[Continuing my Led Zeppelin theme in honor of my friend Joe the Troll, who is the only one who notices these things.]
Today’s prompt contact took me back to my dating site days aka the Valium years. It was always tricky to decide about first contact. Some men like it when a woman approaches them (just like in “real life,” for those who pretend the internet isn’t real). These men say it takes the guesswork out of deciding who to approach and how, along with eliminating the fear of rejection. I was rejected many times, but I didn’t care.
This is something I fail to understand about men (along with every otter thing). Why is it bad to be rejected upfront? Then you can easily move on without having invested anything but a few seconds. Sure, being rejected later hurts, but that’s not what I’m talking about now. I’m talking about the constant complaining about getting told no (or silence) after one hello.
Okay. After making initial contact and establishing some minimal threshold of mutual interest, most reasonable people would chitchat a bit in the site’s message program. But here’s the tricky part: “a bit” can mean different things. Some men think 30 seconds is enough chatting; if you don’t cough up your phone number after that they accuse you of being a phony. Other men will chat a line or two for days or weeks and never want to move to the phone. I have a term for them: “married.”
Alrighty. Say two people have successfully navigated first contact, initial chats, the phone convo, and even a first meet (gawd forbid we call that coffee thingie a “date” because this is utterly terrifying to some dudes)… now what? Well, I’ll tell you! It gets even trickier.
You have to decide how often to contact your person and how to respond to any contact from them. Say they text you one afternoon a few days after Coffee Thingie: “Hey, how’s it going?” What should you do now? So many options!
1. You don’t like them and never want to see them again, so you:
a. ignore them totally (ghost).
b. say “hey” like 3 days later hoping they’ll get the hint.
c. explain in methodical detail how much they suck, attaching a spreadsheet.
d. say “hi, nice to have met you, but we’re not a match… have a great life, bye!”
2. You really like them and want to have their baby, so you:
a. immediately reply with a long gushing text about how that was the best coffee you ever had and put lots of emojis; then before they reply again send 17 more texts about various things including photos of your pets and grandparents.
b. say “hey” like 3 days later with a smiley.
c. say “hey” immediately without a smiley.
d. wait a couple hours and suggest a plan to get together again.
What if you’re unsure? Like maybe Coffee Thingie wasn’t enough time to determine whether you really liked the dude or not? Back in the Dayz of Olde, this would have been fine because dating was all about getting together repeatedly to determine compatibility. But that’s not what people expect now. When a woman tells a man that she wants to see him again after Coffee Thingie, most men from dating sites take this as a de facto admission that she’s wildly attracted to him and proceed accordingly.
This is a major reason why I am done with dating sites. Besides having to filter out all the liars and idiots and Nazis, etc. Some circles overlap obviously.