Right, so I'm single and if you're not up to speed with my dating adventures, you can catch up by reading Part 1 of my MTB Dating Diaries here. If you're eager to continue on this runaway freight train of confusion with me, then please do take a seat, get comfy and enjoy the scenery.
When it comes to deciphering fuckboy messages and trying to fathom the complex inner workings of man, I often consult boy-friends to serve as interpreters. After part 1 was published, I chatted with a friend of mine and I learnt something that never occurred to me before...
Social media has effectively constructed a social hierarchy - a popularity contest if you will. How many likes your posts get, how many followers you have and the tone of comments you receive all come together to formulate an associated value to your profile. In my case, I've amassed a number of followers across social media and this, apparently, can work against me when it comes to dating. According to my male source, this social popularity can intimidate men - or, so I'm told.
I use social media to keep in contact with friends and family, to post things about bikes and to brag about the majestic Gomez Thunderpaws... I most definitely do not live my life like the final days of Caligula nor pretend to be anything that I'm not. I don't validate myself by a number of likes, comments and dick pics that come my way, so it seems unfair to think that I'm falling at the first hurdle by something so silly and beyond my control.
With this in mind, I welcome opinions on whether you yourself are intimidated, or put off potential partners based on their social media standing.
The confidence bluff
From my experience, most men have said they like confident and smart women who have their own independence in life. Yet, if you're too confident or too smart, then you run the risk of scaring men away. Similarly, if you stand your ground in a given situation, suddenly your strong mind becomes an "attitude problem" - Someone explain this to me, is there a balance that I'm missing here?
In my line of work, I talk to a lot of men and it has really improved my confidence so that I can fight off the socially inept hermit that resides within me. However, despite the practice, I'm far from smooth when it comes to talking to men that I'm interested in. Two things can happen when trying to talk with a handsome man; word vomit or silence. This is where social media messaging really helps me out as it gives me the luxury of time to consider an appropriate response.
Confidence is perhaps one of the most difficult things to gauge. Too much confidence comes across arrogant and cocky, which for me, is off-putting. However, confidence is an attractive quality and getting the balance right is extremely hard, for both sexes.
MTB Dating Diaries: Part 2
Here you'll read about two individuals who both suck but for very different reasons...
To protect the identity of these persons, I've omitted their names and I won't name them so please don't ask me.
The Holy-shit-what-was-that Guy
In this industry, a business meeting for me can be in an office, at a coffee shop or on a bike ride so it's not uncommon for me to meet up with bike-heads like this.
A certain individual approached me under a work pretence and so we arranged to meet at a café to talk about some products. However, from the get-go, I knew this was different. His quiet voice, his lack of eye-contact and entire demeanour oozed nervousness, which in turn made me nervous because I quickly realised that this wasn't really about work.
The tea was flowing and with conversation largely comprised of bike stuff, nerves apparently began to settle, on both sides of the table. With a pleasant enough goodbye, we parted ways and that was that.
...like fuck was it. Shortly after "work-date-gate", I began receiving messages about our meeting and more personal than what I'd expect from something that started out so seemingly business. "I like your accent... You're so interesting... Why are you single?... Why did your ex dump you?" - thanks for that, prick. Later on, his side of the messages would take on a more sexual tone, to which at first, I thought was nothing more than his awkward attempt at humour, which went from "I'm in a hotel room full of riders and horny for you", to, "I'd love to tie you up in the back of my van".
Weeks passed before we met again, only this time it was with a different perspective and I felt more mentally prepared. You might be thinking, "why did you meet up with him again?" - well, I always give people the benefit of the doubt I guess.
As expected, his quietness returned and there was no trace of Mr Hyde lurking beneath his true Jekyll-facade. One alarm bell rang out to me though, and that was his obsession with money, and telling me just how much he had sat in his bank account.
Now, I couldn't care less about how much money you do or don't have, or what your job is. So long as you're happy in life with what you do, and you earn enough to support yourself - sweet.
Perhaps my lack of enthusiasm for his ability to make it rain in cash then spurred on his genius idea to take me away for a few weeks; anywhere in the world, it was dealers choice. Not wanting to seem rude with my "hell the fuck no" instant reaction, I simply said, "That's so lovely of you to offer, but it's not realistic".
At the end of work-date-gate-part-deux, we walked back to the parking lot where we said our goodbyes, only for him to blurt out "Can I have a kiss?", to which I couldn't contain my rudeness and just said "no". With that, I very swiftly walked back to my car, got in, and drove away.
Afterwards, I politely declined his text advances. I wasn't interested in anything more and some things hadn't settled right with me. After his persistence and him saying, "...but I want you to be my girlfriend", my patience withered. Despite my genuine attempt to be kind and tactful to let him down, his messages soon became cruel and insulting as he bombarded me with abuse and lies to get a rise out of me. He found himself blocked and deleted shortly after.
... only to come back via a different platform of communication, begging for forgiveness, and asking me to allow him the chance to make it up to me. I said no. This was followed by some more shitty abuse before it finally stopped and ties were cut. Phew!
So, I thought I had found a guy with the same dark sense of humour as me and we hit it off - well, he found me, I think. I can't remember because, after however many months of being socially connected online, we'd only ever shared comments here and there.
Out of the blue, a proper conversation sparked up, and through insulting flirtations and the ability to out-creep one another, I discovered that we not only shared passions for the same bizarre stuff but even felt similar about more thought-provoking topics on culture and dating - funnily enough.
Anyway, he asked me out and given my previous encounter with The Clueless, I confirmed that this was to be a real date. Due to busy schedules, the exact date of the date proved problematic to pinpoint but we narrowed it down to a range of days we were both free, with the finer details to be made nearer to said time.
In the lead-up to the date, we exchanged messages about this and that with both parties seemingly excited for the eventual date. All the while I could feel myself falling for this guy but knowing I was foolish to do so seeing that I'd never met him in real life, but I felt a connection was there based on personality alone. It was at this point that my chick-brain kicked in and I paniced.
With banter and creepiness turning increasingly sexual in nature, but still quite funny and light-hearted, I feared he was only interested in sleeping with me, to which he said he most certainly wasn't and that he "wasn't like that". Oddly enough, he then confessed he only asked me on a "mate's date" and nothing more. Ouch, and what does that even mean?
Messages slowed down after that and even though he still spoke of the date, when it came to setting a day in place, he said he couldn't make it and maybe another week would be better... of course, without actually rearranging. Double Ouch.
I gave it a few days before the confusion got the better of me and I messaged him to find out what the hell had happened. Why the sudden flake out? He came back with a seemingly legitimate reason which I accepted and empathised with, only when I suggested a new idea for a date that would compromise with his reason, it was ignored and so, I dropped it and conversation ceased.
I respect honesty above anything else, even if it's not what I want to hear... but guys and girls, don't ask someone out, take it back, bail on a date without good reason or totally lead them into something under false pretences and expect a relationship from it. If you're not sure then be honest about it because you don't realise the hurt you can cause someone by keeping them in a perpetual state of uncertainty.
MTB Dating Diaries: Chapter 1, Part 1