Recently, a new gurlfriend (the “u” in place of “i” is pertinent when referring to platonic women friends when you’re gay) and I were sitting on the couch of some bar discussing everyone’s favorite engaging topic: assholes…err, I mean, men. To be exact, men who lead you on via text offering dating’s riches, then when it’s time for the follow through, you get nothing but radio silence.
We’ve all been there, actually, with men, women, or anyone along the gender-expression spectrum:
You meet someone. Things go super awesomely, and you possibly have sex or at least some awesome oral. Then you get the “yeah, let’s totes make plans for blah blah blah day;” but then that blah blah blah day comes and there’s an excuse or—even worse—no reply. So you’re left stuck there overanalyzing the text stream–looking at your screens trying to read between the lines of 160 characters, trying to decypher them like hieroglyphics, searching for your answer, but never really getting it.
Now I say we’ve all been through it, but there are those of you out there reading this column who are doing it. I’m not here to wag my finger at you or chastise you. You make me want to shake my fist at you violently, but I won’t. That’s not a solution. You may not have been socialized well for romance or dating? You’ve never been told not to be an asshole? You’ve never had it happen to you? I don’t know your reasoning. What I can do is offer up my advice on how to change your fucked up behavior. Don’t be turned off to my suggestions, because seriously, what you do hurts people and causes emotional chaos. Once you change these behaviors, you can become dating’s Dark Knight, instead of trampling hearts like the Joker. (That was the comic geek in me really stretching for a Batman analogy.)
I’d like to introduce you all to dating’s lowest bar: It’s the lowest bar anyone can attempt to reach, but many in our dating histories don’t even come close. It’s not based on finances, fancy cars or homes, but on simple actions that can make the most positive progress for whatever type of interactions you hope to achieve with a romantic partner. It’s comprised of three basic rules: Don’t be dishonest. Don’t disappear. Don’t be a dick. It really is that simple, but let me elaborate.
Don’t be dishonest.
Sounds simple enough, right? Wrong. Apparently from what I’ve heard from intensive research (and by “intensive research” I mean talking to some of my straight guy friends) is that some men prefer to tell women what they think they want to hear as to avoid confrontation, or to get themselves laid. Sometimes they fear repercussions if they reject someone outright, so they lead these women on telling them, “yes, let’s make plans,” “I miss you too,” etc., but when it’s time to hang out they simply don’t reply back.
It’s cliché, but honesty is the best policy. Be honest about your desires for casual sex without leading anyone on (or doing it in a creepy way, for that matter). Let someone know you’re just not that into them (without being rude) so that way they don’t have to be anxious wondering why you’re not texting back. Conversely, you won’t have to be scared of running into them in public.
My quick tips for honest communication:
- Use “I statements” on dating profiles about what you’re honestly seeking.
- Ex: “I am currently looking for mutually attracted partners for NSA fun.”
- During conversation, ask your date about what they’re looking for. If your needs aren’t simpatico, let them know that.
- If a person is texting you, and you really weren’t interested in them, let them know outright.
- Ex: “Hey (insert name here), I don’t mean to be rude, but I don’t think we have a connection. It’s best we don’t communicate anymore.”
- If you felt there was no sexual chemistry between you two, but they want to see you again, do the same as above.
Now these all may seem really rude, but then again, my Twitter name isn’t @RQ_Rude for nothing. Expressing your honest desires is healthy, and will only lead to you curating a dating/sexual repertoire of people who match best with you, and eliminates confusion and resentment. The rejected may dislike you at the moment, but it’s far better than leading them on and making them hate you indefinitely. Honestly, doesn’t it get tiresome keeping up with excuses and lies? Save that energy for sex.
Easy peasy — DON’T FUCKING DISAPPEAR!
I’ve already walked you through being honest, so this step is exponentially easier at this point. You’ve expressed your needs, and now you’re on to having sex with or dating someone who meets them. There’s a mutual attraction and respect there, but you notice it starts dying over time. You’ve lost interest in this person, and you no longer want to see them. You text less, or you just don’t respond. You fade out without letting the other person know how you felt. It’s easy for you to up and disappear, but it’s hard on their heart and emotions.
Don’t drag it on. Don’t make excuses; excuses just bring you back to being dishonest. This is the time for you to be honest version 2.0, with yourself and with them. Instead of fading out, respect what you had with them whether it was one night or 100 months, use the tips above to let them know it has come to an end for you. Like I said before, it will hurt temporarily, but it’s a lot better than making them resent you for the rest of their memorable lives. Plus, you’ll totally feel better about yourself because at the end of the day you were straightforward.
At this point, you’re already 66% on your way to reaching that low bar! If you notice, these rules are all pretty synergetic. By being honest, you don’t have to disappear, and by being honest and not disappearing, you’re already well on your way to not being a dick.
Overall, it comes down to not being rude. Listen to your partner. Be respectful. Help them orgasm first. Treat them like you’d like to be treated, so that way if or when that next bar is in your sight, you’ve got yourself a solid foundation from which to reach it. If you decide it’s just time to move on, you’ll do it in a way that shows respect to you both. Being dishonest, fading out, and being a jerk are just immature actions that show you don’t deserve what you want because you can’t even respect it in the first place.