To Ghost or Not to Ghost

Sometimes you end up planning a date that after a few days you regret agreeing to. You might only talk to someone for a couple of days but it’s the weekend so he’s rushing a date you’re not really sure you want to go on yet. Or after talking for a bit longer, you realize you’re not really interested in him. But you both already talked about your mutual love of tacos and a date was hatched days ago when you were more open to the idea (and you just can’t resist tacos).

There are two ways to get out of a date you don’t really want to go on. You either be completely straight forward or you ghost a few days before. Although I think it’s good to be honest and not lead someone on, some people do not accept No as an answer. Then there’s confrontation that could lead to you being guilted to go on the date anyway!

When Do I Ghost?

Sometimes you’re both on the same page. The messages back and forth have become sporadic and you’ve both lost interest but you’re being polite in conversation. You both mutually fade/ ghost out.

Some times I ghost you because I don’t want to hurt your feelings. You’re a nice guy with a solid job but our conversations have been bland and we just don’t have the chemistry. There’s nothing wrong with you so I don’t want you to start thinking that there is or resenting being told that you’re a ‘nice guy’.

Other times I ghost you because I don’t want to deal with the backlash of your butt hurt feelings. I ghost you because I don’t want confrontation or to be bullied into a date to test our compatibility. I trust my gut over some random guy over the internet.

Why Ghosting should be left to Ghosts

I’ve been on both sides of ghosting so I get why people hate being ghosted too. You thought everything was going well and suddenly nothing.

  1. You wonder where it went wrong?
  2. If there was just a misunderstanding that could be worked out?
  3. What’s wrong with you that he left?
  4. Was it just that he found someone better?

It’s arguably one of the worst dating etiquettes to break because it can really tear down someone’s self worth. It could be the reason someone gives up on love and the reason they stop loving themselves.

The thing is though, maybe the reason he leaves is the reason another man stays. Should you be constantly molding yourself, cutting off limbs so that you will be to his liking? You’re not meant to fit into everyone’s perfect match checklist box.

And it’s a heavy burden to take responsibility of everyone’s self esteem. It could do more damage to give someone reasons why you’re not interested in them. They could become self conscious of certain traits, where it’s really just a matter of personal preference.

So ghost or not ghost, you’re still a person of worth.

Picky Daters

For me, first dates take a lot of mental effort. It requires you to carve out new time in your routine, the nervousness of meeting someone new, and as a reserved and introverted being, the social draining from constant conversation for multiple hours.

For these reasons, I don’t jump at every date. If I’ve only been talking to a guy about really trivial things for the past three days then I may want more time getting to know him before agreeing to give him my free afternoon. I’ve been coerced into first dates before and have learned to stick with my gut now. There’s always going to be a few things you have in common with a stranger, that doesn’t mean you’re meant to be.

It’s also important I ask what their intentions are before agreeing to meet up as well. I want to go on an actual date, not just chill at your house or in your car. Those can be part of the date but not the main event. I want to know that you’re making an effort to get to know me not just buying your time before you try to shove your tongue down my throat.

So I’m picky about who I agree to go on dates with. I’m not looking to waste anyone’s time, money, or gas. If I agree to go on a date with you then it’s because I think there will end up being more than one date. I don’t want to go on 50 first dates, I want to develop something deeper than that. I’m worth getting to know and I’m worth the effort of planning a date.

Friends or More?

Should you date your friend? Or perhaps more accurately, is it worth the risk to date your friend and possibly lose the friendship if it does not work out?

Lots of solid relationships state that an important component is their friendship. Sometimes they start out as friends and some times they don’t, but always they insist that their significant other is their best friend who they tell all their embarrassing stories, hopes, and fears to. So one might think dating a friend would be a great idea because that aspect is already there and has built a strong foundation.

Of course once you cross that threshold from just friends to more than friends, its near impossible to go back. This has got to be the strongest reason people with crushes on their friends give for not pursing it. They don’t want to lose that friendship and closeness. They would rather have them in their life as a friend then risk becoming closer and then ending up with nothing. Sometimes friends don’t want to mess up the group dynamic by dating or sub consequently breaking up.

The thing is if you’ve naturally floated into the territory of daydreaming about one friend in particular then it may be worth digging into. He already knows your interests and dislikes pretty well. You already know about his bad habits and future plans. If you know all this and still can’t stop thinking about him then it may be time to start pushing the friendship boundary and see if he feels the same way about you.

If you don’t try, you’ll always wonder. You may become self conscious or doubt yourself more if you start thinking, well why hasn’t it crossed his mind yet to date me!? Maybe he didn’t think you’d like him back, maybe he has too much on his plate and wouldn’t be able to give you the effort you deserve. All I know is that it’s an unhealthy mental state to be wondering about all the possibilities and insecurities without any sold facts. It will give you a peace of mind to hear his sides of things no matter the outcome.

When is it Time to take a Break from Dating?

So you’ve just gotten home from yet another Okcupid date…Your back hurts from sitting all night, your cheeks burn from all the nervous laugh and perhaps fake upbeat smile you’ve had plastered on, and your heart aches because yet again the Dating Gods have let you down.

You were all excited earlier today, you had been text flirting for weeks, thrilled by the potential- a cute local guy with a decent career, talk about a diamond in the rough these days. But all he did was talk about his fancy job and expensive cars, or his exes, or how he gets blackout every weekend. Its been like this for months, years even and you’ve had enough.

Its time to take a break from dating if:

You’re worn out from all the hype and let down of going on these dates. Your self esteem has started to take a beating from all the disappointment. You’re beginning to think there’s something wrong with you instead of something wrong with the connection.

You’ve lost sight of the type of person you’re looking for and have noticed a slip in your standards. (Don’t settle for sexist Mark just because his teeth are whiter than unemployed Joe’s please oh please girl I beg you). Do you remember what you were looking for when you first got a dating profile? Are you looking for someone to settle down with or are you looking for someone to have adventures with?

You keep picking emotionally unstable men, or more you feel like they pick you. Honey, they’re not picking you. It’s time you did some self reflection and find some stability in yourself so you can start attracting it as well. You might be self sabotaging because you’re really not ready for a relationship, its just that all of your girlfriends are in relationships and your grandma won’t stop talking about your ovaries at the dining room table.

Dating has become your hobby. It’s not a hobby, stop trying to make it one. If you’re spending hours browsing potential matches, then flirting, texting, and preplanning multiple evening long dates, then we need to reevaluate how you spend your time. It was always a bummer seeing some of the same profiles as months and months go by, and then realizing they might be thinking the same thing about you, its a sad look in the mirror. Delete the app and go take a walk in the park. Your profile becomes more interesting if you actually do more things, not because of all the extra time you spend editing it.

Hey you might find that cute guy with a decent career at that park. And No, its not because you finally stopped looking. Its because you finally stopped judging profiles with your unrealistic expectations and obsessing over your very move.

Say No Confidently

I have been on quite a few dates over the years. There is a debate about when to say No to a date/guy. Should you say yes to every guy? Give a fair chance to everyone? Will it burn you out to always be saying Yes? When is the time to say No?

I mentioned before being nudged into a coffee date because I was being called out for judging this guy too quickly. I didn’t want to seem like a judgmental bitch to this stranger (why I would care is another post for another time) so I agreed to coffee. See, I knew I was right that this guy wasn’t a good match for me. That doesn’t make him a bad person or me a better one. It bugged me that I couldn’t say No. Actually I had already said No! It was when I originally said No that he called me judgmental and it’s really quite difficult to say No twice.

So we get coffee and he wasn’t the guy for me. We didn’t have much in common, we didn’t have any chemistry, things he considered fun were things that sounded like my personal nightmare. We were just too different and there wasn’t anything pushing us to make it work anyway. And you shouldn’t have to try to make it work with every person you meet. You’re allowed to be picky. You’re allowed to have standards.

I gotta admit, this post isn’t really for any of you. It’s for me. I’m here to tell myself that it’s okay to say No. It’s okay to stick to your guns. It’s okay to say No as many times as you want! Whenever you want!

You don’t want to go out on a date, don’t go. You like this guy but you don’t want to go back to his house yet, don’t. You went back to his house and the clothes are falling to the bedroom floor, You’re allowed to change your mind and say No. No matter where you are in the relationship or in the moment, you have the freedom and the right to say No. You don’t owe him anything. But you do owe it to yourself to stand up for yourself. Be your own Advocate. Be your own strength.

‘Getting Drinks’ is not a date

I’ve been on probably two non-date coffee dates. One time with Stubborn  in which I believe he was unsure about us and didn’t want to commit to an hour -long meal and a heftier bill. Ironically, that coffee lasted longer than nearly all of my dinner dates. The other coffee date was with some guy I didn’t want to see but he said I judged him too quickly and in order to not look like the bad guy, I agreed to coffee (he was as wrong for me as I originally thought).

When I choose that coffee date with the second guy, I wanted it to come off as noncommittal. I wanted to chug my hot cup in 25 minutes and call it a day no matter the taste bud burns. I didn’t want to be trapped waiting for the waiter to come back and take our meal order. I wanted an easy out.

I’ve also been on two “Let’s get drinks” non-date dates. Now I, personally, am not much of a drinker so the fact that these men suggested drinks means they don’t know me every well nor did they really care to. Those drinks also lasted the noncommittal hour and then they would ask, “Hey, wanna get out of here?” Yes. Yes, I did want to get out of here but sure as hell not with you!

Those were not a ‘let’s get to know each other’ drinks, they were ‘let’s see if you’re interesting enough to want to hook up with’ drinks. They didn’t want to waste time or money truly wooing me. They were lazily looking for something quick and fun. It was their way of ‘sampling the product’ without having to put in the proper amount of time and effort of a real date.

You might be wondering why I continue to call these dates ‘non-dates’ and that’s because the lack of commitment. Coffee or drinks is casual, quick, and easy. It’s kind of like if you just ‘hang out’ with a guy. You’re not really dating him if you’re never seen together in public.

If you really like someone, you probably won’t suggest coffee or drinks as the first option. You’ll be thinking “I really like this person and want to spend as much time with them as possible” and let’s face the facts, coffee just wouldn’t cut it.

A Few Rules to Keep Your Standards Up

I imagine if you’re a male and you read this article, you might feel a little bit misunderstood and let me just say I am not talking about you. This is for all the immature boys who don’t want to commit to the girl they’re stringing along.

For the past year, my standards have been the perfect height (for new men only, don’t worry I’m well aware I stuck around Stubborn too long).

So a few tips for the girls who seem to always wind up with a f*uckboy:

  • If you set up a date with me for the following weekend and then make no effort AT ALL till the night before when you say “we still on?”. Dude, No we’re NOT still on.
  • If you get frisky in the first 3 days looking for some fun then I’ll ‘casually’ drop you into the delete box.
  • Randomly leave me hanging all day with no explanation… Exit stage left please. I get it, you lead a busy life but all you had to do was say “I’m at work, talk tonight”.
  • Say any sexist, misogynistic garbage, treating women like sexual objects to conquer, or just a general lack of respect for an entire gender. You’ll be taken out like the trash that you are.
  • If a new guy does any of the nonsense Stubborn pulled then I’m chucking the deuces up on my way out the door.

I am very good at not tolerating f*ckboy behavior from new prospects. It’s very easy when they’re new and there are no emotional ties blurring my judgment. Heck, that’s how I landed Mr. Right. My past dating protocol has not worked for me, I’ve learned quite a few things, and I refuse to suffer anymore at the hands of boys too immature to handle a real relationship.

Ladies, if you relate to my frustrations I hope you’ll eventually find yourself in the arms of a man who really appreciates you. If you currently have an almost relationship with your phone then I hope you know it’s not a race, and the journey will teach you many things.

Your Dating Flaws

There are so many articles on the Internet about not wasting time on guys who don’t pursue you honestly and whole –heartedly from the start. Since these articles are mostly for women written by women, it nearly makes sense that all the blame seems to be on the guy. We assume it’s always the guy with the commitment issues and his inability to open up that causes him to ruin relationships. We assume the women have no hang ups of their own that would make them unready for a relationship.

Of course, I agree that these men are emotionally unavailable and it’s highly unlikely that they will be in a relationship with anyone anytime soon. But I also think we’re fooling ourselves if we think we’re nothing but innocent bystanders in this. Why are we picking these men? Do we hope to fix them? Do we see something in them that resembles ourselves? Are we not ready for love and just trying to project the blame somewhere else? Are we really just trying to fix ourselves?

If you want the perfect man then you also have to be flawless, which is unrealistic! Perfect does not exist. Relationships are about accepting flaws and how flaws work well together. While others say he’s too restless to settle down, she is excited by his sense of adventure. Some try to say she’s too demanding but he admires the way she loves life so fiercely.

Maybe we attract those that are similar to ourselves. We’re compassionate for flaws we recognize in others. We treat others as kindly as we wish we could treat ourselves. I try to be open -minded and understanding when a guy is opening up to me about a scar of his because I fear someone judging my scars harshly. When I met a guy with intimacy issues, I know not to push him too quickly because I know how easily I scare away too. And perhaps sometimes I think, “if I work on his issues, maybe mine can go away too”.

We are all flawed (despite what Beyonce sings) and we will always be flawed, but that doesn’t make us unlovable. It just takes the right person to see your stars when everyone was seeing an empty sky.

Emotional Cheating

I think a lot of people have different definitions of cheating. Some draw the line at provocative dancing while others only think a full fledged affair constitutes cheating. Some people think different types of cheating are worse than others like if it only happened once or if it was only when drunk and under the influence.

The offense seems to be worse when there’s more emotion involved. When it was with a clear mind and happened multiple times with the same person. So why is it that emotional cheating seems to get overlooked sometimes?

There’s this delusional belief that if you never meet up in person then you never cheat. Or if it’s not nudes, if it’s not sexual in nature, then it’s not cheating. These things can start innocent enough, just someone in need of a support system. Maybe things are hard with your significant other right now and you just want someone to talk to.

The problem occurs when you stop communicating with your SO. Instead you’re telling all personal issues to this new confidante. You’re no longer only talking to them when you need advice, you’re talking to them when you’re happy, bored, and alone. There’s now a daily connection and although you don’t think you’ve done anything wrong, there’s something stopping you from telling your SO about it.

Would it bother you if your SO didn’t tell you things anymore? Would it bother you if you didn’t know who your SO’s emotional support system was? A support system is a type of relationship if you have to keep it on the down low.

Saying “You Can Do Better” but Meaning…

I have definitely said, “You can do better” to a friend before and I have also had it said to me. I realize it is a friend trying to support, compliment, and look out for you. That’s how I meant it when I said it, along with “You deserve so much better” and “Forget him, he’s nothing but bad news anyway”. What I’m also willing to admit is that I’m passing along a lot of judgment while saying these ‘encouraging’ comments (read: critiques).

I’m judging her taste and ability to choose lovers/boyfriends by calling them ‘bad news’. I’m telling her that she has no authority over her own life and I’m going to make better decisions for her since she can’t seem to pick the right guy for herself. I’m judging her self -confidence and worth by telling her what I think she deserves; how much I think she is worth.

All in all, I’m criticizing her personal choices.

I’m also telling her that our friendship is no longer a safe place to openly be herself. I’m telling her that this friendship is about me. I am not here for her to voice her concerns and lessen her burdens. I am here to praise myself for not making the same foolish mistakes that I am judging you for from where I sit on my high horse. I’m telling her to not trust me with her vulnerability.

She knows any other girl would try and leave him, but her feelings are outweighing her logic. And Love is rarely logically. She doesn’t need her friends pointing out the logical and less ’embarrassing’ option. She needs support so that she never feels trapped or shamed.

She needs support so that she can finally come to a new decision on her own in due time. Or she might never change her mind! And then she has to choose between you and him. Trust me, you’ll lose her then because she will always choose Love.

So when I tell her “Wise up, he’s no good for you” I’m also telling her “Wise up, I’m not much better.” Because if a friend needs to tear you down in order to build themselves up, then that’s not a friend you need to be around.