Why I hope you’ll promise to break up with me
Maybe we’ll meet once for a couple beers. We might struggle to make conversation because you love Trump and I can’t get over it. Maybe we’ll really hit if off, but only as intellectuals pondering whether dating apps are for better or for worse. Maybe you’ll leave a toothbrush at my apartment and sail around the Fiji islands with me. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll get down on one knee. But if that doesn’t happen, and it probably (obviously) won’t, please don’t ghost me.
Please respect me enough to break up with me.
We are equals in this game of love, both searching for an elusive connection inspired by fairytales that we probably won’t find in each other. But it’s worth a try, and I’m glad we are trying. When we meet, I’ll be a little sassy — but always kind. I’ll ask about your family, where you’ve been, and where you’re going. And I’ll care — because you have given your time to chase the “maybe” of love with me. I’ll know how difficult that chase is, and I promise not to make it harder.
I promise not to tell you I had a great time, and then never respond to your texts again.
I won’t use yoga or softball or art class as excuses to leave you hanging …wondering…waiting for me to be available. I won’t wait eight hours to respond to your texts, hoping that you’ll take the hint that “I’m not looking for anything serious right now,” because that won’t even be the truth.
None of this behavior befits the effort we are both putting forth, even just by showing up for this first date.
Just by showing up, we’ve earned a right to the truth. That’s why -- if we don’t hit it off -- I promise to tell you that I enjoyed meeting you, but that there’s no connection for me.
You might be equally uninterested, and we can high-five and move forward. Maybe we can be friends. Shoot, maybe one of my friends will be interested in dating you — but if I ghost you, we’ll never know.
Dating is hard enough in its vulnerability, and ghosting only adds insult to injury. It consumes days, even weeks, with confusion and outlandish excuses. I know, because more often than not, I’ve been ghosted. “Maybe he’s busy. Maybe his crazy ex-girlfriend broke into his apartment, stole his phone, and deleted my number. Maybe he’s been in a terrible accident and fallen into a coma. I should go to him!” If you ghost me, these are the crazy things I will wonder.
Each excuse will grow more nonsensical than the last -- all because I won’t want to admit the underlying worry (and likely truth) that the person I care about doesn’t even care enough about me to be honest.
This will crush my confidence in ways that you will not have intended, but that will linger for much longer than if I had been given even the slightest explanation.
So many people default to ghosting in the name of kindness, but there’s nothing kind about it. It is cowardice.
People go dark — not to avoid hurting someone — but to avoid being party to that hurt. All that ghosting does is avoid a potentially uncomfortable conversation, but a few seconds of discomfort would bring much-needed clarity to dating. And we are all capable and deserving of that clarity.
Dating is a convoluted formula of chemistry and numbers. The odds are ever against us, so much so that I’d be surprised if it did work out between us. So let’s go on this date understanding that it’s okay either way. Love me or don’t, I’ll understand. It may sting when you explain “you’re just not that into me,” but I will thank you for saving me wasted wonder and redirecting my quest for maybe.
Dating does not have to be hard, if only it can be honest. My promise to you is honesty, not ghosting. Kindness, not cowardice.
I owe you this, not because you gave me a couple of beers, but because you are chasing “maybe” with me. You deserve this, and I do, too. Please, promise you’ll do the same for me. Promise you’ll break up with me.
Julianne Harris is a Jersey girl living in Dallas, Texas as a non-Cowboys fan. Dancing is part of her morning routine, and her dream is to do a handstand at the summit of Machu Picchu. She also hopes to finally send that letter that’s been stamped and sealed for 2 weeks. (It’s the thought that counts?). Follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.