It’s not a big deal.
Seriously. I know it probably seems like I’m being passive aggressive but it’s actually not a big deal.
I mean, to the extent that it wouldn’t be that hard to just respond and say you’re not interested in dating me, yes, you’re kind of a wimp. And given that I already put myself out there by messaging you first, and then asking for your number, and then asking you out on a date, you’re definitely not scoring any points for vulnerability or honesty. But – and I know this is probably surprising to you – I actually didn’t do those things because I needed you to reciprocate. I did them because I want to grow into the kind of person who isn’t afraid of being vulnerable and honest. And besides, I barely know you. So easy come easy go, right?
Why is dating advice always about the worst thing that could happen? “Ask her out! The worst that can happen is that you get rejected.” Actually, rejection is easy to deal with. Demonstrating value, now that’s hard. Seeming interesting, entertaining, trying to figure out if you’ll gel with someone, these things are hard. Even getting ghosted is not that bad, if you think about it. Seriously, I get it. You’re not really that into me, but you figure it’s just your phone number, what’s the big deal, and it’s nice to feel wanted because even though you don’t think you’re ugly you definitely don’t feel like hot shit 100% of the time, and then you figure it’s just coffee, what’s the big deal, and then logistics enter the field and coffee starts to seem awfully committal and what if you just… didn’t confirm, would that be so bad?
And once it’s socially established that this is a thing that can happen when I meet a person on Tinder, it’s easy to deal with. I can live with the constant possibility that you will just stop responding – honestly it’s my default and natural assumption when it comes to dating. The alternative is that you text me “hey it was nice talking to you but I’m not really interested in dating,” and really if I’m gathering that from your lack of responses anyway, it doesn’t really matter how you choose to convey that information. I mean its not like I would want to just be friends anyway.
Except sometimes I do want to be friends anyway. Most of the time, maybe. (Of course I don’t totally understand the difference between friends and loves, but I don’t need you to, like, be exclusive, or text me everyday, or kiss me or whatever.) It would be nice if we could be friends. But your lack of response tells me that you wouldn’t be interested, or you don’t think I would be interested, or you’re too nervous to try and communicate to me this vague desire that you want to be friends, or you don’t think I’m worth it, but again, easy come easy go, and you don’t know how worth it I am. We’ve never met.
You, of course, have no way of really knowing how much it would mean to me to actually get an explicit rejection. And you’re also right when you say it’s not a big deal and I’ll get the point anyway. I’ll just continue to archive text threads as soon as I get the slightest whiff that you’re going to stop responding, and get a head start on grieving over what could have been.