4. 10 Things I Hate About You

The ongoing bracket of the top 16 weirdest online dating experiences I had to date.

I realize it has been a long time since I hopped onto this site to jam out some of my dating impressions. With the whirlwind that was the most recent teaching year, I made plenty of excuses to prioritize other things. But, now that I am back, we enter the semi-final rounds of the not-so-sweet 16. Coming in 4th place is a story I like to call 10 Things I Hate About You.

This isn’t a story of me rattling of 10 traits I really hated about a guy but ended up loving. This also isn’t a story of a guy telling me 10 things he hates about me before ever meeting (though I wouldn’t put it past some of the people with which I have interacted). This, instead, is a story of boredom.

Honestly, I had reached a breaking point in online dating. I was seldom introduced to decent conversation and even less frequently met decent men. Throwing my hands up in the air, I resigned to treating the endeavor like a joke. What better face-saving tactic than to approach everything as if I didn’t care? And, if I am being completely honest, it turned out to be one of the most entertaining 24 hours I experienced with online dating in general.

See, I got the idea from plenty of BuzzFeed articles of women channeling their inner character and quoting from famous movies or TV shows. Some of my favorites include Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw and questions from her sex column and lyrics from Taylor Swift songs.

My family constantly talks in movie quotes. We could carry conversations for hours just reciting lines to our repertoire of family-classics. So I was up for the challenge. But what movie would I pick? One of the movies I quote the most is the 1999 teen rom-com 10 Things I Hate About You. What can I say? I deeply relate to Kat’s sassy, quick-witted attitude. The results were amazing. Later I will share all of the conversations threads that resulted from my little experiment. For now, though, I’ll introduce you to just one.

Joseph and I had already exchanged a few words at the point I decided to start my game. Not much of a conversation had occurred. To give context to the first message, he knew I taught and it was the middle of August. School had just gotten underway.

Oh, Joseph… I wish I had.

Three question marks almost halted the entire conversation. So, I had to pivot the conversation using a line from one of the more serious scenes of 10 Things. Kat Stratford (Julia Stiles) is opening up and trying to connect with Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger). He pivots away from that question to a complement. Joseph, too, diverts the serious nature of the question, but not nearly as successfully.

At quick glance, you might be impressed that he took his “random facts” to somethings so math-related. Upon actually reading the response, it is easy to be floored by his lack of concept of size. Seventy-nine square meters?? That’s huge! Perhaps he just has an “engorged” perception of objects. Or, more likely, perhaps he just misspoke. Being in my 10 Things experiment, though, I had no room to call him out on his misjudgment.

Once again, a complete diversion of something serious. Though, how deep do you go in a conversation with a stranger online?

If the most real thing he had to share was about cracking his ankle, he has clearly lived a tough life.

“Am I that transparent” is typically followed by “I want you, I need you. Oh baby, oh baby,” but I didn’t want to give Joseph the wrong idea.

And, to be fair, many people find me to be intimidating. I wouldn’t go so far as to say afraid, though.

This is exactly why I did not want to continue with the previous quote. I’ll admit, I probably should have interjected with a new question or quote. However, this was the longest conversation drawn from my favorite movie and at this point I could not think of another line that would naturally flow with the conversation. I did my best to rein it back in an effort to redirect the conversation.

Okay. Now I almost feel bad for the guy.

Yup. Definitely feel bad. I have no idea how to respond with my limited choices.

Perfect. Laughter. So we have diffused the situation but once again pivoted to a conversational direction down a dead-end street. Let’s try a new path, then.

Here was my thought. Maybe he would interpret this exclamation as my need to vent about my circumstances. That, however, was not how he responded.

Aw man… this just really hammered the nail into the coffin. At this point, how could he possibly think that I am not being an asshole? I fully admit that I was being an asshole.

Why?! Are you not?!

fem·i·nism (noun) the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes

as defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary

But, that’s not what I could say, is it? Instead I went with my favorite response to “Hello, Katarina. Make anyone cry today?”

And with that, Joseph bowed out of the conversation. I truly hope it is because he found someone special and decided to end unresolved conversations with other women online. Something tells me that’s not the case, but we can only hope.

5. Telling Voice

While this story is not accompanied by many screenshots, the nature of the conversation was a bit chilling. That is how “Telling Voice” made it to fifth place in the Battle Royale of weirdest dating experiences.

It started relatively normal. He typed first and off we went.

“Guyfishn” had an interesting tactic, I’ll give him that. His photos were decent to look at as well. So, I temporarily took the bait. He was quite proud of himself.

I am about to launch into my patented sassiness. Tell him that opening with a fun question or silly quote is usually more interesting. While he did illicit a response, it is not as if the conversation was going to great places yet.

Now, here’s where it gets weird… after a certain point of back and forth communication, the app allows for an extended set of means by which to communicate. You can call through the app, send photos to one another, and apparently even send voice messages. With these new features unlocked, Guyfishn decided on one of those options instead of a regular text. Any guesses?

If your mind immediately went to “dick pic,” as I surely would have with that set-up, you are (luckily for me) incorrect. Nope. Guyfishn sent a voice message.

I’ll be completely honest. At this point, I don’t remember exactly what he sent in that first message. He said something along the lines of being upfront and honest; telling the truth in all situations. He was being a bit pompous, I recall.

But while I do not remember exactly what he said, I can tell you exactly how it felt listening to that voice message on my phone. Have you ever had an immediate, heart-wrenching, gut feeling? As soon as I clicked play, my alarm bells in my entire body went off. Who was this guy? Is he honestly who he claims to be? Why be so obnoxious about honesty and sincerity if he isn’t?

This is ridiculous, right? How can I be so skeptical with just one eighteen second glimpse into his vocal pattern? Still, that feeling wouldn’t leave. So, I dove into what I do best–research. Some reverse image searches and several articles later, I arrived at a reasonable conclusion. This guy is sketch AF.

The results of my research were as follows. I could not initially find any of his photos online in other locations besides this dating site. After a few minor tweaks my search query, I found his main image. It was linked to a comment thread on a random blog about Canadian actors.

Once I could tell that the profile in general felt manufactured, I delved into a search about why I had such an off-putting feeling in the first place. This guy didn’t sound like a 27 year old at all. If I had to guess his age just by listening to his voice, I would put him around 57. Apparently, a person’s voice actually says a lot about them. You can tell things from height to age to weight, just by talking to someone on the phone, with relative accuracy according to an article in The Guardian.

Then he sent another voice message. This time it was much more negative and manipulative. He was, in a sense, egging me on. Partial underhanded comments and partial challenge to give him the time of day. He pointed out that I better be who I say I am. Dude, we haven’t even held a legitimate conversation. Chill out. At this point, I had heard all I needed. The goosebumps were standing on end and the nausea was bubbling in my stomach.

He blocked me moments later. I am not surprised. I was honestly about to do the same. Hopefully he learned his lesson to not hide behind an imposter profile while chastising others who may be doing the same. Let’s be real, though. He probably did not learn that lesson. If anything, he may have learned not to mess with someone who knows how to do her research.

11. Tony Stark

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It has been a while since my last post, so I decided to get the ball rolling on the Top 16 worst experiences (as of the summer when the bracket was compiled). Coming in at number 11 is Mr. Tony Stark.

 

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All things considered, not bad. He clearly put some time and thought into his response. He carefully looked at my own profile and inserted some of my interests into his message. The rocket scientist/ businessman/ soccer star combo felt a bit like he was trying too hard. But, all in all, he seems nice.

Anyone who has done the online dating scene might tell you how easy it is to get lost in the sea of messages and profiles. I do, certainly, every time I foray into the world of online dating. For one reason or another, I chose not to respond to Lkng4MySoulmate. Maybe someone else at the time had caught my eye or perhaps I was already tired of the dating scene. I did not think much beyond reading the message and moving forward. Until…

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Note the time stamp. July 22 to July 30. He copy and pasted his message verbatim. Same cheesy self-deprecating joke. Same attempt to make an activity connection. Same awkward double-spacing between commas. It is not the first time a non-response on my end has resulted in a double text. They are, typically, a lot shorter though. Limited to “hey,” “hello,” and “will you marry me?” I chuckled a bit, but moved forward.

It wasn’t long before…

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Less patience this time around…

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And again…

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Fittingly published in a 1981 Narcotics Anonymous guide, the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Five identical messages spaced out over a short couple weeks definitely fits this definition.

It was at this point in my dating ventures where I was just tired of the game. Tired of the antics; tired of trying to make conversation; tired of finding little of interest to me. So, I decided to mix things up. I have reads many Buzzfeed articles of women who started responding to guys using only quotes from a movie or TV show or character. I jumped head first into my 24 hours using only quotes from 10 Things I Hate About You, a 1999 teen rom-com. (The resulting conversations will be featured in a later post). My sassy side just came out.

I finally responded to Mr. Tony Stark quoting the ever-ridiculous Ms. Perky, the guidance counselor.

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He seemed nice enough. But… at some point… you’ve got to cut your losses, bud. In my (sometimes very painful) own experience, no reply is indeed a response. Call it quits and keep fishing. We were, after all, using Plenty of Fish.

I don’t quite see the same charm in Lkng4MySoulmate as is portrayed in the big screen Tony Stark. I am sure it took a lot of persistence and gumption to become a “billionaire, playboy philanthropist” who moonlights as a metal-laden super hero. And trust me, Lking4MySoulmate definitely shared the persistent character trait. All in all, I hope he did find his soulmate–even if it took a few too many tries.

Next up is 10. Murdering Mormon.

 

 

12. Neville Lyingbottom

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Number 12 is the standard catfish tale. His opening message was kind of cute. My profile often showcases my vast interest in Disney. Specifically, many photos display my love of going to Disneyland.

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So his proposition of going to one of my favorite places was well-played. But what he didn’t realize is that I am also an avid Harry Potter fan. Something about his photo just stood out to me… Like, for instance, that it portrayed one of the famous characters. Neville Longbottom.

It didn’t take long to find the original photo. Just moments and one Google search later, I came across the stolen image.

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All things considered, it was one of my easier detective moments. So, of course, I asked him about it.

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Excuse me?? He has the audacity to use a photo that is not an accurate depiction of himself AND he has no idea of whom the photo is? If you’re going to catfish, I would at least expect someone to choose a photo with little chance of being recognized. This isn’t the first time I have encountered a catfish profile. Many of the others choose to dig deep into the web to find a photo that is both attractive and difficult to uncover. One guy, who is the star of a separate and upcoming top 16 post, used a photo it took some major digging to uncover the true identity. It’s almost like Neville wasn’t even trying. Plus, I’m a little disappointed with his lack of Harry Potter knowledge in general.

He explained himself though.

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I do understand the military claim. But, it never stopped the guys I have met before. “Been down this road before” is putting it gently. It was a “pass” from me and the military-grade catfish. No thanks, Neville. On to the next…

15. No Chill Logan

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In 15th place… No Chill Logan.

Logan has this name because he literally has no chill.

Logan, like many others, initiated contact by utilizing my love of mathematics. Typically, my profile always has a math quote from some professor. This accomplishes two tasks: 1) communicates my passion for mathematics and 2) scares away (some of) those who aren’t the brightest bulbs. Logan, however, was not dissuade by my passive assertion of my intellect.

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All things considered, he probably would have been better off to just go for the pick-up line. Clearly there is one from Google buried in his opener. And pointing out that he “isn’t smart enough for it” wasn’t going to be doing him any favors. But, this is not why Logan made the cut in the tournament…

No, Logan made it to the Battle Royale of the top 16 because he has no chill. Note the time stamp on the Tinder message? 10:36pm.

I do not know what made Logan believe that responses to Tinder messages needed to be favorable and immediate. Somewhere in his mind, though, he believed that I should have responded to his message right away. Not even 12 hours later, he sent a follow up message… on a completely different dating app!

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Seriously…? No wonder this lad is single. He has no chill and some control issues to say the least. I don’t appreciate guilt or negative communication being used against me to try to manipulate a conversation. I cannot imagine it works in his favor very often, either.

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He apologized, in case you were wondering. And while I appreciate someone taking some ownership over their actions, I have no interest in associating with someone who instinctively jumps to hateful speech or manipulative tactics.

In fourteenth place is… Bad Teacher.