On a dating forum, I asked how people weed out when dealing with unwanted people on dating sites. Most of the women felt that you should be polite and find some neutral excuse to close the correspondence, while most men felt that you shouldn't waste your time but just leave the letters unanswered and not get into any explanations. The men felt that it was best to block the women they didn't like immediately. A friend just remarked that men actually seem to have more fears than women.
Since I re-entered the online dating game a few months back I have been subject to the rather callous way in which men just dump you without further ado when you're not to their taste. Most of us have fear of rejection. It means that the feelings or fears of rejection surface again, and again, and again... At some point you think you've mastered it and that it cannot possibly affect you that much again. Yet suddenly you're sucked into an intense exchange with great promise of future companionship only to be brutally dumped for some really strange reasons. This time one problem was that I walk outdoors with my cats without leashes and this was perceived as exhibitionism. The other was the fact that I exercise my right not to have children. The third had to do with my lack of desire to take up strict Buddhist (Theravada, conservative style) practices and that my thinking is impure and ignorant since I don't recognize a good thing when I see it and have some sympathies for another strand of Buddhism (Mahayana, which stresses the importance of compassion). "That's what the Jehova's Witness say too", I retorted. But to no avail. I think this guy was making his two-hour meditation practice and silence retreats along with the ten commandments (including chastity) into a massive ego-serving enterprise. I'm tired of staring into the Buddhist void and contemplating the illusory and temporary nature of reality. I feel I know it all too well. I'm also not interested in intellectualizing these concepts anymore. Now I'd like to enjoy this compelling illusion a little before I make my exit out of this life.
As so many before him, the guy in question also wanted to have the cake and eat it. In other words, I was most welcome to be his friends. It's funny how they think that after all that, you'd really like to still be friends. He said that he liked to discuss his path. Sure. I just didn't really feel part of the discussion since he was mostly preaching.
Nothing is more of a turn off than people who patronize you ("you may not understand this now but you will after a while when you've reached a broader perspective"), or preach ("personal growth to me means following the ten principles of enlightenement and they are so and so...") or make assumptions ("I thought you must be really nuts and eccentric to walk your cats in the city") or hold back ("I can't open my heart before I'm certain that we're right for each other") or fear committment ("I'd rather you just moved close to where I live so I can withdraw from the relationship if I feel I need to") or control you ("Well you can be as ignorant as you wish to be but you're a fool not to take a chance on the true path"), or don't support or try to understand your life's work ("I don't understand people who feel they can just write whatever they like to make others look like fools"). And all it boils down to is what this person needs, not what you feel, think or need. You are cursed to see through all this BS. Sure, you saw the good too. That's why you hung in there for a whole week.
You try so hard to feel compassion, but you're so worn out. My accidental shrink suggested that I'm tired of selfishness. I certainly am. I also mapped out my own traumas, the reasons I react emotionally to certain stimuli. It's about the childhood, about having had to ignore one's own needs in favour of someone else's, and having been talked down to because I was a child, and not getting support and guidance. I thought those patterns would have been gone by now but apparently not.
What do you do when you put so much into the contact and in the end all it does it sucks you dry? How do you keep hoping that one day, some time, somewhere...? You know you can't lie down and die, you must get up again, fight your battles, be "Liberty Leading the People" while you also wreck your brain to find things to say to all these taciturn, reticent, secretive, cynical, under-enthousiastic, opiniated and demanding men that are out there? Because you're after all a mere mortal, you can't help but have some hopes raised and feeling some disappointment when all the signs of compatibility are undermined by an abyss of differences. You feel stress and sleep poorly and wonder if this is really worth it in the end? Perhaps the right one will find you at the outbacks of a country that is the outbacks of Scandinavia which is the outbacks of Europe... Maybe you really ought to delete your dating profiles and trust that one day he will be behind your door. Just like that. And he'll be kind and intelligent, able to think outside of the box and also want to enjoy life to its fullest. Because we must believe that there is some way of miracles in this world, don't we?
Artwork: "Liberty Leading the People" by Eugène Delacroix 1830