I’m not naturally romantic. Flowers, baby talk, affective nicknames, and PDAs actually make me feel a little uncomfortable. Maybe it’s because I’m WASP-y or maybe I just have a hard heart of ice. It’s pretty unclear. So this lack of natural romance makes me reasonable uninterested in dating much of the time. That and trying to get a fucking PhD pretty much kills any desire to participate in the screwy mating rituals of our ultimately dysfunctional culture. That being said, every once in a while, I’ll watch a angsty- hipster romantic movie like 500 Days of Summer or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind or listen to the Smiths for an afternoon. Or I’ll attend one of the 8000 weddings that I’m invited to/coerced into the bridal party. Just kidding, weddings make me not want to date men EVER. Regardless, these things are the catalyst for me to mistakenly decide to half-heartedly actually to try to date. These are my stories.
One of my biggest dealbreakers (thanks, Liz Lemon. I’ll guest on your talk show.) is when guys talk about their ex-girlfriends early in the dating process. Especially when it is non-topical or if it is ranting about what a crazy bitch she was. For example, I should have run in the other direction when the guy I dated a few months ago told me, in detail, about his ex-girlfriend’s conflicted divorce and all of her man-baggage preventing commitment. This was in maybe our third conversation? For reals. Inappropriate. I really, really should have ran in the other direction when one evening on the telephone, after we had been out a few times, he tells me this long story about how hard he worked to date this super-Christian girl with a minister father and how he had to practically convert, but it was worth it because they dated for six months. It was SUPER serious, but she wouldn’t sleep with him because of the whole Christianity thing. Good story, right? NO. This story was about some girl he dated IN THE EIGHTH GRADE. This dude was 32. I called him on the eccentricity of referring to your eighth grade girlfriend “a serious relationship” and he got super defensive, as if how dare I question his 13-year old commitment. Seriously, how dare I? My point here, with this anecdote, is that one of the reasons it's bad to share former dating stories early in the relationship is that the dude might discover that your definitions of relationship are very, very different. The women also might discover that you are an over-sensitive douchebag, but that’s a secondary issue.
The anecdote that’s really spurring this post though is a little conversation I had over the weekend with a dude. Now, to be fair, I’d already written him off because he is a Republican that still lives with his mom, (I wish people had things like that tattooed on their forehead so I could avoid them immediately, but sadly, this is a social development yet to happen.) Anyway, I decided that no, I did not want to date someone whose ethics fundamentally oppose mine, but he didn’t seem to get the message when I didn’t IM him back for a week. Well, I finally felt badly for the dude and responded to his IM last night. The conversation went a little like this: EMPHASIS MINE.
Me: how has your week been?
Him: someone i dated is harrasing me and having one of their ex's call and text me with threats of violence - drama i don't need
Me: oh dear
why is she directing such animosity toward you?
Him: probably because she talked a lot of shit
and stooping down to her childish ways, left a note saying she might want to get an HIV test
i don't have anything, but i lied and implied she gave me HIV and i tested positive - i did this once before with someone who was stalkerish-clingy, not only did they freak out, but they left me along
i probably should've been smart/mature and not said anything back from the get go, but too late now
Me: umm, that’s super intense. So why is her boyfriend threatening you?
Him: he just said if i call or email or text, he will come to CA from TX, hunt me down, and take me out
Me: well, it’s good that you don’t have HIV.
Him: well i do need to get tested lol
but i was tested back in hmm, beginning of june and was negative, as always
good things for the week.. i'm trying to think... i did a 42 mile bike ride yesterday
The levels of ridiculous of this conversation are too many NOT to share with the entire internets. I’d like to point out a few of the more incredible pieces of this conversation.
1. 1. He’s used the “you gave me HIV “ line before and it worked! Whoopee! You’ve given some girl the impression that she is going to die and has essentially killed you too. That’s so NOT a mindfuck. But at least he realized the 2nd time he used it that he should have been more mature. BTW, this dude is 30.
2. 2.He left the HIV news IN A NOTE. It’s like that episode of Sex and the City where Berger breaks up with Carrie in a post-it. Only, you know, WITH AIDS.
3. 3. He got tested for HIV at the beginning of June, but needs to get tested again now, at the end of July? Really? How much unsafe sex are you having? And why are you telling me, a girl who ostensibly you want to sleep with, that you might be a danger to my health? Also, LOL?!?!? Since when is HIV testing laugh-out-loud worthy?
4. 4. Notice my very short responses. You’d think he would pick up on my disinterest or discomfort, but no. Probably because he is a Republican.
So, at the end of the day, I think being a Republican was not this guy’s worst feature and that’s a statement that is hard-pressed to come out of my mouth. This is what the dating field looks like? I’d rather stay home, watch Tivo, and pet my cat any day of the week. And that’s not just a line I tell my mom so that she doesn’t have to worry about me.
ETA: The same dude IMed me tonight to tell me that he had finally gone to church for the first time since Easter. It might be a problem if you are getting tested for HIV more frequently than you go to church.