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You may recall that a few weeks ago I went on a date with a serial texter that I’d met on Match.com. His name is Bradley. The date itself wasn’t too bad, though I didn’t feel much in terms of sparks or chemistry. The awkward, weird, annoying stuff happened before and after the date, in the form of little, electronic messages of 160 characters or less sent between our cell phones — initiated by him 100 percent of the time.

After the dinner date, we walked outside in the freezing cold, bantered back and forth, and said goodbye with an innocent, borderline-Amish hug. (Did you get that, Mom and Dad?) Bradley mentioned hanging out again that week. I said I thought that’d be nice.

The next morning I was sitting at my desk at work, and heard my phone “ding,” signaling I’d received a new text message. Even though I receive texts from lots of different people each day (because I’m, like, super popular), I somehow instinctively knew it was him.

January 30, 2012 @ 11:46 AM

From: BRADLEY

Did you make it home ok last night? Didn’t turn into an icicle? Thanks again for meeting up, I had a nice time.

I sighed and read the text again. It was sweet and all, but it was a text message. A text message.

I wrote back to let him know I survived the 15-minute walk home, and to thank him again for dinner.

This is where the story gets interesting. I did not hear back from Bradley. Days went by… and nothing. No calls (sadly), no texts (thankfully) —  nothing. I could hear crickets all over Arlington, Virginia. It was seriously like the plague had returned.

I can hear the sadness on my behalf coming through the computer screen. Dear readers, don’t feel bad for me! I have survived rejection before, and I can survive it now. (Sidenote: I did mention to a friend that, although I didn’t feel a connection to Bradley, I still selfishly want him to like me. I want to be wanted!)

Nonetheless, I went on with my life. Back to work, back to blogging, back to counting Weight Watchers points, and back to watching reruns of Gilmore Girls.

Then, on the day before Valentine’s Day, my iPhone delivered this text message to me. (Note: this is 14 days after his last text, and 15 days after our date.)

February 13, 2012 @ 3:26 PM

From: BRADLEY

Hi Ruth! How are you doing? Have you been keeping busy the last week or two?

Um… what? Have I been “keeping busy?” I was so tempted to write back, No, I’ve been sitting on my fat a$$ all day and all night for the past 14 days just waiting for you to text me.

But, I didn’t. I waited a couple days and texted him something that would imply that I was not interested, because I am still nice after all.

February 15, 2012 @ 8:34 PM

From: RUTH

Hi Bradley… Things are good! You know, some busy stuff, some fun. Hope things are well with you.

Looking back, that was a pretty lame text. But I think ending it on a statement like that, instead of a question, sends a certain this-conversation-is-now-over message. (This post is not about my texting abilities. Focus, people!)

Well, it did the trick. Bradley didn’t write me back after that. I know one day I’ll run into him around town and be forced to flash an obligatory smile and manage a forced hello. But at least this texting nonsense has ended!

What is it with everyone’s infatuation with texting these days?

Wait…

Just…

A…

Second…

February 22, 2012 @ 2:20 PM*

(*a mere nine days after his last text, and 23 days after our date!!!)

From: BRADLEY

Hey Ruth, sorry for being such a flake :$, I have just been swamped lately with class and work (n). I hope things are well with you. Maybe when I get my schedule a little more under control, hopefully in about a week, you and I could meet up again?

I’m at a loss for words right now. There are two questions to address:

  1. Seriously, what the heck is his deal with texting?
  2. What’s the appropriate amount of time for a man to wait to ask a woman out again, or even show some interest?

As for the first question, I need your help! I don’t know how to respond to this guy. Any suggestions?

For the second question, stay tuned for Monday’s blog, where I interview a guy friend of mine who challenges the male perspective found in the bestselling book and film, He’s Just Not That Into You. According to this friend’s experience, a man can be totally attracted to a woman, but still not call her or ask her out. Want to know why? Find out more on Monday!

For now… how the heck should I respond to Bradley?

~Ruth