TS Dating: Men Behaving Badly and Dating Reputations

Dear Jamie,

It’s not that unusual to fuck things up in dating—I know everyone has made a mess and acted badly somewhere along the way, but that’s no consolation to me. My own shameful conduct towards women hurt TS girls I dated and since the transgender communities are small and the trans-attracted communities are also small, my reputation is totally shot and there’s not much chance for a fresh start.

Even when I look further afield, with the idea that I might move if I meet Ms. Right, the internet in this special interest field for dating means it’s a small world.

I was pretty mean to different girls and spoke ill of them—revealing the status of some pre-op women who didn’t want to tell, and slut shaming some others. I also was a loudmouth about a trans woman’s drug habits after she hurt me bad, and then she lost her job because the word spread to her workmates.

I’ve come to terms with my attraction to trans women and learned a lot more about TS social issues. Also, I just grew up. I’m not putting any excuses out there, but how do I move on when my past actions are known by everyone? Trans women understandably talk, to help each other avoid harm from blokes like me. I would love to date again without this hanging over my head. – Joe

Hi Joe. The internet is a small town, especially in highly specific communities, but there’s no use crying over spilt milk. I won’t judge you: anyone who pretends they’ve never hurt the people they’ve dated is a liar. It’s often a mistake or accident, or from our own insecurities and fears, or most often, because we are young and inexperienced and acting out how to get what we want and need in the world.

There’s no easy answer to overcoming your dilemma, except to take total ownership of it. If someone says, “Oh, Joe. I’ve heard about you,” you might have to acknowledge your sins for the 50th time, and do so with patience and grace.

Don’t wheedle and whine and beg about “other chances” or “how I’ve changed.” Don’t be overly defensive. Keep your regrets simple and clear cut. “Yes, I acted out in ways that hurt some members of your community when I was younger, and I regret it. I’d appreciate the opportunity to move forward. Thank you for that chance.”

The best way to move forward is to build the new reputation. Women talk about the great ways a man treats them too. It will take time but rebuilding trust isn’t something that happens overnight. Focus as well on being the man you want to be in all areas of your life. Your reputation in dating isn’t JUST from dating moves, but from your life as a whole.

Remember, people actually admire folks who change. Think about ex-cons and other offenders who found God or started helping homeless women or teaching inner city kids basketball. Think about troubled young men who went on to be business moguls—we respect that climb from unconsciousness to success. Your ticket is not in the past but in the future.

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