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In the words of Yo Gotti, “It goes down in the DMs” — still. We are in an age of electronic dating, where Friday night drinks with friends can often be traded in for casual lazy swiping on the latest dating app. With the disconnect that comes with being plugged into the matrix that is online dating, it’s no wonder that fundamental people skills are a complete thing of the past.

Recently, I was getting to know (or so I thought) a young man who had casually slid in my DMs via Instagram. He was nowhere near my “type” but seemed somewhat decent and I decided to open myself up to the prospect of getting to know and potentially date a man who slid in my DMs.

When it comes to meeting men on the internet, and in general, I’m very wary of intention and tend to set boundaries as a measure of self-care until I feel safe enough to open myself up even further after determining whether or not a potential suitor is worth my time. As this guy and I began chatting, we learned that we lived not too far from one another and that he sometimes even frequented the same gym as me. Our schedules never really made it optimal to go out, so we spent a good portion of our days talking on the phone and via text.

One day, in speaking with him, I realized he was working a day shift, which made it perfect for us to finally meet in person. He even went so far as to ask “what are you doing later this evening?” To which I replied “nothing.”  In my mind, this was the open goal post for him to kick the ball through and ask me out on a date. Sadly, that invite never came and I carried on with the rest of my day. In speaking with him later that evening — and after going over both of our days – I made mention of the fact that I told him I was available yet he didn’t ask me to do anything. In my defense, I had asked him out once but scheduling conflicts would not let us be great. He said to me that he had had a long day and was tired and I completely understood. What I didn’t understand was him following up that point by asking if he could come to my house. When I said no and asked why he would make such a request, he proceeded to tell me that he didn’t feel like going out, but wanted to be in a comfortable setting with me. Rainy night, long day at work, doesn’t want to go out on a proper date but would rather come to my home? Got it. Face palm.

I couldn’t even muster the strength to get into why asking to come over was inappropriate, so I bid him goodnight and carried on with my Netflix and Chill date, party of one. Needless to say, I was not impressed by his lack of effort and I cooled off on speaking with this guy so often. I was very well aware of what he wanted at this point and I needed to get over the fact that I’d somewhat started to take a liking to this young man who clearly wasn’t interested in the same way.

About a week after this exchange, the guy passively asked me a question via text. There was no introduction, no salutation, just a random question. At that point, I became frustrated and lost all sense of decorum and flatly asked what his intentions were. His answer: “I’m just trying to get to know you.” He also mentioned wanting to work out with me, and that “he was still waiting to taste my cooking.” I, on the other hand, kept looking at my phone in utter disbelief that I was even having this conversation.

I explained that working out was something I did on my own. That part of my fitness journey was finding space and time to get in tune with my self everyday before sharing that with the world. As for cooking, he was informed that that was something he would have to earn and wasn’t even on the table yet. Something about my saying that to him made him upset because he then accused me of “pushing him away” and mentioned that he felt “dating was a waste of time,” hence why he didn’t do it. I explained that I wasn’t pushing him away but setting boundaries that I was comfortable with until otherwise noted. He then said to me, “your boundaries are stupid,” which pretty much solidified why we would never speak again, and any physical encounter would likely result in scorched earth. I thanked him for his services, lightly told him off, and wished him well.

This, my friends, is the problem with online dating. Because of the speed of connection from one person to another, there isn’t that hesitation to push past boundaries that people set as a measure of self-protection. The internet connection has given people the courage to “poke the bear” when you really wouldn’t do so in real life. More than anything, our emotional IQ has gone out the window and has been replaced with the lazy notion that a swipe right on an app or an answered DM allows one unprecedented and entitled access to a person without ever having to actually earn it. If this is dating in 2018, I want no parts of it.

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