Internet Dating Horrors or This Must be A Trick!
Trick and No Treat
Some things go so wrong, that they must be a trick of some sort. I have no other explanation.
The following tale is the foundation for my dislike of Internet dating sites, dating services, blind dates arranged by friends, and game show dating games. Contrary to popular opinion, bars and churches are also not always optimal places to find well-adjusted companions. There seem, in fact, very few effective ways and places to meet a human being and none of the methods listed fills the bill.
I am adamantly against the practice of claiming Christianity solely in order to troll dating sites for a match the troll feels will be trusting, naïve, submissive, and ill informed. These individuals are looking for victims -- It is dishonest and exploitative. Dating in the 21st century is full of woe. I prefer the system of planned courtship; otherwise, I go out with friends with no expectations other than good manners and lack of stupidity. I think that is fair.
Friendship can become another sort of relationship and I believe that spouses should be best friends. For dating, remember that the Bible tells us to be as wise as serpents and as gentle as doves -- I think that means to be gracious, but to keep one’s eyes open and one’s phaser charged.
My New Friends
First Contact SNAFU
A few years after I'd opened a martial arts school, I was introduced to a gentleman that claimed to be Christian. I couldn't tell much about him at a meeting for coffee in a public place, but he seemed at least benign. I agreed to go out with him once, the next day. He was driving an expensive new car, but I did not assume that it was his. It could have been a rental.
This person planned a pleasant afternoon for that Saturday. First, there would be a hike in a nearby state forest and recreation area, followed by changing clothes and dining at a sit-down restaurant. He said it would be expensive and I thought, “I doubt it” and took clothing appropriate for a moderately priced establishment.
I drove to this person's apartment in a decent neighborhood. Once inside, I found neatly kept lodgings. However, there was a display of bank statements and open bank passbooks lying on a table near the entrance door. I ignored them.
We proceeded to the state park, where this fellow produced a cheap 2-litre of soda from the Family Dollar Store and two old metal tumblers. This was not a good sign and I declined the “refreshment.” His conversation was boring before it became bizarre. I began to take notes. He spoke of a sister that had been sexually molested by a family member - not pleasant conversation and I said I'd had enough of that in my daily work with patients.
It was August, sunny but not hot that year, with a moderate breeze and clear skies.
During the hiking portion of this odyssey package, this person made a commotion about poison ivy on the trail. I am not allergic to it and he seemed to be disappointed by that fact. Then he picked up a garter snake and stuck it in my face, to which I did not flinch. I took it and put it back where it had been, thinking, “Where is his caregiver?”
He asked me if I was tired. I asked him why 15 minutes in good weather should tire me when 3 hours in hip-high February snow does not. He had no reply. This was becoming a waste of time, but the park and the weather were lovely and I did not have to drive.
At the end of the trail, we were to drive to his place to change. Instead, he took me to an outhouse.
Etiquette - Start Early, Repeat
I knew it had to be a game, so I planned to get through the next hour, back to the city, and away. In the worst case, I could put him unconscious without a mark and drive him to the police station.
The restaurant was a Dairy Queen affair (Dairy Barn, I believe) with a petting zoo - the only good thing about it. Customers could walk up to the counter and order or use the option to wait for the server to come to the booth. We sat down and my "date" went to the counter and ordered a large dessert, which he ate in front of me.
Now I knew what was wrong. He was and a control freak. His previous attempts to elicit a reaction from me were all about control. However, I stayed disengaged from the game.
In my experience, an individual that plays games with food, money, or sex is maladjusted. Few of them can be fixed, since these games are indelibly attached to threatening a target's basic drives or needs. These behaviors can be vicious beyond the first step and must be a product of neural miswiring, maltreatment, or perhaps demon possession, to cover the spectrum.
There is no repair shop for these brains. One of their cylinders is not firing. Their fuel mixture is off. Having dumped too much oil greedily into the crankcase, the brain finds it all blown out the tailpipe. As one man said about incurably diseases, "There should be a shot for that," and indeed, there is likely some medication that works some of the time in some of these cases; but it is not a cure. There should be a telethon for it.
I did not react to the dessert sequence, because I made it a habit of not eating desserts. Further, one saves up possible reactions for a finishing blow, doesn’t one? I also eat breakfast and a light dinner, but skip lunch, so I was not hungry. That was to my advantage. At the Dairy Barn, a server appeared and my "date" ordered each of us a sandwich and a drink (after his supersized dessert). In total, he spent $3.00 on me. How flattering and generous. The petting zoo goats were friendly, though.
We drove back to the city, this Captain Ahab of sugar pointing out restaurants along the way in which he had previously enjoyed specific desserts. It was an Anthony Bourdain travelogue without the wit and wisdom of Anthony Bourdain. I remarked mildly, "I don't eat desserts" and the conversation ran out.
The dessert-obsessed tour guide turned on the car radio and switched to a Christian station before we arrived at his apartment parking lot. He made a sexually inappropriate remark about the female artist and I exited the car without comment when we arrived. I walked to my auto while he followed, calling out me instructions to bring him a Sunday newspaper at 10:00 AM sharp the next morning, after which I was to take him to an expansive amusement-park-that-is-a-city (and pay for it), and then take him to an upscale restaurant for dinner.
I entered my car, locked the door, and left without acknowledging any of this dithering.
At 10:03 AM the next morning, he called - presumably, to see why I had not arrived, although he never had the opportunity to speak. Caller ID identified him and I blew a police whistle into the phone. He did not call again, having finally received a reaction.
Dating should not be war and courtship should not be bondage.
And I can make my own dessert for myself and my friends.
Anti-abuse and anti-bully education can help youth of each gender to prevent the catastrophe that ends in death at the hands of an abuser. It can begin as verbal abuse: an odd comment that is slightly disrespectful - but you're not sure about it. Then it can escalate and manifest itself in any aspects of life.
Games that focus on control or the need to ellicit a negative reaction can result in a drug-like "high" when the game player succeeds. It’s not healthy and I hope you can avoid meeting these players.