Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Online Dating: Signs It Is About To Get Weird

There are so many different kinds of weirdos. At one point, I wasn't ready to date again.  When I was ready, I could not get over some of the things I've seen on the Profiles of people looking for love online, especially the things that people are open about that perhaps should be left behind closed doors. I even stumbled on my ex's online dating profile once. There are so many kinds of weird messages you can get, but what are the warning signs that your online conversation is about to get weird?

I seem to attract men who start out normal. It begins as seemingly normal small talk that leads to creepy confessions (usually about sexual fetishes) before I ever even get to know their name.  I began noticing that there are usually signs that things are about to get weird or that someone has some particular tastes, so... here are some of the warning signs things are about to be weird:

You Smoke, He Doesn't.  I'm not saying smokers and non-smokers can't mingle. I was a smoker and I've dated non-smokers for many years without problems (believe it or not), but most of my non-smoking beaus merely tolerated it. I'm sure there are men who genuinely do not care, but I haven't encountered one. In my experience a man who eeks out a smoker either thinks he can get her to quit or is into watching women smoke.  My last encounter online with a man who was into smoking women asked me a lot of questions. How long did I smoke? What did I smoke? If I had quit, did I ever have one occasionally? At first, I thought he wanted to try and talk to me about quitting, but eventually admitting to me that he thought watching a woman smoke was one of the sexiest things ever.  

You're so hot.  Compliments and adoration are always appreciated.  But if that's all he has to say to you the messages are going to taper off.  He'll either run out of things to say and stop messaging you or they're going to gradually get more sexual. One day out of the blue he'll say something super inappropriate.  The inappropriate message will come right after he asked you a nice normal question about your job or hobbies.  You'll be writing a thoughtful response about living alone with your cat and how much you like to Modge Podge (or macrame) and then you'll send the message. You'll be thinking that he might really be a cool guy because he's always complimenting you and asked about your hobbies. Then you'll get the message he sent. In the four minutes it took you to respond, he will have worked himself into a lather over your "hotness". Then you'll get a message about how much he wants to "modge podge" on your face. 

Do you like to swim?  Once upon a time, I worked for a very popular mail-order bedding company taking orders over the phone.  It was not unusual to get creepy phone calls from time to time, but the call center had a frequent caller who liked to call and pretend to start an order with a fake name and address, and would then start asking the representative on the phone questions like "Do you like to swim?".  He would do this with adult entertainment playing in the background which would progressively get louder.  Every once in awhile, I'll get a message from a man on a dating site and it will start with the usual "Hey", "How are you?" and "What do you like to do?".  He'll answer the same questions in return, but then all of a sudden he'll ask about a hobby that I don't mention on my profile.  There is nothing wrong with that by itself especially if he is trying to see if we have any mutual interests, but in my experience it usually leads to something more.  The one I encounter most is "Do you like to swim?".  The most recent guy, when I replied "Not Really", responded with "Seriously?" and then I never heard from him again.  

Truth or Dare?  When I was in middle school, it was a thing for the "cool" kids to get together and play Truth or Dare.  Let's be honest, it was my generation's version of Spin the Bottle. Once you hit middle school it isn't a fun game anymore so much as it is the beginning of sexual exploration and/or utter humiliation in front of your peer group. Granted, most people were still in the kissing stage and maybe some light over-the-clothes radio-tuning boob grabbing (Tune in Tokyo!) but I know many people who experienced their first kiss or streaked for the first time as a result of playing Truth or Dare with that particular group of people.  I was only invited to attend a few times, but never actually went. Sadly, there are still men who use this "Truth or Dare?" tactic on Online Dating sites. The goal appears to be to learn intimate details without actually having to invest time, energy, money or genuine effort in getting to know someone. It is a quick thrill approach which only really gets a response from people who respond to being dared to do things, not measure or determine someone's true character or intent.  It weeds out women who are impulsive or interested in casual sex. If you're looking for casual it's great, but if you aren't and you respond to this you can count on it going bad fast.  The first time a guy sent me a message asking me "Truth or Dare?" I thought it was refreshing and decided to play along while being reasonably sure it would go South fast.  I chose "Truth" because only a moron says "Dare" right off the bat.  His first question was "Do you like to kiss?"  Pretty harmless I guess, but from there it goes downhill because there is no other way to go.

He wants to "be honest".  If a man on an online dating site asks if he can be honest with you, brace yourself.  There is usually some kind of personal "issue" bomb or explicit comment headed your way. 

He goes Buffalo Bill. I seem to attract guys who quote Silence of the Lambs". One time, a man told me that he liked Big Beautiful Women (BBW) because "you can be rough with them and they have soft skin that jiggles when they walk".  I'm clearly "All about That Bass" and I must look like some kind of edible deliciousness but there is something incredibly creepy about having a man you don't know make comments about your skin. I do have soft skin.  I also work hard to have soft feet. It's still  creepy when someone I've never met starts making comments about the texture of my skin or about eating me. My ideal skin compliment is "Oh Baby, you have such a soft looking, smooth, wrinkle and acne-free face" (on the rare occasion that is actually the case).  But when they start making typos and the word "skinless" comes up it is just best to walk away before it leads to asking if you want company. You don't. Not from this guy anyway. 

Sometimes it pays to be a Judgy McJudgypants. Yes, I totally just said that. If he is "looking for someone open-minded" OR mentions wanting someone "nonjudgmental", start mentally preparing yourself.  This is the number one way to tell it is about to get weird.  I've come to believe that online dating sites are a hotbed for men with fetishes.  Most fetishes don't bother me, I believe we all just want someone to love and accept us.  When it comes to online dating, expect to encounter many people who feel self-conscious or insecure about their fetish (most being rather tame and common in nature) and are lonely. In fact, most of the aforementioned clues to weirdness are (obviously) really about fetishes.

If you're interested in hearing what he is going to say and seeing what he is into, then by all means ask him what exactly he means by nonjudgmental.  I find that taking the direct approach will get you the most straightforward answer every time because they don't expect it.  Pro-tip: I highly recommend going somewhere where your reaction to his answer will not be seen or heard by others, especially if he says both open-minded and nonjudgmental.

I've encountered two men who were looking for someone who was both open-minded and nonjudgmental. One was openly into feet, which doesn't bother me so much.  What DID bother me was when he started telling me that he was actually into trampling. If you don't know, trampling is a specialized kind of foot fetish which can involve stepping, walking, and stomping on the person. He wanted me Snausage Stomp him. Then he told me he wanted to watch me step on fish while wearing flip flops. That was the end of our conversation. I don't believe in harming or involving animals, reptiles, bugs or fish in my sexual exploits. Ever.

The other "gentleman" said he was looking for someone open-minded and when I asked what that meant he said his interest was non-sexual, but he wanted me to think about all the men who had ever hurt me before and then kick him "in the balls" until he fell over. Then he wanted me to describe how I would step on him.  Our conversation ended there but in hindsight perhaps I should have gotten his number...

Overall, the lesson I've taken away from online dating that I've come here to share with you is that things are rarely as innocent as they seem.  I honestly believe in online dating and that there are people out there who are normal, functional, and interested in a relationship but might have a hard time meeting people in person or are shy.  Maybe I'm more of an optimist than I realize, but I think it is important to be wary and expect that a good portion of the interactions you have are going to get weird even when they start out in a seemingly normal manner because sometimes you have to kiss more than a few frogs before you find a prince.

What signs have you noticed that things are about to get weird when having a conversation with someone on an online dating site?

1 comment:

  1. If they want to be honest with you. That's funny! I want to judge the whole online dating world, but it seems like there are a ton of couples I know who all dated this way. Sometimes I think it's just a more efficient way of weeding through the crazies!