I write a lot about my dating life. I’ve been separated for more than 5 years and in that time I’ve dated my fair share of suitors. And because I have a child and it’s 2014, online dating is typically my best chance of finding potential dates. There’s a lot of talk about how technology has made us more connected than ever as a society. And yet, while we can connect to people more easily and more readily, I take issue with the idea that we are in fact, more connected. If anything, we are becoming more disconnected.
Case in point: I met someone on Tinder (yes, yes, I know – move on) and he actually took the initiative to ask me out for a date in real life. Yippee.
We went out, made out, went out again, made out some more and went out again and made out some more. It was all going swimmingly. He texted me daily to say hi but never too much to be stifling or annoying. He asked me out for the fourth date and the fifth at the same time. We set a date to get together and the day before he confirmed. We had a date but no place or time – he said he’d let me know at ‘game time.’ Fine. I try to be breezy even though I’m not at all. At 2:30 the day of the date I still hadn’t heard so I simply sent a text asking if he had thoughts for the evening. No response. I got home from work and at 6:15 sent another text asking if everything was ok. Nothing. Radio silence.
So here’s the thing, in what world was he raised that this sort of disrespectful behavior is acceptable? It wasn’t a first date or even a second. It was a fourth. One that HE requested. So unless he was hit by a truck, had amnesia or got sent to Ebola quarantine, I am unclear what could have possibly caused a drastic 180 in 12 hours. And again, if you aren’t feeling it, LET ME KNOW. Guys, newsflash, most women aren’t psycho. In fact, a simple text to say we aren’t a match goes a hell of a long way than pretending we don’t exist. ‘Cause doing that makes us, well, crazy.
It all goes back to this: because there are so many people online and there’s always someone around the corner (or in this case, with a swipe or a click), we are treating people as if they’re disposable. There is little to no thought about someone’s feelings. You don’t like them anymore? Simply disappear. “Ghosting,” which in my opinion is the most cowardly and repugnant outcome of this new style of dating, allows the person to simply stop responding to the other, with no explanation or justification.
Now, I am in my 40’s and so are the men I tend to date. We grew up in the age of the phone call and passed note. The age of meeting people and courting them in person. It’s not like we don’t know how to treat people the right way. Back then you had to work a little harder to meet someone and keep them. Now it’s easy. And yes, this goes both ways. There are perks to not having to spend so much time pursuing someone or looking for them in the first place. But the downside is our complete lack of compassion for potential dates as human fucking beings. You want to ignore my email if I send you something on OKCupid? Fine. No problem there. But once you have “connected” with someone in real life, you owe them at the very least, a quick and simple reason for wanting out. It doesn’t need to be true, but at least make them aware that you won’t be seeing them anymore. I promise if you do this the world won’t blow up, she won’t call or show up at your door and in fact you might feel great that you did the right thing.
No one likes to be rejected. But no one SHOULD be ignored. I’ll now go back to dating myself.