These days, meeting someone online is the new “Can I buy you a drink?”

People often meet in person for the first time after exchanging messages, emails, texts and phone calls. It’s not at all uncommon to know quite a lot about a person well before the first date. This can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending entirely on the individuals. One thing is for certain; online dating and communicating is a useful way to weed out unsuitable partners before you’re too involved.

Jude is one of the many modern women using the online dating scene to seek out a suitable partner. Talking to them before deciding whether they meet has lead to some interesting conversations and realisations. As an independent, intelligent woman, she’s noticed that her reactions to what some men say to her don’t always coincide with the way she was socially conditioned to react to such things. Men who say certain things with the expectation of a certain response can get quite put out when they don’t get it. Angry, even. Having experienced this first hand, Jude decided to transcribe a conversation, recording what both parties said, but also including her thoughts vs. what she felt conditioned to think. The results were interesting!


Jude’s Conversation.

Him: The first thing I’d like to say is I can’t believe you’re still single. You’re gorgeous, intelligent, with a lovely voice. You’re so amazing; I can’t believe you’re single. I feel so lucky to have found you! Wow! I think he really likes me! I’m so flattered. Oh shit. Again with this?
Jude: Thank you. I would like you to consider the assumption behind that.Stop! Don’t say that! Give him the benefit of the doubt!Groan. Here I go again – I gotta do this. At least he’ll think twice before using that line again.
Him: What’s that?
Jude: You seem to think that the reason I’m single is because no man has noticed I’m a good catch. Like you’re asking how it could be that all these men in my life have just passed me by, without picking me up off the shelf, as though I have no say in it at all.Don’t say that to the poor bloke, he’s just giving you a compliment.
You’re ruining your chances with him here. He really likes you! How long have you been looking for someone? Shush girl.
I can’t believe how often I have to say this.
I can’t believe that no man has ever asked what I’m looking for that I haven’t yet found, instead of this.
Him: I didn’t mean it like that, you’re misunderstanding me. I’m just amazed you’re still single. I supposed I should have just asked why.Of course he didn’t mean it like that, it’s a compliment, just take it that way. Maybe he didn’t mean it like that, it’s a compliment, just take it that way.
Jude: Well I’m single because I haven’t met anyone I wanted to spend my life with yet. That’s better.It’s the truth.
(We talk a bit about what we liked in each other’s profiles.)
Try to get him to like you again. Don’t lose him.Giving him a chance.
Him: God, I love your voice. I can tell so much about you from your voice. Your profile was so great, you look gorgeous and it’s so fantastic to hear your voice as well – I can tell so much about you from your voice. Want to know what I can tell?He’s really paying attention to me; he is interested in so much more than just the way I look. This is an interesting approach.
Jude: Sure.
Him: Well you are clearly a strong woman; I can hear the depth and the resonance in there. And there’s a vulnerability under that too, a softness, which is really appealing, you don’t often see that together, that strength and vulnerability. And you’re intelligent as well; I can tell by the way you communicate. It’s a really rare, and attractive combination. There’s also a slight reservation there.Wow. He really ‘sees’ me, it’s like he’s looking into my soul. He’s so right! After all these years, he might finally be “The One”!
*Eyeroll*eye roll online dating
Jude: Well thank you, but I know a lot of women like that actually, who combine intelligence, strength and vulnerability. Don’t say that! Keep him thinking you’re special, that you’re different to other girls. Stop talking, sshhh. Wonder how often he’s used this line? I think it would work on some women.
Him: Oh I don’t, hardly any. The women on these sites aren’t like that at all, but you just jumped right out at me. I knew you were special.You haven’t screwed up yet girl. Just keep it light and easy. He might be clumsy in the way he says it, but it’s true it’s hard to meet people online.
Jude: Anyway I think I know what you mean; I’m not meeting any interesting men online either.
That’s good, keep going, make him feel like he’s special too.True enough.
Jude: Does your work have something to do with the voice? I’m curious about this emphasis.Nice step, ask about his work. Let’s dig a little here. Find out whether this is a tactic.
Him: No, it’s just that I’m a highly sensual person. I don’t mean sexual, though I am that too and could never be with a woman who doesn’t like a lot of sex, I mean sensual. All of the senses, including sound, including voice. I pay attention to you with all my senses and you have a very sexy voice. See, he is forthright and open about his needs and desires, his focus with his partner. It’s not all about sex with him; he enjoys using all his senses.It’s a little early to bring up sex, but appreciate the openness.
Him: There’s another thing that’s really important to me, and that is openness. I’m sensing a little reservation with you. He is very observant, as well as self-aware? He knows what he needs in his partner and he can sense the reservation.Second time he’s mentioned this reservation. I shall pursue it this time and see what happens.
Jude: Sure, we’ve only just started talking, and I don’t know much about you yet.Shy is good.I’ll share what I’m thinking, see what happens.
Him: (raises voice) I want a relationship based on openness and I got the feeling that you did too, you say pretty much that in your profile, which you did write yourself, didn’t you? I think you did. I don’t understand why you’re reserved? Why not be open and spontaneous with me?
He’s raising his voice! Oh no! You’ve gone too far. Back down, now. Wow this escalated quickly. Stay calm... Hang on; he doubts whether I wrote my own profile? Hmm. Maybe he didn’t actually right his. It might explain the many spelling and grammatical errors in our initial emails compared with his profile.polite online dating
Jude: I have a natural reservation at this stage of getting to know someone; I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I’ve met 100 men and none have been interesting yet. And given I barely know you; I think it’s reasonable to be reserved at this stage.Speak slowly and clearly, calm him down. Speak slowly and clearly, calm him down. You don’t want to ruin a good weekend right? Keep it cool.
Him: Well if you have that kind of cynicism you shouldn’t be on this site. You should be completely open to whatever comes along, like I am doing. You might have had some bad experiences but you should approach me completely openly. I’m not like other men.Quickly - figure out what he means by openness and give him that. Seriously dude? I’ve spoken to you for five minutes and I’m supposed to somehow have intuited that you’re the love of my life already? You have my truth. That’s enough. wtaf online dating
Jude: How am I supposed to know that you’re not like other men? I don’t understand why you’re telling me what I should and shouldn’t do. How do I know this isn’t a spiel you give all the girls?If you let him know what you need you could lose him. How can a ~50 year old man not be able to understand these basic life issues?
Him: You’ll be alone forever; you know that? You’re losing him! Quick, pull out all the stops! Bring him back somehow!Oh dude, get a grip.
Jude: I think that’s the end of this conversation.You’re bailing too early. This is salvageable. I’ve wasted enough time on this one.
Him: You’re accusing me of behaving this way with lots of women; I’m not like that.Did I accuse him? Oh no, I don’t think I did? That’s not what I said.
Jude: I didn’t say that, I don’t know you. I’m trying to explain why I am reserved. I think we have different definitions of openness here.OK, turning things around.Learn something here, mister.
Him: You are so rude. You’re unbelievable. Sure, hang up on me, go on.Am I rude? Oh no, what did I say?I’m rude? That’s rich. seriously
Jude: Explaining my reservation is not rude. Telling me I’ll be alone forever is. You’re not helping things. Ooh, nice line, girl.
Him: Yes I shouldn’t have said that, I’m sorry. See, he can be reasonable.Am I detecting a modicum of sentience? I’m surprised he can do that, given his anger. Must be a frequent state for him.
Jude: In any case I think we have different definitions of openness and it is clear from this conversation that we aren’t a match. I’m going to hang up now.You’ve lost him I think. You idiot. He could have been The One. My heart is beating too fast and this has stuffed up my day but just maybe I’ve given him something to think about.
Him: Whatever.bye online dating

I think meeting new people is hard. I think that part of things hasn’t changed. I did find reading this conversation a little on the uncomfortable side. I understood where Jude’s thoughts diverged from what society generally expects to what she really thought- if feminism has taught me anything it’s that society expects women to take male attention as a compliment, no matter what. What made me really uncomfortable was how quickly the man she spoke to went from attempting to be complimentary and interested, to talking about sex and then to outright anger.

What did you think?


#FYBF @ With Some Grace.


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