A short rant about the man I met online who called me a liar

You know when something happens that just makes you despair of humanity? Well that.

Here’s what happened. (I deleted the actual messages as I was so cross, so this is roughly what went down.)

I had arranged a brunch date with a guy I met online. We’d exchanged a few messages, but he seemed keen to meet. Fine. All good. And then I got a cold, which turned into a horrible cough. Anyone who knows me knows I get horrible coughs. I had visions of coughing and spluttering eggs benedict in his face.

It was not sexy.

So a few days before we were due to meet I let him know that I wasn’t feeling well.

‘Are you trying to tell me something?’ he said.

‘Well yes,’ I replied, ‘I’m trying to tell you I’m not well. I wanted to warn you, in case I didn’t get better.’

‘Right,’ he said, ‘only if you’re fobbing me off then I’d rather you were just up front about it.’

‘I’m not fobbing you off,’ I said, bristling. ‘I have a cough. I’m telling you, that’s all. Would you like an audio file?’

‘It’s just that six ladies since November have suddenly developed coughs a couple of days before we’re meant to go out, so I’d rather you were just honest with me if you’re going to cancel and then I’m never going to hear from you again.’

I was annoyed. I don’t care how many people have said what to him. That’s not me is it?

online dating

He launched into an essay about how sorry he was if I was ill, and then some stuff about teabags being left on the side, and honesty in marriage, and how important it was. He finished off by saying ‘time will tell if you are right or I am.’

I had been honest the entire time, so I was getting really hacked off by this point. Time would NOT tell. Because I already knew.

‘I totally understand the importance of honesty,’ I wrote back, ‘but that has to come hand in hand with trust surely? You can’t just assume I’m lying and mistrust me from the start, based on other people’s behaviours. That seems a bit unfair.’

I should have given up at this point, but I was riled.

‘But this isn’t real life,’ he replied, ‘it’s internet dating, and there are different rules. There are thousands of fakes and flakes out there.’

‘Only it IS real life? Because I am a REAL HUMAN?’

I was pissed off.

‘Life’s tough honey,’ he replied. (*appalled face*) ‘There’s a saying about when a duck looks like a duck and sounds like a duck, it probably is a duck.’

‘Duck off.’ I wanted to write.

I mean wow??

‘It would be like reading the Sun and thinking it was news,’ he continued.

‘I’m done here,’ I said.

‘So I was right,’ he replied.

I blocked him.

I mean seriously? I appreciate that it’s good to be cautious, and important to be safe, but surely as human beings we have to start from the position where we assume that everyone is a normal, honest, decent person don’t we?

Or am I just being really ducking naive?

Photo by Jerry Kiesewetter on Unsplash



  1. Joanne
    6 February, 2018 / 12:08 pm

    Tinder flu is totally a thing but you have to just wait until they ghost you after to diagnose it

    • Jo Middleton
      6 February, 2018 / 1:11 pm

      Tinder flu! Haha! It just feels like such a shame that people can’t be honest AND trusting. Whenever I have had to cancel dates I’ve always been honest, even if it means saying ‘I’m going to cancel because I just don’t feel any connection when we’ve been chatting’ – what’s the point otherwise?

    • Jennifer
      31 August, 2020 / 3:20 am

      I had the EXACT same experience meeting a man on Match.com!
      I got sick the day before we were to meet.
      We had only been talking for 6 days.
      His feelings were way too intense for me. He built up in his mind I was The One. Only 6 days talking online and over the phone (which I learned was way too soon to give anyone my phone number)
      He told me he was easy going. “There’s nothing in the world worth fighting over.”
      Somehow both ex-wives and every woman he met online cheated on him. ALL of them. Especially that 2nd ex-wife who spent one full year in marriage counseling trying to save the marriage.
      He seemed understanding when I had to postpone the date by 3 days.
      He called right away to make sure he could hear it in my voice how sick I was.
      I was still recovering but agreed to meet with him the following day. I planned an entire day with him. In retrospect that was too much time to give to a person that I don’t know and none of my family and friends know nothing about.
      He texted me the afternoon before our date “I can’t stop thinking about you! Do you feel the same?”
      Well honestly, I was behind with the housework from being sick, I don’t think I had showered because I was too busy…and being sick drains the dopamine and seratonin right out of you. So no, I had to be honest with this man I had never met “I think I’m a little more down to earth feelings wise, but I’m glad we met.”
      So his pity party started.
      “Oh, Ok. I can tell you’ve lost interest. That’s OK.”
      Then it was “Well this all just went downhill fast!
      He expressed his extreme disappointment in the situation , BUT he was still willing to meet with me. Just let him know.
      Meanwhile a lot more accusations and his insecurity reared it’s ugly head. “Maybe I was really still talking to other men? Why else wasn’t I blowing up his phone?” There was no calming him down or talking any sense into him.
      The final straw for me was that my PTS from my most abusive relationship was coming back. My body was going into shock with all these unfair accusations.
      So I said “This was too upsetting. I can’t make this work. Good luck to you. “
      And blocked him in my phone, Match and social media.
      It’s been months later and I call his behavior psychotic dating insecurity. I think the truth is he has borderline personality disorder. They only know 2 modes: infatuation or hate.

  2. Philipa
    6 February, 2018 / 12:54 pm

    People seem so keen to be angry nowadays, so keen to be offended. I think you were measured in your responses, jo. It’s a shame he’d been so let down his fear took over. But that’s not the whole story is it? There’s a general trend of quickness to defend against some assumed offence. He seems defensive. Perhaps my comments are shaped by my own recent experiences. I don’t know. What seems clear is that his seemed to be informed by his.

    • Jo Middleton
      6 February, 2018 / 1:10 pm

      He was VERY defensive. I felt sad about what may have happened to make him react like that, but if we let ourselves become that jaded then we are never going to be able to put it right are we?

      • Philipa
        6 February, 2018 / 1:29 pm

        Yes, you’re right, jo. I confess I’m feeling a little jaded myself.

  3. 6 February, 2018 / 1:48 pm

    OH dear I read this in my lunch break so am currently picking cous cous out of my keyboard. What a strange conversation. Maybe the others had had a change of heart or maybe were genuinely ill but his response is in no way an incentive to ever want to meet him!

    • Jo Middleton
      6 February, 2018 / 2:12 pm

      Oh sorry about the cous cous :-) It was so weird and angry!

  4. Lucinda
    6 February, 2018 / 5:54 pm

    Sorry to hear this but we live in the age of outrage where everybody has the right to be angry at everything and everyone. I despair at where we are heading but I plaster on a smile and hope that if I smile someone will smile with me.

    • Jo Middleton
      6 February, 2018 / 6:22 pm

      It’s the best policy Lu! Don’t let the bastards get us down :-)

      • Gary
        6 February, 2018 / 9:53 pm

        Ithat doesn’t seem fair, He was obviously misinformed. I believe..

  5. iris tilley
    6 February, 2018 / 8:08 pm

    wow I was fuming just reading it glad you left him to it as well Don’t need that in your life total negative attitude. Hope you get well soon Is what he should of said. I can imagine life would be all about him and how everything affects him too.

  6. Hayley F
    6 February, 2018 / 8:41 pm

    Sounds like he needs to stop dating for a while and sort his head out. People in real life can be fake aswell not just on the internet like he thinks. Hope you feel better soon x

    • Jo Middleton
      7 February, 2018 / 11:37 am

      Yeah, I don’t think he is really in the right place to be opening his heart, that’s for sure!

  7. Caroline Hunter
    7 February, 2018 / 2:19 pm

    He seems a bit over the top! I can understand him asking the question in the beginning about whether or not you were fobbing him. Obviously he didn’t want to waste time on someone who wasn’t interested any more. But after that he should have given you the benefit of the doubt and arranged another date. I imagine he must have been treated quite badly by people in the past. What a shame. Are you going to continue with online dating or has that put you off?

    • Jo Middleton
      7 February, 2018 / 2:21 pm

      I’m dabbling Caroline – I’m certainly not going to be put off by one rude man. But likewise there’s no rush :-)

      • Rude man
        8 February, 2018 / 9:04 am

        I wasn’t rude, you flaked on me! Quack!!!

        • Jo Middleton
          8 February, 2018 / 10:43 am


  8. Susan B
    7 February, 2018 / 7:29 pm

    Oh, dear. He must have been deeply wounded by others in the past and it is foremost in his mind when communicating with others today. I guess we all have baggage but it doesn’t sound as though he is ready to begin meeting new people.

    I do hope that you are now recovered and that you meet somebody soon whose communications and company you enjoy.

    • Jo Middleton
      8 February, 2018 / 10:42 am

      He must have been, and that’s sad of course, but if he is still letting that impact the way he treats new people then you’re right, he definitely isn’t ready to be dating.

  9. Wayne Newton
    8 February, 2018 / 3:08 am

    Lucky escape.
    Bunny boiler alert.
    Didn’t deserve you.

  10. Pain in the butt to be
    8 February, 2018 / 9:40 am

    I’d have thought as a blogger you wouldn’t be big on censorship and open to debtates and the whole story. I didn’t see you as such a close minded lady. There are two sides..

    • Jo Middleton
      8 February, 2018 / 10:41 am

      Hmmm… so I’m close minded to dislike someone thinking I’m lying when I’m not? I can’t see how that works? Should I be more ‘open’ to being insulted?

      • D
        8 February, 2018 / 11:13 am

        I didn’t insult you directly I mearly tarnished you with the same brush as others, unfortunately your actions mimicked theirs.

        I honestly believed you were wasting my time and you weren’t genuine. Okay I was wrong, I’ll happily admit that but there are so many time wasters with online dating I’m not an inherently negative person.

        I would have rearranged the date as I was very keen on meeting you, you seem a lovely lady you are stunning and im sure a delight to be around BUT I didn’t want to be messed around, which I have been a lot in the past.

        As for not in the right place maybe that was true.

        I would happily apologise in person and buy you that coffee and eggs Benedict, If not I wish you the best and look forward to reading your future rants x

        • Graham Igglesden
          8 February, 2018 / 4:02 pm

          You showed your true colours, Jo should feel blessed of a lucky escape

        • Kitty
          21 February, 2018 / 10:41 pm

          That’s a really mature reply. Good man!

  11. 9 February, 2018 / 3:17 pm

    This is blogging gold!

  12. Snugglebitch
    9 February, 2018 / 11:35 pm

    Am I the only person who completely relates to the guy and understands where he was coming from?
    He has made it clear, even now, that he really liked you, and that when you let him know you had a cough, his first instinct, was “I knew this was too good to be true.”
    “ive heard this many times before”….
    He was obviously keen to meet you and then disappointed when it seemed you where pulling the same crap that many others had, and he outright asked you. You got defensive and now you’re playing a victim, because a literal stranger, who has been played too many times before and is clearly insecure, didn’t immediately buy your cough story.
    You honestly sound so devoid of empathy and understanding and can’t seem to see this from his point of view.

    • Jo Middleton
      13 February, 2018 / 10:45 am

      I can totally see where he was coming from of course – he has clearly had some bad experiences – but I still don’t think it justifies his behaviour. He said himself that he was projecting that on to me and that’s never okay, whatever the reasons behind it. If someone can’t even take your very first interactions at face value can you imagine what it would be like to be in a relationship with them??

    • Wiggles
      14 May, 2018 / 2:55 pm

      Agreed! I’ve been on the receiving end many times before – and it usually is someone waiting for a better offer, so they pull the sick card in the meantime. Unfortunately it does makes you suspicious.
      His ending comebacks were a little embarrassing and somewhat dramatic, but what is he meant to do…sit around waiting for a few days on the off chance you turned out to be one of the honest ones. Why didn’t you just rearrange the date for another day there and then so there wasn’t potential in wasting his day.
      You want to be blame the ones that let us down, and maybe give him the benefit of the doubt instead.

      • Jo Middleton
        16 May, 2018 / 11:19 am

        I was totally prepared to rearrange if he hadn’t jumped at me and been so accusatory!

  13. 15 February, 2018 / 11:14 pm

    I think you had a close shave. You may not have found out how insecure and what a nut job he was until several dates down the line. That cough was a blessing in disguise

  14. 21 February, 2018 / 6:19 pm

    Nope he wasn’t coming from anywhere reasonable! Sorry he’s had bad experiences in the past, but he doesn’t get to put that on you. The main thing that been putting me off internet dating at the moment is how entitled some men are – before you’ve even met once! “No time wasters!” “Sick of women who match and don’t chat’ – dude I was mildly intrigued by the photo of you surfing, I owe you no more than that!

  15. Rachael
    18 March, 2018 / 10:10 am

    I agree, you were defensive. I don’t agree with his later attitude but if you’d just reassured him at the beginning by saying you were definitely keen to meet him and maybe laughed it off by saying you know it looks bad but to just trust you and you’re really looking forward to meeting him, the outcome would have been completely different. Men’s egos are fragile and they don’t take rejection well so you often have to be very sensitive to this lol!

    • Jo Middleton
      19 March, 2018 / 12:01 pm

      The trouble is that I DID reassure him, and his response was despite that!

  16. Leanne
    18 March, 2018 / 12:18 pm

    You lost me at “despair at humanity”. That phrase always sticks in my craw and I think it’s only used by the self-righteous. Sorry!

  17. Anna
    19 March, 2018 / 9:18 pm

    Hi Jo, I’m also a single mum of two and found the whole online dating thing a real emotional rollercoaster. I met some really lovely guys but also some really flashy ones and some were just weird! I was just on the verge of giving up when I had one last tinder swipe session. I matched with this amazingly fab and gorgeous guy – we are still together now and about to move in together. It feels different from anything else I have ever known. Very much in love but a very real life and grounded love. He also has two kids and is brilliant with mine and yet still makes me feel amazing and seems to adore me as well. So stay strong. You’ll find someone amazing, you just need to wait for your time, whenever that is. Xx

  18. Megan
    20 March, 2018 / 3:33 pm

    He’d have been better off saying “that sucks, no worries, we could meet up a week later if you’d prefer? Up to you. Or we could stick to this week, the lemsips are on me.”

    • Jo Middleton
      20 March, 2018 / 3:45 pm

      Exactly! Perfect reply right there. I totally get that he has been let down in the past but you have to start afresh with new people from a positive place don’t you?

  19. Katie
    10 April, 2018 / 7:47 am

    You know what – you have a lucky escape. Whatever previous women had told him re Tinger Flu, he sounded utterly overbearing, insensitive and just generally an a- hole. Well done for side stepping the turd!

  20. Katie
    10 April, 2018 / 7:47 am

    You know what – you have a lucky escape. Whatever previous women had told him re Tinger Flu, he sounded utterly overbearing, insensitive and just generally an a- hole. Well done for side stepping the turd!

  21. Kim Styles
    12 May, 2018 / 5:21 pm

    wow! he sounds like he had serious issues with previous dates.. you cant know what his experiences have been though and I think you did the right thing.

  22. Angelina
    13 May, 2018 / 10:37 pm

    What is wrong with people, you had a lucky escape!

  23. Yolanda Davis
    14 May, 2018 / 10:46 pm

    blogging is definitely not dead. Amen.

  24. Michelle Hopkins
    15 May, 2018 / 4:19 pm

    What a sad man. Much better off without him xx

  25. astrid c
    15 May, 2018 / 4:47 pm

    i enjoyed reding this! had many experience with online dating, and had some proper loons! i quit now if the universe really wants me to meet someone in real time!! would love to hear more of your experiences, please keep us posted.xx

  26. Jacqueline Roberts
    25 May, 2018 / 11:57 am

    Seems to me he had a self fulfilling prophecy…..or a secret obsession with ducks.

    • Jo Middleton
      25 May, 2018 / 1:19 pm

      Either way…

  27. Fiona jk42
    25 May, 2018 / 9:30 pm

    I think this turned out best for you as you found out what an a-hole he is without wasting your time meeting him.

  28. Mower :)
    12 June, 2018 / 4:44 pm

    I think you had a lucky escape! If he is going to be that defensive (and not very understanding) over a lunch date, how would be be in a relationship!
    See ya, wouldn’t want to be ya – move on to someone ace who thinks your pretty ace (snot or not) xxx

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