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#69510 - 12/18/05 04:36 PM dating and vulnerability, especially emotional
cat lover Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/05
Posts: 89
Loc: Denver, Colorado
I am starting to be serious about wanting to date again, but haven't yet found someone for whom I could be all-out crazy. In fact, I even have trouble getting dates, it seems. Three weekends ago, I was supposed to have brunch/see a movie with a guy who I met online, and while we were instant-messaging about what movie to see, he just totally disappeared for the rest of the day.

Two weekends ago, I met a different guy on a dating website, and chatted with him for four hours, and he asked me out to coffee for a few days later. Then he canceled a few hours beforehand by email so he could have a date with someone else.

Both of these experiences have felt disaffirming. They have felt a little cat and mouse like, and, while just small incidents compared to my ex-boyfriend, they did bring up some reminders of him, because he would sometimes engage in behaviors of that sort. (Aside, of course, from rape & placing me in situations where I was not able to give meaningful consent.)

The second one has felt a bit to me like a small-scale emotional rape. I felt a connection with the guy, and the part that comes up for me about feeling used is that a piece of the conversation was erottic. Having recently read a book on sexual ethics, I wrote for myself a sexual story in which the two characters interacted with each other ethically, so I could imagine for myself the particularities of how that might play out in real life. I shared that I had done so with this guy, but didn't give him any background about why I had done so. It wasn't cybersex, but it did make me feel a bit vulnerable to discuss my sexual likes and dislikes, and I told him as much - and perhaps it is that vulnerability which later was the gateway to feeling hurt and used by someone I'd never even met.

On the one hand, it makes me wonder if I will ever be able to trust anyone again. These two violations of trust are both small-scale reminders of my ex and his issues.

On the other hand, not trusting has its own, other results. I have also noted for myself that my emotional needs are not currently being met. My sexual needs are not being met. Perhaps these are not the best terms to use, but I'm feeling 'deprived' in those areas. I know from my long-standing 12-step recovery in another, unrelated area that such a thing can be a setup to binge. So I am cautions at both ends at once: not wanting to be vulnerable, and yet wanting someone to love me profoundly, recognizing the very deep vulnerabilities therein.


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#69511 - 12/18/05 05:00 PM Re: dating and vulnerability, especially emotional
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Cat-lover,

I'm sorry you have been so badly used like this, but at the end of the day it really has almost nothing to do with you personally. These guys are just selfish users and opportunists, and if they had not bailed this soon it would probably have happened later anyway. No?

I was thinking about the internet stuff you talk about, which isn't within my experience at all. But what occurred to me is that these things are even more tentative than a blind date. At least with a blind date there is some third person who knows both people and has some idea that the connection might work out well. Over the net I guess you get, well, nothing at all that you can trust, until the moment you actually see and meet the other person.

Maybe it would be a good idea to refuse to get personal with guys on the net so fast. Stick to your boundaries and reserve your emotional energy for people who at least SEEM to be interested in you as a real person.

I know this is tough but try not to take these episodes as personal slights or setbacks. These guys did not know you personally; you were just a name on a screen. So far as I can see this is their loss and not yours - you're better off without them.

I'm not suggesting that you not try to meet guys off the net. It just seems to me that going a bit more slowly might be a good idea. The two you talk about clearly had not the slightest interest in meeting your emotional needs; and if there had been any sexual fulfillment you can be sure it would have been a totally incidental and unimportant issue for them.

Just some thoughts from a straight guy who still sometimes wishes for his old typewriter.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#69512 - 12/18/05 06:53 PM Re: dating and vulnerability, especially emotional
cat lover Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/05
Posts: 89
Loc: Denver, Colorado
Larry the roadrunner:

Thanks for your response. It's affirming for me to hear you call them selfish users - that's also what my rapist ex was - and helps me take the focus off 'what's wrong with me.'

I think going slowly is always a good idea. It's a good reminder, I guess. When the 2nd guy suggested we talk about sex, I was clear that I would only do so if I were not the only one sharing - but clearly for him it didn't matter. So maybe the next guy doesn't get to have that conversation as soon.

I am not sure of the best way to meet guys. The various venues have their drawbacks. Bars are not for me because I hate smoking, drunks, dim lighting, random hookups, and loud music. Provincetown (and similar places) is not for me for the same reasons, differently emphasized. Online, you have to trust that it's the actual person's actual, current picture, and that they're who they say the are.

In some circles, there's an expectation of sex on the third date. I'm pretty sure that's too soon for me. (I waited until the 7th with my ex, for example.) So I guess I have to know when I'm ready both for sex, and for conversations about it.

Typewriters are fine. I have one, somewhere. In the garage. I wonder if it still works.


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#69513 - 12/18/05 07:01 PM Re: dating and vulnerability, especially emotional
markgreyblue Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/19/03
Posts: 5400
Loc: Pasadena, CA
cat lover -

I would stay away from dating sites - period.

I would only seek face to face relationship meetings -

I don't think 'all out crazy for someone' is a good aspiration at this point - you are still healing -

take it slow - try just learning what is good for you - who makes you feel safe and good about
you -

online is too vague - and so you cannot have
expectation that can be met -

lots of frogs out there -


again face to face is best methinks-

_________________________
"...do not look outside yourself for the leader."
-wisdom of the hopi elders

"...the sign of a true leader is service..." - anonymous



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#69514 - 12/18/05 07:08 PM Re: dating and vulnerability, especially emotional
markgreyblue Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/19/03
Posts: 5400
Loc: Pasadena, CA
and honestly,

meet someone through a reliable context - then at least it is not like you are meeting someone so completely randomly too -

reliable context:
ie:

work, a club, activities group, charity or volunteering group, church or ....,
friends,

- these days there are too many people who will seize upon the randomness of
a situation.

_________________________
"...do not look outside yourself for the leader."
-wisdom of the hopi elders

"...the sign of a true leader is service..." - anonymous



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#69515 - 12/18/05 07:09 PM Re: dating and vulnerability, especially emotional
markgreyblue Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/19/03
Posts: 5400
Loc: Pasadena, CA
who will take advantage - or who will seek out -
the honest good person -

and commit their insanity on -

_________________________
"...do not look outside yourself for the leader."
-wisdom of the hopi elders

"...the sign of a true leader is service..." - anonymous



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