It’s Time To Take Down The Dating Profile, Because Clearly You Shouldn’t Be Dating…

From my inbox, a reader’s question. Published with permission …

Dear Crescat,

I just started dating again after my divorce three years ago. My friends suggested I try Match.com. I signed up for it and met a really nice guy who seems decent. We exchanged a few emails and he asked for my number to call me. We exchanged flirty text messages for a couple of days and then he finally called. I was in class (I go to school at night) when he called so I couldn’t answer.

I called him back the next morning and wasn’t able to reach him so I left a message and sent a text later in the afternoon apologizing for not being available. He texted back that it was fine and asked when would be a good time to call. I explained to him that I work part time during the day, go to school at night, and have two children that have after school activities and that I was usually free Wednesday night after 8:30 pm.

He texted back that he’d call me then. Wednesday night came around, the kids were in bed, and I waited for his call. Only he didn’t call till 9pm and when he did I was in the bathroom. I wasn’t going to answer the phone from the toilet so let it go to voice mail and then I called him right back.

But he didn’t answer! I know he was there because he just called me literally 2 minutes ago!

I texted him back apologizing and letting him know I was here if he wanted to call me back. Only he never did. I waited till about 11pm and then just went to bed. I tried texting him the next day to see how he was and sent an email but I haven’t heard from him since.

I am just getting frustrated because this happens all the time. One minute men are interested and the next they just disappear with no explanation. My sister says men are commitmentphobes and thinks my divorce probably puts them off or the fact that I have kids.

If men took the time to get to know me better before completely (and rudely) disappearing they’d find out I’m really not all that demanding. Since I have kids and have been married I’m in no hurry to get remarried. I just want a nice guy to spend time with, someone to go to the movies with, hang out with, and have “romance” (wink wink) with from time to time.

Is that so unreasonable to hope for?!?

Sincerely,

Tired of the Games

I get letters like this frequently. The circumstances may differ, details tweaked a bit, but essentially they are all the same.

Why is it so hard to find the perfect man and why are so many of them afraid to get serious, they ask.

The source of the problem is always the same. Objectification. Well that and unrealistic expectations. But mostly objectification.

Expecting men to provide you with a service, that service being companionship, without being willing to offer anything in exchange is degrading, insulting, and objectifying.

I would ask, why do women feel it acceptable to treat men in a manner they wouldn’t want to be treated themselves?

My reply is as follows…

Dear Tired of the Games,

Games are for children, that’s why playing them as an adult is so tiresome. Can I ask, if games tire you so, then why continue to play them?

My friends suggested I try Match.com. I signed up for it and met a really nice guy who seems decent. We exchanged a few emails and he asked for my number to call me. We exchanged flirty text messages for a couple of days and then he finally called.

Why agree to a telephone call and then settle for “flirty” text messages from a stranger? That’s what he is, a stranger, right? You’ve never met him and at this point your only contact had been a few email exchanges. So basically, you are flirting with a complete stranger you’ve met online.

Ew. Pervy.

If you agree to a telephone call then wait for a telephone call. If he texts you first, politely reply back that you look forward to talking to him and leave it at that.

If he doesn’t call, he doesn’t call.

If he does, then for the love of all that is holy, answer the phone. None of this back and forth phone tag nonsense.

He texted back that it was fine and asked when would be a good time to call. I explained to him that I work part time during the day, go to school at night, and have two children that have after school activities and that I was usually free Wednesday night after 8:30 pm.

Nonsense. This is nonsense.

If someone makes the effort to be accommodating and asks when the most convenient time you can be reached is, it’s ludicrous to respond with a convoluted and very specific time frame. If you’re genuinely interested in someone you’ll find the time to take their calls.

From your reply, I imagine he probably heard the same thing I did…

“You can call me. I’d love to hear from you– but only for a few minutes one night a week after I’ve handled all my other important stuff first. I suppose I can eke out a few measly minutes of my time to do you the honor of speaking with me. How does Wednesday night between 8:30 and 8:32 p.m. sound?” [insert hair flip]

Honestly, I am surprised he bothered to call you again at all. You sound terribly busy. Too busy for a relationship. But God bless him, he called. And then what?

You didn’t answer.

Even more remarkably, you act surprised you haven’t heard from him since.

I am just getting frustrated because this happens all the time. One minute men are interested and the next they just disappear with no explanation. My sister says men are commitmentphobes…

It’s not that men are afraid of commitment. It’s the vibes you’re emitting that makes them gun shy. You say you’d like a relationship then do everything in your power to make yourself completely inaccessible when a man expresses his interest. Your words say one thing but your actions say you have absolutely zero interest in being equally committed.

It sounds like you just have too many other important obligations that need your attention and are preventing you from fairly investing the time required to nurture a relationship.

I can see it. Prospective beaus can see it. The only one who fails to see it is you.

I genuinely wonder what makes you think you’re ready to be in a relationship again.

If men took the time to get to know me better before completely (and rudely) disappearing they’d find out I’m really not all that demanding.

Here is where I’d also ask if this desire to appear “not demanding” is really a front to make yourself seem less desperate? Because you aren’t really undemanding at all. You just want to be perceived that way.

Woman do this all. the. time.

They purposefully make themselves unavailable to avoid looking overly needy. If a lady is too busy for a phone call than she must have this amazing exciting life full of friends and important demands for her attentions. She must be Miss. Popularity.

But that would be playing a game, games you confessed to being tired of playing.

Unless you are legitimately that busy, in which case, you shouldn’t be dating at all; especially if all you can manage is a single Wednesday evening free.

I just want a nice guy to spend time with, someone to go to the movies with, hang out with, and have “romance” (wink wink) with from time to time.

Honestly, you sound like someone who wants a man around only when it’s convenient for her. Kind of like a dog that patiently waits at your feet for affection. Would you respect a man like that? Probably not. 

You want someone to go to the movies or dinner with? Fine, phone a friend or family member you’ve been too busy for lately. You want “romance” (wink wink), try a male escort. Because that’s what it certainly sounds like you are looking for.

There’s also a huge difference between playing hard to get and being completely inaccessible.

Yes, some men may like a challenge but they will only make the effort when you’ve 1) let them know you are interested and 2) shown that you are worthy of their efforts.

I’m not getting a sense of either from your email.

My advice for you, and I know you won’t like it, is to remove your profile from Match.com and finish school. Spend your free time with your kids and nurture your already existing and probably neglected relationships. Seriously and prayerfully consider if you honestly have the time to add the demands of another human being in your life.

Lastly, find all the ways that you can be fulfilled without relying on man to assuage your feelings of loneliness. You’re divorced, so you don’t need me to point out that you can still be lonely even in a relationship.

I know you want to be in a relationship right now or at least think you do. Yes, it’s tough when we really want something and can’t have it because of other demands or needs. I’m not unsympathetic. Trust me, I have the same desires and wants. It’s human to want to be loved.

Here, try this little exercise. Stop what you’re doing right now and think about all you have in your life and then try and decide which of these you would be willing to live without to make room for a man.

So which would it be… your education, job, family and friends, or children?

Yeah, I didn’t think so.

If you thought about it for any length of time you’d probably agree you have a pretty wonderful life, albeit a little busy and stressful, but wonderful none the less.

I’m not suggesting give up the idea of ever finding love, just give it up right now. Or at least till you have more than one day a week to invest in a relationship.

I wish you the best in your studies and life.

Sincerely,

The Crescat

About Katrina Fernandez

Mackerel Snapping Papist

  • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

    Makes me wonder if the reason she was divorced in the first place, was she was putting her needs ahead of the family.

    • Neal

      no way for us to know, nor should we try, unless she were to come to one of us in person and tell us. Marriage, even good marriages, are hard work. I don’t judge anyone for having a divorce. Were it not for Christ and His Holy Church, this would probably happen in my own marriage, and its’ doing great. Why would this probably happen? Because every marriage is composed of two selfish people, Christian marriages thankfully have one more person, and He Carries us.

  • Brennan Dunham

    Right, she’s so unreasonable for not dropping everything to be with a man. Nevermind getting an education and taking care of your children, there are men to worry about! Seriously, she told him she’d be available around 8:30, he didn’t call til 9:00, and she was such a bitch to have to use the bathroom that she missed his call, and so rudely called back as soon as she got out. What a demanding, unreasonable trollop.

    It’s not my place to tell people their business, but it sounds like she’s doing the best she can to care for her kids, to better herself. And you’re sitting here telling her she’s in the wrong for not dropping all this to make unreasonable accommodations for a person she barely knows. I don’t know the guy, it sounds like he lost interest as people do sometimes, and she took it badly, as people do sometimes. These things happen, it sucks, but it’s true. But instead of this very simple, true explanation, you’re telling her that she’s bad and wrong and isn’t even responsible enough to date. Shame on you.

    Speaking of shame, how dare you slut shame her for sending *gasp* flirty text messages! It may not be for you, but here’s a shocker, people flirt. A lot. It’s really one of the best ways to show interest in someone and to gauge their interest in you. There’s nothing wrong with it. How dare you call her “pervy” for having the sheer, unmitigated gall to show interest in a man she met through a dating site. You miserable, judgmental, misanthropic vermin, whose sole point behind this seems to make sure that a person already feeling down feels even worse about herself. Shame on you.

    • Awkpearl

      In your anger, you seem to have missed the whole point.

      • Maggie Goff

        Totally missed it. Holy Moly!

    • Maggie Goff

      My goodness, that’s quite an over reaction you had there. Wonder what brought that on. Name calling and all…

      • UWIR

        So KF calls someone “pervy”, and you’re accusing the person who complained about it of “name calling”?

        • Maggie Goff

          Yes, I am.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      Also, I don’t think misanthropic means what you think it means. And careful there… lest someone think you’re being “miserable and judge-y”.

    • http://www.godandthemachine.com/ Thomas L. McDonald

      “Slut shaming” is my favorite new bullshit phrase. I love it love it love it! I thought the whole point of being a slut was that you had no shame. Did I miss a meeting?

      The bestest part of that rant? You cluck your little tongue at the slut shaming bit, and then use the phrase “miserable, judgmental, misanthropic vermin.” Mote, log, eye: wash, rinse, repeat.

      PLEASE come to my blog and tell me more about slut shaming and vermin. You sound like a fun gal. I’d like to send you flirty text message and talk about “romance” (wink wink). Slut shame me baby!

      • Lydia

        Thomas L. McDonald, you have just pwned Brennan Dunham. Good work. Made my evening.

        • Maggie Goff

          Mine, too!!! Ain’t he great? ;)

      • UWIR

        I thought the whole point of being a slut was that you had no shame.

        So, it’s okay to bully people because “I thought the whole point was that you are willing to live your life the way you want even if people bully you over it”? Just because someone is willing to choose personal autonomy over avoiding bullying, does not make that bullying okay.

        And if you’re going to play semantic games about whether this satisfies your personal definition of “bullying”, then substitute “trying to pressure other people into avoiding doing things you don’t like by making derogatory comments that reinforce general oppression, promote societal disapproval of the target, and are intended to create emotional distress” for “bullying”.

        Look, if you think that there are types of consensual activities that other people shouldn’t engage in, and it’s okay for you to not treat people who engage in those activities with respect, then come out and say so. Don’t pretend that the terms people use to identify that attitude are “bullshit”.

        You cluck your little tongue at the slut shaming bit, and then use the phrase “miserable, judgmental, misanthropic vermin.”

        I’m rather unclear as to what your point is. Are you suggesting there’s some sort of hypocrisy? KF attacked a woman because that woman wasn’t acting in accordance with KF’s arbitrary ideas about how women “should” act. BD, on the other hand, responded to behavior that was actually a valid basis for criticism.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

          Who was I attacking? Geesh… it must be a hard life for sensitive types who go about life in a state of being perpetually offended.

          • UWIR

            So, anyone who has an issue with being called “pervy” is just being overly sensitive? It must be a hard life for someone who go about life insulting people, and then being bewildered when they get annoyed.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

            I’m hardly bewildered by your gross overreaction. Honestly, I don’t care how you choose to react. You “feelings” have nothing to do with me.

      • TMJC

        I have a new TigerBeat pin-up crush in you, sir! Will you “marry” (wink wink) me?

    • Hatchetwoman

      Oh, of COURSE none of it is her fault – - she’s a woman! Everything is someone else’s fault! (ahem) … ok, well, she did say this sort of thing happens to her “all the time.” I see that and other, similar phrases, such as, “Why is every guy I meet (fill in the blank)” and I wonder how the person speaking doesn’t realize that the common link to all these situations/men is … her. Her behavior, her emotional patterns — all her.

      Women, stop acting as if everything happens *to* you and own up to the fact that a lot happens *because* of you!

    • TMJC

      Holy Smokes! Where did all of THAT come from? You really did miss the entire point of Kat’s response.

  • f_galton

    More people should try arranged marriages, it’s how I got two of my wives.

  • http://acatholicviewoftheworld.wordpress.com/ Roki

    Whoa, now. It almost sounds like you’re saying that there are other ways to find happiness than in a romantic relationship! Maybe even that romantic relationships aren’t always and everywhere the #1 priority for everyone! But that can’t be! That’s just crazy talk!

    • Awkpearl

      Yeah, like, ya know, NOBODY can actually live without….um…romance (wink, wink). You know what I’m saying (wink, wink)?

      • Therese

        A lot of people find themselves alone. either because they have same sex attractions that they choose to not act upon, and instead lead chaste lives , following Christs teachings. Or separated/ divorced men or woman who had a valid sacramental Catholic marriage, but for whatever reason at some point later their spouse decided to choose sin( adultery, abandonment, abuse), and so they too choose to remain living chastely , rather than enter into a situation that would cause scandal, and lead them into an occasion of sin.( sex outside of marriage, or the near occasion of sin). Romance, while it is nice- is not necessary to life.
        keeping our soul in a state of grace- is necessary for eternal life.

        • Awkpearl

          *Sigh*…. Some people take the world a little too seriously….

  • frdlongenecker

    You should do this for a living. I mean it. The Catholic Agony Aunt. You could call it Dear Cabby — (Catholic Dear Abby)

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      I don’t think I have the stamina. It took 12 hours to put this together. Not to mention the email exchanges beforehand between myself and the inquirer.

      Like I said… I’ve got an entire inbox full of stuff like this. I try to answer them all but it’s exhausting.

      • george-a

        I’m with you, Kat. There are times/circumstances where she can’t “have it all.” I do feel bad for her, that she missed a call because she didn’t want to answer the phone on the potty — totally with her on that one! Instead of personal replies, maybe an info page you could refer inquirers to? Just tryin’ to problem solve your life for you, heh …

  • Russ

    Many people write about the reductionist effects of hyper-sexualizing women. As somebody once said, “a woman is a life support system for a vagina,” a crude but accurate attitude that we take for granted. The celebration of the female body is absolutely beyond the bounds of any relationship with reality. I love looking at women; they can be beautiful, graceful, sexy, and…whatever it is the French say. But they are not Barbies. They have odors, sounds, habits, afflictions and behaviors which can wholly outweigh their appeal. Especially if it is skin deep. Throw in age and a couple of babies and well, “I, ahhh, gotta go!” The point that I am making is that our porn society extends the value of your organs far beyond the actual utility they can provide. Especially as the younger generation can find plenty of masturbatory release online. I’m afraid that women are going to have to look to enhancing themselve in other ways. I would suggest cultivating your inner lady, like that Duchess of whatever in England. She makes Miley Whozzit look like…yeah, like that.

  • Therese

    If this woman is lonely, then find a lady friend to go to the movies, or dinner with. Or get involved in the parish, or other activities. Volunteer your time to help out someone, their are lots of organizations that need helpers and it helps you to not focus on what you dont have in your life.

  • BTP

    I have no time for another _person_ in my life, but I do have these needs that it would be good to have somebody take care of…

  • Leland Johnson

    “I just want a nice guy to spend time with, someone to go to the movies with, hang out with, and have “romance” (wink wink) with from time to time.”

    Is this the Patheos Catholic Channel, or is it the Cougar Channel?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      Actually the woman who wrote me was in her 20′s and I am in my 30′s. Not sure being a Cougar applies in this instance.

  • Matt O’Rourke

    I hate the whole, “I need a good Catholic man” BS I hear from single Catholic women. I’ve been in the room on retreats when this has been voiced by a single woman. I’m sorry, but as a guy I hate this desperation. If you want a guy – get a life. Have some interests to the point that while you’d like a man in your life, you are not dying for one. The complainers I’ve encountered go straight to the reject bin. The last thing a sane guy wants is someone needy and whiny.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      Whenever I hear a woman say “I need a good Catholic man” I follow it with the question, “What do you have to offer one?”

      • Awkpearl

        Keep that up, Katrina, and we WILL be calling you “Dear Crabby”! That is precisely the correct response.


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