Back in 2013-2014 I did a lot of online dating. Here’s a list of the most memorable disasters. I’ve seen and done it all: OkCupid, POF, Tinder, Match.com, eHarmony… (Incidentally, POF is WAY sketchier than Tinder.) Online dating does NOT work for me.
In May 2013, I struck up a convo with Brad on POF. He did martial arts, was a good-looking Texan, recently moved to Mtl. (I’ve since learned that is a red flag: they are catfishing. Trying to play on the girl’s sympathy “oooh poor baby, you must be lonely, why don’t you put your penis inside me?”) He was articulate, witty, taller than me, responsive. Foundations for a marriage, really. After a few days of excellent banter, I agreed to meet up. That is when the weird started.
We agreed to meet up at a given restaurant for a late supper, around 9:30pm on a Friday night. The day of, he switched the plans: he wanted to meet at his hotel (seeing as he had recently moved to Mtl). He then proposed that instead of going to the restaurant, we could enjoy the hotel jacuzzi. I told him that I didn’t typically go for that kind of activity on the first date. He pressured. Summoning all of my assertiveness, I explained that I prefer meeting strange men in public areas, for safety reasons. He apologized. Of course, we could meet in the lobby, and go to the restaurant – he just hoped the restaurant wouldn’t be too noisy.
I showed up at the hotel 5 minutes late – on time, really. The lobby was empty. I messaged Brad “I’m here!” He told me to come up to his room. I playfully responded: no. He issued an ultimatum: if I didn’t have the bravery to come up to his room, I wasn’t the kind of girl he wanted to date.
Disclaimer: I’m very aware that I should have just bailed. I’m pretty sure that if the same thing were to happen to me today, I’d walk out, not even bothering to write back. But at the time I was naive and bemused by the turn of events, and couldn’t resist seeing how fucked-up the night would turn out.
As I took the elevator up to his room, I wondered if I was about to get raped or murdered. I figured that as we were in a pretty upscale hotel, he couldn’t be too messy – because, of course, a rapist would refrain from raping someone for the sake of keeping a fancy hotel room clean. He opened the door: a little taller than me, with a slight build – just big enough that he could probably overpower me. He smiled charmingly and asked for a hug. Too confused by what was happening, I gave him one, and then took a chair while he sat on the bed. He wanted to know why I wouldn’t sit with him on the bed. I told him the view was too lovely to resist. He wanted to know why I was so reserved. I waspishly explained that intimacy must be earned, not forced. He lectured me about psychology (because of course, he was an expert in psychology. That is another red flag in the online dating world: guys love to pretend they are psychologists, specializing in sex therapy. Often they just happen to be personal trainers. They share unsolicited stories about how their married, sexy, scantily-clad female clients moan with pleasure at the perfect amount of pressure being applied on their bodies during stretching sessions, and before they know it, these women just beg for rough sex. Yup this is a thing. Must have come across 20 different guys who shared this same story with me.) He asked me again to lie down on the bed with him. At this point, I’d assessed him to be a pathetic guy without any violent tendencies who got off on making women uncomfortable, so to shut him up, and move the story along, I got on the bed.
Honestly, I am amazed I made it this far in life without getting raped.
We talked a bit more, till I reminded him I was starving, and it was time to eat. He seemed disappointed our tête-à-tête was ending, I pretended not to notice, because nothing gets in the way of me and food.
Our time at the restaurant was unremarkable. Conversation was ok, until he asked me to go back to the hotel with him. I refused. “We don’t have to have sex.” Yeah, right. “No, its about getting to know each other.” Again, yeah right. “I’m serious. If you aren’t willing to show that you are committed to us getting to know each other, what is the point of dating?” Buddy, I can get to know you over a few weeks, it’s ok. “No! Best do it as fast as possible, so that if we realize we aren’t compatible, I’ve wasted the least number of days on you, and I can find someone else.” Wow, ok. For an expert in psychology, you seem to have a very bizarre approach to getting to know people.
I asked for the cheque, and while I paid my share, he asked me one last time, “Are you SURE you won’t come back with me? I think you are making a mistake.” Yes. SO SURE.
3 years have gone by since I did not get raped by Brad.
HE STILL EMAILS ME. Every 3-6 months, replying to the same Gmail thread. Sometimes I answer, mostly I don’t. Sometimes he sends me news articles and asks for my opinion. Other times, like today, he merely asks, “what’s up stranger?”