Emotionally Damaging

It’s now a long time since the episode I wrote about in this post. It is with some regret that, unfortunately, the person involved is still praying on my mind. And I really can’t understand why.

I am quite an emotional person underneath everything. I do a very good job of disguising my fragility, but once exposed I am a wreck. And I am struggling to cope with it.

I can’t count any more the number of times people have taken the piss with me. I have only recently accepted in my own mind that I can and should engage in relationships with men. And yet the introduction I feel like I’ve had into the world has been shocking. I wouldn’t mind so much if people were honest and up front – if I’m not your type, then say so.

But it has amazed me how many guys not only don’t do that, but actively spend time to cause you harm. I can’t believe how many people appear to engage in forms of psychological manipulation. Some of it is relatively low level, such as blanking someone, but the fact that I have now, on multiple occasions, engaged in chats with people which have gone positively, sometimes spanning multiple days (in one case two months) only for them suddenly to either a) disappear off the face of the Earth (never login again); or b) block you.

There was one episode last Sunday morning with a guy who I’d previously chatted to a month earlier. He was nice and friendly. He appeared to be interested in building a relationship. We talked for about half an hour, getting to know each other. He seemed friendly and positive. Then suddenly the interaction ended, from his side, and nothing further happened.

A month later, he started talking to me again. And it appeared to be at a Day 0 moment. He had no recollection of our previous conversation (even though I could still see it in the app) and we started from nothing. I didn’t seek to correct him that we’d already spoken; I just wanted to roll with it and see.

Once again we got on well, even more so than last time. And the chat lasted a lot longer, well over an hour and a half. We certainly seemed to get on. He was more forward than last time, and I responded in turn by suggesting maybe it would be good to meet for a date at some point.

Then he disappeared. In front of my eyes. Blocked.

I was mortified. There was absolutely nothing I had said that could possibly have warranted being blocked. And at no point did the conversation appear to go off the rails to the degree that would have suggested to me that I was overstepping the line or was worthy of getting treated like that.

I sat contemplating my existence for well over an hour. I started to mentally replay the whole thing. What had I done wrong? Why would he behave as if everything was going really well and then block me? I was quite content, eventually, that there was either something wrong with him or he’s totally fake. But it bothered me. If that was indeed a real person, how could he be so unbelievably cruel to someone?

The upshot is this: when people tell you they like you, and are interested in you, actively, spontaneously, without prompting, then I cannot believe them. That’s pretty poor. No matter what people say to me now, I am now constantly making the assumption that it is a total lie, or that they are just “being nice”.

That’s difficult for me. I am a trusting person. I like to take people at their word. And I can’t any more. Even when people say they’re looking for friends, or relationships, or dates, they are lying.

Needless to say I am getting pretty despairing of the whole thing. I didn’t think people could be this horrible to one another. I should be less shocked… I usually have a dim view of the world, but in personal encounters I like to think people are motivated by good. But the evidence I’ve had is heavily to the contrary. Out of the hundreds of conversations I’ve had, most of them have either died in ignorance, blocking or maliciousness (as per above). I have met maybe 5 guys who I could count as genuinely nice people. And just that. Actual, normal, friendly people who you could get on with.

I am maybe going to back away from it for a bit. I feel a bit battle scarred right now. I already feel self conscious that I am not good enough looking – apparently not even for someone to be friends with me (hilarious) – and now I feel psychologically bruised by the silly games people play. I have never started a conversation and behaved in the way anyone has ever done to me. I wouldn’t dream of lying in such a bare-faced manner to a fellow human being and then dumping them. If I start something and it goes nowhere I leave it at that. I don’t start manipulating them. Or if there is no physical attraction I tell them they aren’t my type. I don’t block them.

Maybe someone needs to draw up some sort of code of conduct. Cos it seems people just can’t be nice any more.

Isn’t that what your parents told you?


Day 2

WARNING – this post is, again, off track compared to everything else here. See previous two posts for context – The Complicated Feelings and The Gays of Grindr.

In my last couple of months trying to be a bit more accepting of my bisexuality, I have now established something of a pattern. I’m sure others have observed this too – but it frustrates me incredibly…

It is possible that, just once in a while, whilst browsing “meet up” apps like Grindr and Hornet that you will either start a conversation with someone, or someone else will start a conversation with you, which clicks quite well. You have a decent chat with them, getting to know them a little bit, and revealing a bit about yourself, with mutually positive reactions. It all seems to go so well. You add them as a favourite.

Then Day 2 happens.

There is something very odd about gay and bi guys on these apps, in my experience. Most of them are entirely arrogant and ignorant. They behave in ways that you would never get away with in person, because if you did you’d be the most hated person alive. It is routine for guys to not even acknowledge a hello. It is standard for guys to block people if they don’t fit their perfect conception of what they’re looking for. Imagine if someone said a perfectly innocent hello to you in a bar and you turned away from them and acted like they didn’t even exist. You’d get a load of abuse!

But what’s even more bizarre, and actually more hurtful, is when guys don’t even bother on Day 2. Why even give the other guy some hope, some acknowledgement, in the first place? Is it really that hard for people to say, “Thanks man, but you’re not my type”. Or “I’m really flattered but I don’t feel the same, sorry”. Because that’s the only conclusion I can draw… they just pretended and went along with the conversation on Day 1, with the knowledge that on Day 2 they’d be able to just completely, totally and utterly ignore your messages.

I can count the number of incidences of this now in the dozens. It would be different if they were all initiated by me, but actually they are about 50/50. Yes, I know everyone isn’t compatible, and maybe the other guy has since had a better offer, but – again – is it really that hard to communicate? “Thanks but I’m seeing another guy now”, “Sorry mate I don’t think I want to meet you, but we could still chat and maybe be friends?”

Friends. The concept that doesn’t even seem to enter into people’s minds. Just because you aren’t physically attracted to someone, maybe they could still be a platonic friend? We may all be horny from time to time, but, please, get over yourself if you think I couldn’t contain my physical attraction and convert it into ordinary friendship. Sure, some guys aren’t looking for friends, but I’m willing to wager that many of them are pretty lonely…

I almost feel uncomfortable with all of this, because I feel like I don’t belong in such a group of horrible people. I usually give people a couple of attempts, one message, one day; another message a couple of days later. And then if they still don’t respond, I give them one final spiel a few days later: “Don’t understand why you’re being so ignorant, man. Doesn’t take much to have some manners and say you’re not interested, surely?”

It usually gets no reply, but at least I feel better.

I am not a rude person. I was brought up with manners. Even if the online world is different to the real world, we should still be kind. It’s another human out there reading your text; it’s not a fucking emotionless robot. I reply to nearly everyone, even the guys who are of no interest to me. I have had some nice chats with them, and everyone is an interesting character with different stories to tell.

I just wish others could repay that compliment.

Otherwise, you’re just a rude, arrogant, ignorant fuck.

Someone should start a campaign to make people behave a bit better on meet up apps.

Give your fellow human a break, please.