Dating tarnishes us. Like planning weddings, or getting divorces, we add all of this emotional baggage and judgement to each other when we talk about our opinions of dating. Like, I will hear my friend tell me about how she just rejected this guy, because he had bad breath, so the next time I get rejected by a guy, I think about my friend’s judgemental comment, and automatically think maybe I had bad breath and that’s why he never called me back? Or, I will hear that guy make fun of that girl who texted him too often, so when I get rejected, I start questioning myself, and whether I’m too clingy. Or, my co-worker talks about this awkward date their friend just went on, where the other person blatantly asked too-personal-too-soon questions and decides the best form of rejection is through ghosting, so when I get ghosted, I wonder if maybe that was me?
I also think rejecting people comes with it’s own set of emotional baggage and guilt. Of course, most of the time, it’s absolutely necessary to reject people, especially when you know it’s not going anywhere, and the closer you get to the end of your dating rope, the bitchier these rejections get. Like gossiping and bullying, I think it is easy for us to reject people, and we make fun of it, but deep down inside when we lay our heads on our pillows at night, if even unconsciously, we feel bad about ourselves because we potentially ruined someone else’s day, and then we carry some more emotional baggage. I sometimes find it a little hypocritical when people get all hung up about someone not following up with them after they have exchanged contact information, especially when they are guilty of doing the same exact thing. Like, I once went out with this girl, and at one establishment, she met this surgeon and got all upset when he never called her, but then paid no attention to the guy she totally led on, and then gave a fake phone number to, and boasted about it on our way home.
To put everyone at ease, I just want to let you know that, if we have exchanged contact information, you decided not to follow up, you are already forgiven, and there is no need to carry any additional emotional baggage. In order to spare you the guilt, and me the embarrassment, I’m probably justifying the rejection based on one of the following reasons:
-Someone close to you just died: Hey, I’ve totally been in this position before. Someone close to you dies, and your brain is so preoccupied with grieving that going on a date and trying to start a new relationship with me is NOWHERE in your radar, and you certainly are not going to breakdown and cry to a complete stranger. Take your time to grieve and spend time with those close to you. Obviously the timing between us wasn’t perfect.
-You lost my number: It very well could be true that you want to call me, but you can’t because you lost my number. There are a variety of scenarios this could have happened: perhaps your elbow was dumped whilst entering my number, so you are actually texting the Prince of Nigeria, and not me. Maybe, as you were taking a #selfie on your way home, you witnessed a crime and the police confiscated your phone for evidence. Or, as you were skipping with excitement, dreaming about our future together, your phone dislodged from your back pocket, flung into the drainage ditch, and just as you tried to salvage it, a bus came, hurling from around the corner and squashed it. Any of these scenarios are very possible, so I’m not going to jump to conclusions and immediately label it “rejection”. If it’s meant to be, our paths will eventually cross again.
-You were REAL drunk when you asked for my number: We have all been out a little too late, woken up the next morning, reflected upon our actions, shuddered, and hoped that no one watched some of those transactions take place. Again, I’ve totally been there myself. I thought that guy was cute, and upon reflection (and some stalking) the next morning, ek–he kind of has no chin. I thought he was into me, but upon some reflection and pulling some memories, he was totally scoping other girls out while I desperately threw myself at him. I thought we were having a really deep and meaningful conversation, but then again, I’m not sure how discussing your favorite pair of Nike tennis shoes was that meaningful. So anyways, maybe a similar reaction happened to you with me. Maybe you woke up the next morning, did a little bit of reflecting, and had a, “What was I thinking?!?” moment. Maybe it happened to me too, and by not following up, you spare me from eventually having to reject you as well. I sincerely thank you in advance.
-You have social anxiety: Asking someone on a date takes a lot of courage, and if you are one of those who has been beaten down by other girls, you were made fun of in middle school, you listen to your friends stories and want to avoid that dating guilt, or you decide that I’m WAY out of/under your league, and you just can’t quite get yourself to follow up, don’t fret. I won’t hold it against you.
-You found out some information about me: I’m totally guilty of doing a little bit of Internet stalking and mutual-friend-questioning after I’ve met a potential prospect myself, so I won’t be offended if you do it to me too (in fact, I encourage a little bit of research–duh, that’s why I post stuff on Facebook and InstaGram). I don’t know what you might find, or what people might say about me, but maybe you found out something about me that you know you just can’t do. That’s fine. I’d rather these deal breakers be exposed sooner rather than later so we don’t waste each other’s time. How did our parents ever make decisions without social media?!….
So anyways, moral of the story is: if, for whatever of these reasons you don’t follow up with me, don’t feel guilty. I’m understanding, I’ll forgive you, and there’s no need to carry anymore of that emotional guilt that dating brings with you. I’m not doing what the girl in the picture is doing…