagining what names I would have been called had I done this every time I was rejected…