When it comes to “dating” in Portland, I really haven’t had too much luck. I put “dating” in quotations, because I honestly feel that it’s something that truly doesn’t happen here much at all. What is considered a date is apparently exchanging a few messages on OkCupid, meeting up at a bar, getting wasted, hooking up, and somehow turning that into a relationship. Or maybe there will be that rarity where you meet someone at a bar, through a friend, what have you. Even still, the date sucks.
In the time I have spent here, I have came across a few things that make dating someone in Portland a terrible idea. Here are a few issues I have ran into with some of the past individuals I have spent time with.
He doesn’t shut the fuck up about his ex-girlfriend(s).
It amazes me how men in Portland don’t seem to get over a failed relationship. Face it, it’s over. It ended for a reason, now MOVE ON. Sure, people remain friends with their ex’s for various reasons. But the way that I look at the situation is that you are presented with a new opportunity, why taint it by talking about someone that I don’t care to hear about? Actually, no one cares about your ex-girlfriend so please just shut up. This really makes me miss dating in college where the mind set of “hit it and quit it” was always in play. Then, it seemed like everyone moved on from each other quickly and brought no baggage with them. In the full spectrum of it all, men need to realize that there are so many amazing things to talk about for someone to get to know you better without having to hear about past relationships. The second a guy brings up an ex-girlfriend, I start to mentally check out. It’s a massive red flag that is difficult to ignore.
One individual I was with felt the need to tell me about all of his past online dating experiences within the first hour of being together. After the story about the date he had with an “adult baby,” I decided it would be best to never see him again. Another person felt the need to not only tell me about all of his ex-girlfriends, but also show me their pictures. After hearing what seemed like an eternity of “she broke my heart” stories, I ran away and never looked back. But the winner was the individual who talked on the phone with his ex-girlfriend with me sitting next to him. Charming, really.
Maybe I’m just becoming too hardened, but I really don’t understand why people cling to memories like this. I also truly feel that it is not a matter of the ex-girlfriend being that interesting, but rather that the man is too pathetic to move on. Personally, when I end a relationship it has been finalized. I see no need to relive it or keep constant communication with that person. Sometimes I will remain friends with that person, but for the most part I won’t. The thrill of meeting someone new (and better) is exciting enough for me. It’s too bad more people aren’t on the same wavelength.
He is way too physically aggressive and/or insulting.
Some men believe that being forceful with a woman is a sure way to win over their heart. Now, I’m not talking about being punched or slapped but rather very firm grasps on the arm and such. Or if that tactic doesn’t seem to work, some men love to lay it on thick with belittling comments and unnecessary insults (because mental abuse is just so sexy). Obviously, these are MASSIVE red flags screaming “this person is mentally unstable and probably angry all the time!”
I find it very troubling that I can say that I have had multiple men come up and grab me by the back of the neck to get my attention or me to like them. Thankfully in those situations, bartenders were quick to help me get out. I have also had men grab my arms as I am walking home at night, who then refuse to let go. Again, someone has been there to help me or I’ve had to hit them off. It’s just amazing how it never seemed to cross the minds of any of these men that maybe if they just tried to talk to me rather than being forceful, that maybe things would have been perceived better.
“Stupid bitch,” “slut,” “fat whore” are just a few of the pet names I have picked up since living in Portland. These endearing nicknames came from men who I apparently ignored or deemed unfit for any sort of romantic connection (for obvious reasons). I’ve also had men who honestly believed that if they say things like “no one is ever going to love you” it is the equilivant as a compliment. A very fond memory of mine is a time when a man invited me out for dinner, told me about how he took another girl out to dinner the night before, and then “couldn’t believe” he was paying for my food. It was so sweet.
Oh! I definitely can’t forget about the lectures on how I am to forever be “single and alone.” Granted, these would have been much more effective if I wasn’t a competent and confident woman. Not to mention that I see nothing wrong with being single. In fact, I enjoy it. I currently have the wonderful power of being able to do whatever I want, with whoever I want, whenever I want. By no means does this make me “alone” either. Thanks to the fine company of all my amazing friends, I rarely go a day without any sort of social interaction.
Personally, nothing gets me going more than when a man walks up and tries to touch my hair. Excuse me, I am not your pet and please get your disgusting hands off my clean hair. I mean, obviously I want you to wipe whatever nastiness you have on my head MORE THAN ANYTHING. Just step back dude, not working.
He is a raging moron who is incredibly insecure.
Honey, I am not your mother nor your kindergarten teacher. I am not here to give you continous confirmation that you have a great personality. I mean, I have no problem giving out compliments but I certainly do not (and should not) want to be your only source of confidence. Learn to love yourself a little more and don’t have so many doubts. However if you fail to carry yourself in a conversation or only want to talk about bubbles and dirt, I don’t think this will work out very well either.
It’s very entertaining, actually, to have a conversation with someone who is hell-bent on convincing you that his idiotic ideas are in fact truth. As amazing as it is to hear that you know that cats control the weather or that eating Lay’s potato chips is an excellent source of calcium, I’d rather we never talk again.
Maybe I’m not as great of a catch as I thought, or maybe I’m just selecting all the wrong ones. Or maybe it’s just I’m hoping and expecting too much out of guys. Regardless, I still believe that it is a waste of time to “date” in Portland. Even though everyone else in relationships here seems to disagree with me, I don’t think that there is much to choose from that is worthwhile. I’m not saying that I’ve reached a noteworthy level of success right now in my life or anything, but I’d rather not date someone who is capable of bringing my stock down. Not to mention some basic respect and proper attention would be nice to have. To those of you who have better luck than me or are remaining openminded to some sort of perfect romance here, I wish you nothing but the best.