DECODEDThe Idea of Dating a Stranger is Scary Because YOU'RE DATING A STRANGER!Tatti Ribeiro

DECODED: what dem Tweets really mean.

Twitter makes me feel like a narcissist. I’m gonna try to feel less like a narcissist by breaking down what my tweets mean on some level, so they might actually serve as help, or entertainment, or whatever to someone, and not just as a way for me to passively talk about everyone I know. Is this a narcissistic thing to do?

strangers

THE TRUEST THING I’VE EVER THOUGHT.
(and probably the truest thing I’ve ever written)

“Don’t talk to strangers” was the first thing my mom ever said to me. I came out of her womb and she straight screamed “DON’T TALK TO STRANGERS” at me over and over again until I finally understood what that meant. And when I got it, I really got it – because hey, when your mom’s right, she’s right…you know?

I was scared of strangers when I was 5 (because I didn’t want to be stolen from my family) and when I was 13 (because I thought I was GROWN and didn’t want men to take advantage of me) and when I was 19 (because I lived abroad and I saw Taken), and I’m scared of strangers now, at 23. Not because I think I’ll be abducted, but because I’ve met some strangers and I WAS NOT FEELING IT.

73% of them tried to (emotionally) murder me. I got asked out on a date once where someone said, verbatim: “you’re not my wife, so I don’t think we can date.” Let me repeat that, I got ASKED OUT ON A DATE, so that they could tell me THEY DID NOT WANT TO DATE ME. I made out with a stranger once who then tried to date me, and when I said “no thanks!”, they said it was because I was afraid, and lonely, and had mental issues. I made out with another stranger (ogre) who threw me into a cab at 3am because he hated feminism. These are the types of monsters running around all willy-nilly in the streets, okay?

LOLOLOL
This was a tweet too once, so now you know.

youth
This was the night I met the anti-feminist. GREAT TIME!

Anyways, this is all basic and pretty easy to break down: strangers are terrifying because they could be anyone (duh). You could literally be talking to a murderer, or a sociopath, or a kidnapper, or someone who wears socks to sleep and you would HAVE NO IDEA. That’s what’s so disgusting about strangers, that anything is a possibility. And let’s be real with ourselves, we’ve all met way more weirdos and emotional terrorists, than kind, thoughtful humans.

Now, I’m 23 years old. I’m a semi-adult person which means I am not in high school anymore – and that sucks! Because in high school I knew exactly when, how, and to whom, you lost your virginity. I knew who your friends were, and that’s important. Now, I don’t know anything. I don’t know if you have nice parents, or a bitchy older sister, or if you were raised in a cult, or if you used to read your girlfriend Ghandi quotes over the phone, or if you had blonde dreadlocks!

andy samberg

How am I supposed to know if I want to date you if I don’t know anything about you?

Sorry what’d you say? “Take a chance and put myself out there”? Oh, no, no no. No thank you! Not for me!

Did you not hear me when I JUST SAID there are a ton of crazies out there?!

…..FINE! I mean, I guess if I’m writing this to make sense of the tweet, I should probably be real about the fear and stop bullying every stranger I’ve ever met…

Because truthfully (and I hate being truthful) the real fear here, is that you (stranger), don’t know anything about me (stranger). And what if you don’t like me? What if I’m the weirdo, and you go home and tweet about me? That I snorted once when I laughed, or that I was aggressive, or too opinionated, or mean, or over emotional, or anxious, or maybe it’s just that you’re repulsed by me because I have really, really, sweaty palms. Who knows? Maybe I’m in your negative 73% human contact category. Maybe I’m the WORST. Maybe you hate me and I hate you and that’s no fun. Or worse, maybe I LOVE you, and you hate me. (Is being insecure considered narcissism?)

Those are the thoughts running through my brain after a date. It’s like fu**ing PTSD from leaving my apartment and experiencing human-to-human contact between me and anyone other than my soulmate friends. It’s horrible and it’s constant. But what are you gonna do? I know what I want to do. I want to stay in my bed with a hot water bottle and watch The Big Lebowski 23 more times. I want to order Mexican food from El Coyote and watch 3,000 episodes of Parenthood in a row. Would it kill me if there was someone I liked watching with me? No. Fine. I’d probably like it. I’m never not going to want to be in my bed or eating or watching TV. And I don’t think I should change what I like. And I don’t think you should change what you like (unless what you like is Pitbull, then you gotta stop).

But I guess I could stop being a baby and a brat and live my life, meet some new people…date some strangers, whatever – and I’m guessing you could too.

I KNOW Drake could.

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Images via ireignsupreme, drgreenleaf, and zero1magazine.

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  1. I married a stranger…I met my husband on MySpace…back when that was cool.way before Facebook. My best friend and I thought it was amazing we could connect with people so easily! So we thought, hey let’s meet our husbands on here. I did an advanced search with all the really meaningful things, height, age, location, and bam, first row was a cute guy. I clicked his profile, and he was a dream! Did mission work, loved kids, and loved God. I said, sweet baby Jesus, this is my husband. So I did what any normal girl would do, I sent a message…” I know you don’t know me but will you marry me?” He accepted and we became friends except he lived in Dallas and I was in LA. Years later after long distance dating, trips he moved to CA, we got engaged and married. Now we live back in Dallas:)

  2. Haha I can’t take the “don’t talk to strangers” phrase seriously considering how my parents met. My mom was walking on the street, my dad offered her a ride & blamo! A year later I arrived into the world.

  3. One has to use some intuition–the fine art of being a good judge of character–quickly!!

  4. You just summarized my life, as a 23-year-old… I’m glad I’m not the only one feeling this way, and I, likewise am trying to get out my Peter pan syndrome.

  5. Haha 3,000 episodes of Parenthood in a row–glad I’m not the only one.

  6. Everybody is a stranger when you first meet. You have to have faith in yourself and your ability to know what is right. Everyone makes mistakes, but everyone is a stranger until you take the chance. My parents met at a bowling alley. 3 months later they got married. Chance meeting

  7. It’s best to enter a relationship with one eye shut, and a marriage with both.

  8. you totally get me. :)

  9. This is why online dating, at the age of 28, terrifies me. Once I’ve set a time and place to meet with someone then, and only then, does it occur to me that I have basically agreed to meet up with a complete and total stranger whose intentions could be the polar opposite of mine. At this point I usually proceed to tell everyone I know the details of the date, the person I’m meeting, what their number is, what I know about them, and what they look like, on the off chance I’m never heard from again. Some people may say I’m being paranoid, I prefer to think of it as prepared for the worst.

    • Don’t worry, I do the exact same thing. I give my roommate all the information I have, meeting place, and if we switch venues I text the new places. And, then I joke around to the guy about how my roommate gets worried about me online dating, and if I don’t tell give updates they will yell at me later.

    • Don’t worry, I do the exact same thing. I give my roommate all the information I have,meeting place, and if we switch venues I text the new places. And, then I joke around to the guy about how my roommate gets worried about me online dating, and if I don’t tell give updates they will yell at me later.