Going on a first date can be really nervewracking for many individuals. But, for those who have been victims of assault, putting yourself out there can be not only difficult but almost traumatizing. For many victims, we are unsure and uneasy when it comes to trusting new people—as we’ve been burned by those who we thought were loyal at a given time.
We try our best to look for the absolute best in everyone we meet—despite our guts telling us otherwise. But, sometimes, trying to open up to someone can be a huge regret, especially when they’re not someone who we should have wasted our time with.
Ericka Persson shared her story on Twitter after she decided to accept a last-minute date with someone. The rest of the story…well, it’s God-awful.
Thread: Last night I made the mistake of being honest.— Ericka Persson (@peoplepersson) March 19, 2019
Around 8:30, a guy asked me out to get sushi locally about an hour before. Last minute, but pretty easy for me. He asked me out for 9:00 so the restaurant was not opened much longer, but I agreed to share a meal.
So I get there and meet him. It’s a hole in the wall, so we order at the counter. My sushi is $14. He paid, I offered before he did, he said no, and I said thank you.— Ericka Persson (@peoplepersson) March 19, 2019
As they decided to go to dinner late, their date was rather short because the restaurant he chose was going to close pretty soon after they arrived.
The restaurant closes at 10, and he was 10 minutes late. So, the date was about 45 minutes long. In an effort to respect people in service industry, I try not to stay beyond closing (p standard). I say let’s go, he says no.— Ericka Persson (@peoplepersson) March 19, 2019
So I explain to him that they’re closing, and that’s when he asks “do you want to come back to my place, or go to yours?” I politely say I rather take a walk instead, and says its too cold, he says no.— Ericka Persson (@peoplepersson) March 19, 2019
Persson wasn’t ready to have him over her house—or go to his—as the two had just met. However, her date responded saying she was being “difficult.”
And I say okay, well I don’t really like to have people over after a first date, especially since we’ve only known each other for 45 minutes and don’t feel comfortable inviting him, or any guy, into my home. He asks me why I am being “difficult.”— Ericka Persson (@peoplepersson) March 19, 2019
He clearly wasn’t taking no for an answer.
I tell him I don’t really think I should have to explain why, and he says I’m being overly cautious, the date was “so short” and we should continue it. So I say, over the span of 10 minutes:— Ericka Persson (@peoplepersson) March 19, 2019
- we could continue a different day this week— Ericka Persson (@peoplepersson) March 19, 2019
- we could take a walk to a coffee shop
- we haven’t known each other for that long
- you asked me out last minute
- its a weekday
- I want to hang out with my roommates
- I’m tired
Persson decides to be honest and explain that she’s had problems in the past with men—alluding that she’s been assaulted by men.
He rejects them all. Finally, I tell him *it.* “I have had some bad experiences with men” (do I need to even expand??) and I don’t trust people I’ve just met, especially on the first date and we have no friends in common. He tells me (no apology first):— Ericka Persson (@peoplepersson) March 19, 2019
And, his response…I just…WHAT?!?
“Just because you’ve had some bad experiences with men, you should be able to learn from that, you should be able to tell when you meet a nice guy. I am like the chillest. You should be braver.”— Ericka Persson (@peoplepersson) March 19, 2019
And I realize who I am dealing with. I’ve declined him at this point 10 times. I have said no, and he has rejected my no. He has rejected my agency.— Ericka Persson (@peoplepersson) March 19, 2019
Persson was not going to let any guy take her dignity and agency away from her.
So let me be real clear:— Ericka Persson (@peoplepersson) March 19, 2019
1. I am really fucking brave. I had a vivid PTSD dream the night before. I went to work, a date, & got shit done. I had my agency violently stripped away from me — when threats to my safety stop being so tangible, trust will be *earned* more easily.
2. I AM NOT a transaction. You don’t put dinner in me and get sex or (probably more significantly) MY TIME. You do not get to buy me.— Ericka Persson (@peoplepersson) March 19, 2019
This boils down to an extreme lack of not just empathy, but seeing and respecting women as people. I shouldn’t have to evoke empathy in anyone to have them respect when I say no.— Ericka Persson (@peoplepersson) March 19, 2019
I don’t walk through the world like you. I am sometimes scared, and I sometimes can work past it, and sometimes it is too dangerous for me to do that, because...the danger I am threatened with isn’t imagined???— Ericka Persson (@peoplepersson) March 19, 2019
Like the reason I’m scared is because the worst possible thing that could happen, happened. And I don’t want it to happen again. And despite my best efforts, I will never not think about it. It is pervasive in every. facet. of. my. life.— Ericka Persson (@peoplepersson) March 19, 2019
So today I am furious and sad and I’m going to sit with being uncomfortable like this, and think about how I can make that inform my work and my personhood.— Ericka Persson (@peoplepersson) March 19, 2019
And I’m going to continue being a multi-layered, hard-working, and a BRAVE person.
So PSA men, don’t tell anyone, but especially someone who has told you have been sexually assaulted, to “be brave and trust him.” You have no idea who you’re dealing with and you can miss me with that shit. </thread>— Ericka Persson (@peoplepersson) March 19, 2019
Many people online were appalled and disgusted by this dude and his lack of compassion.
All around a bad guy... the minute he asked twice and rejected your alternative he showed who he really was. Take care of yourself today, you did well and were strong to keep your voice over and again.— readergurrrrl (@readergurrrrl) March 20, 2019
This dude can go fuck himself I am so sorry you had to put up with this. I am also sorry it is so relatable to me as well. Why men consistently think of sex for food in some weird transactional way I will never fully understand.— Jo (@MissGloop) March 19, 2019
These same guys telling women they should be "brave" or this or that wouldn't be able to deal with even a fraction of what women deal with on a daily basis. Really glad you were able to stand up for yourself.— Arthur ???????? (@Phoenix_911_) March 20, 2019
Bravo standing up for yourself! No one should have to deal with that garbage. I hope you're doing ok today. IMO, being honest isn't mistake. That idiot's unwillingness to listen and be human was his mistake.— Kristine Anne Canidae???? (@Xaenie) March 19, 2019
That encounter rings little sociopath manipulator alarm bells to me. Sorry you had to deal with it.— Dave Cake (@strangedave) March 21, 2019
You are brave. No is no and that should be enough. Especially on a first date. You dodged a bullet. He’d have no respect for you or your choices. Well done!— Lozano (@EmilyLozano) March 21, 2019
I would really like to punch that guy in the nuts for you. Be gentle with yourself. <3— Ashley (@LymeandCoconut) March 21, 2019