Showing posts with label threats. Show all posts
Showing posts with label threats. Show all posts

13 June 2017

Why I'm Done With Online Dating

* This is a bit of a read

I never thought that online dating was for me.  I always wanted that chance meeting in a coffee shop, eyes meeting across the street; a friend that turned into the one you love.  That never happened for me and I decided what the hell?  Give online dating a whirl.

Tinder was never going to be for me,  The idea of swiping left or right (I never figured out which way was which) just on the basis of someone's face seemed superficial to me.  If you are looking for a partner, it has to be based on personality too.  This is a person you are, hopefully, going to spend the rest of your life with.  Tinder is for hook ups, nothing more.

My commitment to online dating was dubious at best so I chose a free dating site, Plenty of Fish.  I filled out my profile, was as honest as I could be and added the photos.  I decided in advance that the "Hi" messages were not going to get a reply. The people with the "fill out later" profiles were of no interest.

I have had more "Hi"s than I can count.  Some with more of a reply who were basically looking for a hook up.  Some who blatantly copied and pasted their auto first message.  I lost interest and only went on the site now and again.

I met my first online date after weeks of talking and finding more about each other.  He seemed like a nice guy and was really into me, which is always good.  I will call him T.  We lived over an hour away from each other but he was happy to come to me, which was a good sign.  We met in a local pub and within the first five minutes he was telling me that he had very severe anger issues and had been referred to a psychiatrist.  Great.

We messaged a few times after but I had no interest in meeting again.  I had no desire to have any kind of relationship with someone with anger issues.  The anger issues came out when I told him I could no longer commit to messaging him as my step dad had died.  He went ballistic.  Goodbye.

I went on the site less and less, dabbling occasionally on weekends but the messages I received were still the usual.  I went on a few more dates but there was a mutual no "click".  Then I got a message from, we will call him S.  S sent a great first message and his profile, actually filled out for a change was interesting.

We talked for around three weeks, first on the site and then moving to WhatsApp.  We had similar interests, a similar outlook on life and I really liked him.  We agreed to meet in Manchester which was a middling distance between us.

On the Saturday before our mid week date, I realised that there was something inaccurate on my profile; namely that when I created it, I was not smoking and now I am (yes  I know, bad Vicky).  I thought it was only fair that I let S know this in case he changed his mind about wanting to meet with me.

S was the kind of person who was texting me morning, noon and night, every day. If he didn't hear back from me after an hour, he would send another text to see what I was doing.  *Edit* on reading this paragraph after I typed it, I realised just how much of a red flag that is, and wonder how the hell I didn't think that at the time.

I did not hear back from him for the rest of the day, which was unusual for him but I figured maybe he wasn't into a smoker.

Just after midnight (when he starts his night shift) I got my first message.  Incensed that I had not told him previously, not believing that I did not know what my profile said as "he knew what was on his profile, every minute of the day!.  He demanded that I explained myself.

I responded, telling me I wouldn't be spoken to like that, especially after being honest.  I said that I no longer wished to meet and, not knowing how best to end the message, finished with "take care". Turns out that telling someone to take care is not the best idea.

From just after midnight to the time when I eventually blocked him completely at 3.30am, he proceeded to call me every variation of the whore that he could think of.  A "man like him would not be told to take care by a girl like me" apparently.

I don't know how many messages I received.  One probably every five minutes for a good three hours.  By the end, the combination of insults and thinly veiled (almost) threats, I was scared.  What I should have done is save the conversation, screenshot the worst of it and ring 101 the next day.  Hell, I could even have reported him to his employers considering that he was doing all of this on work time.

But I didn't think.  I was scared.  The level of rage directed at me was overwhelming and I will be honest,  I felt really scared for a few days.  Even though he knew what town I lived in but not my address, I found myself jumping at sounds outside when I let the dog outside.  He was a self professed "techie" and he knew I blogged.

Along with blocking him on WhatsApp and blocking him from POF, I also deleted my profile.  It is too easy to hide your true self on the internet.  I know that my personality is more exaggerated on the internet when I talk on Twitter or speak on my blog.  Because on here, I am unfiltered.  This goes the same for people who wish to hide their true selves.

I consider myself as having a lucky escape.  If I had not messaged him that day, I would have met up with him the following week.  If we had clicked,  I could have found out his true self when alone with him, heaven forbid at his place or somewhere on our own.

So I am done with online dating.  My match, my soul match if I ever find one will have to find me in pre internet ways.  I no longer trust the face on the internet.

9 August 2013

Shouting Back

Unless you have been living under a rock, most people by now will have heard of and seen the horrendous abuse and threats that have been sent to Caroline Criado-Perez and others.  Not just insults or abusive comments, but physical threats. 

In case you are not aware of the background, Caroline had successfully campaigned to maintain female representation on a bank note and appeared on various interviews thereafter.  For that she was inundated with threats of rape, assault and murder. 

Caroline chose to shout back rather than stay silent and to alert the police rather than be scared into submission.  The reaction to those measures by fellow Twitter users, the media and the public has stunned me. 

Victim blaming isn’t anything new.  It has been going on for years and whilst I thought that in more recent times, people were a little more enlightened, it seems that couldn’t be further from the case.

Comments like “Being on Twitter is like walking down the street naked” which I saw this morning on not what you would presume (The Daily Fail) but in The Times, by people whom you would presume would know better.  So by that, if I were to walk down the street naked should I expect threats of rape?  Is the commenter saying it would be acceptable behaviour because I was naked? 

Other comments such as “if you don’t like what is being said, leave Twitter” have been bandied about by many.  Personally, I don’t see why you should be forced off anywhere because of threatening behaviour.  

If someone was threatening you in a restaurant with rape or murder, you wouldn’t ignore it, you would report it.  It wouldn’t stop you using the restaurant again.  If someone was using menacing behaviour against you in the workplace, would you leave work and find another job rather than speak up?  Of course you wouldn’t.

Insults and abuse you can ignore, block and indeed feel pity for those who have little else in their lives other than to hurl abuse at others.  Because that is trolling.  Trolling isn’t illegal.  Threats to physically hurt you aren’t trolling, they are illegal.

Those are just some of my thoughts on the matter.  I am not a “man hater”.  I am not, as I have others been accused of “moaning about every little thing concerning women”.  I just believe that everybody, men and women alike have a right not to be physically threatened, be it in the street, in their own home or online.  If it happens, it should be reported.  Being online does not mean that laws suddenly do not apply.

What are your thoughts?