2016 in Review: Highs (so few), Lows (so many), Dating Woes- Part Deux

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So let’s start with January. Ah January came on the heels of a very shitty last quarter of 2015 on so many different levels. If you care to remember it was when I was int he middle of a lot of bad choices, lots of regret and lack of clarity on where exactly I would be moving onto in 2016 (jobs, locations etc).

But like the lighter, brighter friends (with the good hair… ha ha) I joined the online dating thing for real: partially because I was lonely and curious to as the possibilities the then New Year would hold, partially because I thought it would be good to do some unofficial gauging of what my options were, figuring that wherever I moved to next would be where I would beed to find my Mr. Wright…

I matched with an interesting Moroccan man.. an IM and he was funny and thought I was cool too. But there was hitch (and there always is one, isn’t it?) … Upon meeting in person I found that he was a lot lighter and a little chubbier than his photos. But still, I forged ahead. (I should have taken that as a harbinger of things to come). I soon realized that IM as mainly looking for a quiet penis receptacle. He straight up told me that he didn’t like talking and was looking for someone who would support him, he didn’t want a girlfriend who made him think: He did all his thinking at his engineering job…. Wow. This, plus his mistaken notion that since I am black and speak Arabic I must be desperate to be Arab and ashamed of being black meant that this was doomed from the start. I slightly regret how I ended things here, but at the same time, he pushed me till I felt like I had to choice but to be super duper frank, perhaps more frank than I wanted to be and not terse enough. Funny thing is the story doesn’t end there…. Ha ha… Before the end of January this budding relationship had died the death of a falling star.  It had hit earth and We both had moved on, or so I thought…. Queue Valentine’s day when I get a message from IM out of the blue. My response: “Who is this?”

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Give me some credit, I didn’t quite respond like that! ha ha

Apparently, that was not the response he was looking for. IM responded with a terse “No one” and (I believe) blocked my number… I was really confused by the immaturity of his response, but also reprimanded by friends for being unfriendly… ha ha…

Mentioning it in passing to my sister and she said that my problem is that I like to be in control… I as annoyed that someone who had written me off and I had written off would come back out of the blue  rattle me.

 

Who knows? For me this is the beginning of the encounters that I leave in the trashbins of history.

 

 

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2016 in Review: Highs (so few), Lows (so many), Dating Woes

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So, I have been doing much reflecting on this shit-show we call 2016. Caught in yet another discussion with someone on the plight of black women, specifically dark skinned ones, specifically dark skinned ones with African Featuers, specifically dark skinned ones with African features whose bodies are not of the main stream ideal variety and are more curvy (whether we are regular, overweight or obese).

And I breathed a heavy sigh. Maybe a year ago now, a mixed friend, one who is black and Asian made me feel pretty bad…ha ha . We weren’t friends quite yet, but I was making a comment about standards of beauty, especially as internalized by men and how that translates into how different groups of women are treated. And her response was basically to state outright that no matter how bad it was for the kind of black women I outlined above, it’s worse for her because she is mixed and fetishized for her Asian-ness. I sort of just sat there quietly: I knew then that there would be a limit to the kinds of convos we could have.

I was talking about feeling invisible, of dealing with really shitty situations and people who try to make you feel less than dirt (even if they deign to date you), I was talking about being at the bottom of the totem pole, and her reaction was basically “Well you’re lucky because I never know if people really want me for me or because of how I look”….

 

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I don’t know Kat, I really don’t know…

Honestly, the second conversation was practically triggering as I had filed this lack of empathy incident away in my “Oh well, we knew human beings lacked basic empathy.” file.  I mean, I am talking about not even being under consideration in many circles, and you are talking about being wanted by many.

When I talk about these things, I am not looking for pity. I am just looking for people to acknowledge that maybe, someone has it worse than they do, that maybe it’s a little harder for some of us than it is for others. I acknowledge my privilege all the freaking time! I know it’s there, I know I enjoy it: I work in a space where most of the poc serve the food or clean or are security guards. I was born in a hospital in country that had 5 doctors total— 4 years ago (have no idea how many there were when I was born!).

But I digress.

Yest another conversation, this time with a black man, educated one, elite educated one, elite job holder now… who was lamenting his lack of matches on social media. Because I had gotten more matches that somehow meant that things were so bad for him.

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seriously

 

This is despite the fact that the negro had 3 count em 3 girlfriends (all reasonable attractive, at least two really well educated with white collars jobs, a plethora of travel experiences… etc. etc. etc….  in the past year alone, along with FWB/DTF – type deals as well. Ugh. No. You don’t have it worse. Nowhere in the neighborhood of worse.

After listing all the awful (honest to God awful individuals I have dealt with this year, his response was “well, I had better quality” but you had better “quantity” …..

Last time I checked having five bags of garbage as compared to his one containter full of recyclables means his house is a lot neater than my own.

And no, I am not comparing people per se, I am comparing experiences. But this entry has become more like an intro. more on the horrors of the individuals I’ve interacted with this year in the next post.

On Chumps and Men

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Boy sees woman’s profile on a dating site, boy actually reads profile and sends a message that reflects he has. Woman is surprised as anyone who has done the online dating thing knows most of the men on these sites and apps really suck, or so many women lament. Where the story goes from here is interesting, to some perhaps, to others perhaps not.

I have an off again, on again relationship with these  dating apps as I’ve tried quite a few, some for as little as 15 minutes at a time.  Most, I have deleted and then downloaded again at times when I felt more optimistic. I preface with all this because I wary of people only looking for hook-ups, I am cautious or perhaps fear rejection.. ha ha so I never message a man first.

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It’s my prerogative, but I find this an easier way to gauge genuine interest. Most of these virtual swipes right or online convos are short-lived: There is no spark, I am not available to go for “drinks,” the conversation gets dull because he doesn’t like writing.

But it wasn’t like that with Surfer Boy (SB for short). It was a surprising breath of fresh air. I will admit I was skeptical as all get out at first; We are like night and day. He is tall super athletic (a pro surfer in a past life of all things!) and white, I am none of those things ha ha. But our messages were super long, and when we moved to Skype we still felt like we clicked, well I guess I can only speak for me, but I assume it was the same. We had started chatting when I came to the US briefly in June and interviewed where I now work. So he knew I was coming back and moving to his area, but he knew it was going to be several weeks. And yet, SB didn’t mind.  It was a weird feeling, because logically on some level I felt like we didn’t fit, and I let him know that, and downplayed the “positive signs” that our continued interactions supposedly revealed.

We kept it up with daily text conversations, 4+hr Skype calls, and definitive declarations of how great it would be when we finally meet. When we did it was great. Probably the funniest first date I’ve ever had. From then on we didn’t stop texting every day, and pretty much a day of every weekend was a SurferGazelle Day. We fit, I thought because SB was ok with taking things very slowly, we both agreed that hookup culture of today didn’t suit either of us, that it was important to get to know a person well, develop emotional attachment and intellectual connection.  And as time wore on, I gave him the benefit of the doubt, that maybe he just needed more points of connection before deciding how he felt.

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But then September rolled around, and as that month waxed on and the responsibilities of my new job did too, I really took stock of just how much of the fabric of my social life here was connected to connecting with SB.  And I ponied up the courage to clarify what exactly was going on. If after constantly communicating with someone for 3 months you are still unsure of what you want with or of them, then you’re not unsure at all. I felt like I had nothing else to show, and honestly didn’t want to waste my time on something that had many of the external trappings of a relationship: a seemingly attentive man, a proactive one who would drive an hour or so each way to see me every weekend, one who was thoughtful and encouraging and real (as I was with him).

But of course, if you have to ask, you already know the answer.

My recollection of the jumbled mess of the response he gave me is naturally jumbled. I said something short and sweet like “I like you a lot and have enjoyed spending time together, but I feel like we are in something of a gray area and wanted to check in with you and see, I dunno, what you are thinking.”

He was packing his bag to leave at the time, but to his credit seemed to take in my words and stopped what he was doing so we could have the conversation. Again, he then rambled a lot, but I can break his response into a few big chunks: 1. Acknowledgement that I am right this is gray because while I am NOT his girlfriend I am not just a friend either. 2. Further exposition on why he can’t commit to anything right now — needs to find himself and work through some issues/he is not confident he could be the kind of boyfriend to me he wants to be and doesn’t think it would be right to even make me wait till the day he is ready for a relationship 3. (empty) Praise of all my positive attributes, my honesty, kindness, beauty blah blah bblah 4. Him wanting to remain friends because he is very picky about who his  friends are and he only has a small circle of them,  and I supposedly pass the snuff test. 5. Him taking the possibility of a relationship off the table  if that means he can just be a part of my life, giving examples of how he could be useful to me.

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Yup, in the pendeja of a situation that is pretty much what I did… sigh.

My main interjection in all this was “I don’t like gray.” Because I don’t.