I got dumped (and lived to blog about it), Part 2

When we last left our heroine (me, duh) she had just been dumped by her boo of almost five months, D. She had also just decided, possibly against her better judgment, to go out for a drink with him in the hopes of getting some closure. And now for the thrilling (nope) conclusion of S and D’s break up story.

We drove to the bar in silence. D parked in one of those insane new garages where there are no humans operating anything and your car gets taken away/moved around by a conveyor belt. I stared at this spectacle, dumbfounded, the absurdity of my situation finally sinking in: I was out on a post break up non-date with someone who had just rejected me. We were about to drink some alcohol and say what we needed to say to one another. My brain was suddenly like:

leslie knope bad

via: http://www.hercampus.com/life/21-worst-parts-winter-break-told-amy-poehler

Too late, though. It was done. We walked into a crowded bar. Music was blasting and there were zero dark corners for me to cry anonymously in, so we walked right back out. It was still pouring so I made an exec decision to go into the next place we passed. As we walked in, it hit me: it was the site of our second date. I didn’t really mention D’s and my second date on this blog, because it was so completely bizarre I honestly didn’t know what to make of it when it happened. In summary, we both drank too much, he got sassy, and I yelled at him. When I walked away from the date I thought I’d never see or hear from him again. Fast forward five months…

“Do you realize where we are?” I asked him. “Of course,” he said. “I didn’t suggest it because I thought it might be too weird.” I shrugged. Things were already so weird, a monkey could have seated us at that point and I probably wouldn’t have been fazed.

We were shown (by a human) to the very back of the restaurant and sat at a long bar facing the kitchen. The waitress took our drink orders and I could feel her stare as she looked back and forth between me, doing this:

gretchen weiners crying

via: http://sidmalkin.tumblr.com/post/79130923727/one-time-i-met-sid-at-one-of-the-starbucks-in

  and D, doing this:

jim

via: http://splatter.com/tag/funny/page/8/

A few sips of legal sedative later and I was much calmer. We started to talk and it was minimally awkward, at least for me. I was surprised that D and I seemed to be on the same page about so many aspects of our relationship:

  • how lately things had felt off between us during the week but then great again when we’d see each other in person
  • how we both felt lonely and alone sometimes, especially at night, even when we were together
  • how we were incredibly similar in many ways and how that may not have been the best thing for two people in a relationship

I admitted to D that one of the things I had liked most about him in the beginning was that he was super clear about how he felt about me and what he wanted. For the first time maybe ever with a guy I’d felt like I could relax and just enjoy being with him and getting to know him. I should have known, of course, when that feeling slowly started to be replaced by anxiety, that something was up. I did also reprimand him for not being honest with me sooner and making me feel like a crazy person for suspecting something was wrong the last few weeks we were together. It felt good. He took it like a champ.

I cried basically the entire time, and I am really not a crier, or at least I wasn’t until I started online dating. AMIRITE?

Kristen-Bell-Laughing-to-Crying

via: http://reactiongifs.me/30-living-with-parents/

I wonder if Okcupid wants to use that glowing endorsement on their homepage. Shoot me an email, Sam Yagan. Anyway, I’m sharing this embarrassing crying detail only so I can also share a funny anecdote: since it was a rainy Tuesday, the bar was basically empty and the servers and busboys were all standing around close to where D and I were sitting. The longer we sat there, the more they noticed my crying, and the more blatantly they glared at D. By the end of the night, many of them were giving him the straight up stink eye as if he was an abusive boyfriend (which wouldn’t have been the worst guess given the scene they were witnessing). It reminded me of this wonderful vintage Scrubs clip (except obviously D pissed off the waitstaff, not Asians):

Maybe it was the alcohol, maybe it was the honesty, maybe it was the dirty looks D was getting from total strangers, but I started to feel… better. Like I actually understood what had happened and why it had happened. Like I knew where D’s head was at and got to say everything I wanted to say to him. Like I could move on. Hey, what do we call that, Rachel Green?

closure

via: http://www.tvfanatic.com/forum/gossip-girl/friends/page-84.html

And that was that. There was no drama. No one yelled or stormed out. The whole thing felt very…mature. I suppose my lifelong dream of throwing a drink in someone’s face will just have to wait.

We left the bar, watched D’s car being lowered absurdly onto the street, and he drove me home. I had been thinking about what would come next ever since he told me at the beginning of the night that he wanted to stay friends. Maybe I’ve seen When Harry Met Sally one too many times, but I’ve always kind of scoffed at that idea of being friends with an ex.

This feels different, though. I mean, I still need time to process things and let the dust settle a bit before 100% knowing what I want. But I think (and I hope) that D and I can be friends. I don’t know in what capacity, and I don’t know what that says about our relationship to begin with (were we always meant to just be friends all along?) but I think I’d like to give it a try.

I’m curious about other people’s experiences with this, though. You know what that means… reader poll time!

I know D wasn’t the right guy for me, romantically speaking. Even before he dumped me I think I knew, deep down, that one of us would have to end it eventually. But I don’t feel like I wasted my time. I don’t regret giving it another shot after that awful second date. I honestly think he was what I needed at this moment in my life. Beyond the fact that I had a lot of fun with him, I also think I just needed to know that there are nice, decent, considerate, thoughtful guys out there. After being jerked around by commitment phobic douchebags all last year, I needed someone to remind me that I deserve more.

I think what’s making me so sad is this: I’m going to miss his company. Even though we didn’t work as a couple, we had a connection and we had a lot in common. D became that person who I texted and chatted with on pretty much a daily basis, shared details about my day with, exchanged music, stories, and random crap from the internet with, tried new restaurants with, went to museums with, shared inside jokes with, and just did all the wonderful fun stuff that you do in an exclusive relationship. Saying goodbye to him, and to that, feels really lonely.

One thing that has made me feel better is the outpouring of ‘I know this sucks–I’ve been there’ texts and emails I’ve gotten from friends and readers. I also happened to catch an old Parcs and Rec on TV last week when I was glued to my couch in a post break up coma, and it made me seriously LOL. The fool who posted the video disabled embedding, so click the link below to enjoy these (fictitious but still amazing) breakup stories from Leslie Knope:

On the bright side, none of those things happened to me. And as awful as it was, at least D had the decency to 1. be honest with me and 2. end things in person. He could have faded away or even pulled a Jack Berger, although I’m pretty sure this is just the early 2000s version of a text breakup:

Do you have a break up story to share? And do you feel like cheering this dumped blogger up? Tell me about it in the comments and I’ll be forever grateful.

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The exclusivity talk (and other new relationship concerns)

One of the things I find to be most stressful about dating is the uncertainty. There is no one set of rules or guidelines to follow, so it’s basically the wild goddamn west out there–everyone is playing by their own rules and timelines, and you’re constantly wondering if you and another human being are on the same page. Naturally, this lends itself (at least in my case) to the following:

  • stress
  • wine drinking
  • constantly consulting one’s girlfriends on gchat
  • comical misunderstandings

Just off the top of my head, here are some timing-related questions that have come up in my few months of dating D:

  • When can you start packing an overnight bag to stay at the other person’s place? The first time I slept over at D’s I wasn’t sure if I was invited to stay the night (we had made plans to watch movies and that’s it). I didn’t want to be presumptuous, so I stuffed underwear, a toothbrush, face wash and Lord knows what else into my purse like a legit call girl. When he was all, “of course you’re invited to stay the night!” I started to pull random items out of my bag like I was Mary Poppins’ slutty niece. (I’m sure this is a proud moment for you, mom.) Of course now my overnight bag resembles something settlers would take on the Oregon Trail, complete with a full bevy of toiletries. #noshame
  • When is it cool to leave something AT the other person’s place, like a toothbrush or a hair dryer? We all (and by “we all” I mean TV loving ladies and gays in our late 20s and 30s) remember that SATC episode where Big presents Carrie with a pink toothbrush head and it might as well be a flawless 3 carat Tiffany cushion cut, it’s so significant. Also, FUN FACT: as L recently discovered, finding hair and beauty products in a guy’s apartment is a great way to spot a cheater.  

  carrie big toothrbush

  • When does the inaugural fart happen? And who farts first? (again, time to swell with pride, mom). FYI, if you just answered ‘never’, you are reading the wrong blog. I assure you. I actually have a soul crushing story about this that I’m not going to tell you all out of sheer humiliation. UGH fine, if you must know, it was me. I farted first. Super early on, too. For the record, it was IN MY SLEEP and I wouldn’t have even known about it if D hadn’t decided to fully traumatize me by telling me (In a totally teasing way, but still. FML).
  • When do you introduce your significant other to your friends and/or family?
  • When do you start referring to that person as your boyfriend/girlfriend/boo?

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Before many if not most of those questions can be addressed, there’s this fun little doozy:

When do you have the exclusivity talk?

If you haven’t been out in the dating world recently (you lucky bastard), you may think that after a certain stretch of time it’s just implied that you and the other person are exclusive. Let me assure you:

nope

First rule of online dating: assume nothing. We here at StuCu have learned that the hard way. For instance: don’t assume your date is single, and definitely don’t assume they’re not a serial killer until you can do a full background check. And of course, don’t assume if you’re dating someone for an extended period of time that they’re dating just you. Because if you haven’t talked about it, they’re probably not. #jaded

My experience with the ‘are we exclusive’ talk is comically limited. I’ve gotten really used to (and honestly, really comfortable with) some variation of the following:

Okc dude: Hey so, I really like you.

Me: I like you, too.

Okc dude: I just want to be completely honest: I’m not looking for anything super serious at the moment.

Me: Okay. Thanks for being honest.

Okc dude: But let’s keep seeing each other and see what happens?

Me: Sounds great.

In summary, the noncommittal dating anthem of our generation. I mean, thinking back on these conversations with guys is actually fairly depressing in hindsight. Not that there’s anything wrong with casual dating…

seinfeld

But if I’m being totally honest (with myself and you guys) on at least one occasion I definitely told myself I was cool with this arrangement when in reality I wasn’t, because I liked the person and didn’t want things to end. I know. Pathetic. But to quote a 90s goddess:

Back in January, D and I had this very talk (and by “talk” I mean the whole thing went down over text. Oh, modern dating.) As much as I’d like to say it just came up organically or I was brave and breezy enough to be direct with him over drinks, of course the reality was totally random and awkward. I wish I could screen cap the entire thing for your viewing pleasure, but my phone decided to wipe all my texts when I updated my iOs, so this is me paraphrasing. Here’s how it went down:

Random Weeknight in Early January

Me: (in the middle of how’s your day type small talk) What are you up to tonight?

D: I have a date.

Me (internally): ……….. bridesmaids-what is happening

Me (trying to be breezy while I figure out what the eff to say): Oh, really? Where is it?

D: blablabla date details.

Me: Well, uh…have fun?

D: Thanks.

After that supremely awkward exchange, I sat and stewed. Wtf was he getting at, telling me he had a date? Is that what people do now? They just go out with each other and then openly share when they’re going out with someone else? I was pissed. Not about the date (okay, maybe a little about the date), because to be fair we hadn’t had an exclusivity talk at that point. I was still active on Okc, and I too had been out with someone else recently. And I of course didn’t know this at the time, but by this point D had already found the blog and was reading all about my dating shenanigans. 

I guess I was just… insulted. Why was it necessary to tell me that instead of just saying he had dinner plans? Most people get that until you have the exclusivity talk, dating other people is basically a don’t ask/don’t tell situation. I knew, despite my instincts to not make a big deal out of things like this, that I’d have to talk to him about it.

Again, paraphrasing:

Me: So listen. I know we haven’t had any sort of talk about exclusivity, and that’s fine. You’re well within your rights to be seeing other people at this point. But could you just not tell me? I was a little taken aback when you did, and I think I’d just appreciate it if we didn’t bring it up to each other.

D: Of course. But to be fair, you asked what I was doing, and I wanted to be honest.

Me: I think this is a great example of being a little too honest. And I’m not trying to rush things. If you need time…

D: I don’t need time. I know who I like. (not gonna lie, I swooned a bit when he said this. It’s only after remembering it months later that I realized D never actually said he liked ME. He could have technically been talking about some other girl. Glad that worked out!)

D: I’m going to go on this date, because I don’t want to be rude and cancel the same day. But after that I’m done.

Me: Me too. So…we’re officially just seeing each other, then.

D: Yup.

So there you have it. Our first date was in mid-November so we had “the talk” about a month and a half into seeing each other. Now if D hadn’t created an opportunity, albeit an awkward one, for us to talk about this, I’m not sure how long I would have waited to say something. Probably another few weeks, tops.

What about you, readers? How long do you wait before having the exclusivity talk with someone? Do you just go for it or do you wait for the other person to bring it up first? Leave us a comment!

PS – this is completely unrelated to the subject of the post, but I can’t not bring it up. When I asked D about his date during our original convo, he revealed that they were going to a restaurant IN MY HOME TOWN in Jersey. The second he said that, I was positive I knew the girl (my little town is not exactly a hot date destination). Naturally, the next time I saw D I completely grilled him about his date. He was all waaaaaait, I thought you didn’t want to know about it and I was all dude, of course I do, because

crazy

I told him about my theory that I knew his date and he was all ‘Pssshhhh no way’. But you know what?

I WAS RIGHT. I TOTALLY KNOW HER. We went to high school together. Boom. I called it. Just had to gloat.

high five

God, being right is the best.

Sex Idiots, Jump offs and others: The Second S

Remember when I promised you that, if you suffered through my JDate hate manifesto, you’d actually get some stories about the guys I met on it? Asked and answered, friends. ONLY A MONTH SINCE THE POST. #trulysorry

I actually had a nice time with two of the guys I met on JDate, and both managed to keep me occupied through the late summer/early fall. I’ve already divulged the details of one of those flings in a nice, sobering post about being an adult and “doing the right thing.” and I figure it’s time to share a little bit about the other guy, whose story is much less savory, and much more juicy. (Ahem, mom and dad, this is where you stop reading. You’ve been warned.)

Here is what J #2 had going for him:

  • His face.
  • His smile.
  • His butt.
  • His looks.
  • His cable.
  • His name, which was S (I have a good track record with Ss). 

…andddddd that’s about it. This guy, during our first date, was so boring, that he literally recited two recipes verbatim, including an ingredient list for each. He spent the other 50% of the date just explaining, in frame by frame detail, episodes of Friday Night Lights. In a normal situation, I would have ended the date after one drink. But here’s the thing. He was super cute. And we were obviously really attracted to each other. And he was putting some pretty cute moves on me. 

So I took him back to my place (a 20-minute walk from the bar, during which, between groping me and weirdly trying to hold my hand, he detailed several episodes of “How I Met Your Mother,” told me a really really long story about no less than 12 different friends of his from camp who I did not know, and then proceeded to recite a recipe for matzah ball soup) and we did it.

This was the night when I truly discovered what it means to have a sex idiot.  

Once again, we can thank Tina Fey for another genius contribution to modern society. For those of you who didn’t click on the hyperlink above, allow me to summarize/elaborate. There is a great episode of 30 Rock where Jack and one of the many women he is dating run into each other. They’re both with other people, who turn out to be really dumb human beings who they are both keeping around for the sex only, who they refer to as “sex idiots.” God love ya, Jack Donaghy, for always reminding me there is always room to grow into a WORSE person. 

Now friends, if you can believe it, It gets even better. Because Zarina’s sex idiot is no one other than the incredible swimmer/media sensation/fashion designer, Ryan Lochte. If you’re joining me in uttering, “Yum/Yuck,” then welcome to the club. That’s a sex idiot for ya. Lust them and hate them. Fantasize about having sex with them but can’t wait to kick them out afterwards.

So back to S. If you’re looking for a visual, imagine a Jewish Ryan Lochte who is really obsessed with his mom:

goldlochte(

(BTW,  S and D, we should really invest in Photoshop so I can do cool things like put a yarmulke on this picture of Ryan Lochte nibbling a gold medal).

After my first date/night with S, I figured I probably wouldn’t see him again. After all, we didn’t have a lot in common, and I pretty much handed him his shoes and pushed him out the door shortly after the dirty deed was over.

However, S continued to call text. And I continued to answer, and agree to hang out, as long as the plans we made maximized the sex and minimized the talking. (i.e., no meals, no day dates, hanging out exclusively at our apartments, etc).  This pattern, much to my delight, continued for a month or so.

hogwarts judging

HANG ON THERE GRYFFINDOR. Before you get on your high hippogriff, and look down on me for being a shallow user, let’s engage in a real intellectual debate here: Is it wrong to have a sex idiot?

Before fully examining this question, I think it’s important to further examine the origin and reach of sex idiots. So, I turned to three important cultural hallmarks: Sex and the City, rap music, and B-list rom coms that often appear in my Netflix cue.

1) SATC has long explored and acknowledged the concept of the sex idiot, which the lovely ladies usually refer to as a “F#@$ buddy.” They even have a whole episode dedicated to  the concept:

According to this incredibly believable scene (when was the last time you saw four people have a full on conversation during the middle of yoga class?), a F-buddy meets the following criteria:

  • The sex is great
  • They are generally available
  • You could care less about the details of their daily life
  • It is a terrible idea to actually try and date them

Now, here’s the thing. It sounds very much like these are all consensual arrangements, where each party is explicitly aware of the intentions of the other party. It’s not like these guys are begging for relationships, and all these ladies are giving is sex. If both parties are 1) informed about where they stand and 2) happy about it, then what’s the harm in having a little fun?

2) Now, let’s get even more urban (I know, what is more urban than SATC? It’s in a city, for goddsakes!) Enter, the rap song and the “jump-off.” The jump-off is a term that some of these rap kids are using to describe a lady who men use for casual sex.  Jump-offs truly penetrated the vernacular as after the 2003 release of Joe Budden’s hit single, Pump it up.

Budden describes his Jump Off:

My jump off doesn’t run off at the mouth so much
My jump off never ask why I go out so much
My jump off never has me going out of my way
And she don’t want nothing on Valentines Day
My jump off don’t argue or get rebellious
And she don’t mind hanging out wit da fellas
My jump off’s not insecure or jealous
(Uuh, uuh, uuh)

Sure, this song has misogynistic undertones (BLOG GIVEAWAY FOR ANY READER WHO JUST GOT THE HIDDEN POP CULTURE REFERENCE!)* but, at the end of the day, Joe is describing a pretty cool gal, who is low maintenance, fun, and amiable. Moreover, his description transcends race and class. He could very well be describing Carrie, Miranda, or Samantha. It sounds like not only would all these things be fine with them, but that they would  alsorevel in and appreciate the lack of communication, interest, or attention from their F-buddy until the desired time to F.

So far, so good. Sex idiots are not only perfectly fine to have, but they are also recognized by HBO and the same label that produced Jay-Z. Sounds legit and ethical to me!

3) However, the string of B-list rom coms I’ve seen suggests that the sex idiot/F-buddy/jump off concept has a fatal flaw. And that flaw is, if one party is interested in any more than sex (their opinions being heard, the life details being shared, a gift on Valentine’s Day), then all bets are off and someone could really get hurt. This is what happens in the Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis tour de force film, “Friends with Benefits,” when one of them becomes more interested than the other. (Y’all, this is movie is seriously good. If you don’t believe me, believe Rotten Tomatoes.)This central conflict repeats, though less successfully, in several films, including “Just Friends,” and “The Hook Up” Of course, at the end of each movie, the main characters find out that they are not truly one another’s sex idiots, but actually like each other, and kiss on a bridge or something while Jason Mraz plays in the background. But the main takeaway I had here was: in a true sex idiot arrangement, neither party can romantically like the other party. Or the whole thing will be a mess.

So what happened to me and S? About a month in, S suggested we go on a proper date, to DC Restaurant Week. Now, everyone knows eating dates are a huge, intimate step for me. And I was pretty panicked about what S and I were going to talk about for one hour. But, I figured there was no harm in a meal  and I obliged.

And, I actually had a decent time. After the date, we went back to his place, and he asked me to spend the night (a “no no” for jump-offs!) and we did engage in some couch cuddling and I wore his pajamas and blah blah. And you know what? After a very nice night and morning, I never heard from him again. (OK, that’s not entirely true. I hit him up a week later for some late night lovin, and he said he was tired and I never heard from him again.)

 I wasn’t that broken up about it. He was definitely not “the one,” and, truth be told, I was running out of physical cues that I could use to feign interest when he was talking. Moreover, he and I had never explicitly defined our sex idiot partnership, and therefore, it’s quite possible he wanted more/less and was sick and tired of just hanging out every time I saw a really sensual episode of the Good Wife and needed to blow off some steam. Who knows?

My point is. Pop culture is always right. Keep sex idiots around purely for sex. Don’t try to blur the lines. Unless, of course, you’re Robin Thicke featuring T.I and Pharell:

Sorry I’m not sorry readers. That song is catchy.

*The blog giveaway is NBD. When these posts get published into a book, you’ll get a free signed copy. Now all we need is an agent. Sigh.

 

Dating Phenomenon: The Fade Away

Rejection. Is it a dish best served straight up, or in a more subtle form? This debate has been on my mind lately because my last two first dates have followed the exact same pattern:

Go on date —> have great time on date —> have date ask me out again —> silence/crickets/tumbleweeds

liz lemon man

You lose some, you lose some. The funny thing is, for a while it was just the opposite: I’d have a mediocre or in a few cases REALLY BAD date, and the guy would basically propose marriage afterwards. Because apparently awkward silence, stilted conversation and overcompensating nervous laughter are like catnip to men! (Don’t forget shifting eyes and stammering. Also signs that the guy will ask you out again so he can repeat the uncomfortable situation.) But of course, I finally have a string of fun, decent dates and the guys disappear into thin air. Oh, life. What a delightful conundrum you are.

So what is the protocol after a first date when you don’t want to see the other person again? Do you formally tell them that, or do you do the classic fade away, loved by men and non-confrontational women the world over?

fade away

And which would you rather have done to you? Six months ago I would have said I preferred the fade away. And don’t get me wrong, if it’s reasonably clear that the other person wasn’t super into me, or they ended the date with something universally neutral like ‘it was nice meeting you’, then yes, the fade away is totally acceptable, thank you very much. Message received. 

But what about when the signals say otherwise? What about when your date 1. leads you to believe that they’re super into you, 2. acts like they had the time of their life and that they’d like to do a partners’ dance routine with you complete with a LIFT to convey their joy and excitement:

and most importantly 3. says, actually says, that they want to go out again? Well then yes, if you change your mind, or you meet someone else, or you have multiple personalities and the one who showed up to our date feels differently than the one who’s currently inhabiting your body, I believe I’m entitled to a small memo letting me know. All it takes is a short text: ‘Hey there, so nice meeting you but I’m not interested in going out again. Thanks and good luck’. A simple courtesy which absolves me of this song and dance of waiting for you to call or text since you know, you said you would, and saves you from earning the title of ‘douchebag’ on my dating blog (see: N; Dwight Schrute). (Editor’s Note: Please know that I went out with a guy who literally hugged me goodbye at the metro shouting, “I WILL MISS YOU SO MUCH WHILE YOU ARE ON VACATION. I AM PUTTING IN MY CALENDAR THE DATE YOU RETURN SO I CAN CALL YOU IMMEDIATELY.” Direct. quote. I mean, I was a little terrified by his theatrics, albeit still flattered. And I am sure you can infer from the post’s UPBEAT tone that I returned from vacation two months ago, and I still have yet to hear from this clown.)

The worst part about getting the fade away after a good date is that it makes you totally question your instincts and your judgment. It makes you feel like you’re the stupid one who somehow misunderstood/misread the situation. Real life example: the first of my two last dates was a lot of fun… M and I hit it off, had great conversation, good chemistry, and made each other laugh. Our date lasted over three hours and there was never a dull or an awkward moment. When we parted ways M said he had an awesome time and asked if I’d like to go out again. I said I had a great time too and that I definitely would. I received this text when I got home:

okc mcg

Ahahaha inside joke from our date. God, M, you are so funny.

Turns out M is also an asshole, because he then totally disappeared. Right after he said “the next time I see you”. So I’m assuming he meant “see you” in, like, an existential way…? 

I recently lamented this phenomenon to L on gchat:

gchat with lela

Preach, L. The “death scenario” is easily the most comforting thought process to go through when you’re on the receiving end of a fade away. Just simply imagine that the person died or at the very least is laying in a hospital bed in a coma somewhere. And who knows? Maybe it’s actually true:

Except the problem with online dating is you can see when people are signed on. And literally every time I get on OKC, there’s M, alive and well, presumably cruising for more girls to fake being infatuated with. He clearly needs to put a hundo in this baby:

dbagjar

That all happened over a month ago. The more recent fade away happened about two weeks ago with a different guy, also an S. Again, we had (or at least I had) a great time… good conversation, lots in common, joking, laughing, little to no awkwardness. Again, the date lasted over three hours. Finally we parted ways. Again, S said that “he had a great time” and then something to the tune of: ‘So I’ll call you/text you later this week about getting together again?’

You can guess where this is going: absolutely nowhere. I got another unsolicited late night text saying ‘had a great time, so nice to finally meet in person’ and then nada. I mean. Gentlemen. If you don’t want to go out again, how hard is it to just say NICE TO MEET YOU at the end of a date and then disappear forever? ‘Nice to meet you’ with nothing else attached is the universal ‘thanks but no thanks’ of dating. If you’re going to pull a fade away, at least do it correctly! 

I originally touched on this subject a few months ago when I wrote about my first fade away after a promising date, and I posted the following clip from the seminal film He’s Just Not That Into You:

I enjoyed this movie as a senseless romcom that allowed me to stare at Ben Affleck for two hours, but the way it portrayed women also pissed me off. Ginnifer Goodwin’s character is such a clueless halfwit in the beginning, and while I sympathized with her single gal plight she also made me cringe. I watched that above scene and just thought, no intelligent, normal adult woman is that naive. No one hears ‘nice meeting you’ and thinks they’re going to marry a guy. No one goes a week without hearing from someone and still thinks they’re going to call.

But what about the M’s and S’s of the world? Why didn’t the movie cover that scenario? Am I a Gigi if I actually expect “Would you like to go out again?” to mean we’re going to go out again? I don’t think so. I don’t think single women are these insane, pathetic creatures who don’t understand how men “operate” if those men are just straight up lying.

Beyond that, if you’ve been following StuCu, you’ve glimpsed who is currently on the market. This guy. And this guy. And this guy. It is tough. times. out here in Singleland. And while I’m certainly not lying awake at night pining away for either of these guys who I met once, I will admit that when a non serial murderer who can actually formulate a sentence comes along, and he doesn’t immediately try to share a troubling sexual fetish on me or insult me to my face, it’s kind of a big deal. So giving me false hope is frankly just cruel and unusual.

We all know dating is hella awkward. Especially because in the beginning, one party is usually more into it than the other. I’ve been on the other side of the coin multiple times, so I know from experience that it’s not fun or easy to tell a nice person that you don’t want to see them again, even if it’s through something as impersonal as a text. Full disclosure: I recently put off rejecting a guy who I’d been seeing on and off just because he was super nice and I felt bad. But I do believe in the golden dating rule, and that’s:

Reject others as you would want to be rejected.

It’s basic human decency and at the end of the day, good dating karma. Although, if my recent dates are any indication, that’s apparently something I don’t have in spades. Which is surprising seeing as I did spend half an hour of my life helping a certain someone find his automobile. Doesn’t that count for something, universe?

 

UPDATE: Our dear friend and loyal reader E shared this in the comment section:

Here I was smugly thinking my post was so original and that I basically coined a new phrase that would quickly take the internet and urban dictionary by storm, when I come to find out it already exists! Good to know. I swear I’ve never heard this song before, Garfunkel and Oates. Please don’t sue me. xoxo

Except in their version, the ladies are the ones being assholes and pulling the fade away. Interesting. As E said in her comment, apparently this practice is so ubiquitous that both sexes have (allegedly) experienced it equally. I’m kind of baffled that these gals have never been on the receiving end, but I totally appreciate their lyrics, which still ring true:

Cause there’s the right thing to do
Then there’s what I’m gonna do
There’s so much I should say
But instead… I do the fade away

The fade away: dating pandemic.