I have been stood up.
Pretty sure that phrase has been eradicated from current existance. Maybe. I dunno. Does this happen to anyone anymore? I don't think so. Today we have many ways of communicating with people, and when it comes to cancelling plans there are no lack of options available. Send a text, facebook message, carrior pidgeon, whatever - either way your crappy excuse for not wanting to show up on a date can easily be sent with no consequence. So you might be asking yourself: How did this happen?
Having re-entered the dating game...no...construct...no...scene...no...dilemma...no...process-of-social-interactions-hopefully-resulting-in-lasting-connections-and-deeper-relationships. ..
Having begun dating again I've decided to approach it differently. Shocker. (you're not allowed to give me the definition of insanity anymore.) Call it a social experiment, call it being desperate, or just call it stupid. I prefer the term maverick, for the record, or genius, for my close friends. Whatever it is...it's different. In today's age of digital connection and with no lack of options for pursuing relationships, I've decided to go Old School.
No phone. No app. No facebook. No contact other than face-to-face.
I wrote a song lyric to help illustrate:
"Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy, but here's my number -" "NO!"
Royalties are still pending.
Seriously - I've decided to forgo the "exchanging numbers" moment altogether. This crazy concept has already gotten me a fair share of awkward stares, but I haven't backed down from my decision. "Two or three dates in" I explain to everyone. This one totally makes sense. I promise.
You see I've made it a skill of building relationships over text message. I could probably list it on my resume. The truth is I can be very manipulative.
I mean, who isn't?
Every new text is a chance to be clever. I'm challenged to make her laugh or smile. I go through the first few drafts in my head, type one out, and if I don't like it, I quickly delete and send another. I've always wondered: If I were there in person, what would be my first response? My instinctual reaction is hardly the stuff of legend. Sometimes it's awkward. Sometimes it's stupid. Sometimes it's just...simple. But over text message I don't have to worry about any of that stuff. Every new bubble is a charming one, and I'm nothing less than that...right?
You do this. I know you can relate.
New relationships are a pain to navigate; especially when infatuation comes into play. With the invention of the smart phone time apart is never truly time apart. I can send a text, or make a phone call, whenever I want. The question is: Should I? How long do you wait after last seeing each other? Should I wait for her to text first? If she does, do I wait to reply so I don't let on that I've been waiting on that tone, jumping a every phone vibration hoping that it's her?
Assuming I do text, then there are more questions.
Did I write that correctly? Should I clarify? Send another one? Why hasn't she replied yet? Did she get it? Oh wait she's typing...no...she stopped. Is she confused? Does she not want to talk to me? Ugh I knew I should have clarified!
No one wants to deal with this.
Let me re-state that I am codependent. One reason I don't want to have a phone number is so I don't become too invested too quickly. I need my time away from any potential crush. Allowing the flame to die down gives me a chance to gather my thoughts, and reflect with a clear mind. Text messaging only serves to keep fanning the flame of interest, wheras in some cases it should be allowed to go out. Or I don't have to think about it at all. Instead I can focus on myself, or whatever it is I'm working on that truly requires my attention. Seriously, that's a good thing for me, someone who tends to overthink these situations.
Also this. (the title is stupid and misleading. But the article is relevant.)
Disallowing phone contact has also proven to be quite the testing grounds.
Now when I set a time and place for a date, I can show up knowing that she'll either be there or she won't. You can truly guage the interest of a person depending on how often this happens. Also, without the chance to cancel at the last minute, she has to decide then and there whether or not to say yes to the date at all. Let's face it girls, you like to be nice, you'll say yes to getting coffee and something will come up 30 minutes before you need to be there. You're not really interested. You never wanted to go in the first place. Or you just don't know how you feel about it all.
This isn't all that new. People did this. There was a time where you had to be intentional. Casual dating is a relatively new concept. At my age I tend to like the former.
And that's why I was stood up.
Mattias is an actor, writer, filmmaker, and editor currently living in Los Angeles, CA. He often writes about his observations about life, the human condition, spirituality, and relationships. He also enjoys writing about movies, pop culture, formula one, and current events. Often these writings are 'initial thoughts' and un-edited, as authentic as possible, and should be considered opinions. If you're interested in commenting on his work, or continuing the conversation, you should consider following him on Twitter or share an article on social media, where he would love to engage even further. Consider subscribing via RSS for more.