Once, when I was at school, I was chosen to be a part of the A grade netball team. I was never much of a sports person and it hadn’t bothered me much before, but when I was chosen to be on this team it felt fantastic. I was really pleased.
Then a new girl started school a week before the big inter-school match and out scored me significantly with goals. I got bumped back down to reserves. I was devastated.
Dating is much like this. You see someone you like online, he likes you back, you correspond, you go out on a date. You have a great time, you’re feeling pretty good, your phone stays maddeningly silent.
You get the odd text and some very flimsy maybe’s when it comes to meeting up again. You then realise you’ve been put in reserve. The guy is keeping minimal contact, just in case but is clearly still actively dating, seeing if there’s something better out there.
Yes, I’ve had this happen, it sucks. No, I haven’t done it myself. Because it does not feel good at all. It’s one of the reasons I don’t like dating separated guys. When you first extricate yourself from a long term relationship and decide you want to dive right back into the dating pool, the online dating can be a veritable smorgasbord on which to gorge and gorge. It seems as though there is an endless stream of dateable types just waiting for you to happen upon their profile.
But, and you’ll forgive this jaded attitude, there comes a time when you realise that many people seem intriguing at first instance but are quite the opposite of what you’re looking for once you meet them. Then the bad dates start to out number the good ones and then you begin to see the same old faces over and over again with profiles that open with “well, I never thought I’d be back here again, but…”
It gets rough. Hence, jaded.
About a month and a half ago I went out with a chap who had very clearly used an old photo. I was unimpressed. But we did have some things in common and he kept in touch so I agreed to go out with him again. But then I got sick, and he went on holidays and then he got sick. He cancelled our last scheduled date then promptly disappeared. Last night I got a text around 9.30pm which I think is too late after no communication for weeks. Then today he texted and told me he was free this weekend but didn’t actually ask me out. This feels like being put in reserve. Whatever has kept him so busy for the past few weeks was apparently such that even texting me would have been a chore. Then when he finally does text he leaves it to me to do all the work? This is so insulting that I haven’t responded to his text and have no intention of doing so.
I have written about this before and I urge you dear reader, if you are in the dating game, please don’t treat other people this way. If you’re not interested, say so. If you’ve met someone else, say so. If you’re wanting to stay in touch as friends, say so. The person on the other end of the phone can then decide how they wish to proceed. But don’t keep people around on the B team, just in case the A listers don’t work out and you deign to stoop down to the next level.
On the day of that big netball meet when I was a kid, I was crushed that I wasn’t playing in the A team. But I picked myself up and played my heart out. The B team won and went home with a medal. The A team did not.
Just goes to show you, putting someone in reserve, can mean that you turn out to be the loser.