I was completely immersed in the OKCupid dating world when N sent me the unexpected text message. Once we got back together, I needed to notify the men I was scheduled to meet in the coming days. A former, less mature version of myself may have attempted to simply disappear from the equation by deleting my OKCupid profile and ignoring incoming texts. Or even worse, fabricate excuses about my unavailability, stringing my dates along until they eventually gave up and sought greener pastures.
I knew what I had to do but, admittedly, the thought of addressing these men spurred apprehension. Part of my irrational discomfort stemmed from the fact that my reason for suddenly disappearing, although completely true, sounded like complete bullshit. “We’ve had some amazing conversations and our dinner date is tomorrow. I said I was really looking forward to meeting you, but I decided to get back with my ex last night. So sorry!” Um, really?
Ladies, I know you’ve all used the fictional “I’m dating my ex-boyfriend again” tactic before. It’s an easy, indisputable excuse to unleash when you want a man to stop pursuing you. Only this time, it happened to be true. I don’t personally know these OKCupid men and I shouldn’t care what they think, but I dislike being perceived as disingenuous – even by a complete stranger. However, I’m a firm believer in honesty, so I broke the news one by one. The responses I received ranged from incredibly understanding to downright desperate:
Z. – 28, Lawyer
I’d actually gone a first date with Z and he gave me my first taste of Peru. Z reached out again in an attempt to schedule another date when I told him that I was no longer single. His reaction was completely mature and gracious. Z thanked me for the update, said he enjoyed meeting me and wished me well with my relationship. Talk about a clean break! This scenario couldn’t have played out better if I had planned the entire exchange myself.
D. – 29, Advertising Executive
Based on his OKCupid profile and our limited conversations, I was almost certain that D and I weren’t a great match. Why did I agree to go on a date with him? He’s originally from England and incredibly handsome. I was in need of some eye candy and the allure of an accent was strong. Go ahead, judge me! D was definitely disappointed, but seemed empathetic until he ended our discussion with, “You’ll be single in a month. Text me.” Charming, no?
K. – 26, Tech Start-up CEO
I’d only briefly spoken with K and, quite honestly, I’d forgotten that we were supposed to plan a date. After K sent a reminder text, I disclosed my new relationship status. He followed up by asking if we could become Facebook friends “just in case.” Note: in his message, he actually put quotes around “just in case” (creepy) and he was very persistent about it. I passed, not wanting to give a stranger access to my personal information and updates.
L. – 29, Architect
L seemed like an interesting, charming guy. We had yet to go on our first date, but we spoke regularly and our chemistry was promising. When I shared the news, he was initially very sweet and wished me luck. But the next day, L texted me, sent multiple pictures and expressed how much he missed our conversations. I told him we could no longer text and any future contact would be inappropriate. Even after that, he still continued to text me throughout the day, saying he “just couldn’t help it.” Red flags. Everywhere. Eventually L got the message, but he’s clearly emotionally unstable.
After all was said and done, I felt like a massive weight had been lifted. Cue exhale. I could now start anew and focus on my relationship with N without any OKCupid men lurking the shadows. From here on out, it appears be smooth sailing ahead. Fingers crossed I don’t receive any more pleading text messages from L.