Welcome to the train wreck that I call my online dating life. 🙂 I’m sure I’m not the first person to say this, but I really think the majority of people who are trying to date online are either weirdos, liars, Narcissists, or married…or are weirdo, lying, married, Narcissists. Seriously. I’m not quite sure where that leaves me, as I’d like to think I don’t fit into any of those categories. If nothing more, online dating has turned into my form of reality TV. I know I should just give up on it, but I can’t. It’s too crazy, and, well, everyone likes watching a hot mess unfold.
I guess what gives me hope of meeting decent people online, is that’s how I met my exhusband–and he was a normal, nice guy, so where are all the rest of them hiding? It’s like some weird switch was flipped at around 35, and now all the weirdos are out running amuck. Seriously. It seems that online dating is the devil’s playground, and in a lot of ways it is. It’s super easy for people to lie, cheat and steal online–and I bet that the number of Narcissists on these sites is pretty high for those reasons. So word to the wise, carry a healthy dose of skepticism with you when you are dating people, especially of you’ve met them online.
A little background
Okay, so don’t judge, but I’m on “Tinder.” I know that site started out as a hook up site, but in my area it seems to be about half hook up and half real dating–and, just for the record, I’m trying to actually meet someone to date. …So I’d “swiped right” on this one guy, and was really impressed when he sent me this long, and seemingly very sincere text in response. We chatted over text for awhile, and then moved to the phone.
There were several red flags right away that he might be an overt, somatic narcissist:
– He was sending me 2-3 “selfies” everyday (without me asking him for any). I mean, really, who does that?
– He was covered in tattoos (his full chest, and both arms, as well as a big tattoo on his back). I didn’t think that much about it at first, but after chatting with him for a bit, I began to think that his excessive amount of tattoos were a “look at me” thing.
– Every time he mentioned someone in his life (his mom, an exgirlfriend, a friend) he’d also give me a rundown of their résumé. For example, he told me that his mom was also a nurse, and that now she is the director of the children’s pediatric unit at the hospital. Or that he was going to see a friend of his today, she’s 25 and is a pre-med student. If I wasn’t so distracted by how ridiculous that was, then I might have been somewhat impressed.
– A lot of the pictures he’d send were supposed to be of one thing, but I felt like they were really of another. Here’s an example:
(What do you see here? His breakfast, which is what the picture was supposed to show me, or the iMac in the background (aka status bombing?)
– He also began talking like he was very serious about me–and we hadn’t even met yet! (In fact, we never even got around to meeting, as I called things off after the last text conversation we had below.)
I’m posting this text, because I think it shows a good example of gas lighting, hoovering, and how I went no contact. And, I suppose, I’m also posting this text because I just need to share how ridiculous this conversation was. So pull up a big bowl of popcorn, and enjoy!
This is what gas lighting looks like:
Him: I put some pictures up on Tinder for you to see so it wouldn’t look like I was flooding your phone with pictures, but I see you didn’t even go look at them! Hmph! 🙁
Me: How can you tell what I’ve looked at?
Him: Ah…I should’ve known. Hahaha
Me: Lol, seriously, I really haven’t spent a lot of time on tinder. I’ve seen the six or so pics you have up there.
Him: These were from today.
Me: And omg, don’t put pics on a dating site and then tell me that you are doing that for me! lol
Him: So I can send you all the pics I want without you judging those actions, correct?
Me: I mean, you can put them all over tinder too–we aren’t married lol
Him: I was ready to leave tinder when I met you…
Me: Uh huh. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard that…I’d have 25 cents.
Him: (hand emoticon)
Him: You know what that means right?
Me: That I’m 37 and not an idiot?
Him: “Talk to the hand.” Hold on, I got a phone call from 1987, and it wants its catch phrase back. lol
Him: You obviously haven’t looked in a couple of hours.
Me: What do you mean? That you’ve been off tinder?
Him: You definitely can’t find my profile.
Me: lol! You were just on there like five minutes ago!
Me: Because I just went to look at your new pics
Him: Ah…at least I know you looked at them.
Him: That’s all I really cared about.
Me: Omg you just mentioned that you put them up there!
Him: I put them up there this morning. Or this afternoon.
Me: And when did you leave tinder?
Me: Like 5 min ago?
Me: Lmao okay
Him: We’re not going to split hairs Dana
Me: Lol too late
Him: haha let’s not be critical
Me: You are nothing but trouble. This is why your relationships aren’t working out–you’ve been driving these poor girls insane!
Him: A percentage of that comment is accurate. I’m a percentage guy.
Him: But I don’t deal in specifics
Me: Men like you never do
Him: Touche. You’ve never met a man like me
Me: unfortunately, I think I have
Him: Ouch. Time will tell.
Him: Help me to understand that comment, “Unfortunately I think I have.” I take a lot of pride in being who I am which is very different from society’s view of men. I am humble and honest and make sure that my ego does not influence my choices. I’m hoping that you were just joking because I stand firmly for what I believe in and I am sensitive to these things. This is why I’m not a fan of text because I never know when someone is joking. …And how many people do you text that have their messages read notification on? And why don’t you have yours on?
Me: I don’t even know what to say about all, so I guess I’ll just say good-bye.
Him: You took all that the wrong way, but I think you were looking for a way to diminish this and an excuse to leave. I respect your choice but I think you should take a look at that if you really want to find love.
Me: What exactly did I take wrong?
Him: Whatever you perceived in my text that would provoke you to give up on something with this much potential so quickly.
Me: You mean all the small lies?
Him: Tell me exactly what it was that made you decide you should give up on us?
Me: All the small lies.
Him: All in jest. The crux of humor. There is no plural to that word. The only thing I ever said to you was that it was two or three hours ago and I already knew that you had just looked at that site and was going to make you a bet (to win another dinner date) and then have you go on and see that I deleted my account. I am not a liar but I do understand that your past and the way it looked on text. I understand how you feel Dana and I respect your choice. I wish you nothing but the best.
Me: Umm…yeah. You are out of your damn mind. Peace.
This is what hoovering look like:
(Two days later he “accidentally” face timed me, which I declined, and then he texted me that it was an accident and he meant to face time another girl.) I never responded, and blocked him across all chanels, but damn going no contact is really hard! I really wanted to argue with him and get him to see my point of view with everything, but I knew it would be like screaming into the wind, and not only that, but that he was just trying to reopen communication with me in some way (hoovering).
So what do you think? Am I reading way too much into his texts, or is there a problem here? What are the red flags that you see (if any)? Do you have any crazy online dating stories?
My goal is to educate, empower, and inspire other abuse victims in understanding more about what happened to them (and how to prevent it from happening again), as well as how to go on and rebuild an amazing life.
Even though I have had a lot of "in the trenches" experience with highly manipulative people of all kinds, I consider myself to be a student of Narcissism, mindset, motivation, healing, and life in general, and am by no means an expert on any of these topics.
It's for these reasons, that when you are reading my information that I encourage you to hold to what helps, and let the rest go.