Friday, April 14, 2006

I grabbed the text below from Wikipedia because it reminds me of someone. Actually, a lot of someones. At any rate, it is astonishing the number of people like this I've run across in the online dating scene.

I have my theories. Using the internet especially allows an element of control that I think appeals to this kind of person. They can choose who to respond to and when, even how (to make sure they elicit the right kind of response), and it's less likely to send up red flags because the signals that would come through in personal, face-to-face contact are absent, and email is a medium that is ridiculously easy to misinterpret. How well do you think someone who is easily irritated and has a low threshold for expressing frustration is going to do in the delicate business of meeting people in person? At least online they are in control, and at least for a short while they will probably be able to sustain some control over their impulses in person.

I've created a system I call the three-date rule. In my experience, (just about) everyone can behave themselves for at least one date. If they are still fun and not throwing up major red flags after two dates, you might be onto something. Three dates is where people really start to relax and feel more at ease. For me, this is when if I am comfortable, I begin to feel free to be the loopy gal I really am. For others, I have seen it make them into affectionate and well-meaning guys, and I have seen it make them into neanderthals, and I have seen it make them into little children. Guess which one is the desirable one to me. Guess how often it happens.

I have my own part to play in this, obviously. I may be stuck on certain types who are no good for me. For example, there's a certain kind of smartass who initially seems like they're lots of fun to match wits with, but who ultimately winds up being an arrogant blowhard.

Now, I like a little banter (especially if the banteree is cute), and I am not flirting if I'm not playful. I like smart people and I like hearing about what they know. I'm willing say that I don't know everything, and I am tolerant of the fact that others may know more than me about some things, but I don't diminish those things because I don't know as much about them. I'm not averse to looking up a fact or two in the heat of a discussion, but I draw the line at insulting anyone who isn't 100% correct, or at needing to be right so much that extraordinary measures are taken. (Oh, yes, I do mean calling a friend from the street to have them Google information for you.)

There is a point at which a discussion can go from "spirited" to "heated" and begins to resemble a competition more than a conversation. Then it's no longer playful and fun, it's personal. It's also extremely unsexy and almost always boring. Okay, so gotta watch that. My weakness is men who are smart, but it shouldn't also be my downfall. I want to make love, not war, baby.

At any rate, the DSM description below was a revelation. People like this are incapable of seeing beyond themselves. Run for the hills.

Dissocial Personality Disorder (F60.2), usually coming to attention because of a gross disparity between behaviour and the prevailing social norms, and characterized by:

callous unconcern for the feelings of others;
gross and persistent attitude of irresponsibility and disregard for social norms, rules, and obligations;
incapacity to maintain enduring relationships, though having no difficulty in establishing them;
very low tolerance to frustration and a low threshold for discharge of aggression, including violence;
incapacity to experience guilt or to profit from experience;
marked proneness to blame others, or to offer plausible rationalizations, for the behaviour that has brought the patient into conflict with society.
There may also be persistent irritability as an associated feature.


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