It’s a jungle out there…. The online dating world. Tinder, Match.com, Bumble, the list goes on and on. I’ve had a run on about every dating site/app out there; always hoping the next will be better than the last. Inevitably I end up back on Tinder, because might as well have some entertainment while you’re at it.
Last Saturday I had the joy of sitting down next to a guy I “ghosted” a couple months ago. (Can you ghost someone you’ve never met IRL? I’m not sure?) I matched with him on Bumble, chatted with him and ended up giving him my phone number. He was a clingy texter. He blew me up, there was no concern about a double text, he would text me six times in a row. He would text me morning, noon, and night. It was overwhelming and suffocating and CREEPY, since I didn’t even know the man. So, naturally, I just slowly stopped responding to his texts. I faded on him.
I know I’m going to get some flack on this one, I know it’s not “proper” etiquette to just stop talking to someone. I don’t care though, I don’t feel a sense of obligation to politely decline every message. I don’t know these people, and half of the messages are crafted emails sent to every girl. I’ve done the whole, “thank you, I’m just not interested”, and ended up having a discussion about why I should give someone a shot; I’ve been called a stuck up b*tch, or worse. It’s just too much and it’s a gamble on what reaction you’re going to get.
Sometimes you don’t really mean to stop talking to someone, but you just kind of lose them. You start talking to someone else, go on a couple dates, and the next thing you know, you haven’t responded to their texts in a week. It’s the accidental fade. It happens when you’re a multiple dater, I like to keep my options open. I like see what’s out there until I meet someone I really like. I don’t see the harm in it. It’s called DATING.
However, I digress… Back to the man on Saturday night.
I went to a bar that is off my regular flight path with one of my girlfriends. There were two seats next to two guys open at the bar so we sat down. The guy I sat next to was good looking guy in his early 40s. I could feel him intently studying me as I chatted with my friend and the bartender. A good 45 minutes passes, and the guy next to me finally says, “you don’t recognize me, do you?”
Ahhhhh… Perhaps six of the worst words strung together. Of course I don’t recognize you. If I recognized you I would have said hello. Let’s really be honest, if I had recognized you, I would have sat my ass down elsewhere.
“I’m sorry, I don’t. I don’t think we’ve met.” I lamely say, because what else is there?
He proceeds to detail how I just stopped talking to him, and I started to put together who he was. I didn’t recognize him because he is much more attractive in person, (I want to put together a class on choosing photos for dating apps). I apologized for not responding to him, and he was cool about it. We chatted with my friends and had fun for a little while.
He tells me he’s meeting a girl there, and just like that, she magically appears. She looks slightly miffed, and hey sister, I get it. I try to extract myself from conversation with him and return to my friends. He wasn’t having it. He continued to try to talk to me, and get me to leave with him and his date to go to a different bar. Like no way. Are you crazy?!
They left, and he proceeds to text me and tell me he should have stayed with me, and how it was fate I sat down next to him. He has been texting me all week, the most recent text I got from him, that I haven’t replied back to, is asking if I miss him. I remember now why I stopped talking to him. That is a question that makes me uncomfortable regardless of who’s asking it, but especially when it’s someone I don’t know well! I don’t know how to answer it, because in fact, I do not miss him, I just feel bad saying that.
He’s a nice guy. I’m glad I actually got to meet him in real life. I also don’t have plans to meet him again. My instincts on this one were right, he’s not creepy, but our styles don’t really match up. This experience has taught me to maybe be a little more forgiving in my dating style, and perhaps to be a bit more thoughtful on how I handle communicating lack of interest on my end… You never know who you could sit down next to at the bar!