Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Men Behaving Badly

Many years ago, I was a foolish thing and attempted on-line dating. Well, it worked. Recently, still being foolish, I have been trying on-line dating again. Specifically, RSVP, and an old flame saw me again, recognized me despite the intervening 14 years and the change of hair colour, and contacted me.

I was mildly horrified.

He was pleased to see me. He said if I wanted to catch up for a coffee, or chat, or whatever to get in touch with him.

It appears I am the only one with a good working long-term memory. We dated for a couple of months and had some good times. However, during that time I learnt that he was rather passive-aggressive, and not really someone I wanted a long-term relationship with. Fortunately he then went overseas and didn’t maintain contact. Ever.

On a couple of occasions while dating him I should have re-thought the wisdom of continuing with the relationship. At one point he photo-shopped a photo of my head onto a naked woman with . . . hm, how shall I say this. . .  different attributes to mine and emailed it to me, thinking it was funny. I didn’t and was quite upset about this and rang him to tell him so.

Instead of being apologetic, or even simply understanding, he become angry with me for ringing him late at night, leaving a message on his machine, and disturbing him when he had to get up early the next day. I’m not even certain I actually got to speak to him but he was annoyed with me anyway. Nor did he ever see my point of view. Then he maintained radio silence for several days.

Eventually, because I am was a sucker I contacted him and said that this felt like we were breaking up, etc. Anyway, to bring an embarrassing story to a close - he did not apologize and we picked up where we left off and continued dating.

Then he accepted a short-term contract to work overseas, Chile. Previously he had failed to mention that this was a possibility. (Nice of him.) So we went shopping for him and I mentioned I had a discount card that I’d be happy for him to use. Buying shirts is boring so while he was looking I explored the cosmetics part of the department store on the same floor. Not too far away.

When it came time to pay I was not there, hovering, with the discount card in my hand but elsewhere. (Gosh, what a bad girlfriend.) The option of leaving the clothes with the sales clerk and seeking me out was, apparently, not open to him. So, angry, he paid for the clothes and then went and stood outside the shop and waited for me to find him. Which I did eventually.

Things were patched up eventually when he decided to speak to me again, then he went away, and even lent me some exercise equipment. I was, for some reason, still interested in pursuing this relationship, and took this as a good sign. I had a brief phone call when he first arrived but then no contact at all, despite a couple of emails on my part. After a week I asked what was going on, why the radio silence again?

He informed me, angrily, that although he worked at a computer all day, he could not email me as the boss sat right next time him/ in front of him/ in close proximity to him etc which made it difficult. He also requested that I return his exercise equipment.

It was at this point that I finally concluded that this guy was a jerk and I didn’t deserve to be treated like that. I drove over there while he was still overseas and put the exercise equipment in the garage by rolling it underneath, as he had requested, and encouraged my little dog to poop in his yard. It didn’t.

Then my self-respect raised its head and I realized that I had made a lucky escape from this manipulative, passive-aggressive man who never apologised, or listened to my feelings. Phew.

When he contacted me again I recoiled with horror, read his email, and replied “That’s nice, yes, it’s been a while. Good luck on-line.” Or words to that effect.

I have not heard from him again.


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