Date Stories, J

J: Return of the First Date

Context: I matched with West Virginia on Coffee Meets Bagel, and we chatted briefly before arranging to meet for a first date at Masa 14 on a Wednesday night in mid-August.

There is no question that “ghosting” is an epidemic that is sweeping the fuckboy nation. A simple Google search will yield you 5.12 million results, and 99% of them will describe ghosting as a bad thing. Because it is! Especially after several years, and especially in a town as small as DC where there is a 99% chance that you’ll see this person again and it will be v awkward.

However, after one date? Not ghosting. Don’t feel the need to text them and make up some bullshit about “you were a great person, but you’re just not the right person for me” when in actuality the endless talk of their mummified lizard collection scarred you for life. It’s a date. No harm, no foul. Just delete their number and move on with your life.

The following story is about a grey area in ghosting protocol – changing your mind. And before I dive further into the details, I would like to add a disclaimer. Neither of us was in the right (or wrong) in this situation. There is nothing inherently bad about what this guy did, I just think his technique was… odd. But enough with me being nice to someone on the Internet (ew), on to the story!

I had started chatting with West Virginia while he was on a family vacation in North Carolina, and we arranged to meet at Masa 14 on a Wednesday once he got back to DC. I showed up a leeetle bit* late due to an accident on the Key Bridge #reversecommuteproblems, but he was so nice about it and we got right into conversation. And things were going so well! We had very parallel life experiences in terms of places we’d lived, interests we share, and both being addicted to the show “Don’t Trust the B in Apt 23” (the truest hallmark of a soulmate, in my opinion).

*45 minutes but I warned him so it’s FINE I’m FINE.

After 3 hours at Masa, my friend C texted me that she was also there with some friends, so West Virginia paid the tab and I went to introduce him before he headed out. He hung around and chatted with us for about 15 minutes, then hugged me and said he wanted to see me again before leaving.

He texted me an hour later letting me know that he’d had a good time and wanted to hang out the next week. We texted back and forth pretty much constantly for the next few days, then his texts slowed and subsequently ceased entirely. Ok, I was being ghosted. It’s fine – no harm in one more attempt to see if he was interested.

J, she’s just like you – gets sunburnt and talks about tan feet with guys she’s been out with once. Also, the reference to theft is regarding a dog he was dogsitting. I do not advocate larceny of any kind unless it involves me getting more access to a dog.

24 hours passed without response. Well, if this wasn’t a love connection, I could at least turn it into an educational opportunity!

(Also, I was drunk in Missouri and he was someone I could text so it was ALL SYSTEMS GO)

As soon as I called him out for ghosting, the response came immediately. Classic. Also, shouldn’t you missing a bunch of work for your “stomach bug” make it easier for you to text because you’re not busy at work? *suspicious chin scratch emoji*.

Regardless, his old roommate who I had matched with on Bumble (long story) said he was a really good and sweet guy, so I took him at his word. We texted all day Sunday, then he disappeared again. Okay, I was being ghosted, it was fine. I’d given him the second chance, and I was over it.

Also tbh he really reminded me of my ex-boyfriend so I had already played our relationship out 6 months into the future and broken up with him in my mind and was pretty over it. #shitcrazygirlsdo

I woke up that Tuesday thinking it would be an ordinary work day. I’d wake up, hit snooze every 15 minutes for 2 full hours go to the gym, and start fantasizing about when I’d consume alcohol next. You know, the usual. Oh contraire. That evening I was minding my own biz-ness after hosting trivia, when WHO SHOULD REAPPEAR IN MY INBOX but West Virginia, bringing me a message that I neither wanted nor asked for.

I immediately developed a list of possible explanations:
a) he recently got out of a relationship and isn’t ready to date yet;
b) his stomach flu is actually cancer and he doesn’t want to ruin me emotionally as he progresses through the stages of the disease;
c) he’s been questioning his sexuality and is leaning more towards men rn;
d) he’s cold-blooded and heartless just like me and our mutual role model Chloe and was just toying with my emotions this whole time.

I responded in the only way I know how: flippant and with more vowels and emojis than necessary. And that, my friends, was the end of West Virginia.

Was this a lesson? Not intentionally, if at all. People have different communication styles, and West Virginia and I were obviously not a perfect match. That said, if you’re going to ghost someone, ghost them all the way or don’t ghost them at all. This will (probably) prevent you from being anoymously written about on the Internet. Maybe.

Eh, screw it. I’ll write about you regardless. Keep living your fuckboy lives, y’all.


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