Internet Time Machine

The Online Dating Profile I Wish I Could Write

What if I told you I just fled an abusive marriage — and I’m afraid

Maggie Haukka
Human Parts
Published in
4 min readFeb 4, 2019


Credit: John Holcroft/Ikon Images/Getty

This story is part of the Internet Time Machine, a collection about life online in the 2010s.

II am afraid of you. I’m afraid you’ll rape me, or hurt me, or play with my mind. I’m sorry to be so blunt, and I’m even sorrier because you’ve done nothing to elicit such fear, but there’s just no clearer way to say it: I’m afraid of you.

I used to trust my ability to judge whether a man was safe. But I have been wrong, and now I know I am capable of making a grave miscalculation. I don’t know how to reconcile this with the solid knowledge that the vast majority of men do not hurt women. This is something I’m addressing with myself. Please be patient. Please don’t take it personally.

I’m both more and less afraid of men than I was Before. None of it is your fault, of course, and it’s probably not baggage you’re interested in shouldering, but it’s real. “It’s complicated.” If we begin talking, you’ll need to understand that.

They say online dating is inherently risky for women, but all of life is inherently risky for women. That’s the world we live in. Please help change it — for me, if we go out on a…