As mentioned in previous posts, I have an odd hobby that involves browsing ads on Craig’s List. Awhile back I ran across this gem of a missive in the Missed Connections section that made my blood run cold as the tactics and reasoning used surely are straight from the Sociopath Handbook in the section “How to Lure Your Victim Back to the Honeymoon”
I couldn’t resist posting the following to point out some of these tactics. Several hours later, there was a reply to my ad saying, “No, it’s not like that.” Then my post was flagged and removed and the original post taken down. I received several emails from other readers in the short time it was up who thought it was great fun and declared me the Craig’s List Vigilante.
I hope there are no women in the world stupid enough to fall for this heap of lies. For those who may be deceived by the silky sentiment thrown in to romantically distract from the reality of what is written between the lines, what we have here is a sociopath trying to lure someone back into a toxic relationship and make it sound normal. My observations are in brackets following the original poster’s statements.
We’re feeling older and the way we imagined things growing up, are not the way they are now. (I’m reaching middle age and have nothing to show for it.)
Life is much more difficult than we expected. We imagined we would have a great job, or a beautiful house, or a wonderful family… none of it happened. (I pissed away my life and treat people like disposable cups and am saying “we” because I’m trying to make you think “WE” are feeling the same way to foster feelings of oneness whether the victim feels she has failed in these areas or not the writer is trying to wipe his failed life on someone else as demonstrated by the following statements which point out where the victim feels they are lacking.)
You thought you would meet the perfect man, take family vacations, or maybe just have a garden to pick the weeds from. (A clever little reference to a marijuana garden in his possession perhaps? Likely a little something with which to bribe the target.)
No matter how complex or simply we imagined it… it hasn’t happened yet. Do you keep hoping your dreams will come true? (A moving reference to hope and making dreams come true, makes your heart all fluttery doesn’t it?)
I have and I think it’s time for a paradigm shift. Maybe since things have not turned out the way we dreamt they would… We ought to consider a reality based alternative. (Please note the irony in the *reality* of this dream he is trying to sell. Notice the pretty picture he paints… Who wouldn’t want a man around that just wants a rich, happy life?)
I imagined the house in town with the cottage on the lake; the cars in the garage with the toys in the barn, and the wife and kids that never did me wrong but smiled and loved their adoring husband/father… (Wow, the wife and children are expected to be happy, smiling and loving, not allowing for other human problems and emotions. I wonder how it is that he is still lacking these perfectly happy, balanced people in his life.)
But I’m still single and struggling. (Hmmm. Still single, or single again? How many short term relationships has this guy been through looking for that perfect loving family? Why is he struggling if he’s single? Single people without the responsibilities of family should be thriving.)
Perhaps settling for less is in-fact getting much more than we bargained for. (Somehow, I get the feeling that by settling for this twisted line of thinking, you will indeed get a lot more than you bargained for. This is where things really get weird.)
Who told us to set our standards so high? (You should never have to lower your standards for anyone reach for people who want you to raise your standards.)
I’ve seen families that have their problems, live paycheck to paycheck, lost their home, and live in a run down trailer. Are we better than they are? Do you know what they have that we don’t? Love. (WTF? They love each other and we don’t- this obviously isn’t logical or reality based comparison this is the twisted dream of a sociopath who is unwilling to emotionally bond to another person.)
We can make it together as soon as we choose to settle… not settle for less but settle for something a little different than we imagined it. I can’t make it on my own (This may well be the only honest and reality based statement in the whole line of shit, meant to foster feelings of sympathy but it translates, “I have failed to make a success of myself no matter how many opportunities I have been given. The truth is, I am a lazy failure and I have to have someone to live off of.”)
and neither can you…(I am going to accuse you of the same thing to make you think we are alike even though you are totally capable of pulling your shit together; I also want you to doubt yourself and your abilities so you will just submit and serve me.)
but we can make it together. Together we can have Love, and have a family, and when the day is over, we can have a bonfire and stare at it together knowing that even though this was not our first choice… (hahaha because your heart is a toy you can just turn on and off, we can “pretend” to “love” each other and be a “family” even though I really don’t like you that much, I’m just desperate to have anyone to live off of and as we stare quietly into the fire, it will be understood that I am ALWAYS wishing someone different was there with me. And when I f*ck you over, again and again, we can pretend it didn’t hurt you because we weren’t really in love… Well, I wasn’t but I took every opportunity to manipulate and abuse your natural human emotions.)
It was more than we had without each other. I am nobody’s dream man (Or is he? How many other women thought this guy meant it when he shared his dream of “love” and “family”? Probably the chick that was his first choice? Maybe the second choice as well? Do you even know where on his list you fall?)
and you are nobody’s dream woman… (This is a lie. You are, but not if you settle for anyone who does not know you are the most magnificent woman in the universe because those who do not will use you up and leave you with nothing.)
but together, perhaps our simplist and best dreams can come true. Together we can make new dreams that are much more fulfilling than we imagined to begin with. (Or, I will take over your life and you will live my dream, the one where you have to be happy, whether you are or not and obedient, remember, my family must never do me wrong.)
It’s time to stop wishing on a star, and start wishing for a friend to spend the rest of our days with. The one that I let get away… She got away and she’s not coming back. (Ah yes, here it is, I’ve been stringing you along because I am still and forever hung up on the woman of my dreams who I did wrong, but am too much of an asshole to get down on my knees and beg her forgiveness and do whatever it takes to make it right. I’m just not man enough… Seriously, what has he done to get her back? Why doesn’t he have the integrity to make things right? And you need to seriously look at why you were pursuing a man who is already emotionally attached to another woman. With all this talk of “family” I’m betting there are kids involved, what about them?)
I want to forget about her, and remember you and I… (I am a man who betrays love; don’t think for one minute that I will not betray you as well. I’ll lead you along, selling you my dream, while I continue to make you remember every single day that you are not her, you are not perfect, and no one else wants you, so you ought to just be happy being my slave, wasting your life away in a trailer with me pretending we are a loving, happy “family” while a man who would worship you never gets a chance because I will monopolize every minute of your time being a lazy, jealous, prick.)
There are so many nuances here that are reminiscent of my ex, his reasoning, and history, as well as some hard-sell tactics that were wasted on me. I had allowed myself to fall into that hell-pit trap called “love”. Having all those signs in my favor, after all, I would have followed ass hat anywhere because I had lost all capacity to make reasonable decisions when it came to him. I’m very thankful to be over that mess and hope it never happens to me again. I paid a very high price for the wisdom to read between the lines.