The other night I was sitting in my room trying to edit my latest video blog when I heard a ding on my phone. It was the noise alerting me that there was some kind of activity on OkCupid.
I had a message from a guy who seemed pretty interesting. He's about nine years younger than I am, but still, interesting. So, I messaged him back. We engaged in some witty banter for a bit when he asked why I was there (meaning why was I on OkCupid).
Now, let me just tell you, I hate this question. Really. I never know how to answer it. The honest truth is I am on OkCupid (and other dating sites) to meet people. Yes, I want a relationship, but that doesn't mean I think (or want) the next guy who messages me to be my boyfriend. I mean, I still want him to have the qualities I am looking for (and I should have the qualities he's looking for too).
But, I don’t really like to go into that who spiel because it comes off the wrong way in the first few messages. I think the first few messages and even the first meeting should be light and fun. Obviously you get to know each other, but you don't have to dig into every subject under the sun.
So, I tend to stick with the "I'm here to meet people and go on dates" kind of answer. Because, honestly, that’s why I’m online. I hope one of those turns into something more, but you have to meet and go on dates to have that happen. And, usually a guy will respond with some form of the same answer as well and we go on to the next subject.
apparently this reason was not good enough for this fella because he told me I
was just "copping out with a simple answer." He kept prodding for me
to tell him more and the way he was questioning me made it seem like he just
knew that I had some big elaborate answer that I just wasn't. I have
no idea why he thought this. He kept pushing and at that point I had pretty
much stopped responding and then he called me a cunt.
Now, obviously it's clear there is far more to this guy than just being irritated over my response. And, I am probably glad that I didn't meet him and have all this go down in person. But nevertheless, it made me think.
I have noticed all too often that sometimes people ask a question and then they are irritated by the answer. And, it's simply because they think know what the answer will be before they ask. Let me be clear, I am not saying this guy was doing that, it's just a general thought I had because of this whole situation.
Here's the thing though, actually there are a few things. First, if you know the answer to something, why bother asking? Really. Second, how can you know the answer to something when you barely know the person at all? You can't. Third, I often wonder if people assume because I am a woman that sometimes I am being coy or shy or whatever. Maybe I am just taking it the wrong way, but I have answered questions and had people accuse me of that, again, without knowing me. And, maybe it seems like that, but, again, if you barely know a person you can’t really assume you know anything about them.
I know it's hard because we have preconceived notions about who people are based on their sex, where they are from, etc. In my book I call that passing unfair judgment, but you say potato and I say potahto. It's also hard because as we all get older and become grown folks, certain things happen to us. And, when those things are repeated over and over again, you can't help but wonder if it's happening again.
But, the bottom line is, if you're going to try to get to know a person, get to know them. If you are going to ask people things, let them answer. Of course, it's OK to be shocked or surprised by what they tell you. And, if you don't understand or want more information, by all means ask more questions. Get them to explain further. But, don't do it because their answer is different than what you thought. And when they say they are being honest, don’t keep pushing because you think you just know there is more there. (And for god sakes don't call them a cunt when they don't answer the way you want them to).
Side note: yes, I know sometimes there really is more there. But, remember, people will tell you who they are if they listen so stop pushing and pushing – especially when you don’t know if something more is there.
It's not about where they are from or if they are a man or a woman. Just get to know them. Maybe they will be typical and like every other idiot you've met, but maybe they won't. And we all deserve a chance.
Yes, this post is very hippie-esque of me. I can't help it. Make love, not war.
Update: This guy sent me a message last night that read "So, where do we go from here?" I didn't respond.