I’m going to start this post with “I have this friend“, and I want to say right now as a disclaimer that this isn’t one of those “I have this ‘friend’ and they have this rash…” friends AKA – I’m not talking about me.
I have this friend who’s in those dying days of a relationship. Imagine this relationship is the Titanic, at this moment in time she’s Kate Winslet, standing on the stern of the ship as it stands vertical, bobbing up and down in the water like a cork before the ship splits down the center and the remaining half is sucked into the Atlantic.
After 6 months of relationship bliss, her boyfriend dropped the “I’m not sure we should be together anymore” bomb. And then he disappeared. Scratch that, he died. She asked asked him once, twice, three times (a lady) whether they could talk it through, try and identify that moment in time where the one way street forked off into two separate ones, and to each message she sent – there was silence.
Back in the days of our elders, before telephones or Twitter existed, relationships would have been so much more simpler. To ask someone out on a date you’d have to verbally ask that person out. Walk up to them, swallow that horrible belly butterfly feelings and come out with it. The same for dumping someone. Balls would need to be grown and that awkward “its not you, its us, we just don’t work” conversation would need to be had. Everything was much more personal and open and honest (which is my personal belief as to why people from my grandparents era are still happily married when you have couples nowadays being married for less than a year).
In the new days of technology, despite having a plethora of communicative tools, this whole “if I ignore someone long enough, perhaps they’ll go away” situation is more common placed. Remember I wrote about the men who you go on a date with and then you fail to hear from them again? This is effectively part 2 of 375 occurrences in life where ignorance does not in fact speak louder than words.
In my friends case, there is such thing as closure which is needed from any relationship in order to move forward. Remember in Ghost where Sam can’t go to heaven until he’s found out who was responsible for his murder? Closure right there. You can’t move on until you have that definitive answer and it’s also a testament to the relationship that you both shared to be honest with one another about what went wrong and where. Just shutting someone down, who you’re meant to love or be in a relationship with and expect them to get the hint is both rude, demoralising and unclassy. Whether that person has added the fact that you ignored them up, multiplied it by the number of times you’ve been online on Whatsapp but not replied to their message, subtracted how many times you’ve tweeted and then divided it by the number of times you’ve commented on a girls picture on Facebook – the right thing to do is have the awkward conversation that stops you looking like a bad guy and instead makes you look like a decent person who may actually have an eighth of humanity left within him.
I recently experienced this “awkward silence” thing with a guy that I was interested in dating. He seemed like one of those nice guys that make like buses and don’t seem to come along too often. Good job, seemed quite settled, used actual grammar, had all of his own teeth and could banter with the best of them. And he was from Stoke. Winner, I naively thought. We would exchange text messages, casual flirting – hashtag WINNING” . We both live in the same city, we’re both single, we seem as though we would actually get on – whats the harm in one little date? I asked myself. I was then encouraged by a comment on a blog post I’d written a while ago re: women asking men on dates (apparently, its something that men like women to do – from the horses mouth) and so I asked this guy if he fancied going out for a drink sometime…
and then I waited.
and he read the message (thanks for that, iPhone delivery reports, always lovely to see that someone has read your message but just chooses to ignore it. Usually I’d just presume that he was either killed by a zombie donkey on a motorbike or spontaneously combusted as he reached for his phone, but there you are going “he read it! AT THIS TIME! 7 hours ago! And still no reply. HE HATES YOU.”)
and I waited.
and then a tumbleweed blew by.
and then another day came.
and I waited all of that day too.
…..and I’ve yet to receive a reply. I understand that sometimes people aren’t always in the right place in their life to make that plunge and commit to the seriousness that a drink of a beverage in a pub beholds. They might not be ready to get back onto the dating scene, or already have somebody that they’re dating, or they may not be over an ex or they may be an alien from outer space and aren’t familiar with this ritual us earthlings like to call dating. But they have what could be classed as a moral obligation as a human being to at least respond. I’m not talking war and peace here or a 101 reasons why I don’t want to go on a date with you (man, that would slay me) but at least to acknowledge said request and then to decline said request. Even a “no, you have crazy ginger hair and your thighs are too big and you listen to shit music” would be preferable to ignorance. Ignorance is just that, ignorant. It shows a complete lack of respect or disregard for another persons feelings. To quote from a comment I received on my blog re: “Should women ask men on dates”
“In fact, why not use asking men out as a first step of weeding out such neanderthals before you find out the hard way?“
In this respect I suppose I’m quite lucky that I obviously weeded out such a neanderthal in the first place. A person who can’t even do you the pleasure of responding to one message with a honest response is clearly not going to be the sort of person you’d want to walk up any aisle with, especially not the one in Tesco and ask “do you want Weetabix or Rice Crispies? Coco Pops or Honey Nut Loops?” – nobody has time for that kind of time delay. But its nevertheless disappointing when you thought in the first instance that you had managed to weed out something good from a field of nettles and dandelion leaves.
And as for my friend, the disappointment that I felt over my non responsive date question is magnetised to the power of a billion for her. When somebody you have shared a life with leaves to answer nor reason nor rhyme as to a sudden change in heart and no reason as to what went wrong, evenings of lying in bed questioning everything you said or did to try and pin point the downfall is all that faces you.
That and a giant tub of Ben & Jerry Phish Food, a back to back marathon of the Gilmore Girls and the knowledge that a man should be capable of ruining your lipstick, not your mascara.