A guy I met on Tinder demanded I sign a ‘relationship contract’
His reasoning was ‘I can’t trust you to not say I raped you’
Names have been changed
After a six month hiatus, I decided to reactivate my Tinder profile once moving to DC for the summer. Originally, I was excited to meet people to explore a new city with. Little did I know what I was getting myself into.
My first date with “D” began with dinner at an upscale Mexican restaurant. Our night continued as we drank at his hotel room until midnight. Afterwards, we took an Uber to the Lincoln Memorial, where I stumbled along the reflecting pool and chatted with a group of ducks. We stayed up into the early morning, exchanging stories about our lives and former relationships, or lack thereof. A few hours later we decided to grab brunch at one of DC’s hot spots. Needless to say, the first date was a success.
It was the second date that didn’t go so well.
Since the DC metro closes at midnight and D lived over an hour away, we agreed that I would spend the night at his place. We ordered pizza, stocked up on ice cream and cuddled up on the couch with his dogs to watch Star Wars. Once the film ended, we decided to head up to his room to catch up on some sleep since we both had work the following morning.
Now, we both set boundaries beforehand on what we were comfortable with. As the night continued, he crossed a line and made it worse by trying to make me feel guilty about my refusal to engage. “Don’t start what you can’t finish,” were his exact words.
Being that he initiated contact in the first place, and apparently wasn’t aware of the meaning of consent, I retaliated. “First of all, I set my boundaries and said I wouldn’t do x y z, so I’m not sure why you assumed I would. Second of all, you initiated contact so I didn’t ‘start’ anything. Lastly, when people engage in physical activity, both are able to withdraw consent at any time for whatever reason. So don’t tell me to ‘don’t start what I can’t finish,’ because that’s some rape culture bullshit.”
He remained silent. We both went our separate ways and didn’t speak until the night after. When we did, conversation went south quickly. He was unappreciative of the comment I made referring to rape culture. He felt he “didn’t deserve that,” and equated the comment to me accusing him of rape.
When I explained that I never said he forced me to do anything nor called him a rapist, it went in one ear and out the other. He stated that without a “relationship contract,” it was over.
Now, at the time I had no idea what a relationship contract was. We weren’t even in a relationship? D explained that it would be a set of terms mutually agreed upon. He was going to have an actual lawyer draft the contract and I would have to sign it in person with a third party witness present.
No, I’m not joking.
Yes, it gets worse.
I had no idea what these terms would be, and refused to even consider signing the contract without knowing what they were. Although he refused to share all of them, he did confess to one: no privacy. Yep, we were not allowed to be in private alone together.
It’s safe to assume that no, I did not meet up with D and no, I am no longer in contact with this person. And my feelings towards Tinder dates are definitely a bit more apprehensive…
On a serious note, this kind of controlling behavior is unnecessary and unacceptable. If you are experiencing it on any level, please seek help from a person you trust and/or a gender-violence based organization.