Friday, February 3, 2023

He Just Doesn't Want to Murder You

From Suzy Weiss, at the Free Press, "Scores of Facebook groups called ‘Are We Dating The Same Guy’ promise sisterhood and security. But they’re a lot more like a crowd-sourced Stasi":

The screenshot, taken from dating app Hinge, shows software engineer Evan,* with thick black hair and a big, toothy smile. His profile says he is 5 feet 8 inches and graduating from Berkeley. Underneath reads a caption:

“Evan, 26 🚩🚩🚩”

The way the screenshot is positioned, it looks like Evan is gazing at the red flags next to his name.

Evan’s profile had been posted anonymously on the Facebook group “Are We Dating The Same Guy? | New York City NYC”—which started in March 2022 as a place where women compare notes on men. It currently has more than 82,000 members.

In the past year, scores of similar Facebook groups have sprung up across the U.S. in cities including Charlotte, Philadelphia, Tampa, St. Louis, Boston, Chicago, Seattle, and Austin, and in far-flung locales such as Kosovo, Melbourne, and Thailand. Some have more than 30,000 members, others less than a hundred. Almost anybody can join as long as you agree to a few rules. One requirement is usually a variation of this: Do you swear that you will not screenshot or share anything found in this group with anyone outside of this group? This is vitally important to the integrity of our group and safety of our members.

There are rules against “bullying, gaslighting, shaming, victim blaming, or aggressive behavior,” too. But regardless of the Fight Club–style bylaws, the groups are pretty much a free-for-all.

The anonymous woman who posted about Evan regaled her group with stories about their four-month relationship before he dumped her.

“He struggles with empathy,” she wrote. “He also never tells you what he needs and expects you to guess what he needs.”

“He sounds like a classic love bomber to me,” opined one commenter, whose profile photo shows her posing on an Adirondack chair with a corgi.

“Borderline personality disorder,” another commenter snarked.

“This push and pull is part of the hunt if he is a covert narcissist,” said a third. “They are skilled predators and usually have had this same relationship over and over again.”

Another: “Textbook narc.”

Dozens of similar comments followed, speculating about Evan and his various pathologies...