I do have *some* standards, after all!

My online dating profile seems to be popular with a certain demographic: married men who are over 40 and looking for an affair. I haven’t posted any of these conversations, because individually they aren’t all that entertaining. Mostly I get a long winded message from a man who gets his panties in a twist when I respond that I don’t condone cheating and am Not Interested.

Of course, there’s also the point that I’m slightly ageist in my dating and can’t wrap my head around going out with someone who is closer to my parents’ age than mine.

I think I know why I get a lot of those messages now as opposed to a couple of years ago.

I’m in an open relationship, a fact that I highlight in my profile. I’m not going to delve into the specifics of that here, but suffice it to say that I’m in a committed, long term relationship that allows for dating others, though we have set some boundaries as far as physical interactions go, primarily for health reasons. Life isn’t Pokemon, after all.

Please, please don't try to catch them all!

I think the thought process of the cheating scumbag who encounters my profile is that because of my relationship status, I’m sympathetic to the non-monogamous urge.  However, the reality is that I’m sympathetic to the urge, not the deceit.  Non-monogamy is perfectly reasonable, so long as both parties are aware and accepting of it.  No matter how pretty of a face some of these guys want to put on it, they are cheating scum.  Deceit has no place in a relationship.

There are a number of warning signs that the person you are communicating with is a Cheating Piece of Shit, to borrow a label from the wise Dan Savage.

– No photo, or a photo that obscures his face
– Status is married versus “available.”  The CPOS will always opt for that, because if his spouse discovers their online presence, they can always claim that they were just looking for “friends,” while pretending that honesty about their marital status means that they aren’t lying to anyone.
– Convoluted, flowery ways of explaining that they want to have an affair, without actually saying it.  Real world examples:

For a number of reasons I am seeking a good friend outside of my marriage.

I am looking for a discreet friend.

– They always make sure to mention their kids and how much they love them, upping their “decent guy” cred.
– In spite of the four points above, they make sure to point out how physically attractive they find you.

Taken as a whole, one can only assume their status as a CPOS.  Still, when I respond with something along the lines of:

Don’t be cute.  It’s not a “discreet friendship.”  It’s cheating.

Or

I’m not the slightest bit interested in anyone’s justifications for cheating.  Your profile gives off a distinctive “eau de cheating scumbag,” which can’t be hidden by pretty words and tap dancing around the subject.

The CPOS becomes defensive and angry, whining about how I don’t know them and how dare I be so judgmental.

You don't know me!

Keep your justifications, excuses, and equivocations to yourself, and when I call you out, it’s unreasonable to get offended.  The people who are legitimately polyamorous or in open relationships tend to be up front about it, mention their partner if they have one, and will often link their profiles.  Being secretive and hiding your picture is not mysterious and sexy, it’s skeevy.

Shit or get off the pot, boys.  This isn’t Ashley Madison, after all.
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