Stripped Naked: Dating a Smarty Pants

Stripped Naked

 

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:

Rejection

 

 

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*

Rejection 101: Knowing How and When to Reject Someone (and how to react when it happens to you)

How to Handle Rejection

 

[dropcap]R[/dropcap]ejection is a part of life.  Everyone experiences it.  Everyone doles it out.  Accept it.  Learn from it.  And move on.

That being said, I’m continually shocked at how many differing opinions there are about when and how you should reject someone.  Now, it’s possible that I’m wrong.  I’m not.  Or it’s possible that there is more than one right answer.  There is not.  And it’s also possible that each dating scenario is so unique and individualized that blah blah blah.  They are not.  The truth is, with a little common sense, integrity, and not shitty-personness, anyone can figure out the right answer for their particular dating dilemma.

But just in case you lack the experience to problem solve your dating scenarios, I’ve made a list of some of the most common dating cease-fire situations and how to proceed should you find yourself in them.  Additionally I’ve included a little blurb about how to appropriately react should you be on the rejection end of the stick.

1.  The initial online dating message.

Now this may be one of the few situations where both sides make good arguments.  On the one hand, if I get a message on a dating website and I’m not interested I simply don’t respond.  The truth is that most messages that I’m ignoring are absolutely ridiculous and/or took virtually no effort to write, thus they don’t deserve my time to compose a thoughtful gentle rejection message.  On the other hand, I have heard from a few guys that they would rather get a rejection message because it makes it so they remember the girl and thus don’t bother her again.  Except here’s the thing, if you don’t remember the girl, it’s either because you didn’t craft a thoughtful PERSONALIZED eloquent message to her or you were just throwing bird seed, which when online dating is fine I guess, except screw you for then expecting her to waste her time to message you back.  Maybe instead of sending a ton of shitty messages you should send a medium amount of moderate ones.  Just a thought.  But honestly, I don’t think rejection is required here.  There is no relationship, there is no effort owed, if he or she doesn’t respond, move the fuck on.  This is the least of your dating woes to worry about.

Do not send a crazy message about how you just want to know and that it’s rude for them not to respond.  You’re wasting your time chasing after someone who isn’t interested in you online, when you could be crafting a better message to the next person who is better suited for you.  Take it all in stride, my friend.

2.  The online dating message disappearing act.

So you’ve been messaging back and forth and everything seems great.  And then suddenly the messages stop.  What is one to think?  I will tell you what one is to think.  Nothing.  Move the fuck on.  There are a billion reasons why someone might stop talking to you online even though, I know I know, you thought you had a connection.  It’s frustrating.  It’s irritating.  You just want to know are they just busy? is it something I did?  But you may never know.  Maybe they got more serious with someone else they were dating.  Maybe you put up two more photos and they didn’t like them.  Maybe you changed your profile and they didn’t like it (or maybe they just read it for the first time).  Maybe they’re feeling fat and don’t want to go out.  Maybe they just started a new job, are moving, began a love affair with ice cream.  You’ll likely never know.  Best to just forget it because while I love knowing things, I can’t in good conscience advocate that someone spill the details of their life in explanation to a relative stranger on the net.  There are more important things to be doing in life.  This is not a rejection required scenario.  Move on.  Case closed.

If I actually thought they would respond, I would suggest a simple message asking why the fade so that you could get closure but the truth is they most likely wouldn’t respond and then not only have you wasted your time but you’ll be even angrier for the second ignoring and this leads to no good.  Move on.  Simple as that.

3.  The first date.

Whether or not a rejection is required after a first date is based upon two things:  your gender and what you said on the date.  Now you could make an argument for ignoring socialized gender roles etc. but these are my opinions and they come from my experiences with dating, and that’s about all I have to say on that.  Take it or leave it.  So, let’s assume whichever gender you are, the first date was a bust, but not such a bust that both parties on the date are totally aware.

If you’re the guy, whether or not you need to politely reject the lady is based upon what you said on the date.  If you were polite, and neutral, then no rejection is necessary.  However, if you said things like let’s do this again sometime or I’d love to take you out again, I had a really great time or anything that indicated you were into her and wanted to go out again, then yes, you have to reject her.  And let’s be real, it’s incredibly easy to do so.  Send her a simple text message or online message.  It was great to meet her, and though you may have given the impression otherwise on the date, you just don’t think the connection is there and wish her all the best.

If you’re the girl receiving this message, a polite thank you for letting me know and all the best is how you should proceed.  Even if you thought the date went awful too.  Even if you didn’t want to see him again.  Or maybe you really really did.  Doesn’t matter.  Keep that shit to yourself.  Act like a lady, be kind, be gentle, be BRIEF!!!

If you’re the girl, whether or not you need to politely reject the guy is based upon whether or not he pursues something further.  If the date went awful, perhaps he knows it and doesn’t pursue further (and thus you’re off the hook).  If, however, he sends you a message or text or phonecall asking you out again, don’t be a dick, all you have to do is simply tell him you’re not interested.  So unbelievably simple.  No connection or didn’t have a good time or whatever.  Though I urge you away from giving bullshit excuses like I’m busy or I’m not ready to date because he’ll likely not interpret correctly and thus you haven’t solved the problem at all.  Plus, honestly, you’re a ass for not being authentic.  Be polite.  Be real.  Be swift.

If you’re the guy receiving this message, don’t be a jerk.  Thank her for letting you know and wish her all the best.  It’s really so simple to be good people.  She saved you some wasted time, why wouldn’t you want to be nice to her.

4.  Anywhere between two to eight dates.

If you’ve gone out with someone two or more times, and you don’t want to see them again, you owe them a rejection.  Now I know some people will disagree with me here but allow me to explain.  If I go out with someone once, this says I met someone knew and we tried to get to know each other.  If I go out with someone twice, this says based on our first date, I’m interested in hanging out again.  Now I’m not saying we’re soulmates or offering up any kind of commitment or emotional investment, I’m simply saying that we hung out once, let’s do it again.  That being said, because of gender roles and all kinds of bullshit where boys throw birdseed and like the chase and all that jazz, I am forced into what I call “the waiting period”.  While unfortunate, this is currently a reality in dating.  Girls, waiting for boys, to make moves, like asking them out again.

So here’s the thing.  Say I go out with Joe, we have a good time and he asks me out again.  The following Friday we go out and I think we have a great time.  Joe, however, has noticed what he views as numerous flaws in my personality (or maybe it’s not even about me, his ex just revealed she wants him back), either way, Joe no longer wants to see me again.  It’s Saturday morning and I’m still abuzz from the good time I had last night.  I’m a girl and while I keep my crazy to myself (and the blog), I spend the next few days trying to temper my excitement about hanging out with Joe again, after all we did have a really great time on our date (or so I thought).  Days go by, Joe sends a nonchalant text asking about a story I’m writing or an event I was going to or some other idle chatter.  We ask about each other’s weekends, he says he’s really busy with work and suddenly I’m sitting there wondering if this is code for he’s just not that into me or if he’s actually busy. No biggie I say and spend the weekend trying not to worry about it (and instead have a great weekend).  Finally around wednesday or even the following weekend Joe tells me about his ex or that he’s not interested or whatever.  And that’s where we see that I just spent two weeks excited for a dude who could’ve saved me the wasted time and anguish by simply rejecting me the moment he knew he wanted to.  And while you can say things like well just don’t get excited over guys (which is a whole other can of worms because if I didn’t get excited over a guy, I’d probably never date anyone)…the truth is this.  When you waste someone’s time because you’re too chicken shit to just be honest with them…you’re an asshole.  It’s that simple.  Rip the fucking bandaid.  The person will get over it, I promise.

Plus, I’m not saying that you need to tell anyone you talk to whether or not you’re interested in them within the first 30 seconds, we’re talking about people you’ve gone on dates with, repeatedly.  In repetition there is the reasonable expectation that you like them.  So if you don’t, put them out of their misery.  You wouldn’t let an injured horse suffer, why would you make your date.  Just sayin’.

As for how to do it?  It’s still simple.  A text, a phonecall, an email.  While some people may get all crazy about the method of how something is done, the truth is they’re usually just hurt at being rejected (which is normal) and it’s less about the medium than the message.  So be thoughtful and kind but blunt.  Don’t send mixed messages, just be honest, you’re not into them.

If you get this kind of rejection, it’s okay to feel hurt, that’s life.  It’s even okay to moan about it to your friends and throw a hissy fit in the privacy of your own home.  What you want to do is respond politely and rationally and keep the crazy to yourself because the truth is the hurt and anger will fade and you never know if that person will have taught you something or will have another role in your life.  Don’t burn your bridges like a crazed lunatic, eat some ice cream and get past it.

I could go on and on with the rejection scenarios but I think we all know that anything after 8 dates and there is no question about whether or not the rejection needs to be happen.  That being said, always remember that mixed messages get you nowhere.  Don’t tell them nonsense about your emotional state.  Don’t give them hope for a future that isn’t there.  Tell them the truth and spit it the fuck out already (they probably have things to do and you’re just standing in their way).

Be blunt, be honest., rip the bandaid and for the love of whatever tone down your own ego already (try to remember that it’s unlikely that you’re actually the centre of someone else’s world and with a cooling off period, they will, indeed, get over you.  You are not that special).

Answers in Dating Trilogy: Friendship and For Reference

Head Desk

[dropcap]So,[/dropcap]  I had just blurted it outI have a blog…which you’re in obviously.  And you know me.  Go hard or go home right?  So while trying to explain to him how to find the blog and all that.  I just added.  No worries.  I’ll just facebook you.  Like no biggie.  Just like that.  No biggie.  I’ll facebook you.  And he seemed pretty cool with it all.  Seemed pretty relaxed to hear that I had been writing about him this whole time.

And don’t think I just threw this info out there.  Without a thought.  I mean.  I’ve written the blog.  I know what I’ve said about him.  And I know that he comes off well.  I told him this.  I knew it would be okay for him to read it.  If he wanted to.  Honestly.  I wasn’t that sure he’d even be interested.  And to be real.  To be quite honest.  I think the whole thing was a bit of a knee-jerk reaction.  Me telling him I mean.  Like flipping a switch.  And I can see him. Like on the end of a little crane.  Getting picked up.  Right out of that swoony.  Dating.  Lusty.  Boy category.  And shuffled over.  To that friend.  Category.  Only.  It’s weird.  Because.  Well.  I don’t have male friends.

But back to the scene of this event.  Back to me and him.  Sitting on the couch.  At his place.  Cards on the table.  And we talk.  About his ex.  About Mega Love.  He asks if I went to see Mega Love when I went shopping in Seattle.  I tell him yes.  I tell him I also saw him in July.  Before that.  We talk about dates.  The dates I’ve been on since meeting him (not in detail…just that I’ve had them).  He tells me he’s had none.  We talk about breakups.  He thinks that Mega Love and I might not really be completely broken up.  Because we keep seeing each other.  We talk about boys.  Honestly it’s all a bit of a blur.  I was actually pretty excited to be able to talk about this stuff.  To tell him about my blog.  It was all pretty fun.  Any disappointment I feel *spoiler alert* wouldn’t sink in for a few days.  But basically the important stuff.  Like how awesome he thought I was.  And how much he enjoyed hanging out with me.  That came across.

At one point.  I couldn’t stop myself though.  I said something.  Likely.  Pretty douchey.  But I was joking.  Mostly.  (try to remember I’m a on a starving student budget).  And as I walked into the kitchen for a glass of water I said So…does this mean I’m going to have to start paying for stuff *giggles*.  And no lie.  Trucker Joe hit it out of the park.  No he says friends do that stuff too.  And at the time I was thinking…not so much.  But it’s true.  We do.  TheHell was having a rough day today.  So I brought her Starbucks.  Another friend was having moola issues a couple days ago.  So I picked up the tab at Sushi.  So he was right in that sense.

Eventually it was time for the night to end.  Afterall.  No reason for everybody not to get a good night’s rest.  With no sex or shenanigans on the horizon.  And as we were walking to the door.  I made a comment about.  Could you imagine me as a ProfessorEspecially now? (As in, how awesome would that be).  And he said something about me becoming famous long before that…for writing a column in a newspaper or something (and this was just from our conversations…he hadn’t read the blog yet).  And then he walked me to my car.  And we were both all smiles.  Like who knew.  Dating turned friending might just work out awesome afterall.

As we hugged goodbye.  I said.  So I guess just gimme a call if you want to hang out.  To which he responded Oh…I’ll definitely be harassing you to hang out.  And that was it.  I drove home.  Still all smiles.  I wasn’t faking.  I was actually really excited.  I mean sure.  It’s always an ego hit when someone isn’t attracted to you.  I mean shit.  Even though logic tells me it would have nothing to do with me.  If a guy I was dating was suddenly like.  I’m gay.  I’d still be a little.  aw…you mean I wasn’t hot enough to turn you straight?  Which for reference I know is ridiculous being that I think people are born gay so it’s not even an option.  But I’m just saying.  Sometimes things are irrational.  Just the way it is.  And I could be fine with that.

So the night ended.  With a smile on my face.  A Friendship on the horizon.  And a person to add on Facebook.  And it’s a week later now.  And I still have a bit more to say on the subject.  Like what happened with me.  Like what happened with me and him.  In that week that’s passed.  But that’s a whole other post.  Coming soon.  But for today.  I have to say this.

I feel a bit.  As though I may have let you down.  My readers.  My dear, dear readers.  Because For Reference. These are not the posts I wanted to write. For Reference.  I wanted to tell you about kissing. That makes my knees weak. Laughter that carries across lakes. Giving it up in the back of a pickup truck like a hicktown babe or a city girl gone summer vacay. For Reference.  I want to insinuate the passion between sheets. Electricity between fingertips. I want to tell you how a boy’s soft tongue tastes in my memory the day after. I want you to swoon with me. Let’s talk magic. Let’s talk romance. But romance in that summer fling kinda way. Without all that heavy for the rest of our lives is-he-the-one bullshit. I want to regale you with a tale of romance the way I want it told. From the mind of a 28 year old working her body like an 18 year old full of lust and freedom in the heart of a 14 year old who doesn’t yet know better.  Only knowing better.  I didn’t need it to be perfect. I wasn’t trying on slippers. No one was looking for that perfect fit. But for a moment.  For this one moment. This. Very. Moment. Right here. Right now. I didn’t want hilarity. And you almost never hear me say that. I just wanted. A summer romance. But here we are. And summer is almost over.  And I’ve got no summer romance.  No silky legs sliding about on silky sheets.  No soft lips to brush mine up against.  No hand on my ass.  Marking some territory.  If only for one night.  One date.  One summer romance.  For Reference.  I’ll make it up to you.

 

 

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