I've been listening to your podcast for the past few weeks, and I find your advice to be extremely helpful. Based on some of the advice you've given others, I'm writing in in hopes of receiving some feedback about a situation that I felt I handled correctly at the time, but now and wondering if it was an overreaction. I met someone on Hinge a few days ago named "T". T and I matched, and, after a few messages, he told me he was off of the dating apps for a while due to a few instances of stalking he experienced.
I shared some recent trials and tribulations of my own dating experiences, the convo continued to go well, so we started discussing potential dates. T sent me a laundry list of ideas, one of which being weekend trips...for a first date list of ideas. Red flag #1 in my opinion. As we continued to discuss potential first date plans, T insisted that we end up at a wine bar with the potential of going back to his place so I could meet his dog. I ignored this comment at first, but, as the messages continued, T stated that he hasn't "smooth talked me yet", and the approach he took to this was to tell me that he "wouldn't mind me going home with him" after our first date.
Again, this was our first day of messaging. I expressed to T that, due to some of my recent experiences, I was not comfortable with the conversation and, if that was a deal breaker for him, I understood and wouldn't harbor any hard feelings if he wanted to cancel our date. T responded and said he was "just joking around" because he wanted me to feel like he desired me. Red flag #2 in my opinion. A few days pass, we continue to message, and T, again, makes a comment, though much more innocent this time around, about me going back to his place to make a date "worth my while" with a chef emoji (insinuating he meant to cook for me).
I was so annoyed by T for bringing up YET AGAIN the idea of me going to his place when we had not even met in person yet. With this, I told T that I was uncomfortable with the conversation as I let the first comment slide completely and accepted his apology after the second comment. I told T I wanted to cancel our date in hopes that, due to his past experiences, he could appreciate that I have a low tolerance for being made to feel uncomfortable.
To this, T responded with how he couldn't believe I am sensitive to such a small thing, and that he wasn't mad, but truly could not believe I could be mad at him for making a comment about him cooking for me. I told T that his response to me creating a boundary was all of the evidence I needed that this would not work out. T continued to message me and apologize and request that I still go out on our planned date, which I declined. Truth be told, something felt "off" about T to me from the beginning. I have given men the benefit of the doubt in the past when my gut feeling told me not to, and I didn't want to take that chance again.
I do feel this was an overreaction, but I saw the opportunity to get out of meeting T, and I instantly felt relieved. Any insight you can offer on how you feel I handled this is much appreciated! Sincerely, E
You IN NO WAY overreacted. Not even a little bit. Let me show you why you did the right things and that your instincts were dead on.
he told me he was off of the dating apps for a while due to a few instances of stalking he experienced.
So T starts strong right out of the gate with the “crazy ex” story. As many women know, when a man regales us with tales of his “crazy ex” what he actually means is he dated a woman he treated poorly who felt he should take responsibility for his actions. Or he dated someone, ghosted/broke up with her, and refused to answer he attempts at contact asking for an explanation despite knowing he’d probably hurt her in some way.
Any time someone brings up previous relationship drama so early, they usually have a motive. There are definitely some instances where a man can and has experienced legitimate stalking and harassment. (1 in 19 men according to this survey.) In my experience most men don’t lead with a story like that as it might scare some women off. Telling a woman he had instances of stalking might imply there’s currently drama in his life or unresolved relationship issues.
Revelations of stalking by men are sometimes used as a way to get a woman to empathize for them since so many women have experienced some form of online/offline harassment. In most cases, though, it’s a brag, a way to make them seem so desirable they drive women mad. With T, it’s quite possible he was admitting that a woman accused him of stalking. Wrongfully, I’m sure. 🙄
T sent me a laundry list of ideas, one of which being weekend trips...for a first date list of ideas.
Let me stop you right there. Was he planning on kidnapping you?
As we continued to discuss potential first date plans, T insisted that we end up at a wine bar with the potential of going back to his place so I could meet his dog. I ignored this comment at first,
He kept circling back to this comment because you weren’t taking his bait. That made him feel insecure. Rather than just back off the subject he pushed, likely because his need for validation was so strong he couldn’t curb the impulse to seek it. Never ignore someone’s inability to reign themselves in when in situations like that.
T responded and said he was "just joking around" because he wanted me to feel like he desired me.
It as the exact opposite. He wanted to feel like you desired him.
I was so annoyed by T for bringing up YET AGAIN the idea of me going to his place when we had not even met in person yet.
Again, your instincts were spot on. He ignored your boundary. Nope. Hard pass.
I do feel this was an overreaction, but I saw the opportunity to get out of meeting T, and I instantly felt relieved.
That’s all you need to know that you did the right thing. This guy’s behavior was triggering for you because he was ignoring your boundaries, aggressive and just over-all trying way too hard.
You did great!
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