Why are dudes on Cupid so terrible at handling rejection?

 

I am a big fan of everyone being able to use their words and say no without getting shit for it. But let’s face it, most of us don’t handle disappointment well, and at times we give each other a lot of shit when we don’t get what we want. Part of being an Adult is finding a way to handle rejection without creating more pain and drama.   Cuddle Parties are great ways to practice saying and hearing ‘No’s.

The very lovely and gentle Janet Trevino posted this recently.

Because I told a man, no, via text, I got this response, “Ok your fat and lame inbed probably.” This is for real.

Sigh. Delete.

That brought back memories. I got a handful of those kinds of response last year during my exploration of OKCupid. Some of my girlfriends won’t use online dating because they find this so unpleasant. It is unpleasant, but I think that’s unfortunate, since Cupid has been very very good to me overall.  And fellows wonder why there is such a gender imbalance on OKC.

Once I saw that it was a pattern, it helped me breath through the pain of it. I trained myself to say, to myself, and sometimes even allowed myself to type – Thank you for taking care of yourself.  Because this response is essentially an attempt to change the timeline so the Dude could say ‘No’ first, before my no. Since this is impossible and a ritual, it has to have that nastiness with it to try and make an unpowerful position feel powerful. Then I’d hit block and delete the conversation. Sometimes I’d call a friend to vent a bit, and then we’d take a moment to feel gratitude that this unfortunate fellow had screened himself out of my life. NEXT!

It is a golden opportunity to see the how the societal pressure on AMABs interacting with male biology. As a boy in our society, there are only two positions possible – I Win-You Loose or You Win – I Lose. In that mentality, a ‘no’ means ‘I loose.’ And loosing feels very very bad, physically as well as emotionally, if you have been trained since birth that losing is anathema to your very essence..

The sour grapes ritual is an attempt to neutralize the distress over being in the ‘I lose’ position. Men do not act this way, only boys, but they still feel the pain of loosing very deeply. Some boys grow up themselves in time, some learn from women, some are lucky enough to have strong male role models who make sure that they grow into men.

Weirdly enough, I can see beauty in this reaction, at least for someone who is rightfully in the ‘boy’ stage of development. A girl acting in this way in the social arena is toast. That that was me, plenty of times.  I’m a bit wistful that as a girl, I didn’t grow up on playgrounds where there was space for an affectionate version of this sort of name calling interaction.

I did get to practice this at home with my brothers –
“You smell bad”
“Well you are covered with sweat.”
“Well, at lease I have sweat, you don’t even have armpits. You are pitless.”
And on and on, stranger and stranger. I have a lot of fond memories of that, and we blew off a lot of steam. There were rules – one couldn’t mention any of the teasing partner’s actual defects or flaws. That was going too far and could get us in big trouble with mom.

What do you think? What might you like to say back if you weren’t worried about feeding the trolls?

I wanna know! Please comment below.

To be entered in the contest for a free 20 minute based on your current OKCupid profile, leave a contact form message with the best way to contact you and the phrase: CUPID CONTEST.

 

Should I try and work things out with my Ex? Take a 3 month break before you do, please.

Here’s How:

So, you started dating someone and it was wonderful, and you fell in love, which was wonderful too, but then you started to notice that things were going very poorly a lot of the time, and so you broke up or got broken up with, but you still really care about each other. You end up arguing or having hurt feelings whenever you get together, and yet, you can’t stop thinking about this other person.

Are you starting to feel like a ping pong ball?

Or maybe it’s pretty obvious that this person isn’t a good fit. But you hate being lonely and something feels better than the prospect of being alone, and no one else seems to want to spend time with you.  Pathetic I know, but many of us have been there.

And it’s not surprising that many of us have been there. As Reid Mihalko and Cathy Vartuli point out in this video, for thousands of years, being alone was synonymous with mortal danger for human beings. People who could manage to stick around with other people had more offspring that grew to adulthood. So our bodies feel really bad when the one person that we used to spend most of our time with isn’t around any more, and our minds can get filled with obsessive thoughts. That isn’t a sign that we are broken, it’s a sign that we are human.

If you have ever watched a baby go through separation anxiety, you know how that baby feels. It’s now thought that this isn’t an accident either, that our adult love attachment system is just our baby survival mechanism with a little frosting of sex on top. That explains a lot, doesn’t it.

But an explanation without a plan doesn’t get us very far, does it? Please read on.

With me it usually shows up with knowing that I can’t think clearly when the person is around, and I can’t decide if I want them in my life or not. I am low on creative ability to imagine what I might like to do with this person.  I want to be ‘off the hook’ for all the promises, spoken and unspoken that I have made and press the reset button.

People have looked at me amazed that I don’t know what I want. I don’t think that any of us know what we want under those conditions.  The only difference is that I am skeptical of the answers my mind feeds me, like giving a toddler cookies as a bribe to be still, and most of us just take the cookie and suck on that.  Give yourself the gift of time. Don’t make the other person into a monster in your mind. Just let them know that things aren’t going well, that you are going to take 3 months off to remember who you are, what you like, what you need and breath. Take their phone number out of your contact list, defriend them on Facebook, write a date in your calendar 3 months in the future when it’s okay to meet for coffee and see how they look with new eyes. Tell your friends that you have decided not to talk or think about this person for 3 months, so that they have your permission to interrupt your rudely when the topic of conversation turn back to that creeky subject.

You may not be able to control your thoughts, but you can regain control as many times as you need to.

Peace,

Leora

 

 

Should I try and work things out with my Ex?

I’ve been dating for the last 2 and a half years after being in an exclusive long term relationship. As you can guess, it was really hard for me to know what I wanted in a dating partner after 20 years out of the dating field. I needed to get to know myself, and spending time with other people gives me a lot more information about my wants and needs than watching Xena Warrior Princess on Netflix.

So I fell in love with a handful of people, and sometimes we decided to hang out together and see how that went. And sometimes it went well. Sometimes it went hella poorly. Sometime I just didn’t know –  that felt worst of all.

I want to talk about those connections that cause so much pain and confusion, where one simply doesn’t know.  In 2008 the idea was to ask the other person what they wanted me to be so I could shape myself into that, as in the lyrics in song linked above. Nowadays my ideal is Self Expression, so I am taking the responsibility for figuring out what I am, then communicating that, then waiting for the chips fall where they may. Ouch!

How do I do it?
I think in terms of relationship transition instead of breaking up.  Of course polyamory makes this easier. In the Binary world of ‘You, over there, come fill most of my needs and let me try and fail at filling most of your needs!’ there was a super high price for picking ‘the right one.’  In my current lifestyle of Dating Partnerships, there is more room to experiment with questions of –

How often do I want to see you?

What kinds of activities work for us to do together?

What kinds of environments do I want to spend time with you in?

What kinds of agreements do I need to make with you

  • for the time we spend together?
  • for the time we spend apart?

What agreements or habits used to be true that aren’t true now?

What little practices did you and I used to do to reassure each other of our caring for each other? Which do I want to continue? Which do I want to discontinue?

Do I need us to change our schedule, or our way of negotiating time together?

Please leave comments below. I’d love to hear what kinds of changes you need when you are transitioning your relationships.

I hope you found this post useful, please stay tuned for my next post – Suggested personal policies for Relationship Transitions and Break ups