A Plethora of Nopes: Lessons, Boundaries and WTF Moments in Dating

The good thing about being single in my late twenties is that I’ve had more time to date people, experience the good and the bad and really get clear on who/what I want. I’ve really emphasized the importance of me needing to instill better boundaries in last week’s post, when it comes to dating and relationships, and I feel that in order to do so, I have to reflect on the not-so-hot experiences in the past, so I can learn from them.

So today I thought I would go through some of my experiences with dating apps (such as what would be a turn-off for me in term’s of someone’s profile, or my experience interacting with a person), going out on dates and relationships, the general moments of “nope” they have brought me, and the boundaries I have gleaned from them.

Let’s be clear though – by expressing what hasn’t worked for me and the “nopes” I have encountered, that’s not meant to be taken as some sign that I hate men, or am expecting perfection, because nobody is perfect. Not to mention, in the past I have allowed myself to interact with shitty low-vibrational men, but that doesn’t mean I can’t reflect on those experiences and ask myself

DAFUQ was that
Nope #1: He Doesn’t Know What He Wants

It is perfectly acceptable to not know what you want – your circumstances and/or external factors may be why you don’t know yet. However, i’ve come to the realization at my tender, youngin’ age of 27, that I do not have the time or energy to invest in someone who doesn’t know what they want. This has messed me up in the past, both in relationships and in talking with people on dating apps. I also question whether someone who doesn’t know what they want should even be on a dating app. Figure yourself offline before hopping online, is kind of my opinion.

I take responsibility for engaging with men like this – knowing what I wanted but still choosing to interact with them and getting to know them. I take responsibility for not paying closer attention to this crucial piece. Because it is crucial. However, I am glad that I have finally come to recognize that I do not need, want or deserve to be someone’s second or third priority while they figure themselves out. It’s not my job to convince someone they want a relationship. Not even one with me – one in general. It’s also not my job to try to conform to whatever it is they are wanting in that moment nor remain to some level, “hopeful” that i’ll be the one they change their minds about (rather naive, isn’t it? I think a lot of women do this with men, though). I have my own boundaries, I have my own wants, I have my own needs – and I am sticking to them.

On that note too, if I communicate what I want to a man (a relationship), I expect him to respect that. As I have found however, not every one does. Take for example the man I interacted with a year or so ago on Bumble, who upon telling him I wanted a relationship (making my wants clear), he tried to convince me that what I really wanted was a casual hook-up, then proceeded to get pissed off at me for wasting HIS time (how cute).

Recently I saw him again on Hinge – this time he’d included a picture with his mom and dad on his profile….. So there’s that.

Run Awaaaaaaay (Credit – Giphy)
Nope #2: I Can’t Tell Which One Is Him In His Photos

This is more of a mild annoyance I encounter with some men’s profiles on dating apps. What’s the attention span of humans these days? 30 seconds? If I find myself playing a game of Where’s Waldo because all of your photos are group pictures with your buddies, I’m out, man.

Nope #3: He Plays Into Stupid Unwritten Rules/Games of Dating

I went out with a guy last year whom I’d been talking to for a few weeks, again on Bumble. I probably shouldn’t have considering he’d texted me completely wasted before we’d even gone out (on like a Thursday, too), and the date had been scheduled before he had to go to a hockey game (priorities, people, priorities).

After the date was over. I thanked him for paying and for the nice night. He made a half-ass effort to do the same of me and then … radio silence… not only for the rest of the evening but for the entire day afterwards. I sent him the occasional text, something along the lines of hey hope your day is going well to which he’d respond, but not ask the same of me. Should I have just taken this as a sign to move on and not waste further energy? Sure. Did I though? No lol. When evening rolled around, I asked him what was up, and to just let me know where his head was at so I could move on if he wasn’t interested (you know, like … a grown ass adult). He then proceeded to tell me that he had no intentions of a 2nd date (but thanked me for my time?), and continued on to say that it’s nice to take a bit of a break in communicating after the date because if you continue texting, you can “come off a bit desperate”.

You can Google this “2-3 day rule” for yourself when it comes to dating and a multitude of articles will pop up defending the idea that you should wait a few days after a date before connecting with the person again.

Frankly I think it’s bullshit.

I told him that if he had no intentions of going on a second date, he should have just told me instead of waiting 14 bloody hours at which point I asked him point blank. Not to emphasize the masculinity aspect here but BE A MAN, DO THE RIGHT THING – in the immortal words of comedian Russell Peters. His actions only made me (an overthinking, individual who lives with irrational feelings of fault and guilt) believe I had done something wrong. I also told him that in the time span he took to not talk to me, to follow some jenky unwritten code of dating, I could have met the love of my life and gone on my happy, merry way.

Bottom line is, your 2-3 days of waiting, is 2-3 days of potential opportunities for me to meet men whom I click with better than you. If you like someone, I think you should make it happen, life’s too short. You don’t sit on your ass, twiddling your thumbs because “heavens I have to wait exactly 2.5 days to text her back, otherwise she might think I …. *le gasp* have taken an interest in her”.

We’re not living in the 1800’s – you don’t have to ask my Aunt Mildred’s permission to invite me to the annual Commoner’s ball.

Sayonara, my dude (Credit – Giphy)
Nope #4: Our Conversation Has Stopped Flowing

I am definitely better with this than when I was younger. I used to cling to a conversation with a guy I was talking to on a dating app. When he wouldn’t respond, I would overanalyze it, try to think of how I could re-engage with him without coming off desperate – just a teensy weensy drop in the bucket that would make him perhaps think of me.

Now I don’t give a hoot. If it ain’t flowing, it ain’t going – I don’t care how cute I think the guy is, or how easily our conversation might have flowed at one point in time. This river was once fulsome, now it has run the eff dry, so you’ll have to excuse me if I leave to go find myself the fricking Nile. If I haven’t heard from you in a week, or even a few days – UNMATCH. I’d been talking to one guy on Hinge who I now haven’t heard from since Wednesday. Sure I could send him another text, but like … why? Why would I stick around to see if he responds?

No matter how busy his life may be, no matter how awkward he may be on an app or in real life, no matter how our conversation may have once been flowing – I believe that if he was truly interested, he would make an effort.

Nope #5: His Relationship Priorities Are … Questionable

Do me a favor: Take a look at the screenshot below this and think about what might be funky with it. I took this from a dude’s profile off of Hinge.

Okay you’ve looked at it, you’ve read through it hmhmm very good very good. He’s got some good points, open communication, exploring new things – sure sure, all very fine.

Except he placed Exciting Sex before Respect.

I always like to give people the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes that can be a fatal flaw because there are many people in the world who do not deserve to be given the benefit of the doubt. Regardless, this is what I shall give him now in order to weigh both sides of the discussion – People are allowed to value what they value, I respect that. I may be reading between the lines here too much, perhaps he just listed them as they came to him. Does it mean that his relationship priorities are iffy, based off of a list of attributes he may have inputted into a dating app prompt? Maybe…. maybe not.

But unconsciously, it appears as though sex came to his mind to enter on the list before respect did, and that for me, is no bueno. Respect is certainly an important piece when it comes to sexual relations between 2 people. But if you place sex itself above respect, the respect is lost, and/or very hard to get back.

Nope #6: There’s Someone I Find More Attractive Than Him In His Photos

Back to those group photos and the game of Where’s Waldo for one second. If I’m checking out a guy’s photos on his profile, and it’s a group shot wherein I find myself feeling more attracted to one of his friend’s in the photo than the actual guy whose profile it is, I swipe left. Does that make me shallow? Or rather, does the guy need to be smarter about posting photos with his attractive friends when he himself is trying to attract women?

Nope #7: He Doesn’t Want To Get Married or Have Kids

This one is pretty straight forward, but if I see on a guy’s dating profile that he doesn’t want children, or doesn’t want to get married, it’s a no from me dawg. I want to get married, and while my opinions on having children go any which way on a particular day, like someone playing with a yo-yo, I want to keep that option open.

Likewise, if I see a man has kids already, I pass. While that might seem selfish, I own my selfishness. As I said above, if i’m going to be with someone, I don’t want to be second or third priority. Someone with little ones, will make their little ones their first priority, as they should. If he’s making you first priority when he has kids, I feel like there are bigger problems at hand that need to be addressed.

Nope #8: He’s From Another Country

At risk of wading into all or nothing territory, would I be completely opposed to dating men from another country? No. So this is half nope, half yep. However, having previously dated someone from another country, I know the heartbreak and anxiety that came from it – Visas, Permanent Residency, a seemingly limited amount of time to be with him. It was like our time together always felt like it was on a precarious ledge due to his status – one step further and we’d fall off a cliff. I think it would take me proceeding with a lot of caution, to date someone from another country again. I would want to have a very introspective conversation with myself, if I really wanted to do so (I was going to say put myself through it again but I’m not running an obstacle course lol).

I also don’t want to be the deciding factor if someone chooses to remain in the country. The person I was dating decided to apply for Permanent Residency, because I was now part of his life. That’s a hugely personal decision that I believe has to be made for you and you alone, not for the sake of others.

Nope #9: He’s Got a Fishing or Hunting Picture On His Profile

Fish are slimy. Seeing a photo of you holding the dead deer you shot by it’s antlers at Uncle Jimmy’s cabin last summer, isn’t going to drive my female instincts wild like you are hoping it will. Maybe it’s a hobby, that’s cool, but I just think it’s kind of gross.

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