Sometimes I send a “thanks but no thanks” to particularly sweet messages, but usually I’m so overwhelmed by the new things to read and the new choices in front of me that I ignore those nice guys too.Basically, I act like an entitled jerk who can pull puppet strings and make Ok Cupid dance for me however I please. I don’t have to, and so I don’t make myself go through the scary exercise of asking for consideration and possibly being rejected or ignored.With those, you will send a few messages back and forth before he invites you for a drink.You will put on some mascara, plunge out into the snow, meet a stranger, and after an hour of slightly stilted conversation, he will grab the check.Maybe instead we can learn to treat each other as equal players of a very silly game that we all secretly take quite seriously. But it seems quite clear to me that we’re not there yet. I’m a feminist, sex-positive 21st century lady whose photos include me posing in a Rosie the Riveter Halloween costume.I write about gender on the Internet for crying out loud!
After all, we each have only the 500-word text boxes and crappy jpegs and clever (not so clever) user names to show for ourselves. Maybe in this environment where we are safely sequestered behind screens, we can get past some of the lingering gender-based “rules” that dominate the “How to Catch a Man” playbooks of yore.You will try to split it, but he will pay, and you will stand to re-wrap yourself against the frigid wind.You will part ways, and you will probably, almost certainly, begin again the next day with another “Hey there…” message from the next contender.She will offer to split, but you think she doesn’t mean it and you don’t want to be a jerk.
You will march home to an empty inbox and the desire to spend another hour browsing and writing will start to fade.
Why do I not respond politely to every message, even the ones I’m not interested in? Once we make it out of the safe cocoon of the Internet and into the real world I’m better about aligning my actions with my values.