Things Not to Do When Online Dating

*** Disclaimer: There is so much wrong going on in the world and my heart aches. I debated not writing a lighter post, because with children being torn from their parents’ arms, political disaster and silliness on all sides, and people dying, it seemed trivial. However, in times like this, it is sometimes good to remember that isn’t all of life. I also think there are plenty of folks who comment on these things better than I can. What I’ve learned is that as these things happen, we still eat, laugh, have heartbreak, go to work, and continue to live. And so today, I’m writing about dating. I just want you to know, we here at “A Tale…” are not oblivious and our hearts go out to the world.***

Dating is hard. Dating is hard when you live in a rural area. Online dating is also hard. Dating is extra hard when apparently no one has given you dos and don’ts of your dating profile and responding to people (in this case hetereosexual men responding to women). But never fear – I’m here to help you. So now you can’t say you were never warned.

1. Please stop taking pictures with your money fanned out on your bed or held literally as a fan. Also, taking the picture with your daughter or son having money fanned out is equally a “no.” I thought we left that on Black Planet in 2001? I can’t believe I have to say this.

2. Stop writing a long list of things you hate. This makes you seem like a terrible person.

3. Proofread. It doesn’t have to be perfect but if I’m scratching my head trying to piece a sentence into something vaguely resembling a complete thought, it’s not slang. It’s just mumble jumble.

4. Dick imprint profile pics are a “no.” Also, yes, it was me. I reported your picture.

5. When you respond, do not talk about lips or any other part of the other’s body touching yours in the first 5 messages. Actually, not in the first few days unless we mutually agreed upon that is happening/happened. But definitely not in the first 5 messages. No, I do not want to envision myself kissing you.

6. Don’t go from “hey” directly to “when am I going to meet you?” The answer is likely never at that point.

7. You should probably not have all 50 pictures in the same pose in different shirts. It’s just weird.

8. Don’t ask someone to immediately send you more pics. You legit have a whole damn catalog of pics. You’ve only said hello, I dont owe you shit.

9. If you spend the first 5 messages describing all of a person’s physical features, they begin to wonder what are your intentions. I’m just saying. Also, creepy.

10. If it is stated someone is looking for something long term, stop pretending you didn’t know that. And if you didn’t, read the profile.

11. If someone doesn’t answer you immediately, it is not ok to go off on them and how they’re ignoring you for a pretty boy, and that they’re missing out because you have a job, car, house, and you go on vacations. You obviously also have high levels of. insecurity, a temper, and crazy. *unmatch*

12. While asking questions is a great way to get to know someone, asking someone back to back to back questions, unrelated to the previous answer, and not following up, commenting, and finding common ground with answers (aka having a conversation) is jarring and feels like I’m under interrogation until you feel you’ve done enough to ask for my number.

13. Which brings me to if you ask for my number or to continue the conversation off the site and I say I’m not yet ready, you dont have the right to angrily rant at me and that doesn’t mean to do #12 in an attempt to appease me.

14. Say “hi” and then ask me “truth or dare.” I hate this with all of my soul and it causes me anxiety. Just ask me how I’m doing, what I do for work, etc.

15. Respond to all of my questions with something about meeting me today. It gets annoying. For example, Me: what was the most exciting thing today?

You: Matching with you.

Me: So sweet of you. What are you doing this holiday?

You: hopefully you are coming to see me

Me: Lol. Hmmm… idk I’d like to get to know you better first, plus I have plans.

You: You wouldn’t drop your plans for me?

Me: No. Hell no. Fuck no. I don’t know you!!!!

Ok, ok, I never say that. I usually unmatch, but you get my drift.

16. Similarly please don’t respond to my statements with completely unrelated statements.

Me: So, that about sums up what I do at work. I told you it was a little complicated.

You: I’m just thinking about how it would be to see those lips in person.

WTF?

17. Send me emojis over and over as responses. Especially looking eyes. 👀 THOSE. I love a good emoji but it is annoying when you use it in this way.

18. “Good morning/evening beautiful” has become synonymous with fuck boy when you barely know me. I didn’t write the rule. It just happened. Usually to follow is violation of several of the above.

To end on a positive note, I thought I’d end with a list of “do’s.”

1. Do put up a wide range of pics and look like you enjoy life. I love smiling pics. You’re still a man if you smile, I promise. And you’re sexier immediately to me.

2. Do fill in a bio area. I read every single one. Make it about you and what you like and not what you hate (see above).

3. I am definitely ok with a “hey, how are you?” I don’t need creative pick up lines. I don’t know when it became a crime to just say that.

4. Ask questions about things I wrote in my bio, follow up on common threads, and share info about you.

5. Write more than one word messages.

6. Compliment other parts of me that aren’t physical, i.e. “I can tell you’re really bright or caring.”

7. Talk about a passion of yours. Passion is the key to opening my heart.

8. Make appropriately placed references about Wakanda. I’ll love that.

9. If we have been going back and forth for awhile, we are both sharing info and it doesn’t seem antagonistic, whether for 20 min or 2 days, ask for my number then.

10. Ask me if it’s too late and should we continue in the morning.

11. Continue in the morning if I say yes.

12. Tell me you’re smiling as we’re talking about something non sexual, but interesting. That will make me think you really are into what I’m saying.

13. Use humor, not sarcasm.

What about you all? Have you encountered these things? Agree or disagree? Love to hear from you!

I am Tired Of Dating: Stop Screwing With People’s Emotions… And By People, I Mean Me!

This is a vent post. A wake up call to everyone out there fucking with everyone’s emotions. A comforting blanket for those crying and feeling alone and rejected by dating. A warrior call to those with strength to fuck shit up.

I am so fucking tired of people, and specific to my situation, straight men, doing whatever the hell they want with no repercussions while dating. They come in with no intention of caring for another, and perpetuate as if they may be capable, only to leave women, my friends, me, feeling confused, emotionally drained, defeated, and lately, in my case, pissed. And I’M OVER IT.

Yes, yes. I know. I should be invincible, not allow others to define my emotions, and basically be this woman who knows her worth and moves on unscathed. I do not know what super hero movie you think I’m from, but let me tell you one thing, knowing my worth has nothing to do with the feelings of despair and isolation you feel when people treat you like shit. I may be able to move on at some point and carry my head high, but if you are able to move on unscathed, please bestow your super hero powers on me. Me, I’m simply human and trying to keep myself sane.

For instance, the 5 past first dates I have had scheduled, have all flaked on me. Some have done the disappearing act on the day of. You know, nowhere to be found, number doesn’t work, and you never hear from them again. Luckily, you usually see this coming 24 hours in advance, feel crappy, order take in and/or wine, and stay home crying and texting your group chat about what is wrong with you.

The other type of flake is the set a date, be excited, text you less than 24 hours in advance, so you think it is going to happen. You buy a whole new fucking outfit, and he disappears about 12 hours before. You usually don’t show up for this one either, but this one hurts more and then next damn day, he has an excuse about his ____ dying, his house flooded, or in my situation, a car accident (in which I later learned happened waaaay before our date, he got ibuprofen for a “back injury,”and could totally have taken 2 seconds to text me he wasn’t going to make it). I’m (and you are) a nice person though, so you excuse that.

The last way to get flaked on (or in my situation, at least) is the worst. A guy who has committed one of the above offenses, shows up again and reschedules. He changes the venue an hour or two before to another city and you show up. And he never shows up, calls, or texts. AFTER being the car accident guy on the last date…

Screeeeeech. W. T. ENTIRE. F.

This one usually leads to drinking a lot at said bar meet up spot, trying not to cry, and lots of friends supporting you. But for me, this also lead to days of self doubt, internal warfare, and anger. Lots of it. You see, this came after all these failed attempts at first dates, from guys who seemed interested in me, and I don’t care what anyone tries to convince me otherwise, that shit HURT.

I’m also hurting from dating for many other reasons. I’m very annoyed with guys who want to date me but take no initiative, even if I lay it on the table and state my interest. I’m tired of everyone all the way up to 42 years damn old, not ready to settle down and are looking for “fun,” and come to wreck my life on dating sites despite my clear statement I’m looking for a long term relationship. I’m tired of their audacity to even become remotely upset, when I point that out. I’m tired of men who open up parts of me, only to disappear. Tired of men lying about simple shit, and when I call them out on it, play stupid and switch it back on me, leaving me no choice but to ignore their dumb “looking eyes” emojis when they try to pop up. In fact, I’m tired of the pop ups, please go away and I hate those damn “looking eyes.” I am tired if you flirting endlessly with me all night, hiding your left hand or not wearing your ring, only to tell me hours later that you’re married. I am tired of you realizing too late, I was the one who got away. I’m tired of broken promises strewn on the floor, like shattered glass – seemingly magnificent, but painful.

I’m tired of cisgender, heterosexual men setting the standards and rules of dating and being a woman, that if I don’t follow, rebel, or question, then I’m the crazy one.

Mostly, I’m tired. And I feel an uprising within me that grows stronger everyday. Men, particularly, black men, I love you, but you need to do fucking better. Because I am hearing the warrior call in all areas of my life, and I’m tired and ready for battle.

Dating is the worst…Confirmed

I’ve been pondering on if I should post this.  I wrote it about a month ago.  I just felt like if I stopped talking about Dating, then I’d get over it. HA! This is a follow up to the blog post Dating is the worst….Kind of…  (No this isn’t a solicitation to be hooked up with anyone. You know who you are! LOL) This will most likely be my last post like this about dating. Mostly because it’s a new year, and I’m trying to be a better me.

At the time that I wrote “Dating is the worst…Kind of…” I was just kind of in the middle of this in-and-out thing with someone and wasn’t really sure what things were between me and that person.  It was a great time, and I had fun, but after a while I starting thinking “hey, this is a good thing!” (You already know where this is going).  At the time I was “going with the flow”, like everyone always suggests. “If something is there then let it happen naturally” they say.  Sure, but how long do you have to wait before something starts to “happen naturally”?  At what certain point do you get tired of “going with the flow” after flowing for months and for some people, years?  It should go without saying that when feelings start to be involved, then that’s where things need to be looked at closer. And someone is always going to catch feelings…

I guess that’s where I fucked up.

As a pretty emotional person, I tend to let my feels get the best of me at times (a lot of times). And that’s not necessarily a bad thing but I do end up in bad situations a lot due to it.  In most cases, it’s when I feel like I need to throw caution to the wind due to being an over-thinker (Which is a terrible method and I’m trying to get back to my “fuck it all” ways; Even though I’ve officially embraced my “I got time” nature…I’m a little confused on things currently in this department).

*Sigh*

I probably should have posted this sooner…

But I didn’t.  I thought I was over it.  And at the time I wrote this, I was still holding on for some dumb reason. We all know that not letting go only turns you into a angry, bitter, stalker.  And for some time, I was that person.  Angry at the fact that I let myself get into this position again.  Bitter at the fact that they continued to live life as if I barely even existed, and stalker because social media just makes it so easy; So I’m hoping for this to be my ultimate “let go” moment of this situation.

Dating is such a difficult process.  Without even realizing it, it’s something that can determine the trajectory of the rest of your life.  Just think, all it takes is one day to meet your future spouse. One person, a stranger even, could be the one you end up spending the rest of your life with.  Just one day.  I recently started thinking this way, and it let me to date a little more critically.  I used to date carelessly; Ok, lets be honest.  I used to hook up and then decide if they were viable candidates to spend the rest of my life with (a terrible business model).  It’s a trap I’ve been setting myself up for for YEARS and now I’m finally realizing it.  In my aforementioned post, this was literally my example of how I dated, and why I thought it was the worst.  But dating that way is cake compared to actually DATING someone.  It was easy back then but now, you get too involved and your emotions are all fucked afterwards.

Ever since starting “The Tinder Experiment”,  I’ve worked on changing my whole philosophy on dating because, to be frank; Just because the sex is good doesn’t mean that’s who I should be laying beside for the rest of my life.

So back then, dating was only the worst… “Kind of…” because I would feel like crap, but then pick myself back up by the bootstraps, download a hookup app and start searching for the next adventure and I would be fine.  But in my current situation, where I’ve actually started investing time in getting to know people on a more intimate level, dating actually gets difficult.  Yeah, sometimes things don’t work out, and that’s normal, but I’m talking about the times where you’re genuinely getting to know someone. You start getting to know them and enjoying time with that person and then it ends abruptly. And it just hurts like hell.  Because instead of just looking for your next fuck, you feel drained, hopeless at times because you’ve showed so much of yourself to this person for nothing.  It’s disheartening, and really damaging, honestly.

I blame the hook up apps…

But, actually, I blame myself.  I blame myself for a lot of different reasons that are too lengthy to list here, but I do.

I haven’t seriously talked to many people since. Well, I did, but things fell off.  I guess at this point it’s obvious that things fell off because of my previous experience.  I’m slightly scared, sure.  And it might sound like I’m complaining or whining, and maybe I am.  It’s just a part of the process.

So again, no, I’m not looking for encouraging words, or for you to hook me up with anyone (Tina! lol).  Reason being is because after going through so many dating situations, you start the think that you are the problem, and then you feel a little hopeless for a while, and then you don’t want to let anyone in, and you always think in your head that Karma is a bitch, and ultimately, you’re just tired.  Because who’s ready to exert that much time and energy into someone again already?   So to the guys I’ve talked to recently; I’m working on it, but…now you know.

So yeah, Dating is the worst…for now…

The Tinder Experiment (final update)

THE EXPERIMENT IS OVER!

I’M OVER IT!

SO OVER IT!

IT’S DUMB!

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Ok Ok, it wasn’t dumb BUT, to be honest, I’ve never really legitimately dated.  It’s always been this whole “hook-up” thing, and then I’m like “hey I like you” and then they are like “Hey, I like you too” and then down the road…say like 3 months I find out that this probably isn’t what I wanted to sign up for and then I’m back at square one.  So this has really been kind of hard for me.

It’s been about  a month since I started “The Tinder Experiement” and I think that this is a long enough time to report back on my initial findings.  Things during the experiment were both good and bad. Before starting this I would swipe like a mad-man waiting for a match to happen.  Over time, I no longer stressed out about matching with people, nor did I freak out when people didn’t really text back immediately. It gave me a reason to be patient.  I wasn’t feeding off that instant gratification of matching with a million people and always having someone to talk to or respond to.  I focused on talking to 3 people at a time and as time went along my urge to swipe significantly decreased and honestly, I just stopped caring about matching with other people since I was spending valuable time getting to know someone else.  Maybe this was just an overall good way to ween myself off of the dating app completely.

Well… I thought…

The best thing about this experiment was realizing that vetting these guys by actually reading through their “About Me” profiles and being a little more critical about who I swiped right on due to the “only matching with three people at a time” rule has proven to be a tad effective. I’ve not matched with any fuckbois at all, and I’m able to have genuine conversation with people who want to learn more about me.  I just don’t feel like I’m wasting my time when logging onto the application.  It’s a great feeling.

With the Pros though, there are Cons.  Those mostly being that you get a lot of boring guys, and you can’t really avoid that.  Also, people may be busy, or just don’t use the app as much and that’s understandable, but you would think that if someone wanted to talk to you and found you interesting they’d talk to you more often.  With this said though, having the boring guys around has made it easier for me to not be addicted to Tinder and keep in mind you can always unmatch and keep it moving.

There’s no real say on if this is a bust or not, but if I compare it to how I used to treat Tinder, there would probably be a lot of wasted time and conversations in my message queue.  I’ve realized that I don’t have time for that so right now, I would say a slight success.  I’ve met a few genuine guys who just didn’t work out due to personality mismatches, mostly. I’m kind of particular.

So as of right now I think I’m hanging up the online app dating hat.  Even after going through hundreds of profiles and matching with about 20 guys, I’ve still not found that one that’s for me.  I can admit though, that this experience overall, has been the best experience I’ve had on Tinder for sure.  Just takes time.  What’s next?  I’m not sure.  Maybe I’ll just be content “loving me” and “getting to know myself” as the married and boo’d up people say. *Rolls Eyes*.

 

 

Boring (A Poem)

No one knows how to be bored anymore

People are constantly looking for thrill and excitement

In the next adventure, the next drink, the next hit, the next person

No one wants to just…be

Especially if that means being bored

When I was little this was my favorite quote

“I’m bored”

And in true Dad fashion I would hear the response

“Hi bored. I’m James. “

My aunt once told me that I would never gain weight because I couldn’t stay still even when I was bored

I wish I could be that kind of bored again.

When I was younger my sister used to make up the most wonderful games to distract us from our boredom

Can’t touch the floor,

Barbie games that took longer to set up than to actually play,

Walking on clouds,

And her favorite

Mushed bananas. Where she convinced her bored little sister to smother her feet in lotion but some how we always ran out of time the moment the roles were to reverse.

I would quickly become un-bored the moment my mother reminded me there was always something that needed cleaning.

Boredom

No one knows how to be bored anymore

Constantly seeking the next great adventure

The next drink

The next hit

The next person

You bore me, swipe

You’re boring, swipe

Oh you don’t want to go out every weekend and get totally wasted

Boring

Swipe

No one knows how to have boring conversations that lead to tears and catharsis

Me and my friends recently spent hours that felt like seconds at a Mexican restaurant showering each other with love and praise

Lifting each other up

Allowing each other to be vulnerable

Allowing each other to…be

In these moments that passed too quickly I was not bored

My hope however is that the next time either of us feels boring

The next time either of us feel less than

The next time someone tells me I won’t find love sitting at home knitting and being boring

The next time one of us looks in the mirror and doesn’t see the fierce goddess that she truly is and just feels boring

The next time one of us considers that life might not be worth living due to loss, or feelings of less than

The next time one of us is bored

My hope is that we remember this night

That it brings a smile to our face

Tears to our eyes

Hope to our hearts

Joy to our soul

Life can be boring

But I…I am not bored

So This is 30!

I have officially entered the 30 club! Whoop whoop! I received about as close to a parade for my 30th birthday as possible. Thank you again to all my friends and family who showed up and showed out for little OLD me! As far as birthdays go it was pretty wonderful.

So now a time of reflection.

The last three decades have definitely been interesting. Living all over the world (or at least Europe) as a child, moving back to America as a pre-teen, middle school (ugh), high school, teen pregnancy, motherhood, college, grad school, first job, first counseling jobs, Love, heartbreak, Love again, heartbreak again, and ultimately self-love. Obviously a very condensed nutshell of my life so far.

Here are my hopes, dreams, prayers, demands, #goals for my 30’s:

Continued but unwavering self-love. I plan to love myself so much that the next time someone comes a long and it doesn’t work,or if no one comes a long at all, or if they do and it does work, that my love for myself does not waver or weaken or crumble. Honestly, this is a tough one.

More travel. Wether it’s around the world or up the street. I don’t care. Just do it. And take Taylor with.

Save money. This is an area I struggle with to the pits of my soul. But somethings gotta give.

One day make enough money to move out of my parents house but also still be able to afford to eat on a daily basis.

Do more things alone. I spent the last decade or so doing a lot of waiting for someone else to do things with. Autumns came and went where I didn’t go on awesome fall dates because there was no one to take me. Museums have been unvisited. Movies were left unseen. Restaurants were left untried. Because for some reason in my head, to do things alone was the ultimate form of sadness. My fellow bloggers write a lot about dating or dating experiments. Dating scares me. Maybe I will blog about my solo dates…hmmm.

Which leads me to,

Go on more dates. I honestly don’t know why the idea of going out with someone I don’t really know to well scares me but it does. Especially if this person was found on a dating app. People are crazy. I’m not trying to be no ones breaking news or lifetime movie. But, alas, it is the way the rest of the world works so it’s time to hop on board the dating train.

Find a workout/exercise/healthy living routine I actually enjoy. Kind of self explanatory really. Any suggestions?

Learn to knit things that aren’t rectangular. I knit a lot of scarves, blankets, things that look round but are really just rectangles sewn together. Gotta learn some advanced techniques.

Learn to leave people on “read.” This could probably be an entire blog post in itself and maybe one day it will be. But for now, just thinking of it as learning to walk away and not feel bad for doing so when relationships end or even just conversations.

So yea. I think that’s pretty much it. Pretty standard stuff really. Obviously the list has the ability to be adjusted and tweaked as needed. I feel like an official adult now! Not sure how I made it here but here I am. At the very least it should result in a few entertaining blog post!

What are/were your hopes, dreams, prayers, demands, #goals for your 30’s?

Y’all…

I had to block a number today…

Mind you, this was someone I met pre-Tinder Experiment, so I should have expected the crazy from the jump, but being the nice person that I am decided to just keep him around as a friend for the time being. Just in case. You know…

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Well today, that number has been blocked!

Why, you say?  Because apparently me not wanting to reimburse a 10 dollar movie ticket is an ultimate sin.

Ok I’m super exaggerating that.

In short, I agreed to go to the movies with someone, but decided that it was not a good idea to do so.  I’ll explain later. BUT, to be fair, I will say that I did agree to pay him back at first.  I was like fine, whatever. It’s ten dollars.  So I ask what’s his Venmo, Paypal, Cash app, etc. You know, so I could just shoot him over a few dollars, and forget about it.

This dude tells me he doesn’t have any of those apps and that I can send him a check.  Then proceeds to send me his mailing address.

Yall…

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Like seriously…

I can’t make this shit up…

So at that point I’ve made it up in my mind that he’s not getting this ten dollars. Sorry, not sorry (shoutouts to Demi). Also, it’s a movie you invited me to go to and I said sure,  why not.  I did not contact him about going, nor did I force him to buy the tickets.  He actually kept bothering me, asking me about it and I finally said yeah, because I do want to go see “The Last Jedi”, I really do. I know that I’d really enjoy it. So much so that I was going to go back on Saturday to see it again. To add, he specifically stated “I’ll buy the tickets since you got the last ones”.

Let me also add that NOT ONLY did I pay for the movies the last time because he showed up at the theater on RELEASE WEEKEND of Justice League without buying the tickets in advance; I had to buy them on my phone with MY money; AND we had to get a movie for a later time because the one we showed up for was sold out! BUT I ALSO bought THIS BUM’s brunch like a week earlier! Don’t you know Brunch ain’t cheap?!? AND YOU WANT TO BOTHER ME ABOUT A MOTHER F**KING $10 MOVIE TICKET?!?!?!?

Now again, me and this guy are pretty much just friends at this point and maybe I may have led him on, who knows. But I mentioned from the jump this wasn’t a cuffing season trial relationship. I wasn’t looking for anything. Not trying to get serious. Just. Friends. But I felt something brewing and just had to end it and be like “hey man, we can’t hang out like that anymore”. “I feel like there’s a show of feelings and it’s a little one sided (he was catching feels).”

Well, he called me arrogant for assuming that he was catching feelings. Told me that he’s been hanging around with multiple people, getting down and dirty with them and not only just me and etc. (which mind you, ain’t nothing even ever really happened between him and I like that) and I’m sitting here like…

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(Rainbow and all)

Then, since I told him I didn’t want to hang anymore, that’s when he wanted money back for the movie ticket. So that brings you back to the beginning of this post.

I told him to refund it. As long as the movie hasn’t played, you can get a full refund. Apparently he’s not going to do that so….whatever. I don’t know what else to tell him other than to let him be salty over a Large combo at McDonalds…Or two Cook Out Trays…Or a half tank of gas…Or whatever else that costs ten dollars now days.

Either way I didn’t realize I had to block someone over ten dollars.  Maybe I’ll be on Judge Joe Brown one day fighting this. lol

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(Petty to the 10th power)