So you don’t want to let that girl down. Things were awesome at first and then they weren’t. There were sparks that didn’t lead to a fire and now, you’re afraid to be the guy who pours the last bucket of water on it. In short, you don’t want to be the bad guy.
And this is where I want to tell you — please, for heaven’s sake, be the bad guy. Here’s why.
While I don’t claim to speak for all women, I’m certain I speak for a fairly large number here : Women do not like to initiate things with men at the beginning of a romance (or whatever you want to call it.) We also do not like to be the ones who initiate “the talk.” We love to talk, sure. We just don’t like “the talk”. Shocker much?
Having said that, we know we need to have it anyway, just so there is no confusion on either side. We are complicated beings who like clarity. Irony much? (I need to stop saying much.)
Dating used to be fairly easy. At least, that was the case with my parents. My dad went to the bank where my mom was working to see her because his sister wouldn’t shut up about her. She thought he was some crazy stalker and had him thrown out. She then realised that he was the same guy her friend was trying to set her up with. She had him thrown out anyway. A few hours later, she stepped out to go look for him and saw him still standing there. Bang! Thunderbolt moment. I guess something about waiting back two hours for the girl who had you thrown out does it. They went out for a few coffees, fell in love and then got married. So much for throwing people out.
Fortunately or unfortunately, this is not how it works nowadays. You randomly bump into someone on the internet, realise you click and click away endlessly through a hundred chat mediums. Then you size each other’s dicks up on Facebook and Twitter. (Some would call this homework. Bah.) And then the call game begins. Remember those No, YOU hang up firsts they used to have? Now, it’s No, Let HIM/HER call first! The one who does end up calling first “loses leverage”. If things proceed to the next level (and by now, you almost feel like you’ve slayed dragons in a sort of real-life Skyrim), you end up meeting. Now, the meeting is the litmus test. Whether you pass or fail this test is something else altogether. My point lies in what happens if the guy passes and the girl doesn’t.
Plenty has been written about what a guy goes through while facing rejection. I just want to talk about what a girl goes through before rejection knocks on her door. Like it or not, girls don’t handle rejection well. Okay, rejection doesn’t go fairy godmother on anyone. But it downright turns into the Wicked Witch of the West for us women. But it’s worse to be standing there, waiting for her to come. It’s just like waiting backstage before your completely unprepared performance begins. You know you’re going to get tomatoes thrown at you, but you have to get there anyway, and the wait backstage is hurting you more than the velocity of those tomatoes ever could.
But you know what’s worse? Never getting those tomatoes thrown at you. Wait, hear me out. You know those tomatoes are coming and even though you dread them, you kinda anticipate them. No surprises or sudden movements there. Good ol’ tomatoes. But then they don’t come and neither does the applause. The audience just sits there staring at you. You have no idea what’s going on. You now feel like throwing tomatoes at the guy who came up with ‘Silence is golden.’
This is your cue to be the bad guy and throw the tomato. Because, by not throwing the tomato, by not putting things on the table and having “the talk”, especially when you feel you don’t want to watch the play anymore, you are truly being the bad guy.
We have all been on the other side of the fence when you incessantly wait for a text to arrive and then end up receiving just a monosyllable in reply. That hurts more than listening to Jar-Jar sing. It hurts even more knowing that a few weeks ago, you were writing sonnets to the freckles on her face or some mushfest like that. Let her down already. If she’s sensible, she’ll understand that you “almost dated” and now you can go back to having your conversations without the mushfest and the I-Don’t-Know-What-We-Are-Yet label. If she’s not as sensible and is deeply affected, understand that she came further than you did and it’s not as easy going back. (This is where you buy her ice cream.) If she acts like a complete tantrum-throwing douchebag, punch yourself for liking her in the first place.
I read a blog post about ‘almost dating’ someone. (Find the link here : http://tcat.tc/1cCxtr4). There’s this little excerpt from it that nails that fuzzy, I-can’t-put-my-finger-on-it emotion right on the head.
“Somehow the ends don’t meet. Either they meet someone new while you’re biding your time, or they move, or they just disappear. It’s easier to do than you think, between no longer answering calls and disappearing from Facebook and finding a new coffee shop. You may never know quite why, and you will be left wondering what else you could have done, how you could have been more, what you did wrong.”
Now multiply this confusing emotion by the infinite power of overthinking that we women are bestowed with. Ta da. That’s how Pythagoras died.
Hence, spare us this and just put an end to what never existed. Some of us (self included) would end up buying YOU the ice cream for the favour. Some of us would totally react this way:
And then, there’ll be some who won’t see it right away, but someday will end up secretly thanking you for being the bad guy who actually was the good guy. And then ice-cream. (What? I really like ice cream.)
- Shruti Sunderraman
Diva la musica. Living off geographica. Comic book nerd. With poems absurd. Cookie ninja. Dark side passenger. You can read my musings at: medium.com/@sundermanbegins
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