Deconstruction of a Dating Profile

For those of you who are trying to find love online, here’s an example of a dating profile you should avoid.  I dated this person, and since his profile is public content, there is nothing illegal about re-posting it here.  I will not post his dating-site handle (but I wish I could so women in my area who read this can avoid him) or his name.  I will deconstruct his profile for you.  My commentary is in red.

Most tell me I am warm, giving, knowing, and patient. 

Most of what? Most of whom? If “most” apples in a barrel are good does that mean that ALL apples in a barrel are good? Do you not know whether you are those things? No, you don’t because your entire image of yourself is a construct built upon what others tell you.

Others tell me I have a good sense of humor and am fun to be around.

Here we go again with what YOU say OTHERS say.  You don’t want to actually say that you have these qualities because deep down, you know you don’t really have them, you only present them when you are in the presence of others from whom you can benefit. Presenting these qualities is not the same thing as actually having them.

Many things interest me and I am entertained easily. I love kayaking, skiing, hiking, skating and most of the usual sports but I tend to gravitate toward the arts.

Note that this person places the emphasis on the more “extreme” sports, the ones that require more skill for the average person to engage in them.  There is only a nod toward the “more usual sports” because this person feels the “more usual” is beneath them.

I am emotionally healthy as I am filled with positive feelings and energy most of the time.

Um, okay.  How does that define emotional health?  Notice this person doesn’t say “others” speak to the individual’s emotional health.  This is something this person is CERTAIN of, and even goes so far as to define it for us.

I enjoy talking and listening and sharing emotions.

Be very wary of this kind of phrase in an online profile.  It sounds innocent and it may well be innocent as well as truthful, but I happen to know this person.  I dated him. He does enjoy talking – about himself.  He listens for perceived criticisms and the emotions he shares are thinly disguised rage.  He feeds off YOUR emotions and stores them up to use as ammunition against you. 

I’ve been told I’m old fashioned and I’ve been told I’m eclectic, urban and modern. 

Again, he doesn’t know himself – he tells us what others have told him.  He has no clue what he truly is. 

I think I’m a bit of mix since I strive for balance in most areas.

He doesn’t know what he thinks, since he’s already stated that his opinion of himself is garnered from the opinions of others.  How many people strive for balance in just “most” areas?  This is an individual who doesn’t know anything about balance and probably added the word “most” as a subconscious qualifier.  I doubt he even realizes what he’s said about himself here.

I am honest and loyal and sometimes too trusting.

This is classic NPD in this case.  Again, he  shows us that he hasn’t got a clue.  How can he be honest when he’s already told us that he has no clue what emotional health is and that he only strives for balance in “most” areas?  The part about being loyal and too trusting is a classic set-up from NPD people.  

This is a huge red flag, and it’s already setting his potential victims up to BE victims. He’ll be “loyal” and “trusting” until you evince dissatisfaction with him.  At that point, his entire visage will change, his normal MO will cast off the cloak of charm, warmth and affection and you will be told exactly what a terrible person you are, and any emotions you may have “shared” with him will be brought out and used to decimate you.  You’ll know you are nothing more than a thing to him, that you are disposable and he will attempt to convince you that you have misinterpreted him in all ways.  Any hurt you sustain from your interaction with him is your fault.  To paraphrase another source:  “so sorry that you’re a casualty of my pathology.”

An Optimist-idealist grounded in the practical.

Note he doesn’t state “I am an optimist-idealist grounded in the practical.”  To state that would not allow him to say “I never said I was that way.”  While this may simply be poor grammar on his part, based on the preceding elements of the profile, one could reasonably ask:  “Why is this phrase here?”  

I’ve been known to act like a child and think like an old man, then think like a child and act like an old man.

He’s been “known” to do these things.  Known by whom?  Note that he doesn’t state that HE ACTUALLY DOES THESE THINGS.  He simply invokes the ubiquitous and invisible “others” by use of the word  ‘known’.  

You? You’re easy to talk to and like to talk and laugh. You’re generally happy with yourself In body and spirit. You enjoy the outdoors and appreciate the fruits of the country but also like urban activities and the suburban typical.

First, he’s telling you what you will be if you are going to interact with him.  He’s not stating qualities he appreciates in another, he’s stating WHAT YOU ARE and if you prove not to be these things, you’ll be sorry.  He’s also pompous as hell – “appreciate the fruits of the country?”  What the hell is THAT?  You like to go apple-picking?  His entire profile is written from the perspective of condescending pomposity. What does “generally happy with yourself in body and spirit” mean?  Does this mean he’ll be okay if you’re sometimes not happy that way?  No, in this profile it means you WILL be happy with these things because he has decreed it.

Your open-minded, funny, and can enjoy laughing at yourself. 

He says nothing about compassion, independence, warmth, empathy, loving, giving, etc.  You are to be open-minded, funny and you have to enjoy laughing at yourself.  That is ALL you will be. Note he doesn’t state that you can enjoy laughing at him!

You are understanding and respectful and appreciate those qualities in me.

This time he tells you what you are.  You are understanding and respectful – and you WILL appreciate those qualities in him.  What he left off here is this:  “…as I interpret those qualities.”

This is what he’s currently doing with his life:

Generally: Surfing the curl of the daily experience and picking the next big wave. (Ahh…Escapism through metaphor) Family and Friends are most important. Life is care and devotion to myself and those around me.

Okay, this statement is fraught with issues.  First, he displays how  “intelligent” he is by using metaphor.  He also uses metaphor to escape from having to state what it is he is usually doing, which is trolling dating sites for his next mirror.  That would be “the next big wave.”  

He uses grandiose surfing metaphor to describe what he’s doing with his life, which is precisely NOTHING.  He states that Family and Friends are most important.   I know for fact that he doesn’t get along with his siblings.  His sister moved to Guatemala not too long ago to continue her education through experience, and when I was told about this I got very excited.  I wanted to know how she was, what her experiences were, etc.  

His reply was:  “I don’t know.  She left three months ago.  I haven’t had time to email or call her to find out how she is and what she’s doing.”  

I was stunned.  Had that been MY sister, I’d be emailing her daily, I’d be checking her Facebook to see new photos, I’d send her snail mail so she’d have things from home, cards and little things made and sent with love.  I’d be in constant contact with her.  

He stated his other siblings are “slobs” and had nothing positive to say about them.  Yet Family is most important to him. 

He spoke of his mother in glowing terms.  His mother died in 2007, and she was an excellent surrealist.  When I look at her artwork, I see the emptiness in her.  There is one painting that is scarily desolate.  

It is a depiction of  four humans in the form of trees, and the center “tree” is  obviously an older female who is oblivious to the trees around her.  The other three trees (her children)  surround her and their branches reach toward her.  She stands alone, with clearly defined space around her, space through which her children will never be able to travel.  She is powerful, she has no need of these other trees and in the painting, she is the tree given the most detail.  This painting gave me serious insight to this man’s relationship with his mother.

This man has also told me that he only has one dream.  It’s a dream where he is around 6, standing in the living room, watching his father chop the decorated christmas tree down with an ax.  His father left the family unit when he was 7.  He states that from that point forward, he never had a relationship with his dad because of what his father “did” to his mother.  My guess is that the N’s mother made certain the children drank the kool-aid with regard to their father. 

Notice in his last sentence above that he states that life is care of himself BEFORE it is care for others.  In my experience, care for oneself comes naturally when one gives of oneself to others.  If I actively nurture my friends and family, as well as the family of mankind, I am, by definition, providing care for myself.  I’m not placing myself ahead of others, I am working in TANDEM with others. 

These are his favorite books, movies and shows:

Most of my reading is done on the web.

Yup, most of it IS done on the web.  On dating sites.  He is a remarkably uninformed individual but if you read his pretentious list below, you’ll likely wind up with the notion that he’s remarkably WELL informed and well-read. 

I used to enjoy really long hair stuff like Proust and really silly stuff like Kurt Vonnegut.

I’ve heard Kurt Vonnegut described as many things, but never as “silly.”  Vonnegut is known for populating his novels with characters who are searching for meaning and order in an inherently meaningless and disorderly universe.  He’s known for his irreverent humor, satire of contemporary society and his focus on the futility of warfare and the human capacity for both irrationality and evil.  And this person finds Kurt Vonnegut SILLY

Pedestrian stuff like Michener and scary stuff like King.

Michener is pedestrian?  No.  Danielle Steel is pedestrian.  John Grisham is pedestrian.  Michener?  He wrote from wartime experience; he wrote from his experience as a world-traveler who immersed himself in various cultures.  He wrote compelling epic portraits of those cultures.  Nothing he wrote is pedestrian, yet he is casually lumped in with Stephen King, who, while being a great teller of scary stories, is rather pedestrian. 

Poetry by Stephen Dunn and tanka (Japanese Poetry Method).

Ahh.  Now we are getting to the meat of it.  Stephen Dunn.  Read Poem for People That Are Understandably Too Busy To Read Poetry .  G’wan.  I dare ya.  It’ll open in a new tab, so you can come back here without having to click “back.”  Read this gem and you will know exactly what an N is.  Until today, I hadn’t investigated Stephen Dunn.  Wow.  If I had researched him before I dated this man, I might not have dated him – or, being into poetry myself, would have thought him quite deep for being able to understand Dunn.  Holy shit on a brick.  Read Biography In The First Person .  Wow.  

Next he states he likes Tanka.  He doesn’t state he likes Haiku, which is characterized by the 5-7-5 syllable rhythm.  Oh no.  He’s special, he prefers Tanka, which most people won’t know anything about, and is characterized by the 5-7-5-7-7 syllable rhythm.  Yet, when I replied to one of his initial emails to me in Tanka he didn’t recognize it.  When I pointed it out to him, he said it wasn’t recognizable to him as Tanka.  Excuse me?  Anyone familiar with Tanka would have recognized it immediately.  Devaluation from the very beginning.

I have a wide range in taste in Movies but would watch an Oliver Stone effort over Ron Howard, Cohen brothers over Cronenburg, Burton over Zemeckis…

How many people take the time to tell the world what movie directors they prefer?  This is simply an effort to prove to potential supply that he’s arts-literate.  It’s grandiose, pompous, condescending and indirectly states:  “If you don’t like Oliver Stone over Ron Howard…(ad nauseum) you need to get with the plan.”  And the funny part about this?  He doesn’t watch films like these with ANY regularity.  He’s got a teenage son who monopolizes the television and they watch teenage-appropriate films.  When I suggested seeing an art film at the local art theater, he turned it down without explanation.  He simply said “no.”  

Shows favorites go more abstract: Salome over Cameron, Carmina Burana over Coppelia, Aspects of Love over Gigi, Circ Du Soleil over Ringling Brothers…

I really wish I’d read his profile more carefully.  He’s confusing opera with cult films, male choral performances with ballet, and it doesn’t surprise me in the least that he prefers Aspects of Love over Gigi.  In Aspects of Love, as Alex, the male lead, traipses through life nonchalantly breaking female hearts and at the end, leaves not one, but two women, in favor of a third, who wonders aloud what the future will bring, to which Alex replies “love changes everything.”  It’s not Alex’s love that changes everything.  Alex has no love.  In Gigi, Gaston marries her, because he understands what Gigi has been saying all along – that the world will perceive her as his mistress and Gaston has a conscience.  He doesn’t want to harm Gigi.  It would not surprise me in the least to find this list is merely a regurgitated reflection from comments he’s heard others make.

Music is a bit too large of a topic in my life for this textbox so I will leave it at, there is no genre that I don’t enjoy some part of. Food? Don’t like Brussels Sprouts unless they don’t taste like Brussels Sprouts. Other than that I go from the usual to the exotic in cuisine.

Wait.  He dumped all kinds of pretentious and pompous crap in about other things, but music is “a bit too large of a topic in his life for this textbox?”  If he loved all types of music, why not just state that?  Why not just state that music holds a huge fascination for him and he gravitates toward many types?  Oh no.  He has to mysteriously let us know that it’s “too large of a topic in his life.”   It’s SO large that it won’t fit in a text box that allows unlimited characters.  It’s infinite.  It’s much larger than YOU or I could EVER understand so he’s going to do us the favor of not expounding on it, because: 

At this point his sick of writing a profile that has to impress potential supply well enough to reel them in, and he believes he’s already done that, so he leaves us with a lame comment about not liking brussels sprouts and the generalization that he goes from the usual to the exotic in “cuisine.”  Not “food.”  “cuisine.”

While this is the deconstruction of my N’s online dating profile, perhaps there are elements of it that will help you deconstruct profiles you encounter that just don’t read “right” to you.  If your intuition is telling you that the person who has contacted you isn’t going to be a good thing for you, heed that intuition.  I did not heed it.  I allowed him to charm away my fears.  I allowed him to talk me into dating him.  Most men, when in receipt of an email that says “thank you, but I’m not interested in dating right now” will simply move on.  Not an N.  That presents a challenge for him and his perceived image of himself dictates that he MUST “conquer” this refusal NOW.  So that’s what my N set about doing, in a sympathetic and charming manner – so much so that I capitulated.  

Never again.  Matter of fact, I learned so well from this that just prior to removing all my dating profiles, I received an email from a guy whose approach was similar to the N’s.  I was on instant alert.  I refused him.  He persisted.  I refused.  He persisted.  I refused.  He sent his phone number, telling me he can’t wait until we talk.  I tell him we aren’t going to talk.  He replies that he’s made reservations for us at a fancy restaurant.  I blocked his ass and took down my last dating profile.  

 

 

 

Advertisements

Trolling Redux

I lifted the text below from planetjan’s  blog.  It is part of her post entitled Narcissistic Game Playing.  It has eerie significance for me because the last sentence echoes something my N said to me.  Read the lifted text and you’ll see some bolded text at the bottom.  I’ll clue you in below that text.

When it comes to relationships, narcissists have two birds to kill. First, because they think very highly of themselves, they use relationships to self enhance not caring whether this involves exploiting others. Think of it as feeding the beast. Although the narcissist desires perfection in a partner, in reality their partners (mere humans) are doomed to come up short. This game is not a cooperative game, but one in which the winner takes all.

But here’s the rub. Relationships are good in that they can provide positive attention and sex, BUT they are bad in that they demand emotional intimacy and prevent the narcissist from receiving attention and sex from other partners. If only they could have it both ways… (The feelings of the other person do not factor into the N’s thinking.)

So the narcissist turns on the charm, using all the extraversion and confidence he can muster to reel in a new partner. But “they would be careful to keep this relationship from becoming too intimate or emotionally close lest they lose control. Finally, narcissists would covertly seek out other potential romantic partners.” So it should come as surprise that the narcissist lacks a sense of real commitment to a relationship and is always on the lookout for an alternative, frequently flirting with others.

In this way, the narcissist maintains power in the relationship and a certain amount of freedom. If things go sour in the relationship, he’s already got his eye on his next target.

“Narcissists’ self-regulatory blueprint involves bringing people in and extracting esteem from them. If that entails being, in turn, charming, exciting, deceptive, controlling, or nasty, so be it.”

When I was in the devaluation phase with my N, he sent me the email I’ve pasted below.  First, understand that I’d already broken it off with him.  In a prior email he’d told me if I had something “important” to discuss, to call him, and not tell him in email.  So I called him and left a message letting him know I had something important to talk about.  He didn’t return the call.  So I sent him an email breaking things off with him.  The next day he sends me an email about a photo of me telling me how much he likes it.  I replied with:  “did you get my phone message?”

Below is his reply.  He completely ignores that I sent him an email two days prior telling him that I no longer wanted to be involved with him.   Obviously, nothing regarding me is important enough for a phone call, because he justifies sending what should be an “important” email by stating it’s going to hurt regardless what way he does it.  Devaluation.  I’m not worth a phone call.  At this point, it didn’t matter, except to confirm my growing knowledge that he’s a selfish, manipulative bastard who is incapable of sustaining any sort of intimate relationship.

I tell him I’m breaking it off and that translates to:  “you seem to want more than I can give right now.”

Then he gives me the slam-dunk.  He tells me he may be fooling himself into thinking he can maintain frequent contact with me right now, and in the same set of keystrokes tells me he’s trolling and has intention of spending that time he doesn’t have looking for other women.  The eerie similarity in the bolded text from PlanetJan’s blog text and what is in red and bolded below makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck.

——– Original Message ——–

Subject: RE: ops
Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2011 12:46:11 +0000
From: The N <the N’s email>
To: ‘Me’ <my email>

I think I’m going to hurt you be it in person or not so this has just got to happen now.

I like talking to you.

I like spending time with you.

But:

From my perspective you seem to want more than I can give right now.

I may be fooling myself into thinking I have enough time to maintain frequent contact with you and I certainly don’t want to give you any illusions.

 I am trying to bring a number of people into my life right now and it has been/will be taking a lot of time.

________________________________

I thought I’d got to the laughing point about this man, but this bit of serendipity made me want to go shower.  It made me shiver in horror at the thought of the monster I’d believed was a wonderful man.  It also confirmed, without any doubt whatsoever, that the man with whom I thought I was involved is a hardcore Narcissist.  There is so much going on in this email that I would emotionally exhaust myself attempting to deconstruct it any more than I have.  It would also cause me to become depressed again, and I’m not going there again.  I’m worth so much more than to allow myself to cycle down into depression again because the man of my nightmares is actually a living, breathing entity who lives 4.5 miles from me.

NPD – Fun With Archaic and Obscure Words: A through I

I was given a clever little gift by someone a couple of years ago.  It’s called:  Reading the OED:  One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages.

The book is by Ammon Shea, who actually sat down and READ the entire Oxford English Dictionary and wrote his own book about the more interesting archaic and obscure words he encountered.  The book is fun, entertaining and, actually, educational.

An N would love this book, since it would provide him/her some truly “empowering” vocabulary.  By “empowering” I mean that it would provide yet another fun way for the N to obfuscate (great word, huh?) and confuse his or her victim.

So I’m going to have fun pulling words from it that actually describe an NPD.  Notice I don’t say someone who has NPD.  An N is their disorder, hence, “an NPD.”

This post contains the letters A through I.  I will continue at a later date with J.

Enjoy!  Have fun!  Add these words to your vocabulary.  Odds are good your N hasn’t heard of them.

A

Abluvion:  Substance or things that are washed away.  Gosh, this could be synonymous with discarding.  Imagine that.

Addubitation:  A suggestion of doubt.  Oh my.  Does anyone know an N who engages in addubitation?  I do!

Aerumnous:  Full of trouble.  Need I explain?

Assy:  Asinine.  Um – yeah, I think it fits.

Astorgy:  A lack of natural affection.  GASP!  Really???  My N is full of astorgy.  How about yours?

B

Backfriend:  A fake friend; a secret enemy.  Well, Ns are always fake and never friends, but they’re only secret enemies until we figure them out.  bwahahahahaha!

Bayard:  A person armed with the self-confidence of ignorance.  Well golly gosh gee whiz!  Slap your N’s face and call him a Bayard!

Beadledom:  The sense of self-importance and officiousness.  How absolutely delicious!

Bed-swerver:  An unfaithful spouse or lover.  Gosh, imagine an N being unfaithful!

Benignant:  Showing warm feelings toward one’s inferiors.   Be prepared for benignance.  Ns believe themselves superior to everyone!

Bowelless:  Having no bowels; lacking in mercy or compassion.  Gee, I don’t know any Ns who qualify.  (snort!)

Bully-scribbler:  A bullying writer.   Gee.  Anyone received any bullying emails from their N lately?

C

Cacozealous:  Ill-affected, or badly imitating.  Oh me.  Oh my.  What do we know about Ns and their “emotions?”

Charientism:  A rhetorical term to describe saying a disagreeable thing in an agreeable way.  Ns practice charientism all the time.

Conspue:  To spit on someone or something with contempt.  This can be used figuratively, you know.  Ns do this all the time.

D

Dapocaginous:  Having a narrow heart.  This is not a medical term.  I bet you can figure it out.

Desiderium:  A yearning, specifically for a thing one once had but has no more.  “My N has a persistent desiderium for a clean mirror.”

Dyspathy:  The antithesis of sympathy.  Does your N display dyspathy?  Mine did.

E

Elozable:  Readily influenced by flattery.  Oh yes, indeed!  Ns are always elozable!

Expalpate:  To get something through flattery.  My goodness!  Did your N engage in sincere-sounding expalpation?

F

Fedity:  Vile or repuslive practices.  What a handy word to describe an Ns behavior!

Frauendienst:  An exaggerated sense of chivalry toward women.  Most male Ns will exhibit frauendienst when they first meet a woman they think can be a good mirror.

G

Hmm. I didn’t find any under G.

H

Hansardize:  To show that a person has previously expressed opinions differing from the ones he or she now holds.   My N attempted to hansardize me all the time.  He wasn’t successful, which is why I’m such a broken little mirror.  Snort.

Heterodogmatize:  To have an opinion different from the one generally held.  My N was so full of heterodogmatization that his eyes were brown (and he had blue eyes!)  In general, it means one is WRONG.

I

Idiorepulsive:  Self-repelling.  Well, if we think about what an N truly is, and what we know about how an N truly feels about him or herself, I think this is apt.

Immutual:  Not mutual.  Any interaction you have with an N will be immutual with regard to equality.

Infelicitate:  to cause to be unhappy.  The irony of this word is that it makes me very happy.  I love it.  My N, however, engaged in this practice daily.

Inspirado:  a person who thinks himself inspired.  Note from the author:  “If someone is describing you with a noun that ends in -o, chances are, they are not paying you a compliment.”  My N is an inspirado.

 

 

 

 

 

Trolling

I have a theory about dating sites and it includes a huge generalization.  You can bash me for generalizing, but I’m going to do it anyway. I think dating sites are, by and large, a clearinghouse for nutcases.  I say this, and I’m a veteran of dating sites.  I’ve also been told by the men I’ve met who have stayed in touch with me as friends, that I’m an anomaly in that I’m sane.  I’m not sure I can agree with that, since I once dated a guy who called me “bat-shit” crazy, but he’s a friend of mine, and he says that while it’s true, it’s in a good way.

I think there are several reasons people use dating sites.  Speaking from the female experience, I can say that there truly was a point when I wasn’t sane.  This was around 5 months after my husband and I separated.  I did what many people do when they’re in relationship pain – I hopped on a dating site in the erroneous belief that getting a new man interested in me would help ease the pain caused by the split with my husband.

I wonder if everyone is as naive as I was when I joined my first dating site.  I actually believed that if a man evinced enough interest in me to see me for more than a month, and see me two or three times a week that he wasn’t seeing anyone else.  I was a serial dater, and I simply assumed everyone else was one, too.

My first experience with a troll came as quite a shock to me.  Here I’d been dating this man for three months, very regularly.  We’d become physically involved and by the end of the third month, he was at my home almost every day.  One day I woke up and realized I hadn’t taken my dating profile down, and since I assumed (silly me) that I was in an exclusive relationship with this man, the right thing to do was to make myself unavailable online.  So I headed out to the dating site…to find my boyfriend’s face staring at me with “online now!” glowing brightly beneath his chin.

His IM was open, so I IMd him asking why he was “online now!”  His reply made me want to shower, immediately.  He said:  “Because I’m looking for dates.”  It was  nonchalant, in my face, and I felt used, dirty, angry, hurt, and above all – STUPID.

I sat there, stunned for a bit, and then replied back:  “How long have you been doing this?”  He replied: “what do you mean?  I’ve had this account for almost a year.”  Well, that told me what I needed to know.  I broke it off with him in IM.  I simply said: “Oh.  So the entire time you’ve been practically living at my house, eating my food, taking me out and about and sleeping in my bed, you’ve been seeing other women?  He replied: “yup.”  Clearly no remorse there.  He even had a key to my house.  I replied:  “Okay.  You can have the other women, I don’t want sloppy seconds.  Bye.  Locks are changed today.”

Three years later, I get an email from the same man, on a different site,  introducing himself to me.  I obviously made a huge impression on him.  Sure, my photos weren’t the same as they’d been three years earlier, but it was still me and I hadn’t changed the way I looked.  He didn’t remember me – AT ALL.  That was established  when he replied my email that said  “what, you don’t remember me?”  with: “No, should I?”

It’s so nice to know I’m not the least bit unique.  (snort!) I replied:  “Ahh.  It’s nice to know I’m not the only stupid woman out there.  Obviously there are plenty who will allow a dumbfuck shit like you to practically live with them for three months.”  He didn’t even have the good sense not to reply.  Instead he whines:  “I don’t see why you have to call me names.”  Yeah, whatever.

I took my profile off all sites and gave myself a break from online dating for a year.  During that year I got leered at by toothless 80-year-old men and groped at a gas station by a 20-something.  I was asked out by a gorgeous podiatrist who was a regular at the coffeeshop where I was a regular.  He gave great foot massages – until I found out he was married.  My next date was a guy I met at the local fine arts museum.  He SAID he was single.  He APPEARED to be single.  He very obviously didn’t share his apartment with anyone else.  Turns out “single” to him meant having an 11 year affair with a married woman who, when she found out about me, started stalking me.

So I gave up.  I spent another year just being by myself.  I still went to museums and lectures but I turned down all dates.  I couldn’t trust men at that point.  I couldn’t trust myself to be able to tell if a man was a GOOD man.  Then I re-upped on the dating site.  The emails came pouring in.  I had more date offers than I could accept.  This time, I watched each man I dated.  Each one of them evinced “serious” interest in me, lavished me with attention, and every night, I’d hop online, hide my profile in a flash, and go looking.  There they were – all of them – each man who was “serious” about me – trolling.

I recently asked a male friend why men continue trolling even after they’ve become involved with a woman to the point where they’re having sex and are spending most of their time with her.  He said it’s because dating sites create the illusion that there’s always something “better” around the corner.  He also said that his circle of single male friends, all of whom were on dating sites, were there simply because the pickings were so easy.  They could have sex with a different woman every night of the week if they wanted to.  Some were in “committed” relationships with two or three women and their rationale for this behavior was that they were entitled to do that, because what if they dumped the others in favor of just one and that one turned out to be “crazy?”

Dating sites perpetuate the myth that the grass is always greener elsewhere.  My N is still out there trolling.  I keep an eye on him because when he stops trolling I know he’s fallen into self-pity mode and will soon be contacting me.  I like to be prepared and since his profiles are all public, I don’t have to belong to any site to see them.  My N, by the way, has been trolling dating sites for just over seven years now, and he trolled his way through a six year “relationship” with the victim prior to me.  I’m really glad I never became physically involved with him – God knows what STDs he has.

It’s the trolls and my experience with my N that sent me running screaming from online dating for good.  Why should I invest any time in a man who is obviously only seeing me until he finds something “better?”

See, that’s the problem with online dating.  People seem to think that if they don’t continue trolling they might be “settling” in some way. Pop-psychology, and all sorts of relationship self-help books would have us believe that we are entitled to have everything we want and that there is ONE person out there who will magically have every quality we’ve ever idealized about, and that ONE person is just around the dating site corner.

I’m now convinced that online dating is just a relationship disaster waiting to happen.

I’m also convinced that if you’re on a dating site, and you’re fit for human consumption, you will figure out, sooner rather than later, that dating sites are Darwin’s waiting room.  Those who are fit leave and survive by getting REAL lives.  Those who remain (the ones whose profiles show them as being members for more than 6 months, and always show as having been online within 24 hours) are doomed to the emotional stasis found in chasing shiny objects across the universe.

If you find your date “online now!” directly after a date with you, dump that idiot and move on, otherwise YOU are the idiot.  If you date someone who has been a member of a dating site for more than 6 months and you’ve seen that person is online daily, YOU are the idiot. That’s my opinion.  Feel free to disagree, but don’t come posting here when the door to Darwin’s waiting room opens and your name is called.  That’s not mean, it’s common sense.

Of course, if all you’re looking for is a one-night stand or a quick heart-break,  have at it.  There are trolls a’plenty hidin’ under them there dating site bridges!

 

 

Recovery: Staying Off the Rollercoaster

This post is written from the position of remaining free from your recently ended relationship with an NPD, but you can use these methods for healing yourself from almost any unhealthy relationship. 

So you’re free.  It may have been your choice, or you may have been permanently discarded.  Either way, you’re FREE.  Janis Joplin sang:  “Freedom’s just another word for nuthin’ left to lose…”

The aftermath of a relationship with a narcissist leaves you in an emotional state where you might feel you really don’t have anything left to lose.  Good.  If you have nothing left to lose (because the narcissist took it all from you), then you can start rebuilding your emotional strength.  Remember:  there’s a silver lining everywhere.  If you can do it, reach down and find that reserve of strength – think of your strength bank like your gas tank.  When the gas light in your car comes on, it means you’re on empty, according to the vehicle’s sensors.  You’re not on empty, though, because you can still drive at least far enough to get to a gas station and gas up, right?

It’s the same situation with your emotional strength.  When you feel you’re on empty, there’s always a teeny bit left.  There is just enough to get you to the strength bank so you can refill.

Narcissists attempt to totally destroy a person before discarding.  It’s a torturous path because the devaluation begins with your first meeting.  It’s insidious.  You won’t recognize that you’re being devalued until you’ve spent a significant amount of time with this individual.  One day it will all seem too much for you.  You won’t know what this person wants.  You’ll do something right today and tomorrow it will be wrong.  You’ll be criticized for things you weren’t aware you did and you’ll turn yourself inside out attempting to right imaginary wrongs, because by the time the criticism escalates to this point, the N has brainwashed you into believing that there truly is something wrong with you.

1.  Tell yourself, over and over, even if you don’t yet believe it that nothing is wrong with you.

2.  Find some way to channel the negative emotional energy.   For me, it’s writing.  For others it may be exercise, therapy, cleaning, taking up a new hobby.  Do whatever you can do to NOT sit around and castigate yourself for “screwing it up,” because the N will have quite definitively told you that the reason the two of you are no longer together is your fault.

3.  If at all possible do not maintain any contact with this person. You may continue to receive phone calls and emails from the N, but those are simply attempts to either devalue you even more or entice you back into the pairing (it’s not a relationship), so the N can begin the cycle again.  Ns hate to lose their narcissistic supply, even after they’ve   used, abused and discarded you.  They go looking for new supply, and if they can’t find it, they’ll come back to you.

4.  In my case, writing emails THAT WERE NEVER SENT was incredible therapy for me.  I would pull up a random email from my N, hit “reply” and remove his email address from the “to:” field.  Then I’d begin deconstructing what he’d said in the email and I’d write my reply to his bullshit.  I’d slam his ass against the wall, pick up my figurative steel pipe and bludgeon him until he was bleeding and crushed, slithering down the wall, like the squashed insect he is.  Then, so I could track my healing progress, I’d save the email to my drafts.  I never clicked “send.”  Don’t ever send an N your emotions.  You will find them being used against you with more brutality than you knew existed.

 Below is an example of what I did with one of his emails to me.  This never got sent:

On 7/30/2011 2:10 PM, Narcissistic Bastard wrote:

Your prior email and phone calls had and have elements of anger, damming analysis and insulting conjecture of my character. It is disturbing if you cannot see it.

I imagine it IS disturbing to you, asshole.  Guess what?  I “cannot see it.”  I notice you say “it is disturbing” rather than “I am disturbed…”  That’s quite telling.  You’ve just projected on me again.  Translation:  “You’re a disturbed individual because you refuse to accept my indictment of you as your own reality.”   Oh, btw, your selective memory is showing.  My “prior phone calls” (which I’m assuming are calls you believe happened within the past week) consisted of ONE phone call that YOU made, while you were drunk, where you unleashed enormous amounts of vitriol on me in what you probably considered was a charming and light-hearted manner.  

 When I detect this type of anger and criticism, I retract rather than argue which is why I did not want to (and still do not) talk to you personally about it.

When I detect a control freak, I run like hell.  I’m not going to talk about it.  I dumped your controlling ass, or have you forgotten?  Oh wait, it doesn’t count if I dump you.  You have to dump me for the “relationship” to be over.  Silly me.  I pity the woman who falls for you and stays with you.

 As far as I knew we were friends and I tried to make that clear repeatedly. Something is making you angry and it is now feeding on itself. The below said clearly that you were and are angry (insults are a pretty good indicator) and are very dissatisfied with me as a person in now many many cited ways both in your phone messages and email.

Insults?  Phone messages? WTF kind of drugs are you ON, idiot? “Something” is making me very angry and it is feeding on itself?  Snort.  I told you what made me angry.  It’s not feeding on itself.  You can’t stand that I found you lacking in any way, and it makes you angry that I would dare to tell you about it.  Sorry bub, that’s the way life goes.  You’re gonna be one lonely man.  

I do not care to have these things keep appearing from you.

What things?  The drugs must be good.  Are you like Alice, with the “drink me” bottles?  Oh, I now I see.  You have issues with math.  One email telling you how I feel translates into several “things” onto which you project your own anger and lack of self.  That’s right.  You’re incapable of empathy.  Even your rage and control are copies – you copied them from mommy.   When you look in a mirror you see nothing, that’s why you need people.  A static object reflects emptiness to you, but a warm-blooded, vital, confident and loving woman translates to feeding time for you.  

I have tried now on several occasions to ask you to stop sending these angry things but you will not.

When?  What things?  Oh geez, I’m a stupid woman again, aren’t I?  I’m such a bad mirror.  I keep forgetting that YOUR reality is the only one that exists and you make it up as you go along.  And look!  There you go with multiplication again.  I’m guessing you sucked at word problems in grade school, because the word problem:  “if my human mirror sends me one email expressing emotions I don’t want to hear about, how many emails expressing these emotions have I received?” got answered in the plural.   You failed, li’l buckaroo.  Miserably.  Wait.  That’s what you do.  You only appear successful because you’ve stolen that appearance from other people. 

I will ask for one more email from you.

It will contain only one thing.

 An agreement that you will take the next three weeks of quiet to cool.

And we can maybe try contact again if your anger has settled.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. OMG.  You’re serious.  Come to me pathetic insect, so I can squash you beneath my steel-toed boot, thus freeing your airspace for others, who are of worth, to breathe. 

 This is the last email from me that will have any content from me for at least three weeks or longer if you so desire.

You think this email had “content?”  What, you’re going to send me MORE emails without “content?”  Sweet bleeding Jesus, man, step away from the keyboard and shackle yourself to your crawlspace.  Better yet, take your inflatable kayak out into some class 5 rapids.  That way the stench of your decomposition won’t create issues for your neighbors.  Oh darn, I forgot again.  You only TALK about shooting class 5 rapids in your inflatable.  You tried to convince me that information from one of the top kayakers in the world is all wrong, because you know everything. 

I wrote this but did not send it.  I have a million other replies to this particular email, because after spending much time deconstructing it, I realized it encapsulated the horror that is this monster.  He showed himself to me; he showed his complete alignment with the DSM-IV criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder.    Try it.  It might just help you.

5. At first, you will still be on the rollercoaster and you’ll have to take it at your own pace.  You might feel strong and empowered for 15 minutes and then feel like you’re the worst person on the planet for the next 3 hours.  When this happens, force yourself to remember the horrible things this person did to you.  Remember the kindness, love and compassion you gave this person and how those gifts were treated.

6.  You’ll spend a bit of time checking your email and phone to see if your N has contacted you.  If that person has contacted you, please, please, please heed this advice:  DO NOT REPLY IN ANY FASHION if at all possible.  If you are divorcing an N, and there are children involved, you may have to reply.  Check with your attorney first and if you can, have your attorney reply.  If you feel your children are in danger, do what you have to do to get them away from this person.  Contact your attorney, first, to make certain that everything you do is legal, because if it’s not, your N will delight in using your actions against you.

7.  Reach out to your support network.  If you don’t have one, and you might not have one at this point, because Ns love to manipulate their victims into withdrawing from their support system, get one.  Call all those people with whom you may have lost contact during your prison sentence with the N, explain the situation. Those who are truly friends will always be there for you.

8.  Seek group counseling.  If you can find a Co-Dependants Anonymous meeting near you, please do.  Here’s the link to their home page:  CoDA .   I know they don’t have a lot of meetings, but they do have online groups.

Something I’ve noticed in my journey:  Many of us who fall victim to Narcissists fall into a group I like to call Adult Children of Dysfunctional Parents.  I’m an adult child of alcoholics, and if you are familiar with the behavioral issues inherent in alcoholism, you will recognize that they are crossover traits to NPD.  Many alcoholics display Borderline Personality Disorder, Histrionic Personality Disorder and Antisocial Disorder traits.  Regardless the category in which our parents or other authority figures in our lives are placed, the odds are excellent that we experienced such horrendous emotional (and sometimes physical) abuse at their hands that we left home emotionally paralyzed, with poor self-esteem, and we engage in self-sabotage by setting goals for ourselves that are well above our reach.  This is typical, since our parents or authority figures did that for us – we were well-trained.

It’s going to be tough, but you will have to re-invent yourself.  This is not a superficial process t that is grounded in image.  This is a very deep and painful process that is grounded in SELF.  If you’ve been involved with a narcissist, particularly for an extended period, you have been emotionally damaged.  It’s now time to heal and deal.  The first step is to acknowledge the abuse and allow yourself to FEEL your feelings, regardless how painful they are.  Don’t dwell on them, simply allow them to come, feel them, cry, scream, go run a mile at top speed, punch pillows – do whatever you need to do to let them go.  You cannot hold onto these feelings.  They MUST go.  Do something that will allow you to feel good about yourself.  If your N said you were incapable of doing something, and you believed it, go DO that something.  Whether you succeed or fail is of no importance because what the N was truly saying to you is that you don’t have the guts to TRY.

You may go through a period of deep depression.  I did.  I elected not to take anti-depressants.  I’m very familiar with depression, and I know when I’m cycling too far down to be functional.  I allowed myself to be depressed; I allowed myself to feel the feelings and then I’d say “enough.  now DO something.”  Then I’d get up and do whatever made me feel good about myself.  That feeling would last until the next round of pain washed over me.  I’d feel it, sometimes wallow in it, and for me, I’d write it.  Writing is my therapy; it clears my head and releases pain I didn’t know I had.  Do whatever allows you to release pain.  If you don’t know how, just go take a brisk walk.  That’s a great start – exercise releases “feel good” endorphins.

Whatever you choose to do to heal yourself, do NOT – I repeat – DO NOT – let your N know you’re doing these things.  Do not send “I’m healing from you” emails.  DO NOT make angry phone calls to that person just to make yourself feel better.  You want this person out of your life for good.  Treat them as though they do not exist.  Regardless how close they may live to you, make that distance a universe.

You can do it.  You’re free now.  That means you have been given the gift of life.  Being with a narcissist is the death of Self.

Three deep breaths.  1. 2. 3. GO!

 

How to Spot a Narcissistic Personality Disorder Before the First Date – Online Dating

It’s hard.

Email might give you some clue, but odds are good he or she is on best behavior so you won’t see the signs.

Phone might give you some clue, but odds are good that he or she is on best behavior so you won’t see the signs.

That said, here are some pink flags that will probably turn into flaming red flags if you’re interacting with an NPD:

1.  There’s a lot of use of “I” and “me.”

2.  She or he states they feel completely comfortable with you; like they’ve known you for years.

3.  You feel completely comfortable, like you’ve known this person for years.  Odds are you have – in your last relationship or marriage, through a parent, or even through friends you might have.

4.  There is a great deal of emphasis on this person’s accomplishments followed by self-deprecating “humor.” (fishing trips)

5.  The individual seems to present as a victim of circumstance.

6.  The individual will be all OVER you in email and phone.

7.  The individual will rush you; he or she will make statements that lead you to believe they’ve developed a serious interest in you.  (you haven’t even met yet, remember?)

8.  If you have to reschedule your first meeting due to a legitimate conflict in your schedule the individual pushes you to meet them on the original day, anyway.

9.  The individual’s profile reads like “extreme” goodness, empathy, compassion, etc.  He or she has “extreme” interests, and their listed interests have more extreme high-brow and obscure literature, film and music references than you would expect.

10.  The first email from the individual isn’t introductory, rather; the person has zeroed in on only one aspect of your profile and then proceeded to ask questions as though they are an expert on the subject.

11.  The individual shrugs off your opinions, or becomes argumentative.  Usually up front, they will shrug off your commentary and very adroitly and charmingly turn the conversation back around to themselves.  This is a sign they don’t want to hear about you.

12.  There is little flow to the conversation.  Your input is generally negated (but in a passive and gentle manner – for now!).

13.  When you ask a tough question, they won’t answer it.  The subject will be changed.

14.  Most importantly:  Listen.  You will hear yourself being repeated back to you.  What you think is warm, loving, giving, compassionate, witty, or socially graceful conversation will likely be the N pulling from the storehouse of information he or she already has about you.  They are very perceptive people, superficially.  They have to be, since they can display no emotion that is truly theirs other than rage.  You will find this person wonderful because you are being reflected back at you.  The N has no capacity for empathy and has no real feelings of his or her own.  The wonderful person you think you are talking to is yourself.

There are more flags, but this is enough for now.

Remember – READ those profiles.  Get a friend to read them with you, particularly if you are contacted by someone who is easy on the eyes, charming, witty, and does NOT send an introductory email – but sends one zeroing in on only one aspect of your profile.  Anyone who is truly interested in YOU will comment on most, if not all, the aspects of your profile that they found admirable or interesting.  They will send a well-thought-out and well-written email, not:

“Ay!  Do you do large metal sculpture in the style of (someone they’ve searched on Wiki)?  Are  you familiar with (something they’ve searched on Wiki).”

Beware of any email that begins “Ay!” (snort!)

Dedicated to the One I Dumped…

Dedicated to my N:
(bwahahahahahaha!)

Sing it loud. It’s the perfect “I’m dumping your narcissistic ass” song!

Two From The Vault

So, today I was talking metal smithing with a co-worker who was genuinely interested in a piece I’d made and was wearing.  He was asking all kinds of questions and was absolutely amazed that I’d made the piece of jewelry I was wearing.   When he handed the piece back to me, saying “that is an incredibly beautiful piece of work!” I burst out laughing.  He looked puzzled.  I would have, too, in his shoes.  I thanked him and then told him a bit of back story about the N.  Below is the reason I was laughing.

In the email below, I was explaining to the N about the way to turn a propane/oxygen torch on and off.  We call it P.O.O.P.  It stands for Propane-Oxygen, Oxygen-Propane.  To turn it on, the propane is turned on and then the oxygen is added.  To turn it off, the oxygen is turned off first and then the propane.  P.O.O.P.

Read his delightful response.  This was a man, who just a month earlier, was telling “everyone” he was dating a “well-known” metal smith. This was the man who praised my work to the skies.   You’ll have to read from the bottom upwards – my initial email is below his reply.  I’d written it specifically because he’d asked me the night before to email him how to use this type of torch.

I know where this reply comes from, but the emotional part of me just can’t seem to wrap my brain around it.  It’s not logical, it’s not a rational reply, it’s not got anything to do with the use of the torch.  The acronym is one that’s common to jewelers and we’d talked about it over the phone.  This was an effort to devalue me.  This came through four days after I’d gone to volunteer at a concert that was promoted by a friend.  The N couldn’t get hold of me that night and every email from him after that point was either an attempt to control or devalue me in some fashion.  From July 16th forward, nothing nice came out of his mouth again.

Original Message ——–

Subject: RE: P.O.O.P.
Date: Wed, 20 Jul 2011 19:09:06 +0000
From: N’s Name <N’s email>
To: ‘Me’ <my email>

and they say you can’t shine shit

From: Me [mailto:my email]
Sent: Wednesday, July 20, 2011 3:05 PM
To: N’s Name
Subject: P.O.O.P.

It’s the first thing you learn when using mondo torches.  It’s the turn on and off process.   

Propane
Oxygen
Oxygen
Propane

You get it wrong you’re gonna hear a loud bang and see a fireball.  

Wowee Zowee!

I was so taken aback by his reply that I couldn’t respond to it.  “And they say you can’t shine shit.”  I think that about says it, doesn’t it?  You can’t shine shit.  He must have been looking in a REAL mirror when he said it.

He asked, just prior to the email above,  to see a photo of a piece I’d made and lost while wearing it.  It was a piece that won an award and I was heartsick at losing it. I linked him to my jewelry blog where I show photos of the process for students.  I’d mentioned that I’d bought a new flexshaft (it’s a tool used by jewelers) in a phone conversation the night before and that I was mourning the fact that I couldn’t afford a quick change handpiece because it was just too expensive right now. It was an aside.  Just a mention, not a bitch and moan.  Look how it translated to him – look at the projection.  He makes certain I read the intended insult by putting it in all caps, thereby “yelling” it at me in email.
——– Original Message ——–

Subject: RE: when you have time
Date: Wed, 20 Jul 2011 18:56:06 +0000
From: N’s Name <N’s email>
To: ‘Me’ <my email>

all done without benefit of the ‘QUICKCHANGE HANDSET WHICH I SHOULD BE GIFTED FOR BEING THE SWEET WONDERFUL THING I AM’ damnit

From: Me [mailto:my email]
Sent: Wednesday, July 20, 2011 2:02 PM
To: N’s Name
Subject: when you have time

if you want to see the anatomy of  that piece of  jewelry from beginning to end (well, almost end – because I forgot to give Erin my camera to photograph me setting the stone) go here: (website)

I have so much of this crap in my email that I may just turn it into a book.  I’m saving it simply so I can re-read on occasion to remind myself what to look for.  If any of this helps someone else, then I’m happy.  If not, it certainly helps me to heal and deal.

Drop Me a Line…

…and watch me run…

These are the ten best (worst) lines I’ve heard from men at the end of a FIRST date, and each date had gone very well, with great conversation, no sexual innuendo, lots of witty banter, delightful light-weight debate, and/or deep historical or philosophical discussions.  Each man is a “powerful” man within his field.  I dated two of them, one was my N, and the other was the grand passion of my life – the man who just let me be me and encouraged me to become the artist I am.  He was the musician.  That man is so deep in my soul he will never leave and when I’m old and look back on my life, my experiences with him will be one of the huge highlights of my life.  Smooth operater, yes, but he was what I needed at that time, and he was ALWAYS there when I truly needed him.  The others all have spots reserved in the 9th level of hell.

 

1.  Corporate Executive:

“Can I have your panties?”

But wait!  There’s more!  As I backed quickly away from him, scraping my jaw along the ground, he says:

“well, if I can’t have your panties, will you follow me home and lock me in a male chastity device?”

 

2.  Corporate IT Guy at Executive Level:

“when I am with you I feel like I am talking to a friend seasoned by years of spending time together”

Excuse me?  That was a first date.  What other time has he been with me?

 

3.  Self Made Millionaire:

“you’re gorgeous.  I’d love to see you 20 lbs lighter.”

Uh huh and I’d like to see your IQ 20 points higher.

 

4.  World Renowned Musician:

“your eyes have the sun in them.  I look and I’m dazzled.  When you are gone I will think of them and carry the sun in my pocket like a fiery hot coin.”

(oh yeah, I dated him.  He was AMAZING!  He was also a “weekend” fling, every other weekend for 6 years and is now one of my best friends.  I adore him.  He found a great woman to marry. She’s perfect for him – she doesn’t fall for poetic bullshit.  hahaha. )

 

5.  Corporate CFO:

“When I look in your eyes I see such innocence, such love, such laughter.”  (no – didn’t date him.)

 

6.  Local Artist:

“you just don’t have the aesthetic I need for you to be my muse.”

Translation:  “I don’t find you attractive.”  NEXT!

 

7.  Corporate IT Executive  (I’m thinking I need to stay away from corporate types)

“It’s hot out here, but not as hot as you are.  That’s not a roll of quarters in my pocket.”

 

8.  Corporate Software Architect:

“I think I just found my next wife.  I have next Friday off.  Let’s go to Vegas!”  (he was serious.)

 

9.  Local Small Business Owner:

“I’ve never said this on a first date, but I love you.  I knew it the minute I saw you.  I want to hold you, take care of you, and make every care you’ve ever had go away.”  (shudder!)

 

10.  Corporate CIO:

“I’m so glad you have an IT background, because that means you won’t think my collection of Japanime porn is weird.”

I walked away without saying goodbye and walked so fast I was almost running.

 

 

Troll Tactic – The Slow Fade

Ever dated a man who pursued you with a vengeance, showered you with attention, wined you, dined you, and as soon as you respond in a positive fashion; as soon as you show you’re available and interested he backs off?

It’s a Troll tactic.  Odds are very good you’ve got a player on your hands.  I call it the “Slow Fade.”  It happens all the time with men from dating sites.  Shoot, why wouldn’t it happen when there’s a pool of millions for them to scope out?

It begins so well you think maybe – just maybe –  you’ve found THE ONE!  How exciting is that?  Only see – he knows this.  He’s very practiced at the behavior he’s positive will reel a woman in.

So he toys with you.  At first he’s all over you; he can’t WAIT to get together.  This lasts usually until somewhere between the third and fifth date.  Then, when you respond to his affectionate advances (no, ladies, I’m not talking about sex!), he suddenly turns vampire cold.

Last weekend he was all over your ass, right?  He couldn’t stop touching you, so you decided you were safe in reciprocating some of that affection.  BAM!  What you felt stiffen up isn’t what you thought.  What stiffened was his resolve to start prowling again because he’d just made his conquest.  Now he’s bored.

Enter the “slow fade.”

His calls diminish from thrice daily to every other day.  When you don’t answer your phone for whatever reason, and he leaves a message he doesn’t ask you to call back.  He simply says “okay, talk to you soon.”   You call back.  He doesn’t answer.  Doesn’t return the call for a day.

His emails drop from once an hour to once every couple of days.  When you reply, he takes a day or two and then throws you a word or three.  Sometimes he doesn’t reply at all, and when you finally are able to talk to him he provides some lame excuse about being busy.  He sure wasn’t busy when he was calling three times a day and emailing once an hour, or more.  Don’t buy that excuse.

By now you’re wondering what you did, right?  You didn’t do anything, he did.  What’d he do?  He reverted to type.  He’s a player.  He’s a troll.  He’s off chasing.

So you ask about it.  No harm in asking about diminishing contact, right?  Well…yes, if you’re him.  He doesn’t want to be questioned,  he just wants you to sit quietly like a nice, well-bred girl would do, and wait until he’s having a dry spell.   He gives you tons of bullshit excuses and when you push for more credible answers (because you have every right to do so based on his initial behavior), he lays “the line” on you.

“I think you want more than I can give.”

Translation:  “Sit down, shut up and do as I say while I chase other women  to see if there’s any greener grass.”

No use denying that you want more than he can give.  You DO want more.  You SHOULD want more.  He ain’t gonna give it.  He just told you that.

See, for some men, chasing is way more fun than catching.  The excitement for them is the thrill of the chase.  It’s like knights of yore going into battle.  They’re all suited up, sitting tall on their destrier, screaming CHARGE! and then they slash and burn their way through your emotional reserves until they find the vulnerable part of you, they point their sword at that part, you beg mercy, a smile plays about their lips and then they drive the sword home, but only through your shoulder, smiling while they do it.  And when you’re lying there on the battlefield, gasping in your death throes, they look down and say:  “get a new armorer,”  and they blithely use the horse’s mane to wipe your blood from their sword and go in search of fresh prey.

But wait.  They’re not done yet.  They didn’t kill you.  Of course not.  If they kill you, then you’re not there when the guards come ’round to find all left living and enslave them.

Two days later you get a phone call.  Oh Joyful Day!  Your Knight is calling!  You answer immediately!  (stupid woman, let it go to voice mail.) He asks how you are.  He asks to see you.  Oh. Oh. Oh.  He suggests a date.  You agree.  You go buy new clothes, because, dammitall, this guy is going to see JUST what he’s been missing.

Oh honey.  He hasn’t been missing you at all.  He’s just run out of women who will respond to him on his three dating sites.  Haven’t you been watching him?  The entire time he was showering you with affection he was also doing the same thing to dozens of other women, some of whom actually responded to his lame come-on emails.

The morning of the date your phone rings.  Naturally, it’s after you’re awake and he’s certain you’ve got at least one cup of coffee in you.  Something’s come up.  He’s so sorry, but he’s going to have to take a raincheck.  He’s so disappointed because he wanted to see you so badly and it just sucks that his brother’s wife’s best friend’s aunt’s ex-husband died and he was very close with her, so it’s incumbent upon him to go to the funeral.  For three days.

Did you buy that one?  Good, I’m glad you didn’t.  I didn’t either.  Do you know how many women WOULD buy it?  Tons.

This is the Troll in full slow fade.

He tells you when he’ll be back from the “funeral.”  So you email him that day, giving him time to get settled in at work.  He doesn’t reply. You call him that night, because you feel so sad for his “loss.”  You go to voice mail.

Two more days go by without a word, so you send one sailing across his bow.  Whoops!  That got his attention!  Now he’s pissed.  You had – of all things – EXPECTATIONS!!!!!!!

Don’t worry, he’ll email you back.  It’ll be a nice long email, telling you how it’s all your fault he’s been withdrawing; how it’s all your fault that he’s chosen to “quiet contact” with you; how it’s all your fault that he’s just “not romantically interested” in you.  He’ll tell you how special you are, how much he thinks of you, how great he feels when he’s with you, but…

Oh yes.  There will be a “but.”

“But I don’t want to rush into anything, so I’m dating a lot of other women, as well as dating you.  I hope you understand.”

Translation:  “I have issues with emotional intimacy, and I’m trying like hell to date other women, but no one’s biting and I’d really appreciate it if you’d just sit down, shut up and be a good girl because I just KNOW there’s some greener grass out there.”

Slow Fade.

Don’t let it happen to you.

It’s a trick an NPD will pull better than anyone else.  N’s are the biggest trolls on the planet and they’re so well-hidden beneath their beautifully constructed bridges.  It’s a form of gaslighting.

Are you a toy?  Are you an india rubber ball to be bounced around on some idiot’s whim?  No.  I didn’t think so. So instead of allowing him to do the slow fade, the minute you see communication lagging, call him on it.  If he gives lame excuses (and you’re astute enough to know them when you hear them) dump his narcissistic ass and go find you a GOOD man.

Better yet, go adopt a dog and get some great hobbies. Learn to love yourself and learn to love the time you have alone with yourself.  Learn to enjoy NOT having a man around.  Learn how not to be desperate.  Learn to live, not spend your life looking for love.

A good man – a TRULY good man – is a marvel to have in one’s life.  The problem with that is – the only truly good man I’ve ever known is my dad.  Okay – there are two problems with that.  He’s my dad and he’s married.  He’s BEEN married – to the same woman for 47 years.  And he still loves her.

I’ve stopped looking.  I’ve stopped trying.  I’m just living.  If the universe or god or whatever higher power (maybe the doorknob?) wants me to have a man in my life, that power will place him there in such a way that I can’t miss him. Until that happens, I’m spending my days enjoying my messy house, NOT wearing makeup, luxuriating in pajamas all day on sundays while I catch up on reading, I’m spending tons of time designing truly fabulous fused silver jewelry items, I’m back with my sketch pad and allowing Georgia O’Keefe to influence me again, I’m re-reading One Hundred Years of Solitude because it takes me back to 1993 when I had the grand passion of my life (and oh my was he a passion – and we’re still friends!), I’m going to lectures, taking myself out for coffee and lunch (by myself!!!) and enjoying the stares from single men as they attempt to decide whether I’m available or not.

LIVE, people.  LIVE.  It’s when we live best that life gets good.  It’s when we are alive and alert that the trolls can’t harm us.  It’s when we are grounded in our self-esteem that we don’t allow the slow fade to even gain a foothold.

Oh yeah – while this was written from a straight female perspective, women can also be trolls and do slow fades.  So this isn’t meant to male bash.  It’s equal opportunity Troll-bashing.