Tag Archives: dates

State of the Stacie (and her Love Life)

8 Jul

Interesting (to me) things are happening in Stacie’s mind right now.

As I may have mentioned before, after 1.5 years of “meeting” as many high caliber DC men as possible on a weekly basis and one dragged out casual-hook-up-turned-obsession, I decided to give the whole exclusive thing a try.

Eight months later, I’m still kind of digging it. As the SR ladies know, I’ve had crazy fluctuating feelings about it, from tears worried that he wanted to dump me to moments of anger wishing I could dump the dweeb. Super stable, obvi. But lately, I’ve started getting more into it, wishing he was in my bed more often, not wanting to leave his place on Sunday, well you get the idea.

Just based on the last few weeks, I have a sense that he wants to tell me he loves me. Maybe I think too much of myself, but I don’t think that’s what it is. The fact that my reaction to this feeling is that I’m worried has made me ask myself a lot of new questions that I didn’t expect. And because this blog is just an exercise in self-indulgence, I will share my thoughts and questions.

I don’t think I can say it back. Honestly, I don’t know if I do or don’t. There are things about him that I like a lot. There are things about him that I can’t stand. Ultimately, I know he’s not someone I “want to end up with”.

And what baffles me is that I hate saying that. I hate the tendency that relationships have to be framed in that context. Why does it have to be about ending up with someone? Why can’t we just date and hang out now in the present and really like each other until we don’t anymore? Well, because maybe he’s 27 and that’s equally as close to 24 as it is to 30 and his friends are starting to move in with their significant others, and because I hear so many stories about people who “wasted three years” dating someone.

I don’t think it’s wasting time if you’re dating someone who you don’t intend to marry. I mean, I don’t think most people decide who to date exclusively based on marriage potential, do they? I don’t even want to get married, so does that mean that I shouldn’t date? Obviously not. Hopefully. But what if he does? What if he’s like so many other guys I know that strangely like to break up with girls by saying “I just can’t see myself being married to you”. Am I being mean to him by making him think that this is the “real thing” or whatever when that’s not at all where I stand?

Perhaps, the solution to this problem is actually talking. If we each bring up our feelings and wants and needs in life, all of these questions could be answered right? But let me remind you that I am the girl that when asked how he could introduce me to his friends I responded with “your pimp, number 1 slam piece, or madame of the night”. And then we literally never talked about it again. So as you can see, the likelihood of us having an honest conversation about things is not something I see in the horizon, unless I’m wasted.

And maybe, my inability to talk about things sheds some more light on the situation. Shouldn’t I feel comfortable and able to talk about things with the guy I’ve been seeing for eight months exclusively? Honestly, I don’t think I ever will. I’m not someone who who likes talking with anyone! Imagine having to talk about feelings with the guy that I let “pound me so hard” on a weekly basis.

Am I going to look like an asshole if I can’t say I love you back?

Is it dragging him along if I know I don’t want to date him forever? Despite the fact that I do legitimately like him and I am really enjoying being with him?

For now, I’m just relishing how good things are going. I’m letting him treat me like no guy has ever treated me before. I’m letting him show me things he likes, I’m taking him out to eat to places that I enjoy, I’m loving the sex, and I’m giving into spending an entire Sunday wearing his shirt, watching Game of Thrones, and eating chinese food, without stepping foot outside. And it is good.

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An Unusual Double Standard

1 Jul

“Ugh, he just loves me SO much. I can’t even”, I say to my friend Meghan for the third time in our 45-minute long daily phone conversation, which in case you were wondering covers anything from relationship to metabolism statuses.

Yes, I am annoyed that this man is being too available, giving me too much attention, and treating me too well. I can’t really understand it… I obviously am sick of being treated like dirt, over and over again. Shouldn’t I welcome this change?

I haven’t yet figured out what’s going on, but a long time ago, Betty and I drew an interesting parallel that we’ve observed in our statistically significant sample (ie. our 20 friends).

Being easy.

Every woman reading this right now can probably accurately define being easy as a woman. And though we probably don’t call men easy, we can probably think of at least one guy who is. What do I mean by this?

A woman is easy when… she sleeps with a guy on the first date.

A man is easy when… he texts immediately after a date telling you he had a good time.

A woman is easy when… she goes home with a dude from a bar.

A man is easy when… he is willing to rearrange his schedule to go on a date with you.

A woman is easy when… she’s willing to be a 2am booty-call.

A man is easy when… he tells you he likes you.

A woman is easy when… a guy can kick her out of her apartment at 4am and she does leave.

A man is easy when… he just wants to cuddle you when you show up at his place drunk at 2am.

Obviously these are outrageous generalizations (and really weird ones). But you get the idea… So many of us get turned off by guys who are willing to put forth their emotions and actually show interest in us. I don’t mean the clinger who thinks that two dates makes you his boyfriend. I mean the guy who’s always willing to sleepover at your place, without ever asking you to go over. The guy who buys you a thoughtful christmas present, even though you got him nothing. The guy who’s willing to drive you home on the weekend, so that you don’t have to wait for the metro.

I spend a lot of time being angry about the fact that having a very active sex life played by my own rules categorizes me as “slutty”, “easy” and “undateable”. And yet, I am a huge hypocrite who judges guys negatively for not insulting me at a bar, or not wanting to go home with me from the bar but rather just wanting my number. We need to stop doing both things. A guy is not referred to as neither slutty or easy when he behaves like I do. Let’s stop calling women that! And a woman is not undateable when she gets a guy a thoughtful gift or keeps his favorite beer in her fridge.

Why should men then be undateable when they are emotionally available?

Why should women be undateable when they manage their sex lives how they want to?

I’m not saying that we need to start a movement to defend men, BY ANY MEANS. Those little shits definitely don’t need our help in life, amirite? But I guess I do think it’s an interesting dichotomy in the blogiterature of dating and relationships, and such.

The Just Fine First Date Conversation Guide

12 Jun

Well, it’s official: Betty’s no longer an online dating virgin. I went on a date last week via Coffee Meets Bagel, a Stacie-endorsed online dating app, and I survived. Go me.

The date itself was okay. Really, there was nothing wrong with it – the guy looked like he did in his profile, he had all his teeth, he had a job, and conversation flowed fine.

But if I’ve learned anything from the professional schmoozers that run this city, it’s that making conversation isn’t that high of a bar. Indeed, anyone can make conversation in #thistown. It doesn’t mean there’s a spark, and it doesn’t mean the date was a home run.

In fact, it feels like conversation on these just-fine-but-that’s-it dates is sadly predictable. And if you’re not into it, it’s really easy to just converse at the lowest acceptable level – even if you’re the best of conversationalists. If your date is just fine and neither of you give a fuck, here’s what you’ll almost definitely talk about:

Whether you’ve been here before. It’s a great harmless opener. You look around appreciatively. “I’ve never been here before but my friend Jim loves it! Great suggestion!” [Alternative: “Oh wow I’ve only ever been here for brunch! I’m so excited to try it!]

How you got here. This is also another safe conversation starter. I am guilty of employing it as an awkward way to ease into the conversation. It’s literally the most boring thing you could bring up so no wonder I’m single.

Token metro complaint. 

You waited TWELVE MINUTES for the red line???

Where you live. This will allow you to make all of the conversation about your favorite bars and restaurants in that area, your coworker who lives there and you went to a party there once, on and on. The sky’s the limit. Just don’t make a face when you find out it’s Gaithersburg. Or do.

How you got here. Nope, not a repeat of above. I mean how you got to DC. How you made it big in #thistown, if you will. Note that you’ve gotten this far with only purely surface conversations. I bet you’re halfway done with your beer by now! You almost get to leave!

What you do. I mean obviously because #DC, but actually I have a lot of respect for people who don’t ask about this in the first five minutes. My recent date was one of those people, so props to him – although that was admittedly preempted by the fact that Coffee Meets Bagel profiles include your employer because they know that we’re all job snobs. Sigh.

College. Now I realize why no one shuts the fuck up about college. It’s because a) it’s the last time any of us was interesting and b) (relatedly) it’s the perfect safe conversation topic. You went to college? Oh thank god me too. Tell me about it! Tell me about your late night food adventures and all nighters in the library and your spring break trip. I’ll just listen. It’s easier that way. Keep talking!

Do we have to talk about it?

Running and/or fitness. Seriously, fuck this town for being so fucking fit and making me feel like I always need to be on an intense fitness regime or at least planning on starting one. The upside of that is that your date probably feels the same way so you can probably find some common ground talking about how you really want to run a half marathon but you just weren’t sure if you could do it and then sigh your knee got fucked up. NO WAY! ME TOO! [Side note: my Coffee Meets Bagel date was totally intense and was modestly talking about 50 mile runs or some shit. GOOD. BYE.]

 

There you have it. I hope to God at least one of those generated some conversational detours along the way, but I guarantee you you hit most or all of those between gulps of G&T as you attempt to figure out if you can see yourself ever sharing your life – or at least your bed – with this person.

DISCLAIMER: I am not advocating that these are things that should be discussed on a date. What I have provided is a literal recipe for a mediocre date. WE CAN DO BETTER! On the best first date I can recall, we talked about everything from celebrity crushes to favorite Mexican restaurants to stupid movies we liked. Be the change you wish to see in your dates, ladies. But just know that they can’t all be winners. And remember that at the end of even the most boring date, you always – always! – get to go home.

 

 

 

Say Yes to the… Second Date!

3 Jun

by Stacie Smack

Summer is back in full force in DC, which (as we’ve mentioned before) means that the SR ladies are on a mission to go on as many dates as possible. Belle is leaving us all in the dust, having already gone on 4 or 5 first dates. The stories will eventually end up immortalized here because they are too good to be forgotten, yet they are not mine to tell, so you’ll have to wait a little longer.

Most of these dates happen due to the existence of a thousand and half dating apps. Aside from Tinder, the SR ladies have (finally!) gotten into CMB (Coffee Meets Bagel), a personal favorite of yours truly. Despite my lack of success stories, I know several individuals who’ve had ranging levels of success on the site, and I think we can have them too.

The thing is that with any dating site, you’re going to get a varied range of first dates and I promise you only 1 out of 5 will actually be mildly successful. Dating is hard. People misrepresent themselves online (LIE) to give a better first impression. What you think will make you compatible may not actually mean that you’ll be able to talk for three hours.

Dating is hard.

However, after hearing the date recaps from several ladies, I couldn’t help but wonder, are you giving the guy a chance?

I mean I totally get it, if the guy is missing his four front teeth and failed to mention that, and he also doesn’t directly look at you in the eyes for the entirety of your lunch date, well then maybe you’re not being too picky. Bad dates happen all the time.

But when I hear my friends say things like “there was no spark” or “he drank less than I did” or “there were some awkward silences”, I want to yell at them so loudly, because ladies, let’s be real. IT WAS JUST A FREAKING FIRST DATE!

Here are the facts: he was nervous too, online dating is awkward so there will be silences! Honestly, there probably wouldn’t be a spark either with the guy at the bar if you hadn’t been 3 fireball shots in already. He’s someone you know NOTHING about, so maybe he drinks less and you didn’t know that. Or maybe he is more focused on getting to know you than pounding down G&Ts.

I just think that there is so much time between when you first find out about each other and when you actually go on a date, that by that point your expectation of who this person is will NEVER match the person that actually is sitting in front of you, because your expectations don’t account for nerves, for having had a bad day, for being shy at first impressions, and I could go on forever.

So as long as he has most of his teeth, and he didn’t lie about his height by more than three inches (the average number by which men increase their height online), and he showed up on time, and made you laugh a few times, can we agree that it was not a bad date?

Therefore, I make one plea to you if you come out of a date feeling meh but not blegh: SAY YES TO A SECOND DATE!

I mean honestly, a second date barely implies anything more than a first one does: there’s no written expectations about sex, labels, or even kissing! I mean when was the last time you went on two dates and started calling someone your boyfriend? When was the last time you went on two dates???

Two dates is still few enough to fade a guy out, and yet it’s a second opportunity for both of you to give and get a second, better, more you impression. It’s another weeknight with plans with someone who’s not your same 7 friends, and it is definitely NOT anything more than just a second date.

So to my dear ladies, text the guy, get another drink, so that you actually feel confident that you actually have zero interest in the guy, rather than unmet outlandish expectations that you’ve only ever seen on TV.

The 17 Steps of Online Dating in GIFs

13 May

by Stacie Smack

1. You hear a great success story from a friend of a friend.

2. You decide, if she can do it, so can you!

3. Realize there are approximately 5,000,000 different sites…

4. Pick OkCupid.

5. Face the “blank slate” that you’re expected to fill in with a quirky, yet honest, yet funny, yet with a hint of I’m-looking-for-love tone.

6. Give up.

7. Choose Tinder.

8. Spend the next five hours at work swiping until you realized you forgot to eat lunch.

9.Exchange some texts with a cute guy with a paycheck until you learn that he lives in Baltimore.

10. Get matched with your supervisor, Jim.

11. Give up.

12. Join Coffee Meets Bagel.

13. Find it equally as stressful to summarize yourself in 3 bullet points.

14. Get SUPER excited at 11:55 about your upcoming “bagel” person!

15. Get awful matches for the next two weeks.

16. Go on  a terrible date with a guy you met in one of the 14 platforms you’re now on.

17. Meet your girlfriends at the Brixton after, take fireball shots, and meet a cute guy.

18. End up dating the guy for 5 months.

Break up, Rinse, Repeat.

So maybe you got a boyfriend… But do you know what you lost?

29 Apr

by Stacie Smack

Hello. I’m apparently back from a three week bender (also known as laziness and writer’s block). But let me tell you some things. There’s nothing better than eavesdropping on other 20-somethings’ conversations and then disagreeing or mocking everything they say while formulating what are obviously better and more correct opinions. But sometimes, they actually don’t say totally ridiculous things.

I was on a train on my way from one European city to another, and two very loud Americans were discussing their sex lives at a decibel that was perfectly audible two rows behind them (and that only Americans can publicly achieve).

“I guess you kind of have to decide what you want with the person because when you gain a lover, you’re simultaneously losing a friend.”

Deep, amirite???

No but really, think about it –

Yes, I suppose in your world of butterflies and fairytales and cakes that taste good but have zero calories, your boyfriend can be a lover AND a friend, but let’s be real, he will never fill the role of casual friend (yo, let’s grab a beer bro, watch the game or whatever) or Y-chromosome know-it all to explain men for you. The second you let him unhook your bra and see your three-week old brazilian wax, the friendship is toast. And I don’t mean “morning-after, you woke up in his bed” toast, honey.

Usually, the chances that you’ll stay friends with an ex are very, very slim by the way. I mean let’s be real, if you’re lucky you’ve shared all those “feelings” and “emotions” and whatever else you crazy kids are calling them these days. You’ve stopped confiding in your REAL friends and instead give him the weekly blow job that you feel like you owe him after he kindly listened to you whine for three hours (side note: you don’t owe him a blow job gurl, it’s YO life). Anyways, I digress. You’ll have wasted all those hours building some sort of emotional connection, and then he’ll leave you for Candy (the latest startup in San Fran, obvi. No one would ever cheat on you!). And then you’ll try to be friends still because, well, you need to talk about your coworker who’s still being a total ass until you realize that it’s impossible because he can’t just cup your ass in that comforting way he did so well while frenching you like there’s no tomorrow.

And don’t forget about the collateral damage! When things inevitably end (sorry, I meant to say of course they won’t because have you seen how amazing you are? but for some of us who are not as lucky as you), his friends which you’ve grown to like so much (dare I say… love?) and basically see more than you see your actual friends will disappear with him. POOF! They’re gone because when it comes to picking sides, he was there first. Even if you were best. Perhaps the best advice I can give you when deciding if a relationship with him is worth it, is to spend some quality time stalking his friends via all possible social media means to form solid ill-conceived believable judgements of people you’ve never met but who could just be like your BFF4E. If they seem awesome, do not sleep with him! I repeat do not sleep with him.

You’re welcome. Please mention how life changing I was to your life when talking to commoners who haven’t yet achieved emotional nirvana.

How I Met Your… Aunt?

1 Apr

by Stacie Smack

WARNING: Massive spoilers ahead if you haven’t watched the HIMYM Finale yet.

I’ve written about this before. I tend to be fairly vocal and open when it comes to my views on marriage, monogamy, and the fairy tale of “forever”. Well, here I am, at it again.

I (like a billion other people) was watching the HIMYM finale last night, and I couldn’t help but appreciate the (perhaps unintentional but most likely not) commentary on marriage.

Throughout the entire show, and boy was there a LOT of show, Robin and Ted’s relationship bounces around more than my weight in the last two years. They obviously love each other, have great chemistry, and enjoy each other’s company. BUT. And it’s a big but. They want different things. He wants kids, and a family. She hates kids, and wants nothing holding her back, while she travels the world. After 9 seasons, we get it guys. You want different things.

And so they each go about their lives, trying to accomplish what they want. Ted finally meets The Mother. They have kids. They live in the suburbs. They are in love. Robin finally becomes a world travelling anchor.

I just want to talk in circles about two things:

1) Robin and Barney get a divorce.

They had been fighting. They were both unhappy. And so she offers him an option. She offers him a clean freeway exit on Year Three.

This is a nod to my (and others’) theory of Marital contracts rather than eternal vows. I’m not saying they had a clean break. But after three years, they revisited their priorities, and these had changed. They should be able to get out if it doesn’t make sense to be together anymore. Why do three good years need to feel like a failure just because it wasn’t forever? Many things have expiration dates. Maybe relationships do too.

2) Robin and Ted end up together.

People seem to be OUTRAGED by this. They feel cheated. They wanted the fairy tale love that Tracy was supposed to bring to Ted.

I think people are too quick to draw conclusions. And yes this is a fictional show. But how many relationships follow a similar pattern? In particular, the one of finding love much later than what is expected. Doesn’t it make perfect sense that they should be together now?

He has his family and the suburbs and he had the fairy tale love which was sadly taken from him. She was able to spend over a decade flying all over the world without responsibilities for others. His kids are older and need less attention. If he could have stayed with his wife forever he would have, but that was not the case. He is alone again. She is slowing down. All of a sudden, they no longer want different things because they already experienced and lived through the things they wanted that kept them apart. Now, they just want each other.

I guess what I’m trying to get to is that we don’t give enough credit to our selfishness, our ever-changing desires, and our independence. Especially US. The generation that grew up being told that we can do whatever, whenever, however we want to because the world is our oyster and everything is accessible to us. How are we expected to know what we want in EVERY aspect of our lives by the time we are 28 which is apparently the universal “start freaking out about finding a partner” age.

I’m not saying it’s wrong to get married young. I’m not saying you shouldn’t want to find love. But I do wish we could take a step back and realize that we all have different priorities, and sometimes these conflict with settling down and having to start sharing a life – or sometimes your partner’s desires conflict with you wanting to settle down and share a life. Sometimes we love someone but the timing isn’t right. That doesn’t mean that it will never be right. And I’m not claiming these are soul mates either and that you should sit around and wait for the time to be right. If so, it never will be. But we need to slow our rolls and be less married to our expectations, because that’s not how life is. You do you, fight for what you want, and embrace that sometimes the ending you expected is not the ending that you’ll actually get.

So to all the HIMYM finale haters, think about it. Doesn’t it fit like the perfect puzzle piece?

 

Boys, Sometimes a Girl Just Needs One (But Sometimes Not).

11 Mar

by Stacie Smack

It’s always been a common known fact that I am going to be the 60 year old in the leopard leggings, sequin top, and a 27 year old boy toy. My friends love to joke about how I will be the one who’s always up to take a ladies trip somewhere fun, who’ll have the ultimate bachelorette* apartment fully stocked with wine, chips, and hummus, so that they can come and take a load off from their presumably married family lives.

Honestly, I’m just flattered that they think that I’ll be rich enough to afford wine and a penthouse, that I’ll still have my fabulous looks and oh-so great curves, and that I’ll still have my amazing flirtation and seduction skills (and humility?) that will lead me to have a solid rotation of 2 or 3 men that will obviously be eternally devoted and in love with me, without expecting me to love them in return.

Right?

Despite the pride I take in my reputation, I spend an awful lot of time whining about how much I hate single life. I mean, just look at every single blog post I’ve ever written (hint: they’re all about boys and dating).

And let’s be real, it is definitely not just me. I actually have this terrible tendency of eavesdropping on conversations whenever I see two or three 20-something women walking by me (and no, I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ll adjust my pace so that I can listen for longer). And my rigorous statistical analysis has shown that approximately 89.4% of the time, the conversations that these women are having are about boys.

So why do we let this subject matter take up 76.8% of our mental space? What if instead of spending the last 2 hours looking at my phone to see if “he” texted me back, I had read another chapter of Lean In? What if I had worked on my blog post ahead of time?

Why is the subject of relationships such a time suck?

Well, duh Stacie. Because there are all sorts of pressures all around us! Family, friends, TV shows. BIOLOGY! All of these things are like little voices inside of our womanly heads  saying “find a man before you shrivel up all alone!”

Scenario 1: Some of your closest friends are in relationships. Obviously you crave one too! They’re doing all the gross couple-y stuff you want to be doing that you used to do with your friend before she got herself a date. You become hyper aware of how alone you are because not only do you see your friend enjoying her relationship, you also mourn the loss of the 24/7 hour friend. And this may be a tad dramatic (not at all), but I don’t care (I love it). Not all women ditch their friends once in a relationship, but they now have a new person to make time for and yet, the amount of available time in a day hasn’t changed! Something’s gotta give.

Scenario 2: Your older sister was married when she was your age now! And you’re still single trying to make assholes in law school fall in love with you. Something must be wrong with you. Except it’s not, and please don’t ask me that question again. Your sister (or cousin, or mom) was just different. It’s not that she got lucky, or that she’s the exception. Her life just happened in a different order.

So yeah, this is all easier said than done. These pressures are not going away. And let’s face it, we LOVE talking about “BOYZ”. Otherwise, why would we do it so much? So I say, let’s embrace the boy-talk. Let’s over-analyze every text. Relieve every minute of that first hook up outside the AdMo McDonald’s. Stay in bed a little longer after he lives because you can still smell his shirt on your bed. Spend 5 hours at brunch recounting last night’s shenanigans and planning your future wedding with “Rando #2”. Let’s open our arms and accept the boy psychosis.

But let’s be aware that it is a bit of a psychosis – it’s an exaggerated hyper reality. Let’s be constantly aware that we are definitely over analyzing a text,a word, a gesture. Let’s enjoy the emotional ride for a bit, but let’s remember that it shouldn’t define our state of being. Yes, a partner can make you “happy”, but so can best friends, professional satisfaction, family, or tequila. More importantly, you can make you happy! Don’t let the male gender control you. We already have a gigantic glass ceiling to break through, let’s not also create glass walls.

Say yes to love, dates, romance, hook ups, adventures!

But say yes to moving on, being young, having opportunities, appreciating your independence!

*Google Chrome doesn’t recognize the word bachelorette and wants me to correct it to bachelor. GOOD BYE.

Excuse Me… What?

4 Mar

I think I’ve written about it before, but to refresh your memory: I, Stacie Smack, am dating a man [mostly] monogamously. And no, his name is not Chuck Bass. It’s been an interesting process, the whole having someone still in your apartment after 7am on any given day.

One thing I’ve been less than successful at is figuring out when, why, and how to incorporate him into group activities, such as a happy hour or a Saturday night at the Brixton. My current MO is to just have him show up places without giving my friends advance notice. In theory, it makes sense. In practice, not the most successful strategy.

This is all a whole bunch of lead up to something only marginally related. By now, several of my friends have met him and interacted with him, if at all briefly. I was pretty nervous of all of this happening because I live in fear of people judging my choices (of people judging the guy I’ve allowed to keep me from sleeping with other men). Generally speaking, the interactions were fine. Except for a tiny point:

“He’s SO not your type!”

That is what some of my friends choose to tell me every time the topic comes up. They say it with smiles plastered on, but I can’t help but be offended at the comments. What does it mean? Who fits your expectation of the type of man that Stacie dates? Why is he not my type? Why do you think that’s an appropriate thing to say to someone who obviously has insecurity issues when it comes to men?

So please, don’t describe people that way. It’s really not helping anyone. It only heightens the insecurity I feel. It’s judgmental and not helpful. It comes off as condescending, and can you really not come up with anything better to say? Because it’s not even honest. I’d prefer you tell me that you don’t like him, or that he’s rude or that he’s too pushy rather than tell me that he’s not my type…

I see it as one of two things. One, he doesn’t meet the expectations that I’ve set for the men I date. Meaning he’s not a 6’2” UVA graduate that works in finance. He stands below the expectations. The alternative, two, is that he exceeds your expectations. In which case why don’t you say that? Why don’t you say that he is so much better than other guys I’ve dated? That he seems like a good guy? What’s that you say?

“He’s quite likable”

Thanks, pal.

After the Fade Away

18 Feb

by Stacie Smack

Some friends and I were recently enjoying some delish food at Ted’s Bulletin on 14. In the midst of my enjoyment, I noticed that seating at the bar directly in my line of vision was a guy I briefly dated last summer, Jason, having dinner with a [male] friend. As soon as I noticed, I started uncontrollably laughing, I tried to hide under the table, and my friends proceeded to discretely turn around [in a very obvious way] to look at him. Similarly, Jason’s friend did a little 360 head spin that lingered too long in my direction. I am confident that it was evident that we were both aware of each other’s presence.

The back story:
We met at Policy not by sucking on each other’s faces. We went on a couple dates before he tried to kiss me – amateur move. He seemed interested and interesting enough – we went on some dates, had some sleepovers, and texted every once in a while. I went abroad for a week, came back, and after some pleasantries about my trip, he blew me off a week later with the classic “I’m really busy and my sister is staying with me” excuse. My response (in classic Stacie fashion) was “well good luck. You know where to find me ;)”, followed by a contact deletion. I never heard from him again. It was a classic case of The Fade Away*.

There’s enough on the topic to know that this is just a way of saying “I’m just not that into you”, but I was still left wondering, in this situation if perhaps I should have gone up to say hi? Or if he should have come over to say hi? I didn’t want to say hi, because my strongest emotion upon seeing him was anger and sadness from feeling rejected. He probably didn’t want to say hi, because we all know that the first thing we think when someone fades us out is that they probably had to go into witness protection and that’s why they stopped texting us. This leads to the question of the post fade away spontaneous run-in: for whom is it more awkward after a fade away? The one who did the fading? Or the one who got faded?

The one who did the fading –
My first instinct is that the one who does the fading has all the power. He/she is the one who gets to make the shot “I’m not interested” under the assumption that the other involved party probably is interested. Power overcomes awkward – Jason should feel good that here’s this girl that HE got to dump.
But upon further over analyzing, it’s perhaps incredibly awkward for him. I mean he now has to face the fact that he can’t go on pretending that I think he moved to Iowa, or that he got hit by a bus. Now, he has to come up with actual believable non-awkward excuses for why he never texted back, “I was really busy” for the last 6 months would not cut it.

The one who gets faded-
As implied above, I felt extremely awkward. I felt powerless. I didn’t have a good explanation as to why he stopped calling, and so the default (as it is with A LOT of women, don’t lie to yourself) is to focus on my insecurities and blame every single one of the things I’ve decided is “wrong” with me. I felt awkward because the first thing I thought he thought when he saw me was “oh there’s that girl, still looking/acting/being the same exact way she was when I decided to end things”.
But, let’s be real. That was probably not his first thought. He probably also turned beet red and felt awkward! Because, here was this perfectly fine girl who he never called again. He hopefully realized that he came off as a coward who was too afraid to tell a girl it’s over so instead went for the disappearing act, not thinking that [YUPie NW + gentrified NE] DC is actually small, and the chances of running into someone you’ve met are pretty high.

Honestly, I’m pretty sure it’s awkward for both people, unless you’re a fairly confident person, in which case very few things are awkward for you. I would like to think that when I become a grown-up, I’ll be able to say hi to people I’ve dated regardless of how things ended. Maybe. Or, I’ll continue to giggle, twirl my hair, fix my make-up and completely ignore him, while trying to make him regret all decisions that led to him never calling me again. Maturity.

If nothing else, listen to my favorite singers and nod your head in agreement:

*Also called sometimes the Fade Out and I’m sure like a trillion other things.