I historically have not been a mature adult. Any of you who have read any of my posts probably would argue that historically is the wrong adverb and the verb in that sentence is the wrong tense. I wouldn’t fight you on those points.
Hell, I wouldn’t fight anyone on anything, literally. I’m a giant physical coward. Always have been. When it comes to most any kind of uncomfortable situation I choose flight most of the time. Even when I do want to swing back at someone who has swung at me, I do if in the most passive-aggressive way possible. I act as if they no longer exist.
If I am within eye contact range with them, I never make eye contact. I’ll always have my headphones on so I can pretend not to hear them. If they do make some kind of electronic communication attempt (IM, text, email, etc), I never answer it.
I’m bringing this up because my withdrawal method is something I employ in virtually every non-work related setting. At work I’ll be unfailingly polite to anyone, even I secretly wished they would spontaneously combust. And I have such a neutral facial expression that I’ve had people who have known me for decades claim they had no idea I was furious (this skill I learned to use as a child when the bullying started).
I do employ it in dating. I have been ghosted and I have ghosted others as well. I do most of my recent dating (since 2010) from online dating sites or apps so I never really have to worry about seeing the person who has dissed me or who I have dissed. In 7 recent years, out of the 140+ women I’ve dated, I’ve only seen two in public after ghosting has occurred. One went out of her way to sit next to me on a nearly empty bus despite the fact that I had headphones on and was busy playing Angry Birds on my phone. She had ghosted so her overture was nonsensical. The other one I had ghosted and we just exchanged a brief awkward look as she was leaving a store and I was entering it.
Point is, once I’ve withdrawn, in pretty much any dating dynamic in the 21st century, I usually never have to see her face to face again.
That may change tonight. I stupidly got a phone number from a friend of a friend who is part of a social circle I hang out with regularly. She was giving me crazy strong ask me out vibes and so I asked for her digits and texted her right away (I understand that’s a mistake). She even responded quickly and enthusiastically to the first couple of texts. But then I think I got too enthusiastic and wanted to get her to commit to a real actual day and time and then that pressure caused her to change her mind about wanting to hang out with me. Or something else did. I even quickly sent a “don’t worry – whenever it is good for you – let me know” text. I haven’t heard from her in several days. In texting time, that’s like a century.
So anyways the social group is scheduled to meet for drinks tonight. She’ll be there. I’ll be there. Normally I’d completely ignore her. But in such tight quarters, that’s gonna be difficult. So scratch that option. Also, scratch the option of me initiating contact. I’ve frankly made it nicely and politely clear that I want to spend time with her. So she will probably, in my opinion, approach me and do one of the following things:
1. Pretend she just has been really busy this past week and hasn’t had a chance to text back but she TOTALLY wants to hang out soon! (There is no way in fuck that I’m falling for that one)
2. She will initiate slightly awkward small talk and I will reply with polite, boring small talk. That will last a few minutes and then she’ll *have to go the bathroom* and that’s the last I’ll hear from her tonight. She might even throw in the classic “I’ll be right back” which is an absolute guarantee that she never will be.
3. She will initiate slightly awkward small talk and I will reply with my best engaging and real conversation that I can muster (and I won’t mention word one about being annoyed she didn’t text me back). I think this is what a mature and forgiving person would do. I’d like to be that guy. But I just don’t know if I can be.
4. She’ll apologize for not texting me back, grab me by the hoodie and take me into the bar’s bathroom and make a man out of me.
5. She will make solid plans with a real date and time this coming week and actually show up and we’ll have a real date. I think this has as much a chance of happening as me growing 5 extra inches on my dick.
6. She will make the same solid plans but cancel them before they occur. (Don’t worry: I’m on alert now. Whatever plans we make I’ll have a fun backup plan ready to go.)
7. She will make the same solid plans and actually stand me up. (Backup plan protocol in place.)
I don’t see it going any other way. My money’s on option #1. But #2 is definitely in the running.
Wish me luck! I sure as fuck will need it!