About a year ago I decided to re-download Tinder. I had been on and off (and on and off, and on and off) the dating apps over the course of a few years. Even though my experience on the apps thus far had been a trying experience filled with guys whose expectations were too much, too soon and dead-end conversations, I happened to be feeling optimistic (and perhaps a little lonely) and decided to give the online dating life another chance.
Expectations were low and my commitment to this go around of dates was essentially nonexistent. After ruling out any openers that were more than 50 characters (Ain’t nobody got time for that!) I decided to respond to a guy who reached out by keeping it simple with “Hey!”
“That’s more my speed…I can handle this” I thought. I use my online flirtation skills and decide to respond with “Hey hey!” The conversation developed into what most average dating app conversations turn into, small talk about our weekends and other pleasantries.
We talked for about 2 weeks until the conversation ran dry and I decided that a journey to self-righteousness was right for me. I deleted the app and all the text conversations associated with it (mainly just the 1 guy at that point). That’s right. I was guilty of a major online dating faux-pas: ghosting. The worst part of being guilty of ghosting, is that I didn’t even feel guilty at all. I’m a millennial. Ghosting is part of my identity.
And so, the next week, my journey to self-righteousness began. I wanted to focus on “finding myself”…yoga, journaling, spending time with my friends and family, and swearing online dating off for forever (well at least for the time being).
A high priority on my journey to self-righteousness included kicking it into high gear on my workout routines. I worked out almost every day during lunch and in some cases (luckily in this case) 2 workouts a day. My friend invited me to a yoga class at our gym which was not uncommon for us however this was a special class for a few reasons: her gym membership was ending at the end of the month so we had to squeeze in as many workouts as we could until then, I had already worked out that day and was debating not even going to this class, and there was a guy in this class. A guy that I had ghosted.
Slightly embarrassed, I turn to my friend and give her the brief run down on the situation. She makes a few suggestions to go up and introduce myself but after the stunt I pulled I’m not ready to be accountable for what I had done. “How could this happen? I just wanted to downward dog and then Nama-make my way home…you’re not supposed to ever see the person you ghost….that’s how it works right?”
Feeling bold after the class (and frankly a little turned on by a hot guy doing yoga), I decided to bring myself back from the Ghost of Tinder past. I texted him to let him know that “his doppleganger” was in yoga today. Who was I trying to fool? I had known it was him from the moment I got there. Neither here nor there, our conversation rekindled itself and we agreed to go out a few days later.
The day of our date rolls around and we were still on. Well, at least that morning we were still on. As the day goes by I start to panic. Emotions are high as I overthink all the reasons why going on the date is a bad idea: My throat is sore, well at least I think I’m developing a tickle?; I have to clean my house because my new roommate is moving in that weekend, productivity is a must; What about my journey to self-righteousness? I can’t let some guy who happened to be in my yoga class derail me from being my best version of myself. One hour before we are supposed to meet I conduct my second online dating (and regular dating) faux-pas: flaking. That’s right. I cancel one hour before our date, claiming that my laundry list of chores is high and I’m not feeling up to it. Then I do something that no good person should do and justify it. I’m a millennial, I say. It’s part of my identity.
Somehow he agrees to go out with me the following week. After a week of self-pep talks and trying to be optimistic about the date I actually show up. Nervous AF. Okay, this is it. We sit and ponder the menu, order drinks, and proceed with our date.
About 20 minutes into our date our waitress comes over and she is absolutely elated. She is holding a receipt with a note on it from a woman who was sitting nearby. It read as follows:
“Hi. I’ve been sitting nearby and I noticed you’re on a date.
He stood up
No backwards hat
He has kind eyes
He’s listening to you
He has a nice smile
He is a GREAT date.”
Afterwards we sit and no one knows exactly what to say next.
Thoughts race through my mind “I knew I shouldn’t have come on this date…this is some sort of trap. Things like this don’t happen, especially to people like me considering the things I’ve done to this guy.” In an effort to break an awkward silence I decide to go with humor to break the ice: “So how much did that note cost you? Do you always pay your mom to sit nearby and send notes over when you go on dates? Either way you just got a ton of points so it was worth it for you.” I insisted on keeping the note, to which I keep in my nightstand to this day.
I reflect often about how if I had never ghosted him the series of events may not have led us to be in the restaurant on that night. The series of events paved our way to a relationship full of laughter, love, patience, and trust. We have been happily dating for a year. To this day, I continue to recommend to my single friends who are going through Tinder trials and tribulations that ghosting someone might be the best thing you’ve ever done.