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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Reading Not So Between The Lines

My friend and I were perusing dating profiles last night out of curiosity. I thought I'd highlight a couple of salient points.

Short note to women (I am sure men go through this, too, so it probably applies on both sides):

1) A person who denigrates their ex in a dating profile (and elsewhere, but especially in an online profile which is supposed to "market" a person you know nothing about and make them look attractive)--please know that this person is going to say the same things about you once the inevitable break-up happens, and throughout the relationship, too.  This is because they are a) not ready to have a relationship and b) still attached to the ex and need to work out those issues a lot more.

And believe me, the conversations with this sort of person aren't going to be fun for you, will be generally untrue or half-truths, and you are going to hear about "the crazy ex" a lot and how no relationship ever works out (big red flag there, too--it means they have never really worked on a relationship, or the other person tried and they didn't)  These are ploys for maximum sympathy, designed to rope you in, good.  I used to say these sorts of things, too, and really regret how stupid-assed I was.  And I was also very stupid to fall for the same thing myself at first, but no more.  If someone you find on these sites gets into the, "Oh, look how I have suffered at the hands of crazy women (or men)"--run the other way, fast.  It is a red flag waved by red-painted people.

2) If anyone seriously denigrates their ex in a dating profile (or in real-time) for having life difficulties well out of their control (aside from outright criminal behavior, which they also shouldn't be talking about in a profile), please run, fast, and don't give this person the time of day. It shows precisely how sensitive this person is to difficult issues of every shade, and how helpful.  It could be a breakdown due to trauma, hospitalizations of any kind, cancer or other serious illnesses, losing a home, needing to step in and caretake a child or a vulnerable elderly person, unemployment, or any of the unpredictable things that happen to someone...because unfortunate things happen to us all.  You, dear woman (or man), are the next person to be abandoned when the waters get even a bit rough. Your problems detract from THEIR crises and problems anyways, and those have to be first and foremost in the relationship, right?  Consider yourself warned.  The other question you should ask is, " Why did you not help your partner when they were having problems?" The answer is: they didn't feel like it.

Further, the story you will be told about the unfortunate ex will a) be mostly untrue and b) be manipulated by omission, "weasel words" and slanted statements to cast the manipulator in the most bright and vivid light possible, and the unfortunate ex in the worst, partially so you won't be tempted to talk to her and hear his/her side of things.  If the person uses the phrase "she was nothing but a victim" (or something similar)--get away, because you will eventually be described as such, too. Or, you might get about five words as to why things ended, even more worrisome: there will be a lot below those words to which you really should be privy.  Mostly, though, you will hear how terribly inconvenient it all was.  You are supposed to be sad on his/her behalf, just to let you know.

Also, some people have profound secrets themselves, which is generally why they employ the "crazy ex" tactic (sorry to say, but women are often particularly sucked into being made to feel superior to the ex..the old "you are not like the others"'s a ploy, and an effective one which most manipulative types make good use of...and the women forget they are next if they don't toe the line.  Vanity and being made to feel superior are strong drugs, best resisted).  Plus, nobody wants to talk to a "crazy ex"--who might just be quite in full possession of their faculties and have a couple of salient things to say that you should know, too.

To the writers of such little gems:  you might want to consider waiting until you are actually ready.  Really: would you respond to a dating profile like that?  Would you actually want someone in your life who is attracted to such negativity?  Think about it...because if you get someone who is attracted to that, you are next, too, for all the things I just described.

As for myself, I realize just how much I need time to think about things like this. It's not like replacing a car or something, and I am living just fine and working on my own troubles and very real shortcomings, which is all I can work on, anyways.  I am not at all lonely and have plenty of things in the world that provide happiness and companionship.

At any rate, it is a jungle out there...keep your wits about you and your eyes open.