Monday, December 12, 2016

The Tinder Ghost

For the past one month I had been communicating with a local lad I met on Tinder. We moved from messaging on the app, to WhatsApp texts, voice clips and phone calls. He was funny, smart, driven, loved dogs, and seemed to have a decent heart. I gradually found myself looking forward to hearing from him every day.

About three weeks into the friendship I told him that I was terrible at dating. For reasons unknown to me, my first dates would go on fabulously, the guys would promise to meet again or stay in touch...and then they never did. He asked me why this happened. I said I honestly didn't know. He then said I seemed to have a low self-esteem, to which I countered by saying that I respectfully disagree with him, and that while I do have high self-esteem, I also recognise my weaknesses.

After this revelation I noticed that the messages became shorter, while the voice clips and phone calls originating from him came to a stop. Still I thought it was because he was busy, and when I asked him about it he said the same. So even when a knot started to tighten in my belly I tried to push negative assumptions away.

All this while we had been discussing about meeting up in person. Finally the time and opportunity came up. I was flying in for a quick break from work and we thought that we should hang out. So he came over for an afternoon chat the first day I was in town, which was a Friday.

Yes, he was as funny in person as he was on my phone, but he seemed distant. He blamed it on his shyness. Nevertheless we made plans to have dinner on Sunday.

He had told me before that he would be attending a friend's wedding as one of the groomsmen on Saturday. So when he didn't text or call me that day or mentioned what time he would be picking me up for dinner on Sunday, I chalked it up to him being busy at the wedding and tried not to think too much of it .

Yet the knot in my belly grew tighter.

On Sunday, my calls and texts enquiring if dinner was still on and if yes, what time would it be, went unanswered. He even rejected my last call (it rang once and then abruptly ended) while the earlier one would just ring until it reached voicemail. Later during the day, I noticed that I no longer could see his profile photo on WhatsApp. 

Then I realised that he had blocked me on the messaging app, the very day we were supposed to go out.

I was at a friend's house when it became clear that dinner with the local lad was never going to happen. He had ghosted me. Despite my best efforts to make light of the situation I ended up crying when I told my friend everything. My friend then got up, brought out two glasses, and decided to pour us some wine because he didn't know what else to say other than "Screw him. Let's have a drink".

I then decided to delete Tinder and OKCupid from my phone, but not before I flag the local lad for bad offline behaviour. It was probably a petty move on my part, but hell hath no fury like a lass jilted. Afterwards I went shopping for little gifts for myself and some friends. Shopping is both my cardio and therapy, but it can only be dispensed in small doses since I don't have The Sims' money tree. 

Dinner with two lovely friends followed, where I proceeded to tell them of my Tinder ghost. Then they shared their Tinder experience, but theirs reached a sweet note: one has been dating her Tinder date for the last three months while the other, a guy friend, is still getting to know an amazing woman.

I must confess that although I wish my friends all the happiness in the world, it was challenging to smile at their Tinder luck right after my Tinder ghost had stood me up. Every time my eyes threatened to mist up in the restaurant, I quickly summoned happy thoughts and tried to focus on the moment: that at least during a difficult day I was surrounded by beloved friends who mean everything to me.

I wish I had known why the guy changed his mind and decided to distance himself from me after he met me. I wished I could kick him in the balls for being such a spineless coward. I also wished I had never met him, but what good does regretting do? All I can do is allow myself to feel like shit for one day, then get over it and move on with my life. 

So yes, this blog post is a pity party I am throwing for myself, and for every single girl out there who had been stood up by their dates without even the grace of a decent excuse, which is the least that we all deserve. 

He has already wasted a month of my life. He does not deserve more of my time. 

No more. 

I am done.

Armchair detective.

Bathroom singer.

Chef on the weekends.

Delusional daydreamer.

English and Malay writer for hire.

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