The one with online dating and self respect

I want to tell you about an experience I had today for a number of reasons – the first one being that although this year would beg to differ, I do actually really enjoy writing and keep a blog.

The second reason is because it came with a moment of realising just how far I’ve come in the past few years and how much I’ve grown as a person.

So, let’s start at the beginning.

I signed up to an internet dating app a while ago. It’s not something I’d really thought about doing before, since the hopeless romantic in me is still waiting to lock eyes with someone across a book shop or a cafe and have them sweep me off my feet, but my true love seems to be taking their time with that one.

Some close friends recommended a particular site to me.  It was free and I could always delete it if it didn’t work out. I’ve been talking to some lovely people on there, but as always, there’s always a few bad apples.

I’d been talking to this one guy – we’ll call him Smith. We made each other laugh and that’s very attractive to me. We chatted, swapped numbers and things seemed to well. Until I called him out on something he said during a disagreement.

At the time, I’d just let it slide, too caught up in the moment to notice it, but it stayed with me. He’d said something misogynistic, and I wasn’t sure if he knew why it was wrong, so I polity called him out on it, saying that I wanted to discuss it and why he had said it.

This is when he flew from 0 to 100 pretty quickly.

A few messages went back and forth, and then he said “You are clearly a fucking liberal idiot who can’t man up and take a comment even though you were a fucking cow […] you deserve to be single […] Go fuck yourself you condescending little liberal femi nazi with no damn back bone. You disgust and disappoint me with your attitude and I definitely want nothing to do with such a weak and petty girl. Why do you feel the need to call me out? I’m a guy you’re getting to know, not your husband.”

The thing that I called him out on? Saying I was being moody and irrational because I was on my period and shouldn’t take it out on him.

Why am I sharing this with you?

Partly I’m sharing this to highlight the fact that it happened. Mostly I’m sharing it because it proves that I’m not the same person I was before, and I have more self-respect and self-worth than I did then.

A few years ago, I would have let him talk to me like that. I would have let him treat me that way because he apologised afterwards, so he can’t really have meant the things he said, right?

I reread a letter that I’d written to myself a few days ago (which you can read here). In it, I told myself that I need to love myself enough to stop letting people who don’t deserve to be so close hurt me. Today I did just that.

So self, you do not need to take that kind of abuse from anyone. You’re better than that.

And Smith, if you’re reading this, I’m not mad at you. I’m not hurt by your comments, but I’m not going to put up with such disrespect. I hope that somehow you’ll find some peace and maybe you’ll meet someone new. Whoever they are, treat them better than you treated me, because no one deserves to be spoken to like that.

 

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