What do Time-Warner customer service, Chick-Fil-A, and all my exes have in common? They're all dead to me.
Very recently, someone I used to sleep with tried to connect with me on LinkedIn. You read that correctly: LinkedIn. This person has my phone number. If he did some light digging, he'd be able to find my email address pretty easily. But no, this person woke up at eight o'clock on a Thursday morning and thought, You know how I would like to contact Dana? On motherfucking LinkedIn. Because I want to reach out to her in some way, but I do not want to be at all direct about it.
I was not pleased at all when I received the email notification. Mostly because I know for a fact that this person does not work in an industry remotely related to mine; he was not trying to make a professional connection. Also, because I know this person has a girlfriend. There is no reason for him to be contacting me. None. I handled it in a way I felt was appropriate given the situation.
My motto: exes are exes for a reason.
I will fully admit that I meet all the guys I date on apps, usually Bumble. Because even though I'm pretty social, my social activities include an all-female book club, all-female dance classes, mostly-female yoga classes, mostly-female choir, and before-work sober raves (where the point is to dance and not hit on people at seven in the morning). Plus, I can't drink (stomach issues, doctor's orders), so I don't really go to bars. I don't mean to sound trite, but there is pretty much no other way for me to meet men.
Anyway, when I first start talking to men on apps, I wouldn't exactly say I'm "nice." I'm definitely not friendly. Some would say I'm barely cordial. Here are a couple examples:
So, you could argue that I'm kind of an asshole. But there's a reason for this, I swear.
The reason I'm an asshole is that it helps me weed out the people who can handle my energy and those who cannot. Because, in my day-to-day life, I'm kind of loud and very blunt and like to joke around with people and if someone can't handle that, it's probably a good idea for the person to stay away from me because my bluntness and directness will accidentally hurt their feelings when I sincerely don't mean to.
But anyway, if a guy does make it past that asshole-ish weeding out phase, it means I really like that person and I'll start being nice to them. I recently said to a friend that my two factory settings are "I'll take a bullet for you" or that infamous Mariah Carey gif where, when asked if she knew who JLo is, she replied, "I don't know her." There is no in-between. I either adore you or I don't.
And so when things don't work out, I feel like I wasted so much time breaking down that wall I have built up pretty high for someone who didn't deserve it. And that, in turn, it makes me question my own judgment of character, and that feeling is downright icky. It's difficult for me to grant someone access to my life because I put so much energy into my relationships.
When I care about someone, I'm loyal, fun, and giving. I'll cut my right off arm for you and gift-wrap it. I'll drop everything that I'm doing to hang out with someone if they need me (I'm actually working on this, because it does not serve me well). I don't play games. I don't shy away from conflict and will always try to talk things out. I'm too direct to cheat; I end things with someone before moving on to someone else.
This is an entirely self-centered thing to say and I fully recognize it, but, honestly, I spent enough time getting down on myself (*cough* former bulimic/sufferer of body dysmorphia *cough*) that I've become able to recognize my value and my worth: when a man messes things up with me, it feels like he missed out on a pretty sweet deal. I've only offered a committed relationship to two people in my entire life. (I'm weird about monogamy; I take it very seriously — THANKS MOM AND DAD WHO MET 42 YEARS AGO AND HAVE BEEN TOGETHER EVER SINCE — and I don't settle.) So if someone gets that offer from me — or were on their way towards getting that offer — they were pretty lucky.
My feeling, as immature as this sounds, is if you fucked up that opportunity while you had the chance... it means you're kind of dumb.
And I'm not friends with dumb people.
And that's why I'm not friends with any of my exes.