I’ve Been Dating Lemons, Dreams, & Introspection

This morning I had a dream that was very vivid and relevant to my spiritual and mental growth, but I can only remember a few specific details. If I don’t write things down as soon as I awake, I forget them. Years ago, I read somewhere that it’s what you do remember that matters.

I believe there were two men in the dream, but no one I know in real life. I believe one was someone I didn’t want to talk to or be around. The one I was corresponding with the most reminded me of Toe Ring Guy, but I’m not sure why. Maybe it was the way he was built physically but not the personality. The guy gave me a pair of beige high heels with rounded closed toes that were really nice – totally something I’d wear in real life. Apparently, they’d belonged to someone that had just died (I believe it was his mother), which was a little weird – but in the dream, I felt it was a nice gesture. At some point in the dream, I recall him saying something about waiting on his mother’s inheritance, and even within the dream, I thought that was strange.

The place that I was at was possibly a hotel – it was large, and even though I didn’t see stairs, I could see across a sky and felt that I may have been above the bottom floor. I believe my aunt was there and we saw part of a beautiful sunset, but there was another large, ugly building blocking most of it – which annoyed me, just as it would in real life. We said something about the sunset being so beautiful but we couldn’t see it entirely due to the building in the way.

Then back to the guy that gave me the shoes – I felt as if he was the better option of the two guys (by then the other one had disappeared), but I still felt something was off about him – which was probably knowing he was waiting on the inheritance, because that would be a complete turnoff for me.

I’m going to interpret this as:

Some guy giving me his mother’s shoes means filling in for someone else, perhaps in a motherly role. Perhaps I have a habit of taking on a motherly role (very domesticated) when I’m in a relationship. I want to say the high heels probably represent sex in some way, probably another role that women tend to fulfill. What’s the cliche? A maid in the living room, a cook in the kitchen, and a whore in the bedroom? Well, maybe I’ve been offering the Madonna-Whore Complex of being someone’s servant and taking what I can get instead of an actual partnership that I really want and deserve.

As for my aunt and the sunset being partially blocked, this aunt in particular is someone I like talking to, and she’s fun and artistic. Yet something large and ugly is blocking the sunset – which is something beautiful and something I always enjoy seeing. The building reminded me of some of the newer ones being built in my area that I refer to as monstrosities, because they have ruined the beauty of my area – including sunsets no longer to be seen.

I have often thought of buildings in dreams as a representation of a body or mind, but in this one, whose body? Perhaps the hotel represents a temporary frame of mind I’m currently in, but the bigger one represents things to see and sunsets are to come? I really don’t know. The only problem I have is that the building was just big and ugly, and I’m not exactly sure what that would mean in this context. Maybe I have to discover an ugly part of myself or my emotions to see the sunset clearly? Maybe I have to face an ugly part of a relationship (either from adulthood or childhood) or something else that’s ugly that has happened that I haven’t quite moved forward with. (UGH!!!)

Again, this is a lot to contemplate, because there are so many facets it could relate to, not only now but throughout my life entirely. This is frustrating not to know, because I’m probably already an over-thinker and over-analyzer. And sometimes this is why I hate myself – I just want to be normal, whatever the fuck that is.

Somewhere in the dream lemons appeared – I believe towards the end – but I’m unsure as to what aspect. The “off” feeling about this dream guy is probably the way I feel about men that I meet and/or date – since they’re the “only” option available, I tend to go along with it, because I feel that I should “try.” But in reality, they are all lemons!

And as I’m writing this, a big butterfly is fluttering around me – another sign of positive transformation!

All Frogs and No Princes

Last night I noticed a frog in my bathroom. He was quite large, and it was getting late, so I left him alone figuring he’d find his way out eventually. Then I forgot about all about him. Around 2 a.m., I heard a knocking or thumping sound, checked to see if anyone was at my door. Nothing in sight, I went back to bed. This morning I heard another knocking at my back door, got up and saw it was the frog trying to make his way out. Later on, I noticed my bathroom mirror had little marks all over it, which were his tiny little footprints. I suppose that’s what I was hearing at 2 a.m.

Frog symbolism means a few things – particularly transformation, since it goes through different stages of metamorphosis. I suppose this resonates with me, body, mind and soul, because of currently going through all three of those changes.

I realize I need to take better care of my body, because I’m not getting any younger, and I don’t heal as quickly as I used to. Allergies have been worse over the years, so cutting out certain things is something I need to try to build up my immune system again. A few weeks ago I went to my doctor to discuss some changes that didn’t seem normal to me; however, she told me these things are normal as women age. I said, “So basically, women have nothing to look forward to in life?” – because that’s exactly how I felt. She said pretty much – we go through a series of changes throughout our lives and always seem to have issues. What the fuck.

Meditation has helped me in the past, but a problem I have is when the routine is disrupted. I started meditating regularly several years ago and not only did I notice a huge difference in how I felt, I manifested things that I never imagined possible. Then my life picked up and changed dramatically, and I had difficulty getting back into it. It probably didn’t help that my partner didn’t meditate or have any interest in my spirituality (at that point I realized we had nothing in common, which was spiritually draining). I started meditating again recently, but something interrupted my daily routine, and I stopped. I kick myself for doing this!

Spiritually, I feel that I’m changing again, and I’m aware that I need to make a lot of changes. When I was younger, I would set my mind to something and just go for it, no matter what. I’m not exactly sure what happened, but I stopped having goals except for getting through each day and making rent each month, and my focus was completely off. I’m sure my health issues had a lot to do with that, but I think they’re manageable now, and keeping toxic assholes out of my life certainly helps! I pretty much gave up my dreams in life for various reasons, but now I’m ready to make things happen again. Perhaps I should make a vision board so I can better focus and meditate on what I have always dreamed of in life.

A last note on frogs – I am utterly bored out of my mind with online dating, like usual. I still have my POF profile, and since I was traveling recently, decided to change my location to see what options were out there. It seems like all frogs and no princes. I have no desire to converse with anyone that messages me, no profiles stick out for me, and organically, no one in my area interests me whatsoever. I suppose this is also part of my spiritual growth.

You’re Not Invited, So Mind Your Own Damn Business

Something I do is mind my own business, because that’s how I like to be treated. People have a habit of telling me their issues, but other than that, I don’t really care what others do as long as it doesn’t affect me. Living in a small town, people know your business – or think they know it – because that’s how small-minded places are. I experienced this when I lived on a small island years ago, and I have a feeling it has or may be happening again, thanks to jealous and/or gossiping bitches with boring lives (that will be an entirely new blog post).

On the island, there were people that loved to involve themselves in others’ lives that they truly knew nothing about, including mine – and it was all surface-level b.s. People see things and assume things and make it a topic of conversation amongst their shallow group of friends. How fucking pathetic. Some of the things that were assumed about me included being on drugs (no idea how that assumption developed) and sleeping with men that I never did anything with – and this was because after having been mugged one night, I’d always have someone walk me to my car. Just for that, it was assumed I went home with the guys! Fucking ridiculous! (And even if I had, it’s still no one’s business anyway.) The person that started that crap was one of my ex-husband’s best friends, but that was prior to me meeting him. When we did meet, she “warned” him about me. Warned him about what? !! The bitch had never even had a conversation with me and was one of those people that could never look me in the eye, even after we were married. Definitely no one I ever trusted! There was another person that I briefly dated there that also made shit up and would go around telling people, when the truth was, he had a lot to hide himself. Gossipers are the epitome of get a life and stay out of mine!

Months ago I was out with a male friend and his best friend’s wife when a young woman walked in wearing a super tight dress. The best friend’s wife decided to talk shit about her, saying it looked terrible on her, why is she wearing that, and general insults for no other reason except for her own insecurity. I think the young woman may have been pregnant, but I said to the friend’s wife, “Who cares? Seriously. Who really cares what she is wearing? Who really cares what anyone else is doing if it doesn’t affect us? It doesn’t matter. I don’t care to have this discussion about other people that I don’t know,” which abruptly ended the conversation. My male friend thought it was funny that I put her in her place, because I guess he didn’t care to hear it either.

Someone else that I interact with on occasion makes it a point to ask me extremely personal questions that are none of her damn business. If she took the time to read my blog, some of her questions might be answered, but a lot of her questions are things no one has the right to ask. For example, asking how much money I make is none of her business. Neither is asking very specific questions about my spiritual beliefs or sex life. If I feel the need to tell someone something, I’ll tell them or I’ll write about it, but other than that, mind your own damn business!

I have a frenemy that often talks shit about people, including me, but I have no issue returning the favor right to her face – because that’s the type of relationship we have. But when she starts making shit up about me and changing stories to make me look bad, then I have an issue, and that’s when I have to set her shit straight. Besides, she does her own fair share of making herself look like a dumbass in front of people and has burned many bridges because of it – but that’s on her.

This is probably another reason I stick by myself and avoid groups, especially groups of women. Some of the cattiest things come out of their mouths, gossiping about other people and then turning around pretending to be best friends. Oh, hell naw to that! I put an end to that shit in sixth grade, and I’m not living it again. Grow up already! If I have something to say, I will say it to your face or write about it and then send you the link (which I’ve done with some of my blog posts). Other than that, stay the hell out of my business!

Saying Bye-Bye to People Pleasing

I was reading a young woman’s blog post about her being a people pleaser, and it’s something that came up as a topic in one of my counseling sessions last year. I believe the discussion had to do with staying in relationships longer than I should, because I didn’t want to hurt the other person. I feel that’s what you do with the people you love, whether it’s a romantic relationship or a friendship. I was always taught to stick through things, even when you’re miserable, because things will eventually work out. I’m not sure that’s accurate, because it’s never worked!

That’s when my counselor told me I was a people pleaser. Although I’d never really thought of myself as one, it makes sense as to what I have experienced in all types of relationships. I am slowly learning and making changes, but undoing something you’ve been doing for most of your life isn’t easy! I recall finding myself catering to men I dated without getting anything in return – often hosting, cooking, cleaning up everything – you name it. What the fuck was I thinking? As far as friends go, I would be a shoulder to cry on, but when it was my turn, those same people weren’t there. The thing is – I enjoyed doing that for someone I cared about or loved. I treat the people I care about the way I want to be treated, even if I am being taken advantage of, and I’ve had enough of that shit!

I resonate with most of this article from Psychology Today, “Are you a people pleaser?” Neglecting myself by serving others’ needs before my own? Check. Fear of rejection? Check. Resentment when I don’t feel appreciated or feel like I’m giving more than the other person? Check. This is another thing I have to work on, because being taken advantage of is a really awful feeling. Usually, once I realize someone is taking advantage of me, it’s a little late and a lot of resentment has built up by that point – and once I get to that point, I’m over the relationship. But I’d rather see the signs prior to that point.

I do believe I’ve gotten better over time, especially the last couple of years in romantic relationships, friends, and jobs. Now I don’t feel the need to make dinner for a man to please him if he doesn’t do something in return, and I’ve limited friendships with people that haven’t been there during times of need. Unless I’m working for myself, when it comes to jobs, I do what is in the job description and nothing more. There is no need to burn myself out again trying to please others that will do nothing more than move on to the next person when I stop giving.

Online Dating: From Friendly to Bye-Bye in 48 Hours

I’m still on POF as an experiment but rarely active, because it just doesn’t interest me enough. Last week I wrote about some of the harassment and abuse towards women on online dating sites. Not all of them are initially batshit crazy; some of them take time, which is why I like to chat and feel them out before replying or giving out my number or meeting in person.

I matched with someone in my area that had a great profile, which means he actually took the time to write things out in complete sentences and punctuation, along with adding more than one photo. However, he was in his 50s and had never been married and had no children. When I asked him how long ago his last relationship was, he never actually gave me an answer, just said a while and he didn’t want to talk about it. This was probably red flag #1, but I always give people the benefit of the doubt, because what if she had passed away or something tragic?

This conversation started on a Saturday. We were having great banter back and forth, but as it started to get late, he told me he had to go to watch his favorite TV show, Saturday Night Live, and he literally cut off the conversation. (I will name him SNL Guy.) I didn’t think much of it at the time, because it was late.

The following day, I’d gone to an art show out of town, which also happened to be the day of the Super Bowl. In the meantime, SNL Guy texted me his number and we exchanged some conversation off and on throughout the day. Somewhere around this time, I got an intuitive feeling that I can’t explain, except that his texts were starting to get on my nerves. I wasn’t having that great of a day, so I thought maybe it was just me.

SNL Guy mentioned he wanted to speak on the phone at some point, but he was going to a Super Bowl party and would contact me after that. I thought to myself that he should have probably asked me if it was okay to call me that late (red flag #2), because I was exhausted and ended up falling asleep. When I saw my phone the next morning, he’d texted me four times and called twice from 10pm until just after 11 (red flag #3). That seemed a little much for me, and I don’t know how else to describe my feelings, except that I felt a little creeped out.

On Monday, I had a very busy day, and he sent me some texts to which I barely replied, because I had priorities. In the evening, he texted me while I was driving. An hour later, he tried texting me again. I told him I was in a place where I couldn’t speak. He tried calling and texting again, and I told him I was still out. That’s when he asked if he should “give up,” to which I replied, “If you’re impatient, then yes you should.” Well, that did it!

SNL Guy said he felt a disconnect and based on my answer, that sums it up for him. And then his next comment clarified that intuitive feeling that I didn’t quite understand the day before… he said, “I said I would give you a shout today when my day was over but you blew me off. You were logged into POF. What’s that saying of throwing rocks from a glass house?” (Tons of red flags!!)

Whoa!! Dude is totally controlling and selfish and lacks boundaries. While it was fine for him to be unavailable when he wanted to watch tv and play, it wasn’t okay for me when I was busy. The fact that he went online to look at my activity was another warning. (I was probably at a stoplight when I noticed I had seven unread messages on POF.)

I said, “Thanks for making it so easy, and in case you didn’t know, it works both ways. I was available when you wanted to watch a TV show and a football game, but I didn’t make a big deal out of it. I’m looking for someone with patience and doesn’t need instant gratification. Maybe you can find a woman to meet your demands in such an early stage. Good luck!”

SNL Guy tried to argue his point, which he didn’t have, except that we aren’t a match. Yeah, no shit! This is what I mean by online dating sites being such a waste of time getting to know someone only to find out they have issues no one wants to deal with. Even if it was only 48 hours, it was a lot of messaging that could have been spent on doing something better for myself.

** NOTE: The following day, I took a bike ride and put my phone in the basket with my water bottle. The water bottle rolled over my phone and opened apps and misc things… and somehow it actually called SNL Guy (his number was the last to call me), and by the time I picked up the phone to figure out what was going on, it was an operator message. Oops! Sorry, not sorry! **

Harassment & Abuse on Online Dating Sites

The other day, I wrote about AWOL, the upcoming women’s movement that is a week-long protest against gender bias in dating apps and social media platforms. Today is the first phase of the movement, where women are changing their social media profile photos to the AWOL logo to bring awareness. I am participating in this event, and this post will give a pretty good explanation as to why.

Being on and off dating sites for the past six years of my single life has given me a poor outlook on dating altogether, as I have mainly found it to be a complete waste of time. Spending hours sorting through profiles which may or may not be real or current is exhausting, not to mention the back and forth texting and lack of communication. Discovering the person you’ve been talking to is completely different in person is another downside to online dating. Even worse are the sexual messages received, oftentimes unsolicited dick pics, and overall insulting garbage.

As an experiment, I joined Plenty of Fish for a few reasons: a) I hadn’t been on there in several years; and b) it’s free. While I never actually expected to meet anyone on the site in person, I was open to the chance of possibly meeting a new friend. Given what I experienced, however, I now highly doubt that.

This time, I only have one visible full-body photo of myself fully dressed, not showing any skin whatsoever, my face visible but not that distinguishable. (I wasn’t sure what one photo would elicit, but I have a feeling that no photos at all would still have baited plenty of sharks!) I’d stated specific things in my profile that I knew would disqualify most of the men in my area. That wasn’t done on purpose; it’s all the truth about myself and what I’m looking for, and most simply aren’t on the same page. The messages I will be posting here were received within my first 24 hours of being on POF.

Since my horrible experiences with dating Trump fans takes up half of my blog, I specifically stated “no Trump fans” at the end of my profile, which seemed to have really pissed off some men. The fact that they took the time out to send me rude messages told me they are immature, abusive, control freaks that have no place in my life. The very first message I received from POF was from Ray, who thinks he’s a keeper but isn’t intelligent enough to keep his children off of his main photo. No one asked for his opinion, and the site is for meeting people to date, not to argue politics like people do on Facebook.

Instead of just going about their business and moving along, women get harassed online daily by men like Ray on both dating and social media sites. It’s men like Ray that a lot of women would never give the time of day, and they know it, and they use the opportunity to insult women behind their keyboards in order to boost what little self esteem they have. Ray was reported, but I’m unsure if he still has his account.

I never replied to Ray, however, after a certain amount of messages like these, it becomes hard to ignore. I am not the type of woman to “sit back and take it,” because if I allow them to treat me this way and don’t stand up for myself, it gives them a motive to continue their shitty behavior and do it to more women. I am the type of woman to put someone in their place, so I decided to start replying to these unsolicited messages. This is from another extremely unattractive man:

At least mpc65 understood he was being inappropriate, but there is no excuse to do this in the first place when you’re looking for love (obviously in all the wrong places!) Other inappropriate (and frankly, just weird!) messages when I politely decline men that I have no interest in dating includes being called names, such as a racist, when race has nothing to do with it. This man’s profile stated he was located in the UK (my profile specifically states to be within an hour of my location), so even if I was interested, it would never work. Besides, I got the feeling it was probably a fake profile.

I know I am not the only one that has experienced being called a racist, as SareyTales and several other women have also been called the same thing for not being interested in a man of another race. I recall one of her posts recently from an Asian male that played video games and had interests that most grown women don’t. When she politely declined him, he called her a racist and then went on to continue insulting her. It’s just another frightening way that men often project their insecurities to women online.

In my profile, I state that I have a 3-month rule for dating before having sex, as I know this will weed out any players. Apparently, some men had a real issue with that and sent me some pretty nasty messages. One I appropriately nicknamed the “Russian Asshole,” since he fits the stereotypical type that treats women like second-class citizens sent this barrage of mysogyny. Notice that he gets through the POF messaging system by spacing out the letters when he calls me a bitch.

I felt that Russian Asshole’s messages were extremely demeaning, antagonizing, and downright disturbing. After reporting Russian Asshole on Twitter, his profile magically disappeared from POF. However, I don’t know if that means he was blocked from my profile and still allowed to harass other women.

Even when I am online, my intuition picks up on things that seem shady or weird, even if I can’t pinpoint exactly what it is. This guy was interested, then suddenly thought he was “better” than me when I turned him down.

Even though “Better Than You” Dan has no opinions of me, he thinks he’s better than me with all of his world travel, success and money.

These are just a few of several messages I’ve received from men I’ve turned down – and this was only the first 24 hours! Out of approximately six pages of messages, about 20% of them were like this. To think that 1/5 of the men on dating sites are this awful is pretty discouraging, especially when the apps enable them by allowing these abusive men to keep their profiles and punish the women that report them instead. Women are fed up, and as a result, AWOL has been formed.

All Women Online Blackout – A Protest

If you’ve been following my blog long enough, you know that I have some experience with the online dating world. For the most part, my experiences haven’t been so great, as I often write about them. What makes them even worse is getting unsolicited dick pics, sexual harassment, threats, rude messages from men that I have politely rejected, nasty messages from men that don’t happen to like what I’ve written in my profile (they obviously don’t make the cut), being called racist for being uninterested in someone that happens to be a different race, and overall misogynistic attitudes. But this doesn’t just extend to dating sites; this happens all across the board with social media in general, with Facebook and Instagram being the worst culprits.

As for Instagram, there is no way to report an actual private message; only profiles and posts can be reported for obscenities or whatever goes against their terms. So when I received unsolicited dick pics from men I didn’t even know, my reports went unheeded, and those men got to keep their profiles. Yet, if I happen to screenshot the message, hide the dick pic with an emoji, and share it to my story – Instagram flags it and takes it down, even threatens to remove my profile. This type of behavior and inequality needs to stop. Right now.

This also happens with some online dating apps – you can report their profiles, but not their actual private messages in the app itself. If there is nothing violating the app’s terms in the profile, those men keep their profiles, even if the person sends a dick pic or tells a woman he’s going to rape or kill her. (Yes, this actually happens!) In some cases, the messages can be reported, however, often the abuser still gets to keep his profile. I suppose if the apps are making money off of these perpetrators, they don’t give a damn about the safety of women using their sites.

The real issue besides the idiots sending the messages is that these online platforms seem to cater more towards men in these cases. Oftentimes, when their profiles get reported, nothing happens. Sure, there’s the option to block them, but sometimes they make alternate profiles and continue the harassment. It sends a message to these men that it’s okay to harass women, since the block option is there. All it does is send them to the next woman, many of whom do not bother reporting them (or can’t), so nothing ever gets done about it, making it seem like it’s okay for men online to abuse women. Well, it’s NOT okay, and women are fed up.

Someone I have been following on Instagram for quite some time has exposed some of these jerks. Sarey Ruden of SareyTales was tired of the online harassment and misogyny, so she decided to make art “The Art of Online Dating” out of the awful messages received from men on dating sites; she even gave a TEDtalk about it. And now other women are joining in and revealing their online dating horrors – all very similar stories, and some even have the same types of messages from the same users in the same area. Even when reported, these men have no consequences, yet women who report them by outing them on social media (since there is no other option to report them within the apps) have actually been silenced and/or banned from the sites! Not only is this unjust, it feeds into the rape culture and perpetuates abuse of women.

On May 9th, a women’s movement is happening called AWOL – All Women Online. It is a week-long blackout on dating sites (also extended to social media) to combat gender-based dating app injustice and abuse. I will be joining it, along with thousands of other women (and also supportive men) in protest to the way women are treated unfairly by dating apps and social media apps that continue to fail us. To find out more and to participate, visit her website at SareyTales.com.