Hypocrisy, Dating & God Hating Me

Comments 50

So, I met a girl.

She seems to like me.

It’s weird, because that never happens. (Yes, that’s hyperbole.)

But it’s also not weird because when it DOES happen, there’s always some obstacle, major inconvenience or unusual challenge attached to it. Always.

It’s The Matt Way®. Things can never just be normal and easy. Not with me. Luck might have something to do with it. Maybe ADHD, too. But all signs seem to point to this unfortunate probability: God must totally hate me.

I’m an asshole. Let me put that out there. I don’t mean that I’m mean and treat people poorly. I just mean, in a 50-percent-serious, self-deprecating sort of way, I’m an asshole.

Why am I an asshole, you ask?

Because I met her on an online dating site, which you might consider strange, if not impossible, since I swore off online dating more than two years ago and have constantly railed against it as shitty and horrible and unnatural and couldn’t POSSIBLY have an online dating account! And that makes total sense that you’d think that.

If it’s any consolation, I promise I’m really embarrassed about it, and that it’s not my first time being kind of a hypocrite.

A few weeks ago, because I’m a shitty planner, I let a weekend sneak up on me without making plans. One of my friends and I were going to go out for a few drinks. But then he got sick and needed to stay home. And then, because all my local friends are married and/or have children and don’t live in Asshole Single Guy World where smart planning has forsaken these lands, everyone already had full calendars and I ended up spending most of the weekend alone in my house, and that was that. I’d had enough.

Some people like being alone. I’m one of them, sometimes. I was an only child, and I love writing, reading, and poker—all things best accomplished alone or among strangers you don’t really want to talk to. Creeping up on three years removed from my marriage, I’m totally fine being alone.

The flipside? I’m ridiculously social. If I could ONLY choose company or solitude for the rest of my life, I would choose company for sure. Maybe even a lot of people. A lot of people is good. I like energy and connectedness and togetherness and all that shit. Very much. It’s life-giving to me. I’m at my very best in a room full of 40 people I know and love who brought along 10 strangers for me to befriend.

But there I was, watching HBO and football, and writing from my couch two weekend nights in a row, and I was done.

This is bullshit, I thought.

Match—the online dating site I used for a few months when I wasn’t emotionally ready to be dating two and a half years ago—had sent me one of their crap emails telling me someone had winked at me, or whatever.

I texted my friend: “Remind me again that I hate online dating and don’t want to do it.”

Huge mistake. He’s super-smart and I usually listen to him. Even worse? He is more than a year in with a new girlfriend (an excellent one) he met through Match.

I don’t remember what he said, but it felt like a two-handed shove toward the vortex of suck, and I fell in.

Also, I want to deflect some of the blame.

I used to whine here that no girls liked me on Match.

But then I read my profile that was still live from spring/summer 2013. It sounded EXACTLY like an insane, insecure, whiny, crying mess of non-sexy loserness had written it.

Good God, this is bad. No wonder that shit didn’t work.

I rewrote it.

I can’t be certain it’s the best-written Match profile of all time, but there’s a fair chance it’s the best in my 50-mile radius. Girls liked me. I talked to some of them, but there was nothing there. Even though it wasn’t a rejection festival to the degree it was more than two years ago, it still sucked ass.

I’ve said it a hundred times: I’m either someone who passes your primal attractiveness test, or I’m not. And if I do? You’re probably going to like me because, cocky as it may sound, I don’t make it hard. I’m not the smartest, funniest, wittiest, sexiest or most charming, but I have enough of all that stuff to make it work in real life.

But not so much on Match. And that’s what I hate about online dating. It takes away the one thing I tend to excel at: one-on-one interaction.

Even though I’m kind of a hypocrite about online dating, I’m not a hypocrite WHILE online dating. I try hard to be fair. And it’s perfectly fair for women to want to date tall, never-married, childless men. Those aren’t unreasonable preferences. I have preferences, too.

Match would be amazing for casual dating. If it was all about dating simply for the sake of having something to do. And I’d be all for that if I thought legitimate platonic friendships might result from doing so. But it doesn’t work like that. And if something can’t end well, I have a hard time investing in it. Even when I really like the other person and believe it could go somewhere if things were different.

People hear me say that and assume I’m wife hunting.

Not true.

I don’t crave marriage. It’s scary. I don’t even crave a committed, monogamous relationship. That has never been my objective, or even my hope.

My only hope?

To meet someone so amazing that I would want those things with her.

I’ve met some great people since becoming single. Under other circumstances, things could have gone differently.

But no previous encounter had a viable happy ending. Single parents put their children first. And when your loyalties are (appropriately) with your children, it often makes single adulthood more challenging.

Not that this thing now is less challenging.

She lives three hours away, even though she used to live in my town, because God’s hilarious.

Some people don’t think that’s a big deal, but I intentionally don’t date people who live even an hour away. Want to know why? Because that’s three hours, roundtrip on a wintry Tuesday night for dinner and a movie, and that’s some serious bullshit.

I don’t do it because I’m selfish and I want to actually see and spend time with the person I like.

I don’t do it because I think, fundamentally, long-distance relationships are unsustainable.

So, here’s the deal: I’m breaking a ton of my dating rules on this thing. But I’m not compromising ANY values. Not one.

Whether it was radical differences in life philosophy or personality, insurmountable geography, or a bunch of really bad timing, a fatal flaw in any potential relationship tended to rear its head immediately.

But not this time. Even with all the rule breakage. Not this time.

She lives three hours away.

She’s an insanely busy person, personally and professionally, which keeps communication comparatively infrequent.

She’s a mother of three. (I had a no-more-than-two-kids rule, because I already have enough trouble with time- and money-management.)

She might be a fraction of an inch taller than me. (Classic, right?)

Any of those four things would filter you out of my online dating preferences if these hadn’t been particularly unique and unusual circumstances, quite possibly orchestrated by a God intent on smiting me. “Hey guys, check out this dude, Matt. I kind of hate him. Watch this!”

And then, fa-la-la-la-la-la! Alakazam!

This thing.

And it’s way too early to know what “This thing” is, but I insta-turned off my Match account after meeting her and that felt like something.

And it’s way too early to be scared, but it still feels scary.

And it’s way too early to make judgments or predictions about anything, because really? Who knows anything, ever?

I only know that it’s different.

No matter what happens next, this time’s a little bit different. Because I’m still single. But I’m not still available. And that feels like something, too.

Wow, two and a half years feels like a lifetime ago.

Wow, this is crazy and different.

Wow, I’m going to hit Publish.

50 thoughts on “Hypocrisy, Dating & God Hating Me”

  1. Yay!! A post so soon?? I’m subscribing to these comments for sure!! God doesn’t hate you – he/she probably knew you were having trouble with thinking of things to write, and that you like irony, so he gave you a gift!

    1. My life story is certainly steeped in irony, Dr. K.

      I had no idea what to write about today. When in doubt, I find it’s best to default to whatever I’m thinking about. *shrug*

  2. Hi Matt 🙂 Interesting post…
    It reminded me of all the things I felt and thought and was STONE COLD about last autumn when I bravely began dating again. I was putting my foot down firmly, saying this is it; this is the last time I want to go through this rat race and so, no MATTER what, it has to work. It has to be good – perfect, even… and it HAS to be the way *I* demand it be!
    I refused to compromise on any tiny thing – even if it was a guy just not liking Thai food whereas I LOVE Thai food.

    “What’s that? You don’t enjoy Thai food? Next!”

    Well… not that I’m trying to burst your bubble or shake up what might be giving you some determination here… but sometimes it can really all just go the other way if you meet someone who you’re willing to bend the rules for … =) The guy I’m dating now… Good Lord, on paper or otherwise, ANYONE looking in would say he’s all wrong for me and that I’ve made too many sacrifices or compromises and that it’s a HUGE mistake.
    But I’ll be damned if it isn’t working, and special and totally not what I expected it to be…
    Turns out that it’s not about the things we value similarly or have in common – sometimes there are things beneath those surfaces that matter more… if that makes any sense.

    Well either way, I wanted to wish you luck because it’s a scary world when it comes to dating haha… and all we ever want is to be happy and to share that ‘happy’ with someone…. Keep us updated on your journey 🙂

    1. You’ll hear no predictions from me, Jade. Only that I want to avoid the sabotage thing we sometimes do when things seems hard or scary or inconvenient.

      I don’t know that I believe anything particular is ever “supposed to happen.”

      But in a generic, figure-of-speech way, whatever is supposed to happen will happen. 🙂

  3. sooo…I’ve been in holiday overload here at work and I am barely catching up….anyone walking my office heard several unusual guttural-type utterances ranging along the whole spectrum as I read… Online dating?! (Gasp!) …There’s a girl?! (uhhh..huh..huh..huh) he’s breaking his own rules for this one? (EEK!)… Matt! I’m wound up all tight! I agree with Masqued…scary but exhilarating. I always say, savor every stinking, glorious moment….and please, please PLEASE write about some of it!

      1. I know this is old, and I don’t know how this turned out….I’m kinda new here, but…Oh man, I was hoping *that* wasn’t going to be a deal breaker. I’m tall. If a guy has issues with it, rather than thinking it’s pretty dang sexy….well, that sucks. And it has.

        Thanks for that being your favorite. 🙂

        1. It took me a minute to figure out what this was about.

          It ended super-fast without getting serious. I don’t know how much I disclosed in the post, but she didn’t live very close. Over two hours away.

          The caveat was, she used to live in the same town as me and was willing to move back.

          In the end, she wanted me to agree to dating terms I wasn’t willing to agree to.

          Boundary enforcement, you could say.

          She was great. She lived too far away. In the end, I chose a different path.

          Amy, there isn’t ANYTHING bad about being tall. I don’t love that I’m short.

          And I understand that it’s a physical/sexual turnoff for a lot of women, and it’s not that fun having something like that which you have no control over having so much influence over something like that.

          It has nothing to do with the loveliness of tall people, and everything to do with personal hangups and self-consciousness I have about being 5’9”

          1. You’re right. There IS nothing bad about being tall. In fact, I love it! I also kind of love the double takes we get when I date shorter men. 🙂

  4. Maybe just keep the online profile live an itty-bitty bit longer? Your excitement could be about opening doors (plural), and it would be a shame to pass so many so quickly as you stride through this one.

    1. I assure you, I’m as surprised as you.

      This isn’t a fools-rush-in thing. I promise. Thoughtful and deliberate.

      Perhaps I will find myself back on there someday. Maybe even relatively soon.

      But it’s not going to be during.

      I was serious when I wrote it: Different this time.

  5. Seems online dating sites are the way a lot of people find love/companionship these days. God doesn’t hate you. Like you said, if it’s meant to happen, it will. Good luck to you and her 🙂 Don’t worry about the height thing. If she likes YOU, that won’t matter. (At 5’0 here, you are tall in my book lol). Great post.

    1. I frequently dabble in hyperbole because I’m childish. God has better things to do than hate me.

      And the height thing doesn’t matter. She totally likes me.

  6. No one is perfect, and most of us don’t have the guts to display our own unpleasant character traits. I really do hope you find “the one”, and if not, lots of other “maybe, but not quite’s” to stay connected to the human race 😀

    1. Many thanks for wishing me well. Things have a way of working out, even when it’s not how we expected it too.

      I’m learning to live with that. Thank you very much for reading and commenting.

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    1. Thank you, good sir!

      Faith and patience, indeed. Nothing to do except wake up, go to sleep, and try to stay alive inbetween. What will be, will be.

      Making good choices in this instance is my highest priority.

  8. You kinda p*ss me off frequently, but this…well, this is awesome. I’m still thinking God hates me, so it’s a big thrill to see you brave the dating world in spite of that feeling. Rock on, Matt. 🙂

    1. I was serious! If I make you mad all the time, it will help if you share why, and then possibily I can suck less in the future!

      1. That right there — “possibly I can suck less in the future.” Your low self esteem drives me bananas because clearly you know you don’t completely suck. I don’t know if you’re being self-effacing or humble-not-humble. I really can’t tell. So I guess it’s my problem in that I can’t tell when you’re being genuine and in this post I totally could, so I was happy to read it.

        And you only KINDA piss me me off, I’m not burning you in effigy on full moon nights or anything.

        1. Ha. Fair enough. I guess I would tell you I’m probably always much less serious than you think, and that my self-esteem isn’t that low which is why I’m so comfortable practicing self-deprecation all the time.

          Truth is, because I can always “hear” my own voice, I don’t always know what other people are hearing and it’s sometimes hard to convey tone with the written word.

          It’s not fake-humility. It’s deliberately not being cocky because I often don’t like people who are super in love with themselves.

          It’s not woe-is-me, things never go my way and I suck so much. It’s “ha, ha, look how silly I was about this thing over here. I bet smart people do things differently l!”

          Maybe I should do audio transcripts of all this stuff. Tone of voice changes everything.

          Yes. I clearly know I don’t completely suck. Thank you. I do not have low self-esteem, though I probably did two and a half years ago.

          And I very much appreciate you not burning me in effigy, regardless of the lunar phase.

          Perhaps I can more effectively convey tone in the future.

          But probably not since I suck so freaking much.

    1. Thank you very much, Alice.

      It will either be something, or it won’t be.

      Any “something” seems likely to get written about. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Irene.

      Having one solitary positive thing happen out of hundreds of online-dating experiences does not absolve it of all its sucktitude, but if it were to lead to something lasting and meaningful, I pledge to be less of a dick about it moving forward.

  9. Glad to hear it is going well. I am still not even going to try again, so please promise you won’t become one of those “you never know until it just happens” types (aka, New Found Dating Expert to Those of Us Who Aren’t) and we’ll be good 😀

    1. I try hard to keep things limited to my individual experiences.

      No matter what happens, I will NEVER be a dating expert. I totally suck at it. What I’m decent at, is forging meaningful relationships with uniquely awesome people I’m fortunate enough to find once a century.

  10. Ya know Matt, we “friend” hit it off on Match. I think that was “we” anyway, their wasn’t some cataclysmic boom, but we laughed a lot, shared music preferences, and basically didn’t find the other revolting, and then we even text chatted for quite awhile after and I still read your blog and a handful of my friends read it too, because we met. So, my casual acquaintance friend, I say if you want to meet people and socialize on Match, you might make friends at least. It’s possible 🙂

  11. Hey Matt. I’m so excited for you! I understand what it’s like when someone comes in to your life that only a short time ago would never have been a consideration for one reason or another. A year and half into my own such relationship, I have to say it’s the easiest, happiest relationship I’ve ever been in. It’s crazy!!

    Anyway, hope you’re well and good luck in this exciting new chapter…can’t wait to hear how it turns out ?

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