Before anyone worries: No, this isn’t about Aaron. Aaron and I are still good. Still affectionate and enjoying each other’s company but not interested in getting serious.
Something is up with the dating app guys here in Phoenix, folks.
Over the course of 17 days, I had five different guys text me out of the blue to say hi/sniff around about my availability.
Four out of the five who reached out were pretty ballsy to even bother. Three of them had full-on or partially ghosted me previously and one had proved supremely unreliable. (FYI, the most egregious is the last guy I’ll mention. So definitely read til the end of the post.)
The one not-bad dude
The only not-ridiculous-to-contact-me guy was someone I had met last summer back when the world was, ya know, safe.
We went on one date right before he went on a month-long vacation. We texted a bunch while he was gone, but once he got back, life got hectic and we fell out of touch. Since then, he has texted a few times out of the blue, but either it was because he was bored (not actually available) or when I wasn’t available myself.
This time we chatted a bit about life. He is apparently renovating a house as an investment property. I bitched about the great housing market driving up prices and, therefore, my property taxes.
He suggested now might be a good time to sell, and I was slightly annoyed that he didn’t really listen when I said that didn’t make financial sense. Because a financial cushion is always good. (Gee, thanks. I hadn’t realized.) I told him I already have almost two year’s worth of my emergency budget, so I was just fine and not about to give up a $600 mortgage for $1,000+ rent.
At that point, he let it go, and we chatted some more. He let me know that he’d be interested in meeting again if my current situation didn’t work out. And that was about the end of it.
I wish I could say the same of the others.
The partial-ghoster dude
“Partial-ghoster” only in that he didn’t disappear after an in-person meeting. He just abruptly stopped responding to texts in early summer. As in, during the afternoon he said he’d message later that day, and then nothing. I sent a text that evening, no response. I sent one more (to be sure he was just ignoring me) and yeah… Nothing.
Then five days later, he texted as though we’d just talked earlier that day, saying hey and asking how I was. I said fine, except that I was confused as to why he disappeared. He said work had been busy.
So busy that he couldn’t shoot me a “Sorry, things got crazy. I’ll text later.” message? Nah, I said, it was far more likely he’d met someone who was a better match and decided to pursue that. Which, I said, stung a bit of course, but that I knew it was the nature of dating apps. I just preferred guys be honest with me.
He didn’t respond. Well, until two weeks ago.
He texted again saying hey and how was I. I said that I had a good setup going and wasn’t available to meet.
He replied that he was a good setup.
I told him good to know and if the current thing ran its course maybe I’d contact him.
“Aw, dang it.”
Like… Dude, you disappeared on me twice and you expect me to jump ship on a good thing for you???
The “Take the hint, dude” dude
I saw a guy a couple of times this summer. He charmingly didn’t tell me until we met in person that he was planning a trip to New Jersey. And he wasn’t very communicative/available when he was here.
After a week or so of him being in Jersey, I asked when he’d be back. He said he wasn’t sure.
I told him I didn’t think it was going to work, and he actually asked me to “just be patient.” I said no, that didn’t work for me. The best I could offer, I told him, was that he could contact me when he was back in town and we could see where I was at.
Five weeks later, he messaged me on Kik, which (for reasons I can’t remember) we had switched to from text. I asked if he was really just now back. He said he’d been back and forth a couple of times (!!!) so he’d waited to reach out until he was back in town for good.
By then, I’d met Aaron, so I said I was seeing someone who seemed like he was going to work out but I’d let him know if/when that stopped being the case. He said he had figured but “just wanted to say hi.” (Suuuuuure.)
Almost a month later, he messaged me “Hey you.” I ignored the message, figuring I’d been pretty clear with the “Don’t call us, we’ll call you” vibe.
Three weeks later, he texted me “Hey you.”
Jeez, dude, read the room. And then leave it.
Update: Several hours after I finished this post, he messaged me again on Kik saying he’d like to see me and asked how everything was. So I replied, “As I said the last time we talked, I found a good setup with someone. Please stop messaging.”
He replied “Oh, wow, I didn’t know you were going to be mean… wow. Yeah good luck with that.” Then he said to reread my last message to him the last time we talked and tell him if I what I sent seemed logical or fair.
Again: I’d literally said that I’d give him a heads up if the other guy ended up not working out. Which I think pretty clearly implies that if I don’t reach out, nothing has changed.
So being thoroughly annoyed, I rather snidely wrote, “That’s not mean, that was my asking politely.” And explained that mean would be pointing out that the last time we talked I said I’d let him know if anything had changed and, not only hadn’t I initiated contact, I hadn’t responded to his last two messages and yet somehow he thought a third one was the way to go.
I was told to get over myself — I guess it’s arrogant to assume he was interested in me after he messaged me three times in 30 days, even in the absence of responses? — because he was just saying hi — guess that’s why he said he wanted to see me? — and that my last message was vague. (And hey, I guess “I’m good. I’ll let you know if/when that changes.” does leave a lot of room for interpretation. *eye roll*)
He went on to say that he thought because of that vagueness I’d be open to the occasional text since we’d talked about things other than sex (uh, barely) so we could talk “like friends would.” (Again, we had very barely chatted in a friendly way and, uh, the message he’d sent 10 minutes prior was that he wanted to see me.) But it was okay and happy holidays.
I’m so tired, folks.
The “Wow, you’re a charmer” dude
In the early fall, I talked to a youngin’ in Tempe (about 20 miles away) who was super eager to meet and assured me the fact that he’d have to Uber to me every time wasn’t a big deal. I was sketpical and therefore hesitant, but when a couple other guys didn’t work out, I figured I’d give him a shot.
We met, and at the end we agreed he would text me about meeting again later in the week. I never heard from him again.
And hey, maybe he had underestimated the annoyance/cost of Uber — despite my mentioning it multiple times and his assuring me multiple times it wasn’t an issue — and/or maybe he found someone far more conveniently located. But the least he could’ve done was text me to say he didn’t think it would work.
I wasn’t super heartbroken, though, because in-person things had been a little awkward. So not sad, just annoyed.
Two months later, he texted hey and it had been a long time.
Yes, I replied, because you came over once and then never texted again.
“Oh, yeah sorry. Guess I wasn’t in the right head space.”
He had assured me when we chatted that he wanted someone he could see regularly. Men are exhausting.
Anyway, I told him, I have a good situation now. He said he understood and he hoped I enjoyed what I had. I thanked him.
Then he said to let him know if we ever wanted a third. Or if I ever wanted to meet again he’d be interested.
Did I mention that men are exhausting?
The “Wow, I knew you weren’t bright but…” dude
The most recent contact was someone I’d actually met back in late February, before the world was upside down/on fire. We’d gone on two dates, then he stopped replying to texts.
A picture is not worth a thousand words
His first message back was a pic of his lower torso and most of an erection.
I snickered and the audacity and replied, “Dude, you slept with me once and ghosted me. You think the best reintroduction is a dick pic? [RFLMAO emoji]”
His defense, I kid you not, was “It’s a partial!”
Then he said he apologized. He was just really quiet sometimes.
As I later said on Twitter (where I screenshotted the ridiculous conversation, because who am I to deprive them of such hilarious stupidity?), waiting that long to respond goes way beyond “really quiet” and into “vow of silence” territory. If you don’t text me back between late February and almost-mid-December, there better have been a coma involved or you’d best to be growing out a tonsure, my dude.
Let the razzing begin
I’m never one to hold back from roasting a ghoster, so I said that I guessed “Really quiet sometimes” was guy-speak for “Ignore messages initially, don’t text for 10 months, then send a pic when (presumably) the pandemic dry spell is hitting hard.”
His reply: “Lol you’re so creative. 9.”
(I thought that last bit was a typo, but my friend Leila pointed out he meant it’d only been nine months. Which… does he think nine months is acceptable? Also, February 24th to December 9th is nine months and 18 days and if you ghost someone, they are completely allowed to round up.)
He added that he had wanted to get my attention, so he took the picture. Adding “lol.”
My reply: “I find the level of jeering and sarcasm resurfacing ghosters put up with is directly proportional to how long it’s been since they’ve gotten laid. Judging by our conversation so far, you’ve been hard-up for a while. [Cry-laughing emoji]”
He said, “No! I’m really nice. I don’t tease anyone.” Next he texted that he was a conflict avoidance person. Meaning, I guess, that he didn’t want to see me and was too cowardly to just shoot me a text saying I seemed cool, but he didn’t quite feel it?
Then I guess he must’ve reread my message and actually understood what I sent because he replied “Lol maybe.”
Down to brass tacks
He didn’t say anything else, so I asked him whether this meant the pic was his big play? He wasn’t even going to try to tell me why I should overlook the ghosting?
I know I should’ve left well enough alone, but I’m always curious to see how men rationalize treating women so rudely.
He replied that he had just saying hello. Then just texted an rflmao emoji. Then replied a third time saying he thought we both enjoyed that night, and he was thinking about it.
I said, “Hmmmmm…. I’ll let you know in 10 months whether I enjoyed it.”
I didn’t hear back. So I figured he’d gotten the very pointed message.
The next evening, I got: “That’s a really looong time!!” Then a few minutes later he sent another dick pic. “That’s a full picture [rflmao emoji].”
I had the text thread open and was trying to decide what/whether to respond when the second pic came through. I sighed and closed the app.
About 15 minutes later he messaged again: “You’re just not going to say anything huh lol”
About 15 minutes after that: “Fine I got a DUI and didn’t feel like talking to anyone for a while. I never really drink alcohol and it was embarrassing and depressing!”
First, of all, I love the “Fine” as though I’d been pestering him nonstop for more information. Or I guess maybe he meant it as in “Fine, if you’re going to be soooo unreasonable that two dick pics and a lame half-excuse won’t convince you…”
About 20 minutes after that, the lock screen showed me “I rest my case Your Honor lol” and yeah I just didn’t even open that one.
Two hours later: “Abigail!!!”
I found it simultaneously amusing and bewildering that he was so obviously missing the irony of his being so upset and frustrated that someone was ignoring his texts.
Enough is enough
The next day he sent another pic. From the preview, it looked like another dick pic, so I didn’t open it until I had to write this post. (Since I had to review the conversation to properly convey its ridiculousness.)
As it turns out, the last pic was just a shot showing from his lower abdomen to the top of his pubic hair. But close enough, really. So I have now officially gone to the trouble of blocking someone.
Which in this case, I believe is a literal cockblock.
What is going on???
I think my mom has it right: Most or all of these guys have run through all the women who are willing to meet during a pandemic.
Thus they are forced to turn to “cold leads” as one Twitter user hilariously put it. And I actually get that. Dating apps are exhausting and, yeah, there’s a finite number of real women on there even in the best of times.
So the current resurgence of guys from the past kinda makes sense. And as a bonus, provides all of us with amusement.
Single men, listen up: How they might’ve salvaged it
Obviously, I’m happy with Aaron. So nothing these guys said would’ve gotten them anywhere. But had I been single, they missed the very simple step to getting any shot at a second chance.
They didn’t just say, “You’re right. I was a dick. I’m sorry, and it won’t happen again.”
Instead, they tried to justify and offer lame excuses. Because apparently they can’t admit they were assholes.
And I kinda get it.
We all need to believe that we’re good people. And since good people allegedly don’t do bad things (spoiler: they do sometimes), many of us have trouble admitting that we were unnecessarily mean or rude or callous. So we tell ourselves stories about how what we did was understandable/okay.
But even if you believe your excuses, the person you mistreated is looking for more than an excuse. If they have a legitimate reason to be hurt, just explaining yourself is like saying “Okay, but since I have valid reasons, I don’t have to be sorry I upset you.”
No, in these cases, you need to apologize first. Admit that you screwed up and then you can give them an explanation to let them know you weren’t being awful for no reason.
So single guys — or, really, all guys — need to remember this simple rule: If you have done something that any objective observer would say was a dick move and you’re hoping to keep/restart things with the person upon whom that dick move was inflicted, make sure you own it. It will get you much, much further than you might think.
(Before anyone accuses me of misandry: Yes, some women can be bad about this sort of thing too — including ghosting — and those women should follow the above advice too. But the vast majority of us have actually been conditioned to apologize or accept at least partial blame even when we’ve done nothing wrong. Either to smooth things over or because we’ve really been internalized this idea that women are being unreasonable when we’re usually just asking for a guy to be an equal partner or generally put our feelings first sometimes. So yeah, I address the comment mostly to men.)
But who knows, maybe some of the other women I’m very sure they texted at the same time as me are more forgiving. Or just desperate.
What’s the lamest or most hilariously bad attempt someone has made to pop back into your life?