Posts Tagged With: dating

Online Dating or Why I Became A Crazy Cat Lady

I spent most of my life being a single. Unlike a lot of other women, I never had a big problem with that. There’ve always been times when I craved a hug or a cuddle or kissing or making out or plain and simple steamy sex. But those have come and gone like other cravings, sometimes fulfilled, sometimes not. When I was in a relationship, I’d crave being single in return. In conclusion, I’m not desperate. I’m not waiting or looking, I’m just living and taking life as it comes. Nevertheless, I’m very much all over the Internet. I blog, I play online games, I have profiles on various social media sites – so it was only a matter of time until I would give online dating a try.

Although it wasn’t originally my idea. It started as a laugh and the one responsible for me even learning about the different websites is my dear friend Annette. She’s usually a lot more curious and casual about meeting new people and trying new things than I am and one day we met for lunch and she started telling me about all these freaks sending her creepy messages. She wasn’t appalled, though, but rather amused. She also told me about the few nice guys she was talking to and had actually met, and eventually she entered a relationship with one of them. Reason enough for me to become curious.

Now, as I mentioned before I’m not desperate. I don’t mind dying alone and my dead body being eaten by my cats. At least not enough to want to pay for online matches or being tricked into paying a fortune for nothing. Lucky for me, there are a lot of free websites. When I started writing this post, I wondered if I should fork out the links but to be honest, I can’t recommend any of them with a good conscience. If you’re really curious or in the mood to see humanity at its worst, feel free to use Google, it’s how I found the websites myself.

I made sure to only sign up on international websites because I’m not good at expressing myself in German. Which sounds freaky, I know, because it is my mother tongue. But for some reason, I just really hate every word that comes out of my mouth when I’m trying to have a serious or emotional conversation with someone. And also – and this sounds even worse – I can’t relate to most Germans. At least not on a romantic or sexual level. Which online dating is all about. So, international it was. The problem with that is when you’re using a website that is international and free, you’re stuck between two options: Do you want to seem racist because you block certain countries or dig through dozens of messages from scammers every single day? Most start with the latter but end up blocking a bunch of countries anyway. I’ve blocked some on occasion but usually took it back a day later because I feel it isn’t fair.

The first decision I needed to make was “Picture or no picture?” Showing your mug anywhere on the Internet always means you’re risking to be recognized. It is unlikely that someone from my job or anyone I know will come across my profile and even so, how bad would that really be? And yet, it still seems like a terrible scenario. But, gathering all my courage, I chose to add a picture of myself anyway. As far as social media or other online profiles are concerned, nothing bothers me more than people not providing a picture of themselves. It’s not so much a matter of me wanting to see and judge their looks but I automatically wonder what they’re doing with that profile that makes them feel so ashamed they don’t want their real identity to be associated with it. Are they lying about who they are? Are they looking for someone to fulfill weird sexual cravings? Maybe looking to commit a crime. Oh my god, are they serial killers? See, there are a million and one bad things not having a profile picture will make people think about you. And if you’re being honest on your profile and you treat people decently and respectfully, there’s really no reason why you would not want them to see your face. I am, however, not free of vanity. And of course, I uploaded one of the few pictures of myself that I actually like. I admit I’m wearing quite a bit of makeup in it. But then again, I wear quite a bit of makeup on a daily basis, so it’s not like that picture is showing a different person. And really, are those guys real that you read about on the Internet? Who think wearing thick eyeliner and bright lipstick is a matter of lying to them? Do they really assume those are natural when they see us with them? Of course, there’s a plainer version of us underneath!

Filling out out the profile was even harder. What do you write in there? Are you gonna be honest or sugarcoat things? Do you write a few noncommittal things and risk to blend right in with the mass of other profiles? I chose to be honest, listing flaws and much as strengths. And you know what? It really doesn’t matter because no one actually reads your profile. In response, I got a bunch of messages on all websites I registered with. If I had to divide them, I’d say they were about 75% pure despair. People from poor countries or with such low self-esteem, they probably wrote to everyone on that website in the hope of getting lucky with someone. I’d say there was a mere 1% who did not start with complimenting my appearance or otherwise just addressing a superficial issue. Yes, that’s how few people actually bothered to read the profile, take a moment to think about it and then come up with something they wanted to tell me based on what I’d written. That’s terrible! What’s worse, even going by my picture, it would be obvious for most of them that no, we aren’t a match. I chose a picture in which you can see my tattoos and piercing and I’m wearing bright lipstick and dark eye makeup. In my profile, I wrote that I like rock music and tattoos and that I’m not, definitely not, traditional in any way. And guess what? The majority of guys who wrote me were people who used a neat business profile picture, of them wearing dull and grey suits and their profile was basically a list of their professional achievements. When I could be bothered to reply and I asked them to tell me a little about themselves, I’d get a rerun of that. “Hi, my name is Bob and I’m a business consultant.” “Hi Bob, I’m Kathy and I’m a person, not a job.”

The first website I signed up with turned out to be the most appalling, too. First of all, it lets you send as many messages as you want to anyone you want for free. That’s good, right? No, because in order for you to read the message, one of you has to be a paying member. This doesn’t stop a bunch of free users from messaging me anyway, trying to squeeze their Skype or Kik ID into the short character limit of the free message preview.

That’s an issue anyway. The majority of guys would ask for a contact outside of the dating website right there in their first message, usually Skype or some other means of communication involving a cam. Sure, because I’m so terribly keen on having someone see me in a ratty old t-shirt and obscenely dirty sweatpants on a Saturday night. Or, worse, have a stranger wave their dick at me via webcam. Thanks, but no, thanks! If you can’t express yourself in writing, I’m not interested in a more personal contact.

That’s another thing. Most of the guys on those websites seem to be under the impression that text lingo and the lack of punctuation or any recognizable grammar or sentence structure makes them absolutely irresistible. God’s gift to women even! I’m sorry to burst your bubble, gentlemen, but nope. Nope, nope, nope!

And then, well, there’s this…

Why? How? What?

That escalated quickly, right? Maybe I’m being dense but what’s the author of these gems trying to tell me? “I took the time to register on this website and even though there are other free places that would probably make it easier for me to get some play, I chose this one. Because I’m dumb, LOL.” Or maybe “I’m interested in you but I want to make it clear from the start that I don’t respect you enough to try and make proper conversation.” Who knows? He’s a real keeper, right?

But he’s nothing compared to the real gem I found on the next website I signed up with.

Beautiful, right? Let’s forget about the fact that he was a guy from South America whose English was quite poor. I’m pretty sure that there’s no culture or language in the world where this would be an okay thing to say to a stranger. Probably not even to a friend. So, does he belong in the lack of respect category as well? I don’t even know. This is so wrong and so…absurd that I don’t even know where to begin listing the many things that are wrong with it.

And that’s not even the worst about that website. That would be them automatically setting you up for an email notification every time someone likes your profile. The subject of that email says ‘Hurry to see if you like them back’. Hurry! What is this? A race? Do I have to go and lick the finest piece of meat before anyone else gets a chance? This is so wrong! And what will happen if I don’t? Am I destined to die alone? You know what? I’ll gladly live and die alone if the alternative is spending the rest of eternity with a guy who ‘likes farts from big bubble grande ass’, thank you very much!

P.S.: No, I couldn’t be bothered to meet any of these gems and with every single notification that pops up in my inbox, this seems more attractive:

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I’m gonna be a bad friend for a moment and say: Whyyyyyy? Why are my friends so goddamn lucky all the time?

This outburst was brought on by me spending this day with a really dear friend of mine who’s recently fallen in love. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m happy for her. I am. I think. The thing is that it’s a really strange story. First of all, she was the least likely out of all of my friends that I would have guessed to find someone anytime soon. Because she herself was so anti-love all the time. And still is, by the way. And then, one day she’s bitching about men and about how she’ll prefer being alone forever over choosing “someone” and a couple days later she tells me that she’s head over heels with a guy she’s met on the Internet. Another couple days later, she asks me whether I know anything about our immigration law. And another day later, he’s booked a flight to come see her. Apart from being jealous about everyone finding someone they’re crazy about, I’m worried about her. She’s not the kind of person I could talk any sense into, mind you. But I’m still quite anxious about all these plans of theirs. The smallest issue could be that it doesn’t work out because of a number of reasons. The worst that could happen…well, I’m sure we’ve all seen enough horror movies to see where this could be going.

I’m not mad at her and really, if this works out, I’m the first to congratulate them on their wedding day. But these things always make me wonder what I have going for myself. And I’m not even “that kind of girl”. I’m not the type that desperately wants to be in a relationship. But when these things happen to my friends, even I can’t help but wonder…

Currently, I have Facebook Guy whom I can’t grasp at all. Is he interested in me as a girl or in me as a person in general? Is it a buddy kind of thing? Would I even be interested? I have no idea but currently, he’s this nice person I have nerdy conversations about books and music with.

Then I have Married Guy who’s recently started reaching out to me again but I keep him at arm’s length. Because…well, he’s married. It was fun for a while and I still can’t say that morals are my big issue here. But married means taken and therefore an enormous piece of work if I ever want him for myself. Mission Impossible, I daresay.

These are my “realistic” options at the moment. And neither seems particularly appealing. Then there’s my issue with Germans. I am German myself, I live in Germany, I speak the language fluently…but I find it impossible to talk to a member of the opposite sex in German. At least not when I’m interested. I don’t know if that includes me not being interested in German-speaking men or if it’s  just a language thing. I’ve never tried talking to them in English, so I wouldn’t know. But I suppose if I suggest that, the interest on their side is gonna drop rapidly anyway. Lunacy rarely seems attractive…

Gah, I’m driving myself insane!

And it doesn’t help but that I’ve been playing Flu Ping Pong with my mom these past two weeks. My whole head feels like it’s stuffed with a bunch of tampons and I survive by taking flu meds all the time. *sniff* But at least it earned me two days off last week.

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The Things You Don’t Say

So I’ve got a taste of normal life. And it started in the most “No Life”-situation possible.

I like to play those stupid, time-consuming social games on Facebook. They do sound dumb but depending on what you play, they’re actually quite complex and can keep you occupied for hours – just what I need on slow days at work. The downside is that most of them require you to have a lot of friends to play with. I don’t know a lot of people who enjoy these games and / or don’t assume that playing such a game on a social platform like Facebook will make an army of sociopaths appear on their doorstep. So a while ago, I took the bittet pill and reorganized my Facebook friends so I could have a group just for players and then started looking for “neighbors” for my different games.  Since people grow tired of these things, I end up deleting and adding people every couple months. Just like a few weeks ago.

Usually, an “Add Me” posts gets you a bunch of requests from bored housewives or Asian kids who are on a mission. The almost autistic dedication they show when building their cities and tending to their farms makes me chuckle but otherwise, I really don’t pay much attention to who adds me. When all of a sudden, a “normal” person added me. First, he had an actual picture (of himself?) as his icon. He also had a realistic German name instead of some fake identity stolen from a favorite book or movie that somehow made it through the plausibility check Facebook. And within a couple hours, he’d sent me about five messages, first thanking me for the add, then complimenting my taste in music, then asking me where I live since he’d noticed I’m German.

Okay, so I’m a girl and I haven’t been using the Internet since yesterday. And since I’ve discovered Photoshop and all the wonderful apps you can get for the iPhone, I’ve started uploading pictures of myself that make me feel less monstrous. So I’m no stranger to getting the odd compliment or interest from people on the Internet. And I know that it is mostly down to people being polite, friendly at most.

But the thing is, this guy didn’t back off. Even though I made the dorkiest comments, revealed the most facepalm-worthy stuff about me that you don’t mention and hope he’ll never find out. For the most part, I’ve mentioned to be quite cool and laid back, made casual conversation which I usually can’t even do through chats and messages. Even online, I’m quite awkward. So, since he lives just around the corner, I’ve even considered meeting him for real. Nothing crazy like visiting him at home or inviting him over, don’t worry. Just a meeting in a public place, maybe just say hello when we happen to be in the same place, go to the same concert, etc. Which is likely because, apart from him living nearby, he also shares a lot of my interests and we can both ramble about our hobbies forever. So in a way, it would be more painful not to meet him than it would be to just do it.

But then it comes down to all my little insecurities. I’m not sure he expects me to be who I am. Just today, he asked me if you can already see some muscle from my weight training in the gym. Admittedly, I was the one bringing the gym up in the first place and maybe that’s what made him think I actually look like someone who’s somewhat disciplined with their workout. But now I’m at the “Do I tell him?” point where I’m just wondering…well, do I tell him? Obviously, I can’t meet him without having him find out what I look like and honestly, I’m not completely hideous. But hell, I’m nowhere near a healthy weight. I’m nowhere near a healthy relationship with myself, either. I mean, it’s not just my looks. There’s so much that I hate about myself and I’m not sure I’d even make it through a night of small talk without showing my real self. And I don’t even know if that would be such a bad thing. I mean, you can’t get anywhere unless you’re yourself, right? See, but I can’t even come up with a good warning for him. Do I just tell him “Look, I’m not who you think I am!” or do I say “I do come with a lot of baggage”? That’s so…cliché. But I don’t want to get into full detail. I could just send him a list with all the things that make me awkward and that I’m nervous about and hope he won’t run for the hills but somehow, I doubt that’s a good strategy…

See? That’s why I don’t date. Ever. I don’t even know if I’m interested in him. I used to say that I’m not good at buying clothes because when you’re fat, it’s not about “Do I like those pants?” but about “Will they fit over my ass?” And it’s the same with him. Do I like him? Or could I really like him? I don’t know. But he happens to be the first normal guy in a long while that matches my criteria for someone I could be interested in.

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