Originally Posted: 2005-07-15 5:11am
TOXIC DATES: TIPS TO AVOIDING THEM
I came up with a list of dating freaks that we all have dated, slept with, married, divorced. Now that we are all on Craigslist looking for new love, know what people to steer clear of. I promise that this is funny and all done in good humor with the intention to help. If you are dealing with any of these romantically challenged people- get out fast! I am a woman so some of this seems like it is just for girls but most of it cabe switched for men too. Feel free to email me any funny stories you may have about people you had bad relationships with. Forgive any typos- fater awhile you stop caring.
1)The JACKASS IN THE BOX
Key Phrase: "Are you talking to me?"
Names like asshole and bitch should be used more sparingly. There are assholes and then there are
A S S H O L E S
The key question to ask is "is their state of assholiness a permananent state or just temporary?" Someone can be at a Yankees Vs. Red Sox game and be an asshole to the Sox fans sitting behind him chanting "fuck Jeter". Yet after the game he can return to normal. You can be an A S S H O L E by being a dick on the consistant daily basis. Asshole/bitch usually means different types of behavior to different people. If you are with someone who is rude, cruel, to those around you but not exactly you, then warning assholes may be closer than they appear.
2. The FUCKING "DUTCH" MAN
Key phrase "Errr. You don't mind if we split this do ya?"
I will make a few enemies with this one but so be it. This is not about money. I make good money. I am successful. I believe in equality. This does not mean that when the dinner check comes I want to split it with you EVERYTIME. I always offer to help pay for date #1. Usually the man refuses to let me. I consider that a gentleman. As a policy if a man lets me go dutch through date #3. I cut him. In the age bracket that I date in (30's-40's) finances should not be a big deal for anyone. If a man asks me out for a date, he should offer to pay. At dinner I usually get a moderately priced meal and one drink. I don't order extras like a bottle of wine, appetizers, or dessert unless it is at the man's suggestion. Usually after dinner I offer to pay for drinks or coffee. On date #3 I usually offer to pick up the tab completely but few guys let me do that.
If you are a man dating a woman and you are on date #3,#4, #5 and you are still going dutch, just know that if you are not getting anywhere with her that may be the reason why. You are cheap. Like I said, it is not about money but rather biology. In the male/female pecking order you come down a few notches in terms of masculinty when you are supposedly "wooing" a woman yet making her pay for her own meals. I don't care how much money she makes or how much she can bench press, she still needs to be treated like a lady and needs you to be a man.
3}THE MIXED BAG
Key Phrase: "No, there's nothing wrong. I'm always like this"
This person is an emotional enigma. They are affectionate on one date--distant the next. They can be depressed, have baggage like an ex-wife and three kids. They invite you out then call you two hours before it's time to meet and break the date for reasons that most of us would NOT consider an emergency. "I have too much going on today" is not an emergency. I never break dates. Committment--phobes fall into this category. If you have emotional issues take time to deal with them before dating and wasting your and someone else's time. Flakey people fall into this category as well. I wouldn't let people like this affect me too personally. It's not so much he or she's just not that into me so much as it may be he/she's is or needs to be into their therapist.
4} SHINING HAPPY PEOPLE HOLDING HANDS
Key Phrase: "You're so cool...Can we be friends?"
Okay, there are people who say "let's be friends" and don't mean it. and there are those who say it and actually do mean it. In this case I am talking about those who do mean it and apply it to everyone they date.
Looking for friends or fun people to hang out with is not the same thing as looking for someone to date and eventually become romantically involved with. If you are on Craigslist m4w/w4m in hopes of only padding your social calendar then dance on over to the "Strictly Platonic" section where you belong. I met a few of these types on online dating sites like Craig's. The clearest way to spot them is when they say things like "I dated A,B,C, and D but it's totally cool and I am still friends with all of them". Be watchful because you're about to become letter "E". The friendmaker's rationale is to put making you a friend rather than a romantic interest on their to do list the second they meet you. If you're game. Fine. Just be be warned if you are hanging around in hopes that your "friend" status gets upgraded, don't hold your breath cause after "E" comes "F" "G" and many many more. You are a groupie in an entourage. These are timewasters who keep you from being with someone who sees you as more than just a pal.
5} THE BAIT AND SWITCH
Key Phrase: "I know I said I was a non-smoker but I only lite up when I'm stressed..."
Yeah. When a person places an ad looking for a potential partner realize that it serves as a wish list of the most basic qualities their potential partner should have. Respect those wishes. If you see an ad that request Asians only and you think "Gee that person would be perfect for me her pic is divine, her writing style is cool, we both play the bongo drums but...I'm not Asian" Then you know what buddy you don't contact that person, you just move on. I hate it when I ask for racial or geographic preferences and I get e-mails saying "would you consider...?" I got burned (no pun intended) by two supposed "non smokers" who lit up in my face on our date. In regards to race, I actually had two people show up for dates that were not the race they told me they were in their emails or appeared to be in their pics. Bottomline don't lie to people about who or what you are, do or smoke.
6} MR. EZ-PASS
Key Phrase: "I'm just a hop, skip, and a jump away from New York City"
For me If you don't live in Manhattan, it's a long distance relationship. I only date Manhanttanites. It is more convienient for me. I once let a Jersey guy talk me into going out with him after my ad said Manhattan only. His profile was great, emails were good, phone conversations were even better. He convinced me that the distance would not be a problem, that he came to the city often so I said okay with some reservation. Getting together for date #1 was an act of Congress, he went on and on about the train schedules. Then he cancelled out on date #1 . He lead me to believe that he lived someplace close in Jersey like Hoboken, turns out he was in Jersey alright...the part of Jersey that's near the PA border. "...But I may sell my house Camden and move to to city someday." I'm like "Oh, New York?" He said "No Philadelphia".
This was really my fault for caving on my wish list but consider it a lesson learned. Getting some in NYC is difficult enough without having to deal with train schedules, inclimate weather, and someones septic tank exploding. This goes for Mr. Fung-Wa too. You live in Beantown. You date in Beantown.
7} THE INSECURITY BLANKET
Key Phrases: "Anything you can do I can do better and if I can't do it better I'll kill you"
"Sharon" was dating a lawyer she had met in a yoga class. Everything was going great for the first couple dates until he discovered that she had a doctorate in chemical engineering from Stanford, owned her own condo, and made a bigger salary. He began calling her "ms. smarty pants" jokingly at first but by date #6 things got ugly.
You can't love someone of the opposite sex that you feel intimidated by or competitive with. I am meeting an increasing amount of men who go overboard in the impress department only to come crashing down when they meet up with a woman who makes as much money, has a better job etc.. Now women do this too but mostly only with other women. I see men doing this with men and women. These types talk about themselves nonstop on the date about how they can make gourmet meals for 50+ people, they are applying to law and medical school, they have a black belt in karate, could paint murals that commanded thousands of dollars. Incidently, these examples are no lie, this realy happened- a guy actually told me that he did these ALL of these things on date #1. Oh but whenever I tried to actually talk to him in depth about the things he had done, he got defensive, especially if it was a subject that I knew well. There is nothing wrong with trying to impress someone on a date but when your need to impress someone turns into one-upmanship, you can only feel good when someone is less than you are. If they dare to have equal or greater accomplishments you feel attacked. You should be happy that you are dating someone as successful as you are. You deserve it right? Everyone needs somebody--even successful people and yes some men prefer dumb women who are less accomplished but a real man won't be intimidated by a smart woman who is also smart enough to chose him.
Key Phrase: "Are we the most normal people on Craigslist or what?"
Are you a Craigslist dater hater? If you are then why are you on here? If you are embarrased about online dating move on. Don't hold your on-line dates to higher more impossible standards than people you meet in everyday life. I met a few guys who had ex girlfriends that they met randomly or the "normal" in the flesh way that were not very pretty, or had rotten personalities but when it came to meeting a woman on Match.com or CL they expected their new potential partner to be perfection. If you harbor preconceived notions that everyone you on Match.com, Craigs, Salon etc, is damaged goods then HEY! so are you. I think we should be appreciative that the internet came along to bring together people all over the world with goods, services, and possibly true loves that they never would have found otherwise. Until someone invents Stepford Dates.com you are better off taking some reality pills.
If you find yourself saying things to your date on the 1st or 2nd meeting like "Where would you like this to go" "Could you see yourself married to me?" "Do you feel any spark?" You may be trying way too hard. Take things slow. Give it time. Date #3 is critical and usually tells the story of how things will continue. Stop fucking up date #1 so you can get to #3.
9}THE "NEVER ENDING STORY"
Key Phrase: I love you but I have no intentions of leaving my spouse at this time she just got layed off and the boys are going to college in six years and the real eestate market will be booming by then and plaese don't leave me you are the only ray of sunshine in my life...
Cry me a river!!! There is a thin line between someone just having a little bad luck and someone being just plain fucked up. Most people who are fucked up don't realize it. To me a fucked up situation is one that really has no hopes of improving unless you make a major life decision like getting a court order, asking for a divorce, declaring bankruptcy, checking yourself or someone into rehab. We all have been in fucked up situations or will be at sometime or another. When it comes to being in a relationship with someone who is in the state of fucked-upness you should ask yourself two questions:
a. Are they worth it???
and if your answer to that is yes then also ask yourself:
b. Are they worth it enough to cost me my time, sanity, money, happiness or whatever is needed of me until they get their shit together if at all?
IF you have a "savior complex" then you may seek out people in these situations which is really not healthy. Find someone to love not rescue. Usually people don't end up with their rescuers in the end. As far as loving people who are married. A person is not single if they are married with no intention of leaving their spouse I don't care if they are separated. Separations can last for years. Don't fall for we are remaining married for legal reasons, finacial, medical insurance or for the sake of the children. IF someone is legally, emotionally, financially, or mentally unavailiable to you then you have nothing.
10} THE "JERK CHICKEN"
Key Phrase: "I don't know what I really want. All I know is that I don't want to get hurt again but I really do want to be with you (I think)"
We all need to feel safe. To feel comfortable. But when someone's need for safety and comfort becomes your nightmare, it's time to look for someone else.
My pal "Mike" is in a realtionship with "Sue" who divorced her husband after catching him in bed with her sister. It was a traumatic situation for her. It happened in 1994. It is now 2005. Mike has been dating her since 1999. He was 29 when he met her and now he is nearly 35. He wanted to get married and have kids by the time he was 32, but Sue claims she can't get married until she feels "it's right" since she screwed up marriage #1. Mike made her go into couseling for this two years ago. Still Sue will not budge not to mention that she is now 39 and in advanced childbearing years. Her need for reassurance derailed Mike'ss plans. No they are broken up and Mike feels that he wasted years.
This also applys to safety needs that clash. You may need to own property to feel secure but the thought of having a mortgage gives one of you night terrors. Love is about compromise but when when someone's needs, fears or inabilty to act cost you your happiness, it leads to nothing but resentment. But guess what? You let them do it to you.
11} "THE PUPPETMASTER"
Key Phrase: "I have the most wonderful life ...umm I mean evening planned for us" OR "MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY"
Controlling people are sneaky. They "suggest" rather than order. They take serious authority over your life, friends, waste elimination. At first it may seem nice to have someone manage you, know the right wine to choose for your meal, until the next thing you know that very same someone is telling you what brand of Tampons you should buy even though they are a man. Behind every controlling person is a domineering parent...so guess who they are taking their revenge out on? You, their puppet. Their homes are usually spartan clean. They never have problems and everything is just peachy because they are in control. Nothing is ever their fault. Controllers usually don't like online dating because they can't control what they end up with. When I dated one, I realized that he didn't ask people out to dinner, he summoned them. They don't tolerate bad behavior either and are short in the sense of humor department. They will do anything to get their way even if it means crying, feigning illness, hurting you, or just plain silence.
If you are not sure that you are dealing with one try this. Purposely take a stand against something that is a bone of contention for them. Let's say they will make love to you only after you take a shower and shave off all of your body hair. Puppet masters as a rule, have rules and control everything even fucking. So maybe you have always taken a shower just as asked but this time you won't and let some stubble grow on your chest. See if the control freak will bend. I tried this with my control freak over a movie issue. He always insisted on going to the midnight show. On this particular evening I decided "No" I want to see the movie at 9pm. He fought me hard on it but after 1 hour of quarreling I bought the tickets on Fandango, got dressed. Just as we were leaving, he came down with a "severe" stomach ache. Funny how he got better at 11PM just in time for the 12midnight showing. I broke up with him the next day and you should have seen the tantrum he threw, he threatened to commit suicide. It's a year later and he is still alive.
Bottomline: Everyone has something they defend strongly or certain ways they like things to be done. The thing to look for here is power and manipulation.If your on their team playing by their rules and your just the waterboy, you better off being a free agent.