Crimes against the Heart, Part 2

A friend of mine from the gym had not one, but two crimes against the heart committed against him during the holidays. Raz is several years older than me and otherwise not a fit for me as a dating partner, but I have listened to his stories and given him a bit of support because he is relatively naïve when it comes to dating. When he considered shaving his long, scruffy beard, I encouraged him to do so and assured him that he would be a better chick magnet when he did. And he has been.

Like most of us, dating partners have come and gone for Raz. But he had been dating two women he liked for several weeks. Then one of them suddenly stopped communicating with him. Not long after, the second stopped communicating with him, directly following a date. I know Raz well enough to know that he is a sweet man who looked after an ailing wife for a number of years before her death. He’s more than a little old-fashioned, and he would never consciously do anything to offend or harm a woman. That said, I also know that I have only heard part of the story. I don’t know what the women were thinking or what motivated them to cease communication. I trust that they had their reasons.

The problem here is not that they broke it off with him, but that they broke it off by simply ceasing to communicate after several weeks of dating him. They ghosted him, in slang dating terms. They simply disappeared. They didn’t do it early on, when the communication was only at the messaging stage, and they didn’t do it after the first meeting. They did it after numerous dates with the man.

Raz was hurt and confused. When the first woman ghosted him, he was baffled. When the second woman ghosted him, he was annoyed enough to text her about his disappointment. They had talked about the importance of honesty and communication in a relationship, and in his mind, she had violated both.

It goes without saying that catfishers and scammers are committing malfeasant crimes against the heart. But I think these women also did because they broke it off with him in a cowardly and brutal way.

It’s easy to commit lesser crimes against the heart in the online dating world, in part because we are pretty much anonymous online. In fact, rudeness seems rampant in that world. If someone you have never met sends you a message and you don’t reply, no one is likely to send you a hurt e-mail or voice message. You can blow them off with assumed impunity. But when you begin treating other human beings as invisible and irrelevant, it might be a mistake to assume that there are no consequences. At the very least, it is an act of crimes against the heart misfeasance.

I’m not suggesting that we should allow ourselves to be held hostage by someone we’ve never met who keeps sending messages after we’ve given a polite not interested. And I’m not suggesting that every photo like, flirt, wink, or otherwise superficial communication should be responded to. I’m just suggesting that in my universe, the shamanic one, which looks a whole lot like the universe physicists are describing these days, we’re all in this together because at some level, we’re all one. And to the extent that we don’t treat others with dignity and respect, we are, at some level, not treating ourselves with dignity and respect either.

I have sent enough polite, kind replies to messages sent to me by men who are not remotely suitable for me to know that it can be time-consuming and mind-numbing to take the high road. On the other hand, it’s heart-numbing not to.

Are there other ways to commit major and minor crimes against the heart? Of course. Between this post and my earlier one (“Crimes against the Hear, Part 1”) I’ve barely scratched the surface. And I’d love for my readers to weigh in on it.

 

Note: The name Raz is fictitious and has been used out of respect for the man involved.

 

Copyright 2017 by Melanie Mulhall

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4 Responses to “Crimes against the Heart, Part 2”

  1. Mary Collette Rogers Says:

    Now that you have been in the online dating world for some time, and shared all the angles, I wonder where you come down on its effectiveness? While I know there are a lot of success stories, does anyone keep track of all the “crimes” and lack of success instances?

    • Melanie Mulhall Says:

      Mary Collette, as a matter of fact, I’m going to cover that at least a little in my next post. The “crimes” and lack of success cases seem to mostly anecdotal. We’re not going to see dating sites publish them. Talking about how it really is out there, from a personal standpoint, seems like as good a reason to keep writing this blog for me as any. And believe me, I have considered giving myself a cease and desist order. Thanks so much for your comment.

  2. Mel Says:

    If it hurts, it’s a major crime.

    A first love is for always, but a broken heart always takes its toll…*

    *Flowers On The Moon

    • Melanie Mulhall Says:

      Hi, Mel. Thanks for your point of view and your comment. I would agree that hurting ourselves and others is to be avoided. And yes, broken hearts take a toll. Even bruised ones do, as I have personally discovered.

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