After being lost for weeks (months? years?), adrift at sea, perpetually pounded by the waves of idiocy and boredom, I had met a man, the Scientist, who felt a bit like a life raft.
We had met on Thursday.
We had had a second date on Sunday.
I thanked him for having me over for dinner.
He said Glad you enjoyed. Me too. Thanks for coming.
For the next few days I would be busy preparing for, and then attending, a conference at Yale University, but, I suggested, Maybe when I get back from the conference I can make you dinner at my place?
He responded when are you leaving? and then Have lots of fun.
Okay. Now, admittedly, I found it a tad off putting that the response wasn’t a resounding Yes, that sounds amazing you hot beautiful intelligent funny magnificent creature, you but I just assumed that it was an oversight and that responding at all in a manner that both asked a question and was considerate was good enough, no?
Five days later, home from the conference (and unfortunately having caught a cold from my travel mates), I texted him.
Hey 🙂 How’s it going?
Hi Victoria. How was your trip? I’m going crazy! Deadlines for all postdoc fellowships are due in 10 days and I just started the whole process.
The trip was good (except the other two girls were sick with colds and now I am too – I’m really hoping it doesn’t last long.) Yikes about the fellowship deadlines but I’m sure you’ll nail it 😉 What do you have to do for your applications? Did you want to hang out again as soon as I’m feeling better?
Hi Victoria. Sorry, I worked from 9 to 1am yesterday and I didn’t even look at my phone. For my applications I have to do a million things, including writing a grant proposal, academic CV, etc. It’s madness for me right now. I hope I survive. I can message you when the whole thing is over. Glad you had a good trip. Hope you feel better soon.
Sounds good, and good luck with all the applications 🙂
I mean, after all, it did sound good. It would give me 10 days to relax and get better and he would be full of relief after completing the applications (which, as a fellow grad student, I 100% get the pressure and need to accumulate that funding).
But I will admit, I was feeling a tad, insecure.
I mean sure, our first and second dates had gone really well, hadn’t they? And while logically, I understand putting school before…everything. I mean hell, that’s basically the reason I hadn’t gone on a date in over a year until Skinny Jeans and then the Scientist. Emotionally though, I’m an impatient petulant child who wants what I want when I want it. That or I’ve just seen He’s Just Not That Into You too many times and bristle at even the slightest…slight.
I was talking about this on a phonecall to my mother, who then promptly told me You sound a bit clingy. Hearing which set me straight within seconds. The truth is, I think I was just so damn excited to finally be going out on dates with a man who didn’t think it appropriate and/or interesting to say things like hey hot tits and ask me questions and form full sentences and stuff, that I had gotten really wrapped up in it all. But the moment my mom said those words, I immediately stopped checking his dating profile (after all, on OKCupid, the other person can see that shit and though I’d only done it twice, it was two times too many in my book, plus I didn’t need to know whether or not he was logging in or even if he was dating other people. Just as I expect men to respect my freedom and privacy, I should respect theirs. And thus I did). I also just immediately relaxed. It’s bizarre to think that a little bit of logic and reality can affect your emotional state so completely but in the space of a few seconds I’d gone from Eager Edith to Relaxed Regina.
He’d text or he wouldn’t, and in 10 days I would know.
And on the tenth day…I got this:
And just like that it was over. I was dumped. My hopes of dating a smarty pants were stripped naked and thrust in the dirty hamper. And the worst part, is that it took me awhile to see this as a full on blow off.
Upon first reading I took note of the length, the apologia, the confirmation of the pleasantries of meeting me, the well wishes. But upon further inspection I’ve, sadly, come to see it for what it really is…a bullshit blowoff.
And because you know I can’t let a dating lesson go unmentioned, I have to say, yet again, to the rejectors, to the dumpers, and the kick ’em to the curbers…
It is 100% okay to not want to date someone
You are allowed to like or dislike anyone you want
You can make your own decisions, you don’t even need to justify your reasons
But FOR FUCK SAKES just rip the fucking bandaid like a goddamn grownup.
See, here’s the thing kiddo (and yes, this is me infantilizing you [in the universal form] for your infantile behavior), I don’t need your reassurance. We went on two dates, I barely fucking know you. I don’t need you to hold my hand, I won’t have a breakdown, no one is committing suicide on your watch. So there’s no need to gloss it all up with how great it was to meet me or the well wishes etc. Because while you think you’re being clear and concise, I’m thinking you’re just too polite and kind to suggest I wait around for two months to date you.
Short and sweet, rip it fast, rip it clear, be honest.
I don’t like you enough to keep going out with you.
I don’t feel a connection with you and don’t wish to go out again.
I’m no longer interested.
Anything along these lines works fine. Don’t talk about friendship (unless you genuinely want it). Don’t talk about how great they are. Don’t wish them specific success, thus reminding them how much you were paying attention to their conversation. Don’t give excuses (because those can so easily be excused).
Because instead of immediately going, yep, he definitely doesn’t like me, after reading that text my first thought was, oh, well maybe he’ll call in 2 months because at this rate I could potentially still be single then, or even perhaps he and I could be friends or something.
But he doesn’t want that. He doesn’t want me. And that’s totally fine. Onto the next right? right? right? hello?
*gets consumed by cloud of dating disappointment*