Oh friends. It has been a week! Spring fever has melted into some kind of weird suspended reality where dating now requires an Olympic sized pool of patience and a complete lack of expectations. Absolutely no expectations. Specifically in regard to general etiquette. Some of you saw my Instagram story and reached out with words of encouragement, understanding, and vitriol against the nonsense that goes on. So appreciated! I want to share two recent experiences that I’ve been ruminating on. Here we go!
Experience One – Typical, With a Twist
Had a really nice day date, received immediate follow up including expression of interest. Sent a text the next day, no response. Sent another last ditch effort text two days later. No response.
You’re probably like, “Why is this that weird? This happens all the time.”
Well, in the conversation with this person, which I thought was enjoyable, we discussed online dating and how ghosting is just not nice. I guess I’m confused. Why bother with the nice follow up then? Do a lot of people just say whatever they need to to A) ingratiate themselves B) prevent awkwardness or C) sociopathy?
The ghosting thing is just super, super lame. I’ve done it before in the past and I’m ashamed of that. My behavior in doing that was rude, immature, and just inhumane. Well, this person seemed to agree, and then did it to me! I feel that unless letting someone down has a distinct possibility of retribution, there’s no excuse for it.
Experience Two – My Carrie Bradshaw Post-It Moment
Had an unplanned meet up after a happy hour with friends. Some surface level conversation for about 10 minutes. Talked about ghosting again and briefly mentioned situation one. He immediately says, “Well, I’m not interested in you.” Sat there in shock and the highest pitch of shrieking awkwardness only dogs can hear, while he tried to get the bartender’s attention to pay the bill. Ended with a wave and some sort of a “have a nice life” utterance.
Okay. So I will admit, that technically, I said it wasn’t cool not to communicate and that it’s better to be honest with someone if you’re not interested. Leaving someone hanging is just a cowardly thing to do.
BUT! I am sorry. On what planet do you just blurt something like that out? And if you’re going to pull that move, why would you do it before getting the check? If I wasn’t so floored by the inappropriateness, I would’ve literally bolted. What goes on with people and their manners?
So Which is Worse?
Experience two was much more stinging to me initially. It kind of sucks to have someone tell you they don’t like you to your face after having a 10 minute conversation. That’s a fast judgment based on very little. I quickly realized that this person, who was much older than me, has got some social issues (clearly). I teed him up for this, sure, but his delivery was so, so bad. Side note; he ordered orange juice. He might as well have gotten a warm glass of milk.
Now, experience one, while less shocking, kind of sucks more, because there’s that dangling piece of string, a lack of closure, and a lack of respect. Someone that ghosts you is essentially saying, “I don’t respect you enough to let you know good luck, but it’s not the right chemistry.” Or, “I am too afraid to communicate like an adult.” The person seemed very cool and normal as well, so that was kind of a drag. Oh well!
Like in all things, balance is key. There is a happy medium that is adjustable between ghosting and suddenly proclaiming that you are uninterested like Austin Powers screams “MOLE“! The manner in which you do this will obviously depend on you and your date, but can we please humanize dating again? Can we apply some manners and etiquette? If it’s going to be this transactional and without consequence, then what is the point? This is so counterintuitive to what dating is…
Meanwhile, I’m going to join a nunnery as long as the Mother Superior doesn’t ghost me.
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