So I wanted to let you know something. I unfriended you on Facebook today. And you. And yes, despite my reservations, you too. I’ve been thinking about it for a while, even though it’s just social media, and in the end it’s only pixels. I wondered for some time why we were even online friends anymore. I wondered if I was still friends with you so that I could see your life, but that’s definitely not it: I blocked you from my feed afterwards. Maybe I blocked you because it stung a little when you posted something joyous and frivolous the day after you hurt me. No, that wasn’t against any dating “rules.” It was just tacky as fuck of you. I haven’t looked at your page since then.
I realized I was still friends with you because I found value in you seeing how great my life has become since you hurt me. I wanted you to read my book or wish you were hanging with me in my awesome pad. But I quickly realized how narcissistic that was. In the end, I don’t give bad people the benefit of access to my life. You broke the social construct of decency. So I pressed the button, and I felt fucking fantastic about it. Wait, what’s that? You’re surprised? Okay, here’s why:
First of all, Jared, I was pretty damn excited about meeting you. Honestly, you were the first guy since Joe broke my heart that I got excited about meeting, and that’s saying a lot. It was your doofy profile pic on OKCupid that reeled me in, and though I went into our first date with a little parking anxiety (OK WHY WAS IT SO HARD TO PARK ON 21st STREET THAT DAY?), you couldn’t have been more awesome. The date was filled with laughter and stories about our families and me trying to suppress a fart for an hour because I was that excited to make a good first impression on you.
Over the next week, we went on three more dates, each one better than the last. If you’ll recall, Jared, I was going back to Los Angeles for 10 days, and then permanently moving to Portland after. While I was in LA, you got strangely uncommunicative, and then when I got back, we made plans to grab coffee (at a coffee shop that is now, strangely enough, a block from my apartment). When I saw you I went in for the kiss, which was oddly chaste on your part. Over coffee you broke the news: you had read my blog while I was gone, in particular the “Brother’s Keeper” posts. You didn’t think I was ready to date yet, but when I insisted that this was probably the first time since I wrote them that I was ready, you agreed that we would start dating again when you were back from your trip.
But you never called when you got back. You returned texts with “I’m really busy with work lately” and wouldn’t engage when I tried to converse with you that way. A few months later you finally reached out and we made spontaneous plans. Again, it was awesome and fun (Finally, I thought, we’re getting this started). And again, you disappeared after that. A couple months ago, I reached out to see when you were back in town, since you travel a lot, and I let you know that I now lived in your neighborhood. You read the message and never responded. In the wise words of BelBivDevoe, “Never trust a big butt and a smile.” So why would I want you in my life still? “Unfriend.”
And you, sweet Landon. You were so sweet and great. You were so damn cool, too (Like, I’m not cool. I’m the opposite of cool. The other day, I actually exclaimed “You only live once: FROYO!” while my coworkers just shook their heads in embarrassment). You lived in Seattle, but it worked just fine, until it didn’t. We saw each other a few times, and you were patient with my crazy work schedule. I knew you dug me a lot, and I was on a slower curve than you, but I was getting there at my own pace. The thing is, I texted you one day and asked if we could talk later that night, and you didn’t reply. Nor the day after. Or the day after that. I texted you again. And then a couple days after. Nothing. I saw on Facebook that you were fine, so I know you didn’t have a death in the family, you weren’t injured or sick. You just decided that that’s the way to stop dating someone you’ve been dating for 6 weeks, is to stop all communication. “Unfriend.”
I unfriended you too, Daniel in Idaho. See, the thing is, we never met. You pursued me hard for 6 weeks. You were so damn hot, that I literally picked out the wall in my apartment that I was gonna shove you against the first time we would kiss. We had FaceTime “dates” a few nights a week and told each other about our days, our families, the friends in our lives, how Garth Brooks inventing Chris Gaines was the bravest thing any pop music artist has ever done. We watched a movie “together”, in two different states, while making comments to each other while texting. We finally made plans to see each other, see if there was in-person chemistry. After all, you were contemplating a move to Portland after you finished school, and we felt we were both built for long-distance relationships: prone to trusting, and loyal as hell when we’re with someone, even someone far away.
But you fucked up. See I’m trusting, but I’m not stupid. In this age of Scruff and OKCupid and Tinder apps, I’m not dumb enough to ignore the fact that we’re all talking to few guys at the same time (side note: if someone’s profile name has either the words “wanderer” or “nomad” in it, THIS IS A RED FLAG). I know dating is a numbers game, and we’re all trying to improve the odds. We’re all looking. We’re all lonely. This is the New Math of the heart.
What I think happened in your case, Daniel, maybe in all of these cases, is that you found someone a little closer, maybe someone you were a little more attracted to. Even a text of “Hey, so sorry, the chemistry isn’t totally there for me, good luck on your journey”, or “Hey, I apologize, but the long-distance thing was too hard for me. Would love to stay friends when/if you’re available for that”, or “Hey, I actually am getting serious with someone else right now, can we reconnect in the future if the timing works out again?” These are examples of what adults say to each other when we need to put the brakes on.
There’s not much I can do now, except unfriend you. I’ll never get that chance to have closure of any of these chapters, however tiny. I’ll never hear it from your lips, or even read your text, explaining why it wasn’t working for you. But I’ll be damned if I’m going to put someone else through this. Even if it feels awkward, even if it feels profoundly harsh or uncomfortable to do, if it’s not working out for me, I owe it to guys to let them know why. It’s far shittier to have that feeling of not knowing why someone just dropped you.
You see, you three guys, I’m sure there are perfectly good reasons that you can’t communicate like most human beings. I’m sure it has something to do with your suddenly absent father, or your repressive religious upbringing, or some other damn hardship in your past that would make a great movie (based on the novel “Push” by Sapphire). But grow up. Because dropping communication entirely with me, especially when I’ve told you that triggers my anxiety, especially when I’ve asked you to please let me know if you’re “not feelin’ it”, doesn’t make you complicated, or deep, or interesting.
It just makes you an asshole.