Liar, Liar

road-sign-464651_1920So it took me awhile to get here again, but I now remember very specifically why I don’t date anymore.

It’s been another month, and in that time I’ve had the good fortune to meet not one, but TWO married men (LUCKY ME, RIGHT!!??). Men that I genuinely liked and thought were genuinely available and interested in me. Of course, I mistakenly thought this predominantly because they said they were available and interested in me. But I’m realizing in the world of dating that what people say actually doesn’t mean anything. In fact, if they’re saying it, it’s almost certainly not true.

This is very weird and very confusing for me, and it’s even ironic as a writer being that my manuscript features a slightly unreliable protagonist that I happen to adore. I do not adore meeting unreliable men, as it turns out. Go figure?

In any case, it’s been a few weeks since the first debacle went down, and I finally feel like I’m ready to laugh about my narrow escape from adultery. Yes, that’s right: adultery.

I met *Mike* online mid-July, and we immediately bonded over our interest in writing. It also didn’t hurt that he was very intelligent, well-spoken, and tall and handsome with striking blue eyes. We exchanged numbers and both talked and texted over the next couple of days.

And then he stopped responding suddenly and I didn’t hear from him for a few days. It seemed to be a misunderstanding, but it was the only one he was going to get. I cautiously started communicating with him again, but was not surprised when he flaked out on me not long thereafter. The funniest bit? He said, “Off to a meeting, gorgeous. Talk later.”

By later he meant weeks later, and at that point I was done with his shady behind. Unfortunately, the guy was not as experienced at the con game as he thought he was. He told me just one too many truths, and even without a last name it was a piece of cake tracking him down online. It was also a breeze finding his very-much-alive wife, his *four!* children, his actual state of residence and home address, his real age, his real hometown, and his real college.

I was devastated, because I really liked him prior to his shenanigans, and of course, because as a decent person, I would never prey on innocent strangers. I would never try to trick a person into falling unwittingly into the middle of my marital drama. You just wonder, how soulless have people become?

The most disturbing bit, of course, is that he fabricated a completely fictional character for me, and that fictional character had lost his wife, most tragically, several years before. How much do you have to resent or downright despise your spouse to invent their horrific demise?

I didn’t think I’d ever have the pleasure of confronting him with my new-found knowledge, but he just couldn’t let me get away without one last-ditch effort to con me into having an affair with him. Frankly, at that point it was just research for some future book or another trying to pry it out of him why he would bother with any of this, instead of just amicably separating from his wife, whom he clearly doesn’t want a romantic relationship with anymore. Have men never heard of the handy and socially-acceptable practice of divorce?

Well, he’s still on the dating site, off and on, doing his thing. By “thing” I more specifically mean putting up and then pulling down his profile pictures spastically, because presumably I’m not the only woman who’s on to his little ruse, but also because for such a smooth operator, he doesn’t seem to know there’s such a thing as a reverse image search. Who wants to tell him that he shouldn’t put the pictures he uses for his “family” accounts on his dating profile?

In any case, please excuse any and all errors in this post – I’m drinking, and it’s pretty clear that’s the only way I will be able to get through this dating nightmare. Can someone just wake me up when it’s over?

*As a note: I realize that dating disasters are trivial compared to real disasters, like the current state of our country and our ever-worsening climate. I am thinking of these things, but feel helpless, as I believe many people do. So, what do I do? I focus on the one thing I laughably believe I have control over – my pathetic love life.

**Another note: I’ve decided I need to take one last whack at revising my first full manuscript. It’s disappointing that it didn’t get quite the reception I was hoping for initially, but I’ve got some good ideas now, and I think it’s salvageable. And let’s face it, what’s all this misery in the dating department for, if not to give me some good stories to tell and plenty of incentive to slaughter off all the obnoxious male characters in a most ruthless manner? Just kidding on that last bit. Or am I?

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