I’m Imperfect and I Make Mistakes
I’ve not just learnt about others through dating, I’ve also learnt about myself. It turns out there’s nothing perfect about me and I make a lot of dating mistakes.
I’ve already confessed I’ve ghosted people and I’ve been online while being in the rebound phase. I’ve also secretly talked to several guys at once and avoided some guys in the hope that they’d get bored and move on. Dare I admit that I’ve even checked out other guys while on a date and sadly been caught out.
I could give you an exhaustive list of all the mistakes I’ve made and things I’ve done wrong, things I would do differently if I could, but instead, I’ll share some stories.
In the early days of online dating, I had no idea what I was doing. I would encourage and welcome the sexual messages early into chatting and I would share way too much information about my own personal experiences. Not only was this completely foolish because I was trusting guys I had no knowledge of, it was also allowing myself to be vulnerable to guys who might be skillful in the art of manipulation. Massive mistakes! Thankfully, I learned quickly, becoming more adept at working out the guys to stay away from and, as a result, I met nicer guys. They still had their baggage but it was nothing compared to some of the earlier weirdos.
Before the nice guys came along I started chatting with Dipstick Den. I still remember sitting on the sofa one evening and glancing over his profile that read “Match with me. What’s the worst that can happen?”
The worse included him being the first and only guy I know of to call me the C-word in anger and really mean it.
Dipstick Den appeared funny and chatty. I didn’t give him my mobile number immediately, something held me back, but the next day he still seemed keen so I threw caution to the wind. There was a lot of texting and soon sex was slammed into the conversation. I was learning about guys and had decided the more sexual the conversation the less likely it was I’d actually meet the man. Those that tended to thrust sex into their messages were looking for a hook-up and presumed I was too. They were frequently adamant that I was a sure thing.
I’m nobody’s sure thing
During my conversations with Den, I decided to explain brazenly that the more we talked about sex the less likely we would be to meet. What followed that statement was a long and detailed conversation on why. I started to open up, telling him about my limited experiences and what I was looking for. I told a man I didn’t know, way too much about myself and, I think he was excited by the prospect of what would happen between us.
The conversations started to go from fun and exciting to concerning relatively quickly. Unsurprisingly, he wanted to go on a first date as soon as possible. One of my personal rules is that I don’t rush into a first date, especially not on the same day that I start properly chatting with someone. I also had things planned, I was applying for new jobs and that weekend I was preparing for an interview. Den wasn’t happy and eventually talked me down from waiting a week before we met to four days.
On the evening of our first day of texting, I had to do some interview prep. I got the following message.
Den: If I find out you’re going out with someone else tonight and not doing prep I’m going to be really angry with you.
I continued prepping that evening and asked if we could stop the messages for just an hour so I could focus. Eventually, he relented but made it clear he was pissed off. Den must have been checking when I was going on Whatsapp because when a friend messaged me some information helpful for the interview and I checked it I got another message.
Den: I thought you were meant to be doing interview prep
MORE ALARM BELLS!
I ignored the message but later when we chatted different things niggled me. Firstly he wouldn’t tell me much about what he did for a living.
Den: Don’t worry about it, babe. There’s plenty of time to get to know each other later.
He also didn’t have any friends, preferring to spend all his time alone and playing computer games. Den would regularly ask me for suggestive photos and then get annoyed when I refused to send them, becoming angrier when he couldn’t talk me around to his way of thinking. Clothing became a topic of one conversation. He’d found some unsuitable clothes and shoes that he wanted to buy for me. When I was less than keen he explained, “Every relationship involves compromise”. The more he pushed, the more stubborn I became.
We hadn’t even met!
The whole of the second day of messaging was spent with me trying to work on interview prep and him trying to stop me. Den would question why I was choosing it before him, becoming increasingly annoyed with me and trying different tactics to make me feel guilty. Eventually, his mood became sullen and he wouldn’t give more than one-word answers to my questions. By the end of the second day, I’d stopped hearing from him and made no effort to contact him again. Honestly, I was relieved. I was beginning to realise he was controlling and bad news. A date with him would be a massive mistake and laying myself open to a danger I wasn’t sure I’d be able to avoid.
Although we’d decided the Tuesday would be the day for the date, we hadn’t agreed a time or location. When Monday came and I still hadn’t heard from him I was a bundle of relief and fear. Obviously, he’d moved on and that could only be a good thing. Maybe I was safe. The fear was still there, though. What if he suddenly messaged on the day to arrange the date and didn’t like the answer, “I’ve changed my mind”? I hadn’t got as far as sharing my surname with him but he could find me if he wanted to.
Then the day came and in the early evening, I convinced myself that I must be safe…until I received his text.
Over the course of that evening, I was called some of the most offensive names I’ve ever heard. Den was vile and vicious. Insults from the personal and private things I’d told him were slung my way. When I tried to explain myself he cut me short with a torrent of abuse. He told me, among other things, that he hoped I died with the limited experience I had.
It was a massive learning curve. I knew never to be so open, honest and dismissive of my instincts again. I shouldn’t have given him my number and I shouldn’t have given him personal details. Also, when I knew he wasn’t the right guy for me, I shouldn’t have been gutless. Instead I should have called time on the situation early on.
Thankfully, I got off lightly. Hideous names and insults were nothing compared to what could have happened if we’d met.
In my next post, I’ll share another story about my own imperfections when dating. There will even be a story about a situation I could have handled better. In the meantime, if you’d like to share your thoughts or experiences then please comment below or visit my Facebook page or Twitter page.