I unintentionally had a reunion “of sorts” last night with an old fling. When I say unintentionally, I was really just meeting up with a few friends after work at a lowkey neighborhood brewery for some beers, board games and general tomfoolery. Lately, we’ve all gotten together to partake in other avenues of foolishness (like someone’s 30th birthday party that included a hot tub, pool table and foam pit, movies, dinner, trivia, festivals, just to name a few…), but we figured we’d ring it back in for a nice and relaxed kickback to sort of catch up.
So imagine my utter surprise, when I walk up to the bar to order a beer when I see old fling chilling at the bar.
Mind you, we hadn’t seen each over for months and outside of his pathetic attempts of creeping back into my life (via mostly drunken late text messages lately) after full-out ghosting, I’ve kept a pretty firm distance from his (physical) re-entry back into my world. In my mind, we had a no strings attached situation (I was admittedly emotionally checked out), it ended and life goes on. Why revisit that? How would that add value to either one of our lives? My typical rule with ghosting is that when you do it, you better be damn sure that you’re sure of what you’re doing because you’re sending the person you’re ghosting a pretty clear message that you’re cutting all ties with them forever. Foreverever. Foreverever. That’s your decision and any double-backing on that will most certainly (by me) be met by rejection and general apathy for you as a person.
Of course seeing him sitting there nursing a beer (by himself), I couldn’t be a total ass and ignore him. The bar portion of the brewery was small enough (and empty enough at this point) that I couldn’t just go incognito. We exchanged hellos and his face lit up and he leaned in for a kiss–GROSS! I definitely moved away from him as we made forced “how are you doing” chit-chat. He seemed borderline inebriated. About a minute or two into our chat (and just when I was about to exit stage left) a friend of mine popped up and asked when I was coming over so we could start-up a game. Of course, then I sort of felt obligated to introduce my friend and fling since my friend could obviously see I was talking to someone who I “knew”(and my friends are nosy). And of course, I felt a tiny bit of guilt (since I could tell fling was alone) to invite him over to play board games with my friends and I.
What was I doing exactly? Who invites a ghosting fling over to hangout with their friends? Someone trying to build up their karma account, that’s who! (no seriously, I’m not entirely heartless).
Fling got along well with my friends, because my friends are awesome and totally accepting people. He seemed to really have fun and I could tell the interaction perked up his somber mood from earlier when I saw him sitting alone at the bar. Periodically, while playing games, he kept trying to flirt with me or make body contact in any way that he could. I eventually got up and sat away from him to distance myself from his advances the rest of the evening, because what he was NOT ’bout to do was that shit.
Towards the end of the evening, as everyone started to thin out, close tabs and go home, he pulled me aside and asked if I wanted to do dinner (since the brewery had no food and he overheard me tell a friend I came there straight from work). I was pretty hungry by this point and I didn’t have anything prepared at home, so I agreed to dinner. Plus, I wanted to humor any bullshit he was about to pull out of his ass. Oh, I was ready. We opted for a casual wing place.
I was there to eat. He seemed to be there to eat, back pedal, reminiscence and sweet talk his way back into my “good graces”. It was all white noise to me as I polished off my wings. He walked me to my car after dinner and awkwardly stood there if he expected something from me.
So, this was a nice unexpected date 🙂 ?
I’m sorry. A date? No.
Nevermind the fact that he’s a fling and I’ve made up my mind that any romance between us is dead, I have a hard time calling dinner, where we go dutch, a “date”. Like, who raised you? To me that’s a hangout and you’ve essentially set the tone for the rest of our encounters, should they even go beyond this first instance. To me, that’s essentially friend-zoning yourself instantly, which might be my hangups with this other guy. I could go on a tangent about this, but in a nutshell, if you’re asking me to dinner (or otherwise–especially earlier dates) under the assumption that the outing is a indeed a date, it would be nice if you paid for it (this doesn’t need to be an elaborate affair, it could be as simple as paying for a beer), because you’re inviting someone to take time out of their life to spend time with you. Be charming? I believe in equality and I definitely don’t mind “treating” if we’re regularly dating (I actually love doing this), but pull this shit on a legitimate first date and there probably won’t be a second.
Anywho, he leaned in for a kiss, I dodged it and stepped away so that my back was up against my car. I told him it was nice “bumping into” him, but that I wasn’t interested in dating right now (which isn’t a complete lie) He couldn’t have been entirely surprised, but I felt like I needed to be transparent so he’d stop the ridiculous drunken advances and assumptions. He surprisingly took it well or chose to ignore what I said and instead reached for a hug. I pulled the “one-armed-I-don’t-want-to-be-that-close-to-you”, hug.
This was fun, we should do this again. Friends?