If you’ve seen my previous blog posts about my adventures in online dating then you know I wasn’t pleased with the majority of responses I received. For awhile it seemed that there was a lack of truly interesting men who shared like interests with me. It also seemed I was severely lacking in the mindset needed to try dating in today’s climate of the “hook up culture” which was about as attractive to me as being ripped in half by 2 crazed alligators.
As exhausting as reading through profile after profile and responding to message after message had been I admit I had a mild anxiety attack by the time I had actually agreed to actually meet up with a guy I’d chatted back and forth with from Plenty Of Fish. Unlike my experience on OkCupid, I liked that Plenty Of Fish allowed me to refine my searches by height easily. When you’re a woman who stands a little over 6 feet being able to narrow down dating options by height is both a joy and necessity. I think short women sometimes don’t really appreciate having the majority of men being taller than they. I on the other hand have mild moments of sheer elation whenever a man’s profile says he’s at least 6 ft 3. A profile showing a height of 6 ft 5 or above is enough to have me fanning myself and thanking every deity I’ve ever been made aware of.
Since I could easily find men who were not vertically challenged I figured half my work was done. My initial trip into online dating land proved that just like in real life I was a magnet for men whose heads I could easily see the tops of. I was convinced there had to be a man over 6 ft 2 who liked a woman with tattoos somewhere in the greater Philadelphia area and then bang one morning I hit the jackpot!
I had outgrown my awkward aversion to approaching men first by this time and came across a profile of a very handsome, chocolate complected man who had lovely dreads and whose profile stated he was 6 foot 5 and did tattoos. For a tall chic like me, committed to getting tattoos and not having to bend down to kiss my mate this was the equivalent of winning Powerball. However, I still had to hope he would be as interested in me as I was in him.
For the sake of somewhat protecting the
innocent I will not be using any screenshots as I did in my previous posts. Instead, I’ll rely on my excellent memory and even more excellent story telling abilities. I messaged the handsome “winning ticket” saying I thought we would get along and wondered if he would be ok with getting to know one another better. Then I crossed my fingers, said three hail mary’s, jumped backwards five times and did The Dougie.
I was notified the next day that I had gotten a response from my lotto ticket- let’s call him *Wade. He said he was cool with getting to know me better and gave me his number. I gave him mine and before I knew it we were texting back and forth. After three days we talked about meeting up and then finally planned a definitive date.
I have to say there was pretty good chemistry from the rip. Besides the fact that he was very easy on the eyes, a Pisces just like I am, dabbled in beat-making like I do and had a fondness for tattoos and putting them on people, he seemed to really like talking to me and listening to me. Conversation being easy, musical interests vibrating on a similar level and the way he looked me straight in the eyes when we spoke made me feel that perhaps dating wouldn’t be the clusterfuck of what-the-fuck I had imagined it would be. Maybe I wasn’t destined to remain a helplessly single, eternally heart-broken, sad excuse for a 30 something year old woman. I was optimistic. Was being the operative word.
In retrospect, I know I was not ready for the things that transpired next. I was still trying to process my previous relationship, why it ended and dealing with really heavy lingering feelings of still loving my ex. But I felt I needed to fulfill my need for attention and companionship and thought in my being upfront about wanting to keep things casual I was safely transitioning into accepting and embracing dating again. I have mentioned I’m human and can be wrong, right? Oh, I haven’t? Dammit.
So guess what you get when you combine an emotionally unavailable Pisces female with an equally if not more emotionally unavailable Pisces male? Dead fucking fish, that’s what. We hung out semi-often, he tattooed me (which I paid for) and it seemed even though we had an understanding to keep things casual that he became my “faux boyfriend”. You know, like a boyfriend, but not really. Oh wait, you don’t know? Ok. It’s like I could count on him to make me feel less depressed about not having a boyfriend by having him unofficially be my boyfriend. He said, “Let’s keep it casual.” I said, “I agree.” and somewhere in the middle of all that casualness we casually acted like we were in a relationship. I know. It makes no sense, but he made me forget how it felt to be lonely.
In another attempt to protect the
innocent I won’t get into too much detail about *Wade’s source of emotional unavailability but I will say this- he made it clear that he could possibly have a kid on the way. According to him his ex had been dishonest about how she interacted with other men, specifically via computer and he wasn’t sure the baby was his. My advice upon hearing this was that it was probably better to act from the standpoint that the child was his so that he didn’t miss out on anything rather than to act as if it wasn’t and miss out on God knows what. He didn’t agree with me though which it turns out would be one of the things I grew to dislike about him.
Over time I started to realize that there were a few things I really didn’t like about *Wade. Some of those things were small like how he called me “Boo”, a term I loathe and how he would call me to talk about absolutely nothing. But some of the things were much larger not only in magnitude but also in the lessons they taught me about myself.
*Wade told me he had named his penis. At first this sounded extremely weird to me as I hadn’t really encountered a penis in my entire dating life that had been named by his owner. But I felt like, hey, if he likes it then ok. Nothing could have prepared me for the name he actually chose, though. Wait for it…. Wait for it…. Ok, ready? He named his penis Brutus!
Et tu, Brute? Hold up! Wayment! William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, anyone? I swear the first thing I thought when he told me the name was that his penis would betray me just like Marcus Brutus did to Caesar. I even remember telling him why I thought the name was odd but it seemed to fall on deaf ears. Womp. Womp.
Then there was the problem that I knew shouldn’t be a problem because of the very nature of our faux relationship but that problem was a problem anyway. What problem, you ask? Oh, just his pesky habit of openly talking to other girls on the phone while in my presence.
I definitely still talked to other guys whilst I faux dated *Wade but one thing I never did was have phone conversations with other men while I was actually in his presence. Yes, things were casual. No, we had no title. No we weren’t in a relationship and both of us agreed we weren’t ready for one. I had absolutely no qualms about how we set things up. But for some reason I found it extremely rude, callous and arrogant for this man to sometimes sit right next to me and talk to other females. Any woman that’s ever overheard a man try to pretend like he’s not talking to a female by using nondescript words knows that even when attempts are made to hide the fact that there is a female on the other end of the phone the man is still giving himself away. Usually the man’s chosen tone of voice is a dead giveaway but additionally half the time I could actually hear the female and what she was saying.
Should the fact that we vowed to keep things casual negate the fact that I felt disrespected? I wasn’t really clear on that. Part of the problem I see with today’s “hook up culture” is that people tend to act as if no commitment means no regard for anyone’s feelings. The very fact that it was supposed to be casual implied that feelings shouldn’t be involved, apparently and even though I still knew I wasn’t ready for a relationship I didn’t like what I felt was blatant disrespect. I never asked *Wade about what he did outside of my presence but he on his own accord went out of his way to tell me he wasn’t talking/dealing with/dating anyone else. If you volunteer information you weren’t asked for then why lie? This showed me that if he was so comfortable lying when it wasn’t necessary in the non-confines of casualness then why wouldn’t he lie in a committed relationship? Just because I wanted to keep things casual didn’t mean I wanted to be lied to.
Then there was the awkward moment I was on Plenty Of Fish checking messages and noticed that *Wade had changed his profile picture to a photo that I had not only taken of him but had taken in my house! Even I sound somewhat hypocritical to myself for feeling a type of way about seeing that since I wouldn’t have even noticed had I not been reading messages from other guys myself on POF. However, the fact that I felt some type of way made me examine a lot more closely exactly why I was upset. And then it hit me.
I didn’t like casualness. I wasn’t fond of not having a title. I didn’t appreciate having my feelings be either discounted or not considered. I didn’t want *Wade to really make me his girlfriend though because he wasn’t really the type of man I really wanted so it wasn’t really about him. It was about me.
Yeah, remember that emotionally unavailable female Pisces I mentioned? *Waves hello* I had finally decided to acknowledge her. She thought she could handle casual companionship. She thought she could maintain a faux relationship with a faux boyfriend when her heart wasn’t settled from her last boyfriend. She was a fool. As the truth of it all descended upon me I was forced to handle a tough task. I needed to break up with my faux boyfriend.
You see, in some ways I had faux boyfriends before. However in those situations they were exes who transitioned into being faux boyfriends. Whether it was co-habitating after relationships ended but still basically acting like boyfriend and girlfriend or having on-again off-again meet ups, it was semi-familiar territory. If I had been uncomfortable and hurt by maintaining a nondescript casual relationship with someone I actually loved and knew well why did I think I would want that from someone new? Or better yet, why did I want someone new at all? Methinks, there is still closure needed from the last relationship.
After thinking about it for a few days I decided to tell *Wade we could only be friends and not the kind with benefits. He seemed rather hurt though he took it well- initially. He still had outstanding work to do as far as my tattoos were concerned that I had already paid him for and he told me he didn’t have a problem with finishing them.
One Friday while I was recovering from the flu he said he could finish my tats. I warned him I was getting over being sick but he said it was fine. Mind you, by this time the baby that could be his but he wasn’t sure was had been born and was proven to be his via DNA test. In my head I’m thinking anyone with a newborn may not want to venture around sick people but he said it was fine. D’oh well.
During the entire time we faux dated *Wade had ridden a scooter. I used to enjoy riding on the back of it when we went out as for me it felt like the closest thing a modern girl could have to riding behind a man on the back of a horse. Call me crazy but I thought it was pretty cool. When *Wade showed up to tat me however I didn’t notice right away that he didn’t have his helmet. Keep that in mind.
I hadn’t seen *Wade in a while and he kept making what appeared to be “sexy eyes” at me. Considering I had just ended our faux relationship that made me rather uncomfortable. *Wade had always maintained we were cool enough to just be friends should “things not work out” and had I not felt the same way I wouldn’t have even allowed him over my house. The way he kept looking at me however suggested that he wanted to rip my clothes off and it was starting to become clear to me that the day wasn’t going to go the way I thought it would.
As he began setting up his tat equipment I realized I had run out of cough medicine. I told *Wade I was running to the corner store to get more but I would be right back. I couldn’t have been gone longer than 6 minutes and as I came back inside, closing the door behind me, what did I find? *Wade asshole naked, Brutus in hand, stroking off in my living room giving me even more intense “sexy eyes”. I was flabbergasted as fuck. I mean, he accepted being friends right? He seemed to take it well when we “broke up”. What the fuck did he think he was doing?
Before I gathered words, my thoughts raced. I began to feel really insulted. I had set boundaries that this man clearly had no respect for. He seemed to think he was truly irresistible and that presenting “The Betrayer” coupled with “sexy eyes” would make me go against a decision I made that was best for me. My feeling insulted then turned to anger and I asked him what the fuck was going on. Embarrassed he quickly got dressed and seemed like he was ready to get back to the tattoo business at hand. Seemed is the operative word.
We must have sat in silence for 5 minutes but it felt like 5 days. *Wade awkwardly looked through his phone before announcing that he had someone else’s car and they needed it back so he had to leave. I was truly nonplussed! I suddenly realized that if I had allowed it, he would have come over, slept with me and never tattooed me. I cannot even begin to describe the feeling that came over me. And remember that little bit I told you to keep in mind about him not having his helmet? Well, my Pisces intuition started to kick in. *Wade and I were Facebook friends and ever since his baby had been born there were more and more photos tagged with his child’s mother, who he had mentioned used to let him use her car. Had my ex faux boyfriend really borrowed his baby’s mom’s car to try to come fuck me? My intuition told me yes.
Days later, I text *Wade after collecting my thoughts to tell him I didn’t appreciate him stripping in my living room. He apologized and promised that he would finish my tats in the coming weeks. I already knew letting him finish them could never really be an option considering how everything had happened and I ultimately just wanted my money back so that some other tattoo artist could finish what he couldn’t. Well, weeks passed and *Wade stopped responding to my texts so I chalked it up as a lesson and went about my business.
Then only a few weeks after “StrokeGate” I see in my Facebook feed that *Wade had gotten engaged. I burst into hysterical laughter and immediately texted my bestie to share the news. I had really dodged a bullet. A man who had been willing to come around me while I was sick when he has a newborn and who would also drive his newborn’s mother’s car to my house to try to sleep with me just weeks 3 weeks before was now getting married? If that sentence felt like a tongue twister to read imagine how it felt to experience.
But overall *Wade helped me to remember what I had forgotten about myself- I live and love to love. To me there is no going about finding love by accepting much less than that. I don’t want faux love. I don’t want a faux relationship. I don’t want any sort of situation where the other party can disregard or pretend my feelings don’t exist simply because we’re not together for real. I don’t want a man that ignores my boundaries or thinks that by not defining what we are he can still have the same access to me reserved for one willing to claim me. He that is truly for me won’t want to keep things casual. He that is truly for me will take just as much risk as I; the risk of being vulnerable and truly letting someone in 100%. As I work on chipping away at my wall of emotional unavailability one thing is abundantly clear: There’s no room for faux.
*Not his actual name but close enough in both the amount of letters and the fact that his real name also begins with a W so those that really know me can figure out who I’m talking about! Asshole!