Why do people have to play mind games

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    I was on here a short time ago, talking about how I thought I made this huge mistake, and thinking I blew it with this great woman. To make a long story short, I made a harmless joke to her that didn’t go over well. We were to meet, and that supposedly just killed it for her, even though I fully explained myself.

    It bothered me that I thought I hurt her feelings so bad. At the same time, it felt like she overreacted quiet a bit to it. I met her through online dating. She contacted me and she was so into me right from the start. There was this instant attraction and connection for both of us. That had never happened to me before. I felt blessed for a change.

    My marriage ended four years ago because my ex spouse was cheating on me for a year. Even though I was hurting for a long time from that, I always have faith that there is a good woman out there for me. After meeting this woman, I thought I was right. I have tried some online dating and I mostly find that women are very jaded on these sites. Either that, or they are very stuck up. I know that most women get tons of messages, but when someone takes the time to send a decent thoughtful message, you think that would mean something.

    I sent that woman a nice text a couple of weeks ago and never expected to hear from her again. She replied today to tell me how she had met someone and was going to see how that went. It was so frustrating because she was so into me and excited about meeting just a short time ago. I was disappointed and annoyed. I let her know that I thought it was convenient for her that I made a bad joke at that time. That she kind of used it to do that. I thought she was different but she is like a lot of other women out there. That is not a generalization about women. It is just the kind I am encountering too much lately. My feelings for her didn’t instantly shut off and I didn’t instantly start looking for another person. I felt played again and it hurt a little.

    Like I said earlier, I always have faith that there is a good woman out there for me, but my faith is getting severely shaken lately. I know I’m a good man. When I am with someone, I treat them well. I am honest, respectful, caring, and attentive. I want to be with them but I want for both of us to be our own people too. I don’t get overly emotional or intense with anyone. I try to build things slowly and I don’t pressure them into anything. I want a woman to feel good about being with me. I’m not perfect but I try to be a good person with solid morals.

    I tried to be a good husband and it didn’t matter. I am a nice guy and it doesn’t seem to matter. I am heartbroken lately and not because of this small part of my life. I would like to show my heart to someone but it doesn’t seem like there are any takers anymore. It seems like nice guys do finish last and it’s getting harder to be one. I feel like I am becoming jaded and it bothers me.

    On another note, I have been thinking about exploring Buddhism more closely. I think it would help me to become more mindful and not put labels to things in my life. If anyone could suggest some good beginner introductory books to Buddhism, that clearly explain it, I would be grateful. I know there are different branches so insight from others would help


    dear Ecotone”

    Welcome back! i did the online dating and it is a different ball game than traditional dating. Suddenly for the average girl in a small town it is not the possibility of the grocer’s son maybe liking her and she is all excited about the yearly town fair where she will dress up and meet him over the traditional farmers end of season dance or the like. I was that town girl but once online (2009) I became hot commodity. I suddenly, out of the blue, had dozens of possibilities, dozen men contacting me per day or per week- dizzying. Refreshing. So the thinking goes: I have a dozen per week to choose from, that is 50 per month, work to do! So I arranged for dates, mostly coffee dates, one after the other- lots of men to check out, lots of men to check me out! This is mass dating, really.

    A few of the men took offense that I arranged to meet someone else after meeting them. But why should I have stopped looking after just one date with one man (in the middle of the day, usually Sat or Sun)… why? There are more. I figured I wanted to learn about the men I met and it takes time. No physical contact only learning who the men are, and that takes more than one date, or one meeting. Get to know them without physical intimacy.

    I married man number 94, I think. I met him many times and kept meeting others. Eventually I moved in with him (no more dating some time before that) and married him. I think this very computer on which I am typing now was the one where he first contacted me (Plenty of Fish is the site)-

    What do you think about my online dating story (I met way more than a hundred men through Match.com and Plentyoffish. Do you think I am a bad person for … not making just ONE date and spending all the time it would have required with that one man?

    What if you applied my online dating philosophy? Coffee dates (not much of an expense) in the middle of the day (no dim light to confuse or make anyone look better than they do in the full light) and no physical intimacy (again, so not to get confused)- and just get to know the person with an objective, non confused mind???



    Hi Anita,

    I’ve been reading your post a few times and I’m trying to figure out if you are giving me sarcasm or not. I know what POF and match are about. Like you said, it is mass dating, and you are trying to get to know someone a bit. How do you do that if you are meeting a mass amount of people all the time? I know it takes a while to find someone but the dates I’ve been on always led to multiple dates with these women.

    I actually spent time just getting to know them, and I think because I focused on just them, it was noticed. Any women I met were only seeing me at that time. The last woman said she only wanted to get to know me at the time and was very into me at the time. It bothered me because I was drawn in by her enthusiasm and I started to feel more strongly about her. Maybe this will be a problem for her because she comes on very strong.

    Your dating philosophy makes sense and I have met all the women I have met this way. I’m not afraid to be in the light and look someone in the eyes on a date. I prefer it so that I can get to know the person as a whole. The problem is, I’m trying but it doesn’t even seem to get to that point now. It always seems after I am connecting with someone, and it doesn’t work out, I can’t get anyone to respond. Maybe I need less expectations with everything. It’s just tiring going through the motions again.

    I think you mean well Anita and I appreciate your input. It is nice to hear that you found someone that way. I want to believe it is possible.


    Dear Ecotone:

    I am wondering if my online dating in 2009-2010 was all that ethical, maybe not. I am willing to look into it. I felt noticeably uncomfortable as I pondered it earlier this morning, quite defensive in my mental conversation with you (that is the conversation I had with you in my mind, not here) and ready to be attacked and to attack back. If there is something for me to learn about me, about my ethics, to learn from you here, it will probably be if you do not attack me (my fear) but give me your honest input so I can evaluate it myself.

    At the time I was not well. But was doing better so I was ready for social interactions. I didn’t believe it could happen, a relationship for me. I was definitely not in the mental state to risk being rejected so I avoided the possibility by meeting as many men as possible. I enjoyed the interactions without expectations- plus i was busy making new dates so I didn’t follow men not contacting me for a second date. Most men did not contact me for a second date. I didn’t care because I didn’t like most and was on my way to the next date and the next. If I was into one man I would be so engaged in my fears I wouldn’t be able to be objective enough to get to know the man. Having no expectations, I was able to LISTEN to what each man said, to evaluate. I was able to get the experience of objectively getting to know people, men in this case. I counted 124 men that I met though the two websited- no sarcasm here, this is the number I remember. I got a kick out of the number, I think. I very much enjoyed the dates, making them, attending. It is the most active social life I ever had.

    I am quite pessimistic about how many men (or women, on your side, as the man dating) there are out there that are reliable, honest, open etc. So I figured the number game makes sense. If I meet 100 men i may have a chance to meet several good men, maybe only one. And so it was.

    I would like to read any thoughts you may have about my attitude then, my rational, how it may have been seen by any man, let’s say if one of them was you, knowing I was to meet another man in an hour or two after you (I was open about it!) Some men responded negatively to it. I assume you would have too. I thought at the time it was right of me to do so.

    If you have thoughts about doing the dating thing yourself differently, with a different attitude, how would that be?

    Some of my attitudes and behaviors then were probably wrong and some were probably right and wise. It is about discerning, maybe. Open to your honest input, your experience.



    Hi Anita,

    I’m definitely not judging you on how you approached it. Maybe you had the best way of doing it because you didn’t expect much from it, and you didn’t become too emotionally involved with one person, just to have it fall through and disappoint you. Also, you said they were short meetings with no physical intimacy, so how could I possibly say anything bad to you. At least you actually took the time to meet people.

    I think it is the rejection that is starting to wear me down. I’m not a bad looking guy. Actually, a lot of people (not just my mom) have said I’m a nice looking man, but I send decent and thoughtful messages to women, and sometimes they check my profile but never respond. You try to have a thick skin but it is frustrating to keep trying and no one will start a conversation, let alone meet you. I know women encounter their share of creeps and jerks, but I think it is more of an ego boost for them than for men.

    I was wondering something. You said you got a kick out of the number. Was it because it felt good that that many men were interested in you at the time? I don’t think a lot of guys get to see that happen. I’m just about to my mid forties and it feels very difficult to get dates. Oddly enough, the few women I have met or dated have all been 7 to 8 years younger than me, so I don’t know if it is my age.

    What I am noticing is that a lot of the same women are there forever because no wants to “settle”. Settle on what? Probably a lot of guys like myself who will treat them with respect and want to build a good relationship. I makes no sense but I think a lot of people have very rigid expectations that doesn’t allow them to find someone that would be good for them.

    I think I have a lot of negative energy (like stress) around me right now and maybe that comes across when I message someone. Even though I am polite and thoughtful when I send it. I don’t know anymore. Maybe I need to step away from it for a while and not think about it. I’m just to the point where I would like to share my life with someone again.


    Dear Ecotone:

    I thought about this post and I am wondering if there is an opportunity here for you- and for me- to learn something. I need your help in this pursuit. You wrote above: “I’ve been reading your post a few times and I’m trying to figure out if you are giving me sarcasm or not. I know what POF and match are about… I think you mean well Anita.”

    Can you look at the post above where you typed this? And maybe my post to which you referred to in this quote- and share with me the best you can, with all sincerity and truth you can apply- what you meant by what you wrote in the quote: what were your thoughts and feelings? Why did you think I was sarcastic? What does sarcasm in this context means to you? How did you feel about my post to which you reacted? What do you feel about me having met so many men, as many as I could fit into my schedule?

    And when you wrote that you think I mean well, what do you mean by that? Were you comlimenting my intention but suggesting my execution of my good intention was less than satisfactory?

    Again, my interest is to explore an opportunity I see for you to learn something that can help you, and for me to learn as well.



    Dear Ecotone,

    First, I am sorry someone cheated on you, glad you got out of that relationship. She did not appreciate you and know that it doesn’t matter how nice you were she didn’t value a good man. With that said please don’t stop being a nice guy. For the next one coming along is not fair, because the next person you date is not your ex. I was in a relationship where I was paying for things someone else did and it took me a while to figure that out. That person is no longer with me his insecurities got in the way.

    This woman that got really upset at you and couldn’t take your joke is not the right one for you. Who wants to walk on eggshells cause she doesn’t get your humor. It seems you were handling one person/date at a time but she wasn’t? Some of my friends are like in a rush cause they are reaching mid 30 so they reject guys left and right over little things.

    I am on E-harmony. At first I answered the “get to know you questionnaires” and to my surprise some guys would not finish the exchange, it had a couple of steps. Maybe some did not like my answers, which is perfectly fine that is what it is designed for. I did go to the coffee shops like Anita but only for the it’s a public place, a casual thing and if there is a connection we can set time to go on a date. I am recently divorced and got matched with a good friend of mine who also went through divorce. We ended up dating for a while on and off and are still together, we were hurt in many ways and have been each others support. He had the same complaint as you that no one answered. My profile in e-H is still up I have the year subscription and I have not been on it for a long time. I don’t know how to “pause” it or say that I am in a relationship. I keep getting emails that so and so wants to get to know me. The point I am trying to make is that maybe some of the people that don’t answer are already in a relationship trying it out with someone or simply did not find you to be what they are looking for. I see these sites as a means to meet people whom you would not have the chance to otherwise. Not necessarily to date right of the back. To me is hard to base character from an online profile but a part of me is afraid of meeting a psychopath.

    Don’t get discouraged, be happy with yourself. When you enjoy yourself you radiate and that is attractive. Good luck!


    First of all, thank-you Anita and wrighrom for your comments.

    Just so you know Anita, I will get back to you about your questions. I’m with my sons all weekend and we are being pretty active. Also, I want to let you know that no harm was meant by my comments. Sometimes, I think people misread comments and respond without fully quickly about what they had just read. I had the online dating thing on my mind plus a lot of other things.
    I only said that I think you mean well because I think you mean well. You gave me great insight into what your experience was and I appreciate that from you. It wasn’t meant that as a slight towards you at all.

    I’ll answer more later


    Update on this situation.

    I received a text recently from the woman that I was interested in. She wanted to let me know that in the week after we were supposed to meet, she had met someone and they were going to start dating. Also, she let me know that things wouldn’t have worked because she was “out of my league” as she put it. It sounded like it was pretty planned out to me.

    I don’t really think that she was as nice as she made herself out to be. I really don’t think I am that good of a judge of people’s character. No matter what people think of me, at least they are getting the genuine article. It is getting frustrating to try and think positive about having a relationship again.


    First of all, you have to realize that there are like 20 guys per 1 good looking female on these online dating sites. My ex, who was a very beautiful woman, has told me once that she’d get close to 20 emails a day from men on Match, most of which had no idea how to approach a woman even via email message. Regardless, that’s a lot of options and men are basically getting, well, played. Women use this to their benefit. A lot of women are on online dating sites for attention more so than a relationship.

    Secondly, online dating is a joke. It’s naturally superficial and approaches relationships from a bad angle. The fact that you keep running into women who are egotistical and self-centered, like the one you mentioned in your previous post, should be enough of an indication to run the hell away from it. I’m sure it has worked out for some, but for the majority have similar experience to what you’re describing. My online dating experience started and concluded with a woman who sounded great until the date night when she started telling me how all of her friends are married and she has nobody to smock pot with. I immediately closed my account and never went back to that hell hole lol. A lot of people dating online are there for a reason.

    I personally think that dating online is like forcing yourself to eat something you don’t like. You can’t force a relationship to happen. Stop worrying about it. Focus on yourself. Do something you like doing with your friends and your kids. I’ve always found that love comes at the most unexpected times and rarely does when you’re actively looking for it.

    • This reply was modified 8 years, 4 months ago by TriangleSun.

    Hi TriangleSun,

    I never thanked you for your response to my post. Your reply made the most sense to me and I have since closed my profile down too. Online dating does feel forced and it does just come off as an ego boost for alot of women. Not all, but a lot of them. It is probably why people remain forever single because they either don’t try to give someone a chance, or don’t give some time to see if it is worth it.

    I’m focusing on what myself and my kids need right now, and when I feel like entering the dating world again, I’m going to look for some different alternatives to meeting women more organically. Like many people, I was fooled into believing that this is almost the only way to meet women these days, but maybe people just aren’t trying hard enough anymore.

    Thanks again for your comments

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