Two Years and One Insecurity Later: State of the Relationship Address

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So this is somewhere in the second year of the blog. Sex, Love & Ire began after I was ghosted and probably catfished (fake profile) on a dating site. The event at the time was pretty hard for me to take.

After having this and other disappointing experiences I realized that something was amiss. I shouldn’t be having small emotional breakdowns over these types of scenarios. Dating shouldn’t be this hard, but why was it taking such a toll on me?

My thoughts drifted from this matter as I found myself in a relationship soon after. Ultimately though, I knew the answer to my question. I was afraid of being alone.

Flash forward two years and I’m single once more. I knew I had to make a change. I should be comfortable, even happy, being alone before I begin dating. I couldn’t keep fumbling around with those who weren’t a good fit for me in an attempt to satiate my insecurities. I also couldn’t keep trying to push myself into relationships when someone was a good fit. Those situations need to evolve at their own pace. It was unfair to everyone involved.

I decided to stop dating until I was secure with being single. Having been in a relationship for 20 some odd years it was never a reality I had to face. It was time I did.

And so it was that I set out on a quest to heal myself and become comfortable with where I was in life. My mission mostly looked like this: each time I felt the urge to get on a dating app I would ask myself why I wanted to do so. I discovered it was mostly because I was bored or lonely. When that answer came I knew I had to give myself more time. So I waited and went about my life. Easier said than done.

I started doing things alone that I usually didn’t. Going to concerts, meals, movies, auto races and trips across country all became a means to help me come to terms with spending time alone.

I can’t say how long it takes for the average person to get into a good state of mind for dating. Anyone who quantifies this is probably full of shit. Everyone moves through life at different speeds and we all certainly have our own levels of personal work to do.

For me, after three months I felt good about where I was. I started dabbling in online dating again. I didn’t think things would progress so quickly but the change I felt was remarkable. I went online, matching with people and conversing without the worry of whether or not they liked me. If someone ghosted me or barely responded I just figured they were busy or we weren’t a good fit and went on my way. When I have no matches for a week or so (this happens to me often) it was no problem. I was at ease for the first time and the whole process of finding someone felt healthy. I was more balanced and making better choices.

Then it happened; I matched and started messaging with someone. She wanted badly for me to call her right away so she could hear my voice. I wasn’t comfortable with this and maybe that should have been reason enough to decline. I don’t mind phone calls, but something about this request was a bit off. However, because I often push my boundaries we talked briefly.

The two minute phone conversation was heavily laden with sexual innuendos and even outright statements about having sex. This was all on her end because I am tragically bad at flirting; nearly incapable would be another way of putting it. Heavy sexual advances can actually make me uncomfortable (when I don’t know a person) and unfortunately that’s the only level of flirtation that I can detect. Everything I mentioned she steered back to heavy flirting. I wasn’t having it. She was driven in her need to flirt and something about it felt familiar and unstable. In some ways it felt like me a couple of years back.

I was on a strict timeline so I said goodbye and told her she would hear from me. “Do you promise” she said. “Of course” I replied and concluded our conversation.

That night I sent some follow up messages to her and each time I received a one word reply. I’m pretty verbose and a bit of a sapiosexual (finds intelligence attractive) so brevity and a lack of interest are obvious red flags for me. I stopped messaging, I’m sure she wanted it that way.

I started to think about our encounter and how similar it was to when I was actually stood up. So much of the language was similar. Even her voice and the tempo at which she talked so closely resembled my first encounter of being catfished that I began to wonder if it was the same person.

Two years ago I this would have sent me for another mini tailspin but I felt healthy and calm exiting this incident. The difference in my reaction was amazing. Here I had my first interaction with someone online and it was a total bust (well I dodged a bullet really) but it didn’t bother me. I didn’t cry, I didn’t start another blog (whew), it didn’t send me into any kind of emotional spiral. This was just something that happened and because I’m now okay with being single I could walk through that fire unscathed. Of course I don’t like being played but I really don’t feel that I was. My new found comfort had allowed me to see the dynamics of what was happening. Not only could I sense the other person’s insecurity it was a bit of a turn off.

I should take this moment to say that I know my security with being single won’t make me impervious; there will still be hurt. I will still find people with which I want to explore a relationship and they won’t feel the same. There is no way to guard against that and anyway, I don’t want to. Some things should hurt.

The remarkable thing about this experience was I realized that until the fear of being single is dealt with it will remain. When I was with someone that fear (arguably) went away but after the relationship ended it was waiting for me like a loyal companion.

This has been a valuable experience for me. I’ve learned that becoming comfortable in being single isn’t a way of giving up on finding someone, rather it frees me to be a better version of myself. When the right person comes along I will be available and when the wrong person comes barreling at me I can sidestep that collision. Dealing with my insecurity was one of the best things I’ve ever done.

I see and know people that haven’t taken the time to be secure with themselves. You know them too. They are the ones that move from relationship to relationship with hardly a month between. For many this type of behavior doesn’t even seem extreme so used to seeing it are we. If any of this sounds familiar consider taking a moment to become happy with being single. If you do I will promise this much; the version of you that exits this experience will be such a better person than you can imagine.

 

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A Letter to the Catfish Who Hurt Me: The one that didn’t get away (video)

A Catfish in the online world is a person who pretends to be someone else. The term was popularized by the MTV Documentary called Catfish, which you really should watch because it’s pretty good. Plus, you’ll never understand where the name comes from if you don’t. That’s right; I’m not going to tell you. You’re just going to have to get off your ass and sit down and watch this movie. Essentially though, a Catfish is someone who has created a fake online profile, usually for dating, in order to lead others on.

Recently, I matched with a woman on Tinder. Let’s call her Heather. Primarily because that was her name, but also because I’m sure it was a fake. Her pictures showed a very short but also very attractive woman. Upon contacting, I relayed my relationship desires to her and she fit perfectly. I realize now that she was just mirroring my sentiment in order to hook me. We sent texts for a couple of days, talked on the phone and agreed to meet for a wonderful physical encounter leading into a friendship.

She wasn’t perfect of course; her main flaw was that her responses were so short. In return I write fairly extensive and in depth messages. However, this is nothing new because even though women chastise guys for messaging them with “Hey” I’ve found that 75% of women suck at conversations too (don’t get cocky guys you’re probably closer to a 90% suck rate). I usually end any conversation with this dynamic, but I was in a particularly vulnerable state that caused me to overlook it.

Aside from conversational dynamics she seemed perfect in so many ways and I began to wonder if maybe way down the road this might not be the foundation for something more.

The day of our date came and I left work early to maximize our time together. She responded to a message of mine to say she was running late. Tardiness is a huge annoyance of mine because it makes me think that people don’t care enough about me to be on time. How bad did she really want to meet if she was late for a first date? I started to get a sinking feeling that I was going to get stood-up. Still, maybe she really was just running late.

Alas, that was the last I heard from her. I sent a text that went unanswered and when I called, her phone was off. My suspicion had become a reality, I was someone’s amusement and I was crushed. My desires, my emotions and my life are not a fucking game. Yet the results told a different story. I retreated to a corner of my apartment to cry profusely, for the first time ever my tears formed an appropriately sized puddle of sorrow on the bathroom floor. With blurred vision I opened the text messaging on my phone and began composing this:

Continue reading “A Letter to the Catfish Who Hurt Me: The one that didn’t get away (video)”