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Feeling Too Available

deadtomeDear Chump Lady,

I wish there were a few more posts about how to go about dating again.

My recent experience was with a man I met online, who in spite of the distance between us, was very keen to attempt a relationship. He is legally divorced (3 years now) and was not a cheater (I got a background check done through reliable sources).

After the first couple of emails, he would email only once a week, is available to talk only weekends. Will text if only I texted. He is not creepy, is not asking for money, is not crossing any boundaries. I didn’t make a move for an entire week and he calls me up on the weekend, very excited to talk! Tells me all about the fun events in his life, asks me about mine. He is always polite, engaging, and has a good sense of humour. He is employed and works normal hours.

It’s been almost a month and half and I am puling my hair out because I cannot get him to talk about how he wants to move forward in a relationship. I am done reading about “when he doesn’t text/call.”

I feel like the “available” girl and I am angry with myself for getting to this point. I doubt my guts so much. I am second guessing myself all the time.

Should I stay away from dating for now?


Dear Rose,

Maybe. But perhaps you should just stay away from fuckwits.

Oh, same difference, Tracy! They’re all fuckwits!

No they’re not. Good people exist, you just need better filters. AND if you’re feeling “too available” then you are. Pay attention.

Let’s talk about availability.

To have a relationship, both people have to be available. Sounds simple enough, right? But so many people fuck up this basic step! Are they married? Not available! Are they on the fence but first have to work through some deep, personal issues like their commitment to greater peanut allergy awareness? Not available! Do they act super into you and then ghost you? Not available!

Do you want them to be available, when they’re acting all Not Available, and are you making excuses and creating “interest” from the smallest indications that they find you mildly tolerable? Guess what? YOU are not available!

That means your picker is still on the fritz. You’re self medicating with other people. You want the validation of ANYBODY. This isn’t the proper mindset to put yourself through the dating meat grinder. The proper mindset is: “I’m fine by myself. Really FINE. However, I’m open to being persuaded that a relationship with you could be a good thing. Demonstrate your worthiness.”

For someone to demonstrate their worthiness, you must have boundaries, right? Because you’re not going to tolerate just any old crap to have someone in your life, right?

Your online fellow sounds like a Mixed Signal person. And hey, it’s been SIX WEEKS. That’s hardly enough time to get to know anyone, especially at a distance. So for God’s sake, don’t expect to have the Defining the Relationship Talk with a guy you’ve only texted and emailed for a few weeks! You don’t HAVE a relationship. You have a pen pal.

You were hoping it would be more? See picker, boundaries, and “demonstrate your worthiness” points above. Don’t be so invested so soon. It’s nice to hope. But fill your life up so this doesn’t loom so large.

Now, on those mixed signals. Here’s some red flags — you met this guy long distance online. On a dating site? You don’t say, but look, there are a lot of weirdos who just like online dating for kibbles. They like the validation of your interest, but don’t want an actual relationship. I don’t know what you mean by “was very keen to attempt a relationship.” Because men who are very keen to attempt relationships actually ATTEMPT RELATIONSHIPS.

Shocker. I know.

Mixed signals are just one signal — mindfuckery. Good people’s words align with their deeds. “I am not interested.” Words and actions say “not interested.” Interested? Good people ACT interested. The relationship builds organically. No love bombing. No drama. Just slow and steady, but the point is — it builds. One interaction leads to the next to the next. Can I see you again? When can I see you again? Hey, this puppy meme made me think of you…

Actual Available People do not require decoder rings. They act available. If you call them and they were busy, they call you back. If they can’t make the date Saturday, they offer Thursday instead. If you do something nice for them, they’re keen to do something nice back to you.

All this makes a person feel very safe and secure, over time. If you’re demanding explanations or desire more passionate professions of love after 6 weeks — whoa. Maybe you’re used to freaks and their hot/cold love bombing. Healthy doesn’t work that way.

And if after 6 weeks you suspect you’re in something unhealthy, or just plain unsatisfying? DUMP! Yes you can dump people! You can call the tune on this dating thing!

Chumps will work with anything to turn “potential” into love. (Cue “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me”…) But refer to my first point — a relationship requires TWO available people. Not one holding the whole mess up. TWO invested people. You can’t spin unavailable or maybe available into available gold. That’s the pick me dance. And we all know how that ends.

Rose, pick YOU. You’re enough. When that really seeps in, then you’re ready to date. Or stay home with friends and Netflix. That’s good too.

This one ran before.

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  • I LOVE THIS! Exactly what I needed to hear at the moment. Just dipping my toe into the dating game nearly 3 years after d-day and find myself internalising all rejection.

    • Me too Dollygumdrop. It’s terrifying and so exciting. I’m at the 3yr. post divorce mark. So far what I have found is there are nice guys among the trolls. No one I’ve landed a “connection” with, but some solid people who I had a nice time with. I need practice after 25 yrs! I’ve found that I hold my boundaries really well now and I see the crazy coming. Taking time and enjoying people without the heavy “what is this going to be?’ hovering over is fun. Chumps need settle for fuckwits no more!

  • Big man mistake with her. Right off ” I am pulling my hair out because I can’t get him to talk about moving the relationship forward”. You shouldn’t be trying that. You don’t know him after some emails and texts. As CL said this guy isn’t interested or available. Ladies with meeting people online or dating apps nine out of 10 they are married or in a relationship. I can’t tell you how many ladies I know who have found out there husband was on these dating apps. When a guy can only be available whether to talk or meet at certain times he is either married or has a girlfriend. How soon have you been to his home or met his family? Married or girlfriend. You can’t” move the relationship along ladies”. You are trying to force something. The bottom line ladies of he hasn’t taken the initiative to call and attempt to see you within a few days of meeting or first date and continue he either not interested or he is married or seeing someone. Again the clues for married or girlfriend are only certain times to talk or see you and you haven’t been to his home or meet his family. This is happening way too much. He balks about swinging by his house? That’s it.

    • Did I read that correctly???? 9 out of 10 guys on a dating site are in a relationship??? That seems crazy to me.

      As a guy not quite ready to date, I can say that I will be honest with any woman I date and let her know that I’m not going to be super available to text when I have my kids. I was forced into 50/50 custody and I’m not going to cheat them any more they they already have been. Maybe this guys is the same way but maybe not, there’s no reason to it be up front with all this. I’m unfortunately learning the humans aren’t as kind and honest as I’d assumed They were.

      • Seems crazy, still true, from what I see friends go through. It’s not a data-driven stay, exactly, but it sure seems like a solid majority in any case.

      • I agree. That’s crazy and it’s not fair to say. Try saying it the other way around “9 out of 10 women on dating sites are all married or have boyfriends, they’re just cheaters.” Sounds sexist af when you say it that way.

        Just because a guy isn’t 1000% available all the time within only 6 weeks doesn’t mean he’s hiding a wife. That’s not cautious thinking, that’s paranoia. If you’re avoiding dating sites and dating at all because you think 90% of men on dating apps are cheaters, and if they’re not available to talk to you at the drop of a hat after only a few weeks, then you’re probably not ready to date because you’re not ready to trust.

        Fixing your picker and being wise about availability is important, but don’t go looking for reasons to throw someone out.

        • I get what you’re saying Kara – but aren’t we all here because we didn’t go looking for reasons to throw someone out? And when we did stumble upon some really great reasons – we threw on our blindfolds and tried to spackle our way back into a broken relationship.

          I think your advice is great for some, but many chumps need to be less trusting and more skeptical of anyone who isn’t rolling the ball back to us.

          • I also have seen statistics that between 50 – 70% on dating apps are actually married. I do not remember how this data was obtained, but it does seem feasible.

            • Spot on – it’s obtained by those who were willing to admit it in surveys, which means it’s likely the statistic is understated, not overstated. In other words, it’s totally fair to say, because it’s supported by multiple cogent sources.

              (It’s also supported anecdotally by every person I know who uses dating sites, probably because the people I know ask lots of probing questions before personally meeting a person they only know via dating sites.)

        • Kara, did you read or just skim Rose’s letter? There are REAL red flags with this guy; being wary in this case is definitely NOT “paranoia.”

          It may not be a wife he’s hiding.

          My ex, who prior to divorce was still living in my house (during the nightmare of in-house separation), was dating multiple women at the same time, telling all of them it was his first online dating relationship (liar). And I know of at least 2 times where he spent Saturday night with one and then met a different one for “afternoon delight” on Sunday. Sex with 2 different women in 24 hours, and they’re each thinking she’s the first person he’s met online. (Barf.)

          This guy Rose has been communicating with won’t talk to her on a weeknight. No mention of a valid reason. Living with someone, maybe? He claims to work “normal hours” so it’s not work that’s preventing him from talking on the phone on a weeknight. RED FLAG.

          He’s HIDING SOMETHING. Like CL said, “there are a lot of weirdos who just like online dating for kibbles. They like the validation of your interest, but don’t want an actual relationship. I don’t know what you mean by ‘was very keen to attempt a relationship.’ Because men who are very keen to attempt relationships actually ATTEMPT RELATIONSHIPS.”

          Something’s fishy here, and it’s not at all “paranoid” to pick up on that.

          • I agree with this totally. He’s waiting til the weekend when he can get some time to himself to make the calls.

        • I don’t know, Kara… I just started dating again and I can tell when a guy likes me and is “available.” They text either in the morning or evening, before or after work and/or will be able to go on a date any day that they don’t have work the next day. The communication has an organic feel to it, not like it’s on a strict schedule. I’m not saying someone should be calling you every day or that means they must be “unavailable.” But there are a few red flags in this letter, and one of them is that Rose is writing in the first place! What do we learn on this site again and again? Trust that gut!
          I don’t know if I’d agree that 9 out of 10 guys on an app are cheaters, but it could be 5 out of 10 and that’s still pretty bad. Also, flipping the sexes doesn’t make it sound sexist, either, IMO. Just sounds like there’s a lot of cheaters on dating apps. Which, based on the anecdotal evidence from CN, we know is true… 🙁

      • I haven’t commented in a while. That has not been my experience on dating apps. I’m 6 years from DDay, 4 years divorced. Though there are no doubt some lying cheaters out there, certainly not 9 out of 10. Many people are genuinely open to connection and actually single (that’s not to say 100% healthy). You have time via the early text part before ever meeting for them to display flakiness. CL’s meat grinder analogy does apply. It’s not exactly for the faint at heart, but it’s good practice to learn whether the fix-your-picker ideas you’ve learned actually work in reality.

        Also my time is limited because of my kiddo schedule, but I’m clear on that from the beginning.
        Great advice CL as always!

    • I HATE to sound super cynical but if 9/10 are in a relationship or married than I think there is a good change that 10th (out of the 10) might be a narcissist or psychopath 🙁

      I was reading in Psychology Today why dating sites seem to be filled these days borderline personalities. The bottom line was the same thing that Tracy pointed out about narcissistic supply.

      This really breaks my heart. I am several years out from my divorce and was really thinking that online dating would be a great option because I a very busy with my fantastic life and it would seem as though someone that can be bothered with filling out a profile is at least looking for a relationship! But I’m afraid that even with good boundaries, picking me, and having stakes in my life as it is – I still seem to be a target for jerks/ abusers/ narcissists. They are SO (so so so SO) wonderful for 3 – 6 months. I’m taking another break because as we all know breaking up with a narcissist is SCARY. I’m getting better at breaking up – but I just hate it. And I still end up with a broken heart (as they curse and scream at me and attack my most cherished characteristics about myself) because I bond and I get attached.

      • 9 out of 10 was just one person’s guess, and it’s unlikely to be true. The odds are against there being 9 out of 10 people who do any particular thing, unless it’s something most humans consider essential. Dating apps may be common hunting grounds for married creeps, but I would think those ones are more likely to be the narcs than the single ones. The odds of finding nice people on dating apps are probably better than, for example, meeting people at a bar, because you already know those people will tend to be heavy drinkers and are often just looking for one night stands.
        One can’t make guesses about statistics with much hope of accuracy, so don’t be scared off by that.

        Some say the best way to meet people is through friends, but that relies on your friends having good judgement about what constitutes a compatible romantic partner for you (I met the FW through a friend).
        Meeting people who share common passions might be the best way; through groups and clubs of various sorts. At least then you know you have one thing you share.

    • Please don’t invent scary statistics like that which will keep nice people off dating apps out of misplaced fear.
      It might well be a majority, but there’s no way it’s as high as 9 out of 10.

    • Now that we’ve all given our unscientific opinions about whether it’s actually 9 out of 10, we ought to be able to at least agree that many people experience a high volume of people on dating sites who either state they are, or turn out to be, in other relationships.

      YMMV, but the original point is sound. People frequently tell lies and omit truths on the internet because it’s easy and it looks good, and that’s why it’s so easy to find liars on the internet. So, if you’re dating online, watch your topknot and don’t be easy to gaslight, and that’s the best we can do. And if you don’t blike online dating, you and Gentle and I would probably enjoy sharing a nice cuppa and a scone together. ????

      Thanks, Gentle Reader, for sharing your word of cautious awareness to the conversation. I appreciated it. ????????????⭐

  • Excellent advice. A real classic, especially the advice to trust how you actually FEEL, and go with that.

    I’m not dating, and probably won’t again because I have other priorities. But just having those other priorities has helped improve my relationships across the board – family, workplace, friends. It’s helped me weed out the time-wasters and phonies, and gradually build up much better boundaries that don’t yield.

    The whole ‘gaining a life’ thing is absolutely essential, and also wonderful. And also a full-time job.

    I have had to work through having a really broken picker, medicating with people, being emotionally unavailable, etc, and now I am just happy to be someone with a good life. I don’t actually need a partner, nor especially want one.

    Doesn’t mean I don’t get lonely.
    Doesn’t mean I don’t get frisky.
    Doesn’t mean I don’t feel anything for other people, even romantically sometimes.

    It’s just that these things no longer determine my choices, and they don’t define who I am.

    • I love this too. It kind of sums up where I’m at these days. Lost interest in dating. Trying to focus my energy on things I can control in my life.

    • Lola you are always spot on.

      I too have been fixing the ole picker, doing the weeding and boundary-riding, it’s hurt like hell sometimes but my life, and self, are in a whole new category of better.

      But, omg, the loneliness! The friskiness! They’re not doing any determining or defining, but I just can’t say, “I don’t WANT someone”. Sigh.

      • Of course not. These are the things that make us HUMAN, not somehow flawed or damaged.

        Friskiness and loneliness are normal parts of the human condition, and there’s no inherent right to have either of them addressed by another person.

        They also happen whether you’re partnered or not. Talk to the young wife of a man who’s paralyzed in a sudden accident, or the husband of a wife who ignores him most of the time.

        People who need people are the normallest people in the world. It’s how we stay mentally healthy.

        But there’s more than one kind of ‘relationship’ out there, despite what the Valentine’s Day section of the gift card rack says right now.

        • Lola of course you are totally right. I know. you put things so well.

          I was desperately lonely in my marriage. For a long time. (Frisky, not so much. I was completely shut down. He hardly touched me – thought that was because middle aged, four babies. Turns out, ten years of hookers and gay clubs. Now I know it wasn’t me and I’m actually damn sexy!)

          But he’s still the only best friend I ever had. Crappy, hey?!

          I don’t want a valentine. I want a best friend who’s hot for me. How insanely teenage do I sound?!?!

  • “And if after 6 weeks you suspect you’re in something unhealthy, or just plain unsatisfying? DUMP! Yes you can dump people! You can call the tune on this dating thing!”

    THIS. In fact, practice doing this because you need to build up your “how to spot and get rid of freaks when your Spidey-senses are jangling” skills.

    He is in it for the flattery, IMO.

    “After the first couple of emails, he would email only once a week, is available to talk only weekends. Will text if only I texted.”

  • This resonated with me and has been a big learning curve for me in dating over the last couple years.

    Read the book Attached. Your anxiety is being triggered because this guy isn’t meeting your needs. Modern dating advice to be ‘less available’ works. But you know what it works for? Attracting someone who doesn’t meet your needs! This was a lightbulb for me. You attract people who are avoidant of intimacy or relationships or just generally unavailable (possibly not that into you). Because your aloofness is attractive, they bite. It’s just a psychological game. It works for a bit. But they never change. They don’t magically meet your needs all of a sudden. Your needs for intimacy and connection don’t go away.

    Get brutal in what you accept. They don’t text back enough? Don’t respond and communicate how you need them to? Don’t meet your emotional needs? Trigger your anxiety? Communicate what you need and if it’s not happening after that, move on. Don’t make excuses for them. Don’t justify it. Don’t hope it will change. Don’t make your needs small. Don’t settle for crumbs. See it as the sign of compatibility that it is and get out. It’ll get you to your person faster. Know your worth! Be discriminating AF as to who gets the gift that is your care and attention.

    Another book recommendation: Deeper Dating. It’s helping me LOADS right now in identifying my insecurities and figuring out how to date for the relationship I want and deserve.

  • I know there is a lot of fear about online dating. Let me tell you one thing, it is the absolute best way to learn to spot red flags out there, in real time. It takes months to years to learn.

    I suggest putting a profile up with limited info, but spend your time reading introductions and posted likes and dislikes (noting the absence of any real information) about the gents or ladies you are looking for.

    Within a very short time, you will start to notice genuine read herring comments. You will notice gaps. The best part of all this reading is you will hone your picker. You have to separate your suspicion from genuine flags. Not all guys are cheater, lying chumps. It takes awhile to trust your instincts.

    I must admit, I rarely meet in person anyone I meet online, but I have had many conversations – that only last a few days at most. If the person is not available, does not respond with at least a minimum of time, I wander off…. yes, the dreaded ghost people complain about. It means there are too many flags on the field.

    As far as my looking, If your profile states that you are separated, never married or the longest relationship you have had (at 50 years of age is 3 years) ** that is a red flag for me….
    If you are a Trump supporter. I can’t click block fast enough.

    Know what I have found? Many men have the same complaints about online meeting as women do. There are many nice people out there, just not matches for me, and I will keep my hope for a positive relationship in my future alive many different ways, in person and online, without question.

    There are many man babies looking (testing) to see how much crap you are willing to put up with. Letting you do all the “work”. Ghost is an answer.
    Many dudes project. If they keep repeating, “I am so reliable! I am so NICE!, I am a good, I am Godly, trustworthy guy!” too many times, right up front, that is a yellow flag. First down.
    Remember that.
    You will build confidence in yourself and your abilities to hockey check turds to the street.

    I am five miles further down the road as far as being an emotionally healthy, aware, confident, willing but not a fool partner. I hope that someday I find another who is in a similar mode.

    • Magneto—-‘If you are a Trump supporter I cannot click Block fast enough”…bahahaha. You made me laugh and smile on this dreary morning…#TRUTH.

      • Magneto….EXACTLY how I feel “As far as my looking, If your profile states that you are separated, never married or the longest relationship you have had (at 50 years of age is 3 years) ** that is a red flag for me….
        If you are a Trump supporter. I can’t click block fast enough.”

        All of this tells me exactly what I need to know.

            • BTW, I was on a dating site this past summer and I made it clear No trump supporters and no one that has unhealthy boundaries with their adult children as in no bums living in your basement and guess what? One guy told me over lunch that he voted for trump and had a 30 year old drug addict in his basement!! He was taking her to rehab the following week for the THIRD time. GONG !!!! So sometimes it doesn’t even matter what you say you are looking for…they’ll try and trick you anyway.

    • One of my biggest red flags is the blank profile that laments, “this isn’t a resume, just ask!” or “this is hard, I’ll fill it in later.” My personal experience is that such a person isn’t really interested in doing the work of a relationship, and that they’ll look at YOUR carefully worded list of likes and dislikes to “become” your perfect person. Dating shouldn’t be about catching all the fish, it should be about find that one special fish you can’t live without – so you need to set the right bait.

      Maybe they don’t have anything to say or any interests beyond chatting with as many possible dates as possible.

      Either way, NEXT!

      Side note: I ran across my ex-husband’s dating profile after we divorced and saw he had plagiarized something he’d read on my dating profile. Gee, if only he hadn’t cheated he could have saved himself some trouble trying to find another woman just like me. 🙂

      • “This is hard, fill in later”. I would LOVE to reply; “I’m sure you half ass your relationships as much as you half ass your profile.”

      • I also found that to be true about guys who out little to nothing on their profiles. Yep, they seem to view your interests, likes & dislikes. Low & behold, they like/dislike all the same things! Highly probable love bombing Narcissist anyone?

        I also found the opposite to be a red flag as well though. The ones who write a book on their profile seem to end up being clingy, needy, very opinionated & not open to your opinions.

        • So true. Narcs enjoy talking about themselves and bragging about their supposed good points. So if they have long-winded profiles extolling their virtues, avoid them.
          The ones that creep me out the most are the pseudo-spiritual ones where they try to inpress you with their alleged depth. They blither on about meditation, balancing their chakras, deep thoughts about the nature of the universe, bla bla bla. You can tell it’s a con.
          Another common type I’ve seen is the motorcycle/ ATV/ skidoo/ muscle car nut whose pictures always include these vehicles, like we’re supposed to get wet over the thought of them riding these things. Bleh!
          Then there are the legions of gym rat/shirtless selfie douchebags.
          From what I’ve seen the kooks on dating sites tip their hand right in their profiles. I was shocked how commonly they have pictures of their exes (or currents?) with the faces blanked out. I guess the message is; “This spot for rent.”????

    • I met my current husband on online dating. I dated a few others before I met him, some were fine but just not for me, others were one date (or less) and awful. Lots of frogs to kiss before I met my prince, so to speak.

      But definitely look at the profiles. I found someone who was willing to work for a relationship. At first I wasn’t willing to look outside my metro area but he was looking to move away from his hometown anyway, so it worked out fine. The big thing was he WANTED to spend time with me and still does. He finds excuses to text me during the work day, even just to say he is thinking of me. People are out there who want to match your needs one to one. But I had to be in a place where I was good on my own first. I had a life. I had my own world. I also got good at spotting the jerks. For example, any of them who put in their profile anything negative about “people on here” or “women seem to only like *insert stupid assumption* ” were right out. Bitter was off the table.

      Dating takes practice. I did manage to make some new friends too. We often found ourselves suggesting each other to other friends of ours as well. Meeting new people leads to meeting more new people and so on. In all I gathered lots of new friends and activities and expanded my dating pool more than just a couple people on a dating site. If you really want a good relationship, you don’t grab the first one that bites and mold them into what you want. You throw them back until you get one that fits.

      • I love this analogy you alluded to, of clothing that doesn’t fit.

        My marriage has been like a tortuous pair of jeans that are too small and dig in everywhere and I can’t sit down or breathe in them, but I can’t get over the fact that they used to fit and look great.

        • I decided that if someone wanted to be with me, they would make the effort. Looking back it was the right thing. For the OP, he might be a great guy but he also might not be looking for the same kind of relationship or commitment she is. That’s a sign she needs to throw this one back and look for someone else. No one needs to be in the wrong, it’s just the way it is. It’s often harder that way, when there isn’t a hard reason to dump them. They can be perfectly fine people just not perfect for you.

          I did promise myself I’d never again beg someone to spend time with me. So far so good. I had one date stand me up and claim he “forgot”. I said that it was fine, but that was his chance. That was his opportunity to bring his A game and impress me, and I was sick of being forgotten. Non-starter. I’m sure he was a nice enough man, but I didn’t need that crap again. If I had given him more chances, I would likely have ended up in the same pattern and never met my lovely husband. Stopped trying to make others fit the mold and just find one who fit me.

            • I used plenty of fish to find him, but also was on a couple others. I had decided to date around and see what was out there at my age first. I also didn’t really go into it looking for a permanent relationship, but was open to it. I wanted companionship and some fun. Found that. Ended up finding my husband too. Heh.

    • Another red flag is if there is bitching about “nice guys finish last.” Avoid Plenty of Fish. Pay a small fee, that weeds out a lot of drek. And avoid people ‘living life to the fullest’. They tend to be drunks.

      Also, on my profile I put a picture of myself after a day in the yard. And then in my profile I said I hated romance. One guy replied, “that’s too bad you hate romance, because there are some pretty good Romantic writers, like William Blake.” I was all, “That Blake can’t even spell tiger correctly.” That guy and I have been married six years. We have over 400 books, five children, two cats and a dog. All because I decided to be brutally real.

      • Yes, the “nice guys finish last” and “women aren’t interested in nice guys” whiners tend to be misogynists who think women prefer being mistreated, or just bitter boys who’ve been rejected and are quick to blame anything but their whiny, self-centred personalities. They are never the nice guys they claim to be.

        Agree about living life to the fullest types; drunks, druggies and promiscuous. Also the YOLO and FOMO people. They’re all of the above and have arrested emotional development that stopped around age 16.

        • I was chatting with a man on a certain dating app and he started to lament the “fuckboi culture” of said app… which I didn’t understand… because how does that affect him? He wasn’t dating the “bois.” He also seemed to think he should take it upon himself to save me from this terrible culture…
          And then asked me for more pictures, because the one of my face wasn’t enough, and neither was the one of all my books (which he initially said was the reason he wanted to talk.)
          I teased him about his hypocrisy and he blocked me.
          Then he found me again and tried to get a second chance! HA! block.
          I can’t imagine what a disaster a date with him would have been.

        • Thank you, CL! I have loved William Blake since I was a kid, I had a book of poems called “William Blake’s Inn,” or something like that. It’s somewhere in our girls’ room, now. The first date was a little weird – he brought me a stuffed tiger (which gave me pause, until I realized he was referencing William Blake). As an in-joke for “Tyger Tyger Burning Bright.” The toy sat in a third chair at our table at Starbucks, and our youngest cuddles it now when he falls asleep.

      • >>> And avoid people ‘living life to the fullest’. They tend to be drunks.

        Hahahah…this made me laugh out loud!!

        Not because it’s literally true in all cases…but more because it’s such a perfect distillation of the Hard Earned Wisdom we Chumps now have (& share with each other)

        It’s so comforting to come here to CL/CN and be around awesome people who are done sugar-coating the truth in order to avoid making other people uncomfortable

        Stay mighty, Chumps!

  • I think it’s possible that a guy who only communicates in the weekend is only available on weekends—due to work, trauma issues, family—whatever. I had a therapist tell me once that you shouldn’t force relationships on people they don’t want, so MIRRORING what they give you is a good way to avoid disappointment. If that’s not acceptable to you, there’s always NEXT!

    As CL said, this guy may just not be ready or able to move into a more substantial relationship footing. He might be a jerk, or he might just be somehow limited himself. At least he isn’t love bombing to build a relationship he’s not prepared to honor and care for.

    • True, Nomar. We don’t need to determine whether a person has negative intent to observe that there’s a mismatch of energies. All we need to know is that the other person isn’t showing that they want what we want. Doesn’t matter why, really. Only matters that we stop chasing and stop running and wait for meetings in the middle that are functional.

      • Yep. The first woman I dated after divorce was like this – fun, smart, sexy, passionate about her kids (which I find very attractive), and we had great chemistry – but she kept canceling dates and being unavailable. In the end, I figured out that she had what she needed in her life (plenty of friends for fun, family for support, and a neighbor-with-benefits for sex), so she didn’t particularly need or want me. I stopped chasing her and we stopped seeing each other.

        There was no malicious intent – she just wasn’t that into me and it showed through her actions (though not her words). I still consider her a friend, and I bump into her around town every once in a while and we chat, but I’m satisfied that this was the best outcome. In the end, do you really want to be dating someone who isn’t particularly enthusiastic about dating you back?

  • A friend once told me “the first chapter tells the story”. In reflecting back on that, especially relating to on-line dating, it is very true. I met my STBX on where he honed his skills of deception. His profile was laced with truth and lies. My life with him was laced with truth and lies. There were abundant clues in chapter one….but I glazed over all the evidence.

    Feeling Too Available has the first chapter before her. She has read it and is now filling in the plot. All the evidence is there and it is clear that this dating prospect is NOT WORTH pursuing. Her relationship with him in Chapter One tells the whole story. The end.

  • There’s a reason why you can’t contact him over the weekend. Six weeks is too soon to ask for commitment.
    Your deeply hurt still, your vulnerable.
    Join some clubs your interested in, vary your social life. Meeting people online you don’t know what their really like.

    • When is not too soon? My new guy and I are at 2.5 months and are exclusive. I don’t want to sleep with someone who’s not exclusive with me. This dating and not feeling insecure is hard.

  • After 3 years divorced I just tried dating someone I met at lunch at a local place. He seemed so into me, had me meet his family, pushed to meet mine, brought me flowers where he knew I was with friends, asked me to save my vacation days to go somewhere with him, gave me his garage door code and asked me to come to his house whenever I wanted, had our dogs go to the dog park together, asked me for an exclusive relationship…I was the one asking to slow down. Then after he won me over at 6 weeks he got hot and cold which made me feel awful and confused. Then he texts me that he wants to get back with his ex but we can be friends with benefits. What the hey that is never what he said before or anything I said would ever be acceptable never talk to me again. How do you trust people when they end up being different than their words and actions. My friends were fooled too.

    • All of that in barely 6 weeks? That’s your red flag the size of China. This is what love bombing looks like in real life and what you experienced with this man. Sending you flowers where he knew you’d be with your friends? That’s creepy and stalkerish and exactly the sort of attention grabbing thing a narc will do.

      The trouble with many chumps is exactly this – taking whirlwind, high pace, pushy behavior for genuine caring and seeing creepy stalker type gestures as romantic. That’s where your picker needs a serious tune up. One thing to note too is that your gut instinct was talking to you – you were not comfortable with the pace but you set that aside and let him bulldoze your better sense. Why? Very important question to answer before you dip another toe in the dating pool.

      Another question to answer is what does healthy dating and normal pace actually look like?

    • When people push for too much intimacy too soon it is called love bombing. They push through your boundaries for trust they haven’t earned, and through a series of cons they pretend to be some storybook version of a perfect guy or girl to get what they want from you.

      It’s all smoke and mirrors. They were never invested in you from the start, they were just into what you will do for them.

      • I totally agree with you both but I don’t understand what he got out of it. He told me he really wanted his ex back but texted me again later asking me for dinner and dancing with no commitment like we did not have one he asked for before. I asked him not to contact me again. I don’t know how to tell when someone is genuine he really seemed like it.

        • He got kibbles out of it! He was toying with the ex wife who may have been excited about it and he was toying with you. Any yes, narcs love it. Two women interested in him is the best thing ever – and he doesn’t care at all about your needs or feelings.

        • He got attention for HIM, by making you waste YOUR time.
          If I hadn’t heard it out of the mouth of a Narc, I don’t think I’d have ever wrapped my head around that concept on my own. Their business is destroying things.
          When you waste your time, even with no apparent benefit to them. How this is even a “thing” will blow your mind, but it is.

  • You know the term “love bombing”? It’s when the person is all over you like stink on shit. You are being smothered with attention. There is a fine line between wanting to spend time with a person and wearing them out. Your so called relationship is waaaaayyyy over there. You are trying to pull this thing up a steep bank while he is in his lounge chair, sipping a beer and watching you work your ass off. The relationship you want is in the middle of these two. This one is a dud.

  • The ideology I have been following is from that book The Rules and their latest installment called Not Your Mother’s Rules. It teaches you boundaries and dating with self respect. There’s even a chart with text and call back times, and basically weeding out the bad ones (which is just as important as finding the right one).

    One of the biggest red flags is you giving this fantasy relationship time on your weekends for phone calls from this online random stranger, when your weekends should be filled up with your hobbies and interests, actual dates, family and friends. Weekends are not for random phone calls from online strangers, who could have just called you out of boredom while standing in line at the self checkout in the grocery store!

    If he wants to see you, he can plan that precious time out of your life in advance and come to your town. If he’s not doing that, The Rules response is, Next!

    As Tracy has said in this blog, I don’t need a relationship that bad. Rather live in a box and flip burgers than take crap off someone. This should be especially etched in your brain after going through the torture of infidelity.

    • Agree! Love The Rules books, and 2 more books in the same “high standards/good boundaries” vein are “Why Men Love Bitches” by Sherry Argov and “Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man” by Steve Harvey. ❤️

    • This.

      I’d not be looking for anything serious in a 6 week relationship. At that point, you are barely dating, but the OP hasn’t even met the other person yet.

      To me, that is a big red flag. 6 weeks of messaging means you’re pen pals. If the first couple of email exchanges indicate that you both like chatting with each other, then the next step–and maybe this is the step the OP meant when she talked about taking the relationship forward. Eventually, you have to meet.

      If there’s nothing that first meeting, then that first meeting can be the last. Why flog a dead horse? Stopping before a second date is a no-harm/no-foul move. There is no reason to expect that once you start seeing someone, you have to continue to do so. You’re not judging whether or not the person is a good, decent person. You’re exploring if you’re right for each other. The sooner you realize this isn’t to be, the better it is for both of you.

  • I know it sounds like a corny book but it should be mandatory reading in middle school for ALL females. ‘He’s Just not that Into You’ by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo. If a man really wants to be with you he will move mountains. If not, move along….he is NOT into you so stop making a fool off yourself.

    Remember, expectations are premeditated resentments.

    • I had this book but misplaced it. It’s really good to read. Maybe I’ll pick up another copy. I have been too guilty of running after things and choosing not to see what’s in front of me. Wanting things to be other than they are. I’m working on fixing me. I’m worth so much more than I give myself credit for. I won’t be dating for a while. Divorce still isn’t final, and really, I need a breather from the gaslighting and manipulation.

      • The woman who was my professional mentor told me, “Never hurry,” That’s a good rule to apply to all relationships. It takes at least two years to learn a job to the point that you are comfortable you know how to handle most situations. Why would anyone “know” that some random man on the internet is someone you should take to the next level of YOUR life in 6 weeks or 6 months or even a year? Sez the woman who fell for lovebombing and intermittent reinforcement more than once.

        A friend of mine got scammed by an internet “dater” years ago. And he turned up again THIS WEEK, using Words with Friends, still at it, thinking she wouldn’t recognize him because he had changed his scamming name.

    • It doesn’t work unless both show roughly equal interest in each other. If the guys is moving a mountain, while the girl is sitting around absorbing the attention, it doesn’t work

  • Is his level of availability, aka the way he is behaving, acceptable to you?
    If not, you move along. That’s the perk of not being bonded to someone, you can see them crystal clear, with the right filter setting on.

    Good luck dating!
    Take it for the social experiment it is 😛
    If you don’t get a good partner, you still get a ton of experience and it all counts!

  • Also, one of the things that I learned was that my non-vacation planning, non romantic exhusband could line up his trysts with his bimbos weeks in advance of his work trips. This was one of the saddest revelations of all. He could also wax poetic and beg for their attention when they cancelled on him! Yes, men who are available will plan in advance!

    • Ugh so true. That was what made pissed me off too. That he could plan everything – flights, booked nice hotels etc for the trip with the OW, and did not lift a finger when it came to ours. I did everything.

  • By a certain age, the dating pool is rife with EUP—emotionally unavailable people. They want love and security and comfort, but are never going to reciprocate. So they pretend to be all relationship savvy, they learn the right things to say, how to give enough to keep someone’s interest but not keep the person happy.

    Chumps need to learn the yellow flags, and to pay attention to when that emotionally-available facade starts to drop. Then EXIT. It never gets better, you simply get more invested and progressively less fulfilled. Know your worth and hang around for the reciprocity you deserve.

    • By a certain age, the dating pool is rife with EUP—emotionally unavailable people. They want love and security and comfort, but are never going to reciprocate. So they pretend to be all relationship savvy, they learn the right things to say, how to give enough to keep someone’s interest but not keep the person happy.

      — Eek this is kind of sad, but incredibly insightful and true. 🙁 This will stay with me if/when I venture out there.

    • Well said, Tempest. I have decided to spend nearly 100% of my time doing jobs at no pay to close to minimum wage instead of trying to date anyone likely ever again. Virtually all of the guys I have met on-and offline the last several years have been chronic liars, jerks (at least to me), and really messed up (severe case of Asperger’s?, personality disorders). At least this way, I can slow the pace of my slide into debt. No partner, virtually no retirement fund, no permanent family-supporting job, kids, especially one with special needs, doing badly—I hope that I can somehow scrape by on a couple of part-time minimum wage jobs. Buying lots of gas and spending lots of time running from one interview to another and one gig to another. Feeling scared, sick, exhausted, dropping things and often forgetting important things. I don’t know how I’ll make the math work.

      • RockStarWife,
        I’ve read several of your posts in the past. Imho, you seem to be on a better path for you right now. Hard but better for you in the long run.

        I’m in a somewhat similar spot as you. Lovingly I say, the last thing you need right now is another man in your life. Desperate times only seem to attract bad elements.

        As hard as it is, continue to get yourself and your life together on your own before even thinking about dating again. You need to be together and whole before you will attract the kind of man you deserve. Right now, you would only attract a rescuer type. That would end up coming with a high price tag to you in the end. Stay on the path you’re on.

        It’s a long, winding, up hill road but, you’ll make it to where you want to eventually be sooner then taking a detour. The detours seem to end up being dead ends.

        • Hi Rose Thorn,

          Thanks for writing. I like your metaphor of the detour. I need to keep this in mind in planning my career and relationships (of all types).

      • Hugs. Hang in there. One day, one moment at a time. It took me 2 years to get from no work/part-time fill-in work to a full time job. Still not at the pay level I’d like to be, but at least I now have benefits and can start to build some sort of retirement.

        What helped me in my bleakest moments was making small lists of small things that I could do to advance myself in some small way each day. Give self points for getting up and pulling the covers up on bed, making one phone call, sending out one inquiry.

        I also ruthlessly purged everyone, everything, and every behavior that wasn’t either forwarding my goals, or was costing me time/energy with little to no payback. For example, I no longer have cable TV and neither my teen age son or myself miss it. Saved several $100/mo and I no longer have to listen to the endless, ridiculous commercials.

        I no longer live in the upper middle-class lifestyle I’ve had most of my life, and I will probably never own my own home, travel, buy expensive things, but that is o.k. I have enough. And I’m free.

        • Skunk Cabbage,

          Thank you for sharing a part of your history. It helps to know that others struggle to climb out of the ‘hole.’ (Sometimes around here, I feel like the only person who is not super mighty, gloriously, quickly bouncing back from nightmarish divorce and breakups. I still haven’t found that cape in my closet…) I admire your resilience and appreciate your sense of gratitude. The world would be better if a greater portion of the population shared your values and attitudes.

          My kids and I gave up our TV nearly five years ago–I don’t miss it at all. If we had one, we’d have just one more thing to dust! We, too, ‘have enough.’ We still have (modest) shelter, clothing, a mostly working car, and food. Now if I could just stop grieving the loss of (bad) partners–and support my family. Would love to be like so many of you on CL who never miss having a (decent) partner, are completely content being celibate for decades (the rest of your life), and are thriving completely on your own! I’ll have what she’s having!

          • I do miss having a partner. I’ve been celibate now for 4 years. But that’s by choice, if I wanted to go out and get laid, I’m sure I’d have no problem, but that’s not what I want.

            Sure I get lonely and sad thinking I’ll never again experience kissing someone, much less have a significant other. But that’s o.k. I love my big queen bed and all my pillows that I only have to share with my cat. And sure, there’s times when I wonder if I’ll be o.k., how I’ll be able to manage as I get older. But again, I’d rather be alone than back with the XAss who only drug me down, and never lifted me up.

            You’ll get there too! We’re all rooting for you!

            • Skunk Cabbage,

              If you ever come to my neck of the woods, I’ll take you out for a cup of jo.You sound like a cool friend!

              • Awww, Thank you for the compliment. Its nice to know that someone thinks I’m cool (besides my cat)! LOL

    • I think reciprocity is a huge positive sign, right behind kindness (to you, your kids and pets, and the general population. But some of us need to learn to distinguish “reciprocity” from “image management.” It takes a good while to see if someone consistently wants to give at the same level he or she receives.

  • If I may offer a bit of a man’s perspective, ladies…
    A guy like this just isn’t interested. What little he’s doing is for some other reason: feeling guilty about not doing more, getting a self-esteem bump, or, unfortunately, seeing if he can get some with almost no effort. Whatever that reason is, it’s irrelevant. Whatever that reason is, it’s not dating.
    Men are relatively simple creatures. We actually make effort for things we are interested in. If he was actually interested in dating, a guy like this would be contacting her, and trying to get actual dates. Even a shy man (and there are plenty of those) would be doing more than this. If he says he’s “too busy,” what he actually means is that other activities in his life are more interesting to him than dating you.

  • Maybe it’s just me, but the beginning sounds appropriate. Maybe she is the red flag to him?? And that’s why he isn.t available anymore. I mean. After a couple of weeks of nice communication, trying to get him into “the talk” already?
    I would run for the hills. You don’t know each other for real, if you havent met in person. Talking about a relationship then?
    Maybe I’m not comprehending the story right, but this is my first thought

  • Here are a few of the most important things I learned on-line dating (and I think it is worth noting I met my current WONDERFUL husband this way and we’ve been happily together for 10 years.)
    1. Self-employed often (not always but often) equals underemployed or unemployed. Ask careful questions.
    2. Someone might have all kinds of sad,sad sausage reasons why they can’t see their 4 minor children by three different women. None of them are valid. Don’t be sucked in.
    3. Don’t spackle. If a man isn’t calling, isn’t wanting to meet in person, isn’t arranging the next date while on the date, he does NOT really want you. He wants to put you in the queue as a possible back up.
    4 People tell you all the time who they are. If they say something horrible to you or someone else, then say “Just kidding” and try to laugh it off. They are not kidding. They are horrible and walking it back because they sense your shock. They are testing you to see what you will put up with.
    5. People spend way too much time trying to find someone who likes common activities and pastimes. That does NOT ensure compatability. You should be trying to find someone who shares values. Your ex did not cheat on you because you didn’t run marathons and the AP was in his running group. And a new guy isn’t necessarily going to be faithful because he likes to go to quilt shows with you. Good people can go to running groups while you go to quilt shows and not inadvertently fuck strangers. Check their VALUES not their pastimes.
    6. And this last was a real revelation: You don’t have to wait until someone does something really horrible that gives you a “good” reason. It is okay to break up with them just because you feel something is “off.” Or, even just because you are not that interested or feel like you have different goals. You can break up with someone just because they aren’t really right for you. When I figured this out it really changed my online dating life Chumps are conditioned to believe that unless someone is flat out evil you have to just put up with them Uh no you don’t. the good guys you break up with will just say “Thanks for being honest early on.” If the guy gets angry or says abusive things, it just proves your gut feeling to get out was right after all. Either way both people win.
    7, Chumps have usually spent soooo much time dancing and trying to please fuckwits that it warps our sense of interactions. Your job when dating is not to help anyone, or change anyone’s mind, or wait to see if they come around. Your only job is to assess if he is a good person who is also right for you. Every minute you spend hanging on and giving a guy another “chance” or waiting for him to “see” how worthy you are is time you aren’t out finding the person who is right for you. It’s a numbers game. Be willing to send people on their way. Politely and kindly. But firmly too.

    • Jojobee – love this list! I’m really taking it to heart. It also reminds me of CL reminding us that if we choose to date, we have to be willing to dump people and we have to be OK with being dumped. It’s all part of the process.

    • ^This seriously needs to be permanently posted under advice for chumps in post divorce dating rules.
      Absolutely spot on.

    • Yes, all of this! I dumped a guy who was perfectly wonderful, just not for me. He was upset, but I went on to set him up with a friend who he got along with sooooo much better than we did. We never had a fight, and had lots in common. We just didn’t click.

      And we’re friends now. As chumps it takes us a while to come at dating as a buffet rather than a prison meal. We can be choosy, we can avoid things we don’t particularly want at that moment. We don’t have to make do with what we are given at the first time. Heck, we can just date for the rest of our lives if we want to.

  • Oh, online dating after divorce. As Magneto said, many people are testing to see what you’ll put up with. My online profile listed “my cats” as one of the five most important things in my life. On a first date with a guy he mentioned that he’s “allergic to cats.” I looked right back and said, “They have shots for that.” Met another guy for lunch — he ordered a salad and I got fajitas — when our meals arrived, his eyes got wide & he said, “WOW, are you going to eat ALL THAT?” And my inner voice said, “aaaaaand, we’re done.” I managed to stand my ground, be myself, and resisted that old urge to become or pretend to please another. I found a guy who loves me for ME, warts & all.

    • But those terrible conversations benefited you as a better partner picker.

      I have not had any “whopper” moments, but I have cut quite a few off, like Casper…..

    • A surprising number of men are intimidated by a woman with a hearty appetite for food.

      They correctly deduce that she’s got a healthy appetite for other things, and they get scared.

      For other men, it’s like a dream come true.

  • Sometimes fixing your picker means something more along the line of detox. If you’re addicted to getting someone’s attention I’d say you need to do a complete system reset. And it’s a painful cure. But if your issue is that deep there’s no other way.

    OP needs to get off the dating sites and into therapy is my opinion.

    • I was already in therapy and still needed two years to straighten out my old habits and patterns after Jackass. And while I’ve been “dating” the Very Kind Man for 3 years, I am just NOW getting better at handling my own busy life during the school year alongside a relationship–balancing work requirements, my service commitments, my friends and family, my dating life and ME. I’ve learned to keep either Friday night or Saturday night for ME, most of the time. And that would be a dealbreaker if it weren’t possible. On the other hand, I can’t always put my relationship AFTER work or that’s not fair either. So it’s first and foremost about having a Self I take care of and then making sure I don’t do too much or put too much on the other person. Boundaries.

  • I met who I call my ‘fake fiancee’ on Match a few years back. Talk about love bombing!! Omg, I had never experienced anything like that in my life so I thought he really liked me. Three months after we met he asked me to marry him and moved in with me. After living with him for almost a year I learned everything I needed to know about him. He made six figures and didn’t have a pot to piss in. He expected me to pay ALL the bills and home repairs and his money was for ‘having fun.’ He was so stinking lazy it was unbelievable. He sat around like he was king shit of turd island. He told me that ‘he didn’t do house work OR yard work.’ He had two adult middle aged ENTITLED daughters who hounded him for money constantly. He did a really shitty job of raising them.

    After meeting some of his family back east I got some serious scoop. He had told me that he had never been on a dating site in his life until he met me. Hahaha A family member told me that he plowed through women constantly and always had some new chick on his arm (that he had moved in with) He finally had to get a P.O. box because they never knew where he was living or with who. NINE minutes after we broke up he was back online trolling for another victim and two weeks after that he had a new soul mate schmoopie. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone so full of shit.

    I don’t even look online anymore. It takes up too much time in my busy, fabulous life.

  • So, I’ve been divorced for 3 years (married 30) and am just starting to date again. I have experienced both sides of this relationship imbalance. First guy that I dated love bombed me and I started falling for him. After 6 weeks he started to pull back. I was left feeling confused and overthinking everything and trying to make a 6 week old “relationship” work, lol. Simultaneously, I had an old boyfriend from college reach out. I was polite to him, but never gave any indication that I was interested in rekindling a relationship, or really even a friendship. He did not pick up on subtle cues from me, and I had to eventually very clearly set my boundaries, then block him due to him crossing said boundries.
    So, my take away from these 2 interactions was that when there is an imbalance in interest, it’s just not going to work. Having a pushy old boyfriend not respect my boundaries helped me to see and respect the signals being sent by the guy that I was really into, but was no longer that into me.
    Rejection/rejecting is a hard thing to get right for us chumps.
    I think I’m gonna have to read both those books!

  • Why do people think they have to have “defining the relationship” talks? You don’t have those with friends but you still pretty much know who your good ones are and which ones are more casual. Think how nuts it would be to tell a casual new friend that you’d like to define the friendship.

    It’s always actions or the lack of actions that define any relationship. If you really like someone and they only sorta like you back, all the defining in the world isn’t going to transform them into suddenly really liking you back. You’re better off just simply realizing I might like this person but I don’t like how I feel with this person and then understand that the relationship is already defined.

    • Ugh, I actually had a friend who wanted me to define our relationship. It was awkward. She had revealed herself as a narc and she wanted to control the friendship with sort of hot-vol mixed messages. After she pulled some crap I decided she was not worth my time, but just recently she had heard that I’m moving with my daughter and tried to fish information. I saw earlier what she is so I didn’t tell her anything. None of her business.

  • I’ve been divorced almost 3 years and last summer started dating . Met a guy online , seemed genuine, kind , blah , blah fucking blah because I’ve learned half way intelligent men all come across that way at first . So I don’t put much stock into how they “ seem “
    No red flags and things went on okay . I had stated upfront I was just getting back into dating and wanted to keep it casual or no sleep overs , meeting each other parents , kids , etc until I was comfortable.
    He said he was perfectly okay with that .
    Two months in , while we were swimming in a pool he said “ I’m ready to take this to the next level and want us to be exclusive.”
    I said “ I’m not ready for that .”
    I could see his face became very red and he literally said to me “ you’ve got a great body but your stomach is a little soft “
    Yes ! That was his response to my “ I’m not ready for that “

    Right there , at that moment , I told him we were done . He deliberately and with malice demeaned and degraded me because he couldn’t control the agenda and get his way . That’s abuse !

    That’s how quickly I will mow these motherfuckers down if they abuse me verbally or “ neg” me .

    It’s not that I’m conceited or being a bitch , but I’ve worked way too hard on myself and my picker to tolerate any fuckery from a man EVER AGAIN .

    They don’t have to be a cheater to dump them . You actually can dump them for any reason you want . Who knew ?? We actually do have a voice in the relationship . Use it .

    • Christina…you GO girl!! Fuck him and the horse he rode in on. Too bad you had to waste two months of your life just to find out he was a shit stain. He’d be begging for his balls back if had been me. Pffft.

      Most of these guys that are online think they are about 100 times cooler than they really are. As said above in a comment, if they say they are ‘self employed’ that is code for they don’t do one damn thing. If only I had HALF the confidence as a middle age mediocre white guy I’d be something. Lol

      • The irony of it was he was about 15 pounds overweight and I’m quite fit . He was also 9 years older than me and looked it .
        I don’t have a six pack asshole , I’ve had kids . What’s his excuse ?
        These guys do think they are all that , and not sure why .

        Was proud myself for not even wasting my precious energy to explain or ask him why he was being mean ( the old me would have)

        When I said we were done , I could see he was shocked !

        After that I stopped dating online . In my opinion , lots of frogs and I don’t have the time to wait around for a Prince . Too many other things I enjoy .

        • What a sleaze that guy was. I think it’s doubtful I’d ever want to try on-line dating sites. I probably have better luck running into someone potential at the corner supermarket. If I even choose to want to date ever again after this mindfucking hot mess. I can’t wait to concentrate on my own awesome and free life for now. Moving out in less than two weeks.

      • Chumpty Dumpty,

        I realize that ‘self-employed’ can mean many things, but I know a few self-employed male (and female), relatives and friends, who work very hard and are very smart. Many years ago I was self-employed. It was harder than being employed by others. I am going back into self-employment out of necessity—and in my fifties while, as a single parent, will probably work harder than I have ever worked, even harder than I did while working on a doctorate and as a virtually single parent (my then-husband worked around the world).

        • I know quite a few men and women who tout “ self employed “ but really are under employed or not doing much of anything except trying to lure a new target to support them .
          It’s even more prevalent online …..

          Again , we can all have our dealbreakers . I don’t want to date someone broke as hell or in debt .

          • Christina,

            Sounds as though you’ve been burned–I empathize.

            That being said, I have been and am now self-employed–and I have never been in a situation in which I am ‘not doing much of anything except trying to lure a new target to support (me).’ Quite the contrary–I have often bought meals and gifts for people, especially boyfriends (met on- and off-line), who were considerably more affluent than me, partly to show them that I was NOT a ‘gold digger’ and partly to show them that I loved them.

            I guess that you won’t date me–and that’s ok.

            • Christina,

              Good points about frogs. I don’t really agree with the common saying, ‘You have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince.’ Some people I know met their first partner at a very young age and decades later are still happily married to their partner– So no frog-kissing. Beside, who says that we have to kiss frogs? Maybe it’s best to get out of the frog-kissing business and just be one’s fabulous self as a single, celibate person. All the frogs I have kissed just physically, emotionally, and financially dragged me down and broke my heart. Perhaps I could have won a Nobel prize, invented a cure for cancer, or at least been a heck of a lot happier and more financially secure if I had never entered the frog-kissing business.

        • The successfully self-employed people I know do not generally describe themselves as self-employed. They talk about being graphic designers or editors. The fact that they manage their own websites and businesses and thus are, in fact, self-employed rarely comes up.

          Lots of people are self-employed because they are in between jobs, and that is fine. Most of us find ourselves less than perfectly employed at some point in our lives. But the term “self-employed” is a sort of code for “I’m not doing much at the moment, and the work I have managed to drum up for myself isn’t really anything I am proud of.”

          Learning to read the profiles is part of the practice of online dating.

          • Funny. I have had a successful business for 33 years. My profile says self employed. Mainly because I want too protect my privacy from “crazy”.

            Maybe, I should rethink my honest title in my profile….LOL

            Of course who am I too judge someone in the way they judge profile’s.

            I kick out duck lip people.

          • There seem to be a lot of assumptions here about self-employed people. I was a self-employed consultant to engineers, accountants, and executives who presented at international conferences. I was proud of what I did. I did not make a huge amount, but I didn’t need nor want to leech off anyone. I am now going back into consulting for agencies that help people get out of poverty. I consider this a real, professional, challenging, and noble job that does pay the bills. A large percentage of very successful famous people have been self-employed. I wish that certain vocal people here would not paint all people in a group with a broad brush, saying disparaging things like, ‘All people who call themselves self-employed are (blank),’ or ‘All people who are unemployed are lazy,’ or ‘All people who are homeless are (fill in stereotype).’ I used to think that it was easy to get out of welfare, at least in the U.S.; after having worked in nonprofit, I know better. I see heroic, honest, smart, resilient, diligent people who are unlucky try to survive and help others. Saying automatically that somebody deserves to be homeless or implying that at self-employed person is a dud is a bit like saying that chumps must have done something to deserve abuse. Let’s not make lots of assumptions and perpetuate stereotypes, especially harmful ones. Let’s instead support each other here and others in general.

  • I have been out of the dating game since 03 but this guy is an asshole and is leading u on. Sorry. Classic red flags. Present then pull away bullshit. U pull away he’s present. Fuck the mind games. U deserve better.

  • ????Rose (beautiful name btw)????

    When you’re a bit confused & unsure about what exactly is going on with the other person (mixed signals, are they interested or not, etc) that’s your cue/red flag to walk away. Don’t get stuck in the mindset of, “But what if they’re THE ONE?). Uh, if their communication with you is unclear & has you questioning at all, they’re not the one.

    And how in the world do you verify that someone has never been a cheater in their past???

    • I was wondering that too… how did Rose think she verified that he’s never been a cheater? Just because you don’t find anything online saying he’s a cheater??? If you look up my ex online you wouldn’t find anything either. But trust me he ONLY gets off on betrayal and he’s good enough at it that he doesn’t leave a trail of evidence. In fact, he’s been building up an online persona of being the “nice guy who was done wrong” for about 15 years now…
      And no, our divorce doesn’t state it was because of cheating (it was) because I was much more concerned with custody issues (he was playing nice) than with calling him out publicly at that time. Just because the divorce papers don’t claim cheating doesn’t mean he wasn’t a cheater.

  • “available to talk only weekends” = “there’s a reason why i can’t talk during the week that i don’t want to share with you because you won’t like it”

  • I was away from CN for a while and the last 1 week, I was catching up on the site and to my absolute surprise,CL has rerun this post!
    I am “Rose” and this guy I met online , we are together and we have a beautiful little girl now????.
    He moved all the way from Germany, left his well paying job, left his family and friends he has known for 40 yrs, moved to and found a good job in my country.pays his part of the rent , cleans the garden, the pool , the house, walks the dog and helps with groceries too.
    Makes me look bad , but that’s how I realised I was doing all this in my previous relationship!

    Yes, it took me awhile to trust again. I was trying to find guarantees in life and relationships. I wasn’t ready to embrace the fact that I could get it wrong again , hence looked for perfection.

    I am in an imperfect relationship now, with an imperfect, but loving sincere man who loves his family. I cannot predict how long or how short this will story be, but we are doing well.

    • Fun to know the follow up story. I too am in a good relationship with an imperfect person but one who is actually invested in the relationship and listens when I tell him what isn’t working for me- that is all very new.

      I think that stupid boundaries are normal when we first try to create a new life…some trial and error…I did some stupid stuff and Im really thankful the people I was interacting with were garden-variety assholes and not predators…a lesson is one thing, losing your savings would be another. I lost a wee bit of dignity and learned.

  • Online dating. So I have been slowly reaching out, but mostly reading profiles. It has been eye opening and good practice on what to expect.

    I have tried to stick with a very basic criteria starting with photos. Yes judging photos is a little shallow, but it seems to be working for me.
    My range is 40 to 55 female.

    1. No duck lips. I am sorry this is just silly.

    2. No alcohol taking center stage leaving you in the background. I drink and I like to have fun, but it is not my calling card. #1 and #2 seem to go hand and hand.

    3. No hotel room, headboard or bed in your background. Weird, since my empathy meter is at an all time high. I just feel sadness for those pictures. I know the men they attract.

    4. lots of emoji’s in the profile. Words for me just feel more grown up. “No change” sent a lot of emoji’s during reconciliation. I mean a lot!!

    My yes’s.

    1. Their kid’s in some pics and they resemble them!

    2. They have a dog that appear’s to be their’s. You know, happy dog face.

    3. Eye contact with large smiles.

    Before I had this criteria. I messaged a lady and I didn’t even have my profile pics up. She responded with her phone number and said, message me your pic, if you dare!!

    Uh, yeah that was a red flag waving from the mountain top.

    I guess I will proceed with caution.

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