Online // app dating sounds fun when you're not single. The act of sitting and swiping through hundreds of eligible bachelors, shooting out witty one-liners, and flirting with random guys who may or may not be the next love of your life. Well once you're single, it's not quite the same. It's a time sucker filled with assholes, douche bags, the occasionally nice guy who you end up friend zone-ing, and people who aren't your type...am I right single ladies? Layer on top of that, my interest for "unique" people with affinities for "different" things a.k.a. not basic boys. This throws my strangdar (strange//weirdo radar) way off, especially through a screen. Things that seem endearing like quitting their job to start a seafood app, being interested in Ayurveda, and really loving Beyonce don't always translate into good potential partner material. Yes we can laugh at that, it's okay.
The real question is how do you decipher someone who is fun and interesting but not psychotic? The truth is the line can be almost blurred via screen. I also think I don't give the "basic" guys enough credit. It takes a lot to put yourself out there and if branding isn't your career or even a remote interest (honestly that's probably a good this and means a smaller ego), I can imagine creating an online profile would be tremendously overwhelming and lead to a very ordinary looking page. That's unfortunate because I have a tendency to swipe right past those and onto the weird.
All that aside, yesterday I posted a screenshot from a guy, let's call him R, who I was supposed to go on a date with that evening on my instagram stories. He confirmed in the morning sans reminder from me (bravo) and then texted 4 hours before ou date that he actually couldn't make it (not cool). He was "transparent" as to what happened and why he couldn't make it, but didn't include an apology. Being my usual annoyed, oversharing self took to my instagram community. Let me just tell you, I was actually shocked by how many people said to forget about it and not respond (35%!!!!). There is a time and a place to not waste energy on something, but this was not that kind of situation in my eyes. I already knew I was never going to go out with the guy. He handled the situation super poorly, didn't value my time, didn't apologize, and clearly doesn't have the capacity to manage his own time properly. I mean if he can't manage to orchestrate his day in a way that allows him to follow through on an hour and a half long first meeting that he set up, can you imagine what life is actually like with the guy? I never want to know. R was out, but this was the perfect opportunity to school him a bit. One text, one conversation, one situation, can have the ability to change someone's life forever (sounds nutty, but it's true). If I could have an impact on just one guy in a city of *I hate to say this* men with a lot of issues, I'm going to take it!
So first things first, I asked my therapist friend what she thought about the situation. That's what all sane women do right? She quoted the famed couples therapy goddess, Esther Perel:
"...tactics of maintaining unclear relationships and prolonging breakups all produce what I call stable ambiguity: too afraid to be alone, but unwilling to fully engage in relationship building - a holding pattern that affirms the undefined nature of the relationship, which has a mix of comforting consistency and the freedom of blurred lines."
Now just let that soak in for a second. With that background, we formulated the perfect response...and below is the moment you've been waiting for!
Here's how it went down:
Sooo wait to go, R! You had the balls to respond. However, after addressing that he should have apologized he still didn't...this I will never understand.
The point: you have an opportunity to turn a negative into a positive in almost any dating situation (and most life situations in general), it's just a matter of flip flopping your perspective. The other bit of good news? I didn't have to put makeup on, which I was totally dreading because I just got a facial and wanted another day of letting my skin breathe au natural. That leads me to another point though, if this guy doesn't even value my time why would I cover up my skin to potentially please said man? That's something to unpack another day, but would love to hear your thoughts on any // all of this.
Have you been through something similar? Did you choose to respond or not? How did that make you feel? I heard from a handful of you on instagram yesterday, but am a huge believe in chatting it out (it's very therapeutic, trust me).