Inspired by the individuals investing themselves in apps and websites to help them get into a relationship, I present some of the most common ways we have found to avoid them altogether… types of early stage break ups.
1) Coffee meets your mom – This is when your white friend finds out that the Asian-American guy she was matched with on Coffee Meets Bagel has a very traditional mom, and he would rather forego date 3 than brave that Christmas scenario.
2) Bumbles last revenge – On the bumble app, girls lead the convo. In this scenario, the guy doesn’t grab the baton, and communication just stops. The girl leaves blaming yet another guy for not having initiative, and never has to face the fact that he probably just wasn’t that into her. Maybe Bumble did have something going for it.
3) The pre-date break up – This is collecting enough information online about someone until you realize you don’t like them. Call it Facebook stalking and lame, or call it online dating for mature working professionals (all the matches you get that you never choose to respond to). This can also go hand in hand with the corporate break up – gathering enough information from all your friends, family and sisters in-laws about an individual to justify ending the conversation before it begins. This is a community effort, run by people who know you.
4) The break-up-inspired client – So this isn’t an accurate phrase, because I’m not a match-maker by profession, but if I was (and so could I be), this phrase fits. Usually this occurs when it’s obvious to both of you that you’re not a great fit. There are not hard feelings; there is freedom to talk and not get caught up in emotion, and this is the perfect time to help a brother out. Not a good fit but he was really great? Don’t let him go! You have loads of single friends, and you KNOW he is still looking for his Mrs. Right. Take the bridge well-built and pass along the contact! (Disclaimer – No one has ever done this on me, so I don’t know how I’d feel about it. Disclaimer 2 – This has yet to be accepted, but I’m hoping they feel complimented).
5) The silent nod – Give this only one or two dates, and you both just kind of know, and no one even sort of initiates further conversations. A nod doesn’t even occur, it’s just a nicer name than, “utter silence” or “you guys were off on thinking that could have gone somewhere. Read the profile better.”
6) The self-sabotage – This one can only occur when you’ve actually made it past a few dates. This could also move to the category of “relationship break ups” because it’s more serious in nature. You actually like someone at this point, but you just don’t imagine that you measure up. You share a long thoughtful process about how you need to free this person up because they really need to be with someone a bit more [Fill in the blank here] who has X interest with Y strength. We construct someone all the more wonderful that we fear this person would choose over us, and choose for him early in the game in order to dodge rejection (this break-up is not recommended. If you do this often, get help).
7) The non-breakup. This is the relationship that played the friend card – really hard. When the time came to transition, it was impossible to scrap your ways out of friend zone. You stopped whatever was happening, and potentially connection altogether. Although you never started dating or seeing each other romantically (supposedly), it felt like the toughest of break ups. Risky bridge to build and cross, but well worth it if it ends well.
Last but certainly not least –
8) The break in – You depart from the dating world to enter a real relationship. You tell anyone else you were talking to that the dating process worked with someone else, they celebrate you (or cry), and you begin being someone’s “girlfriend”, not just a dinner date. It’s terrifying and stretching and a completely different muscle than you have been using. You shift from shallow conversations, extra banter, and the slight bit of flirting, to deeper conversations, laughing at things that are commonly funny to both of you and to showing affection in a thoughtful way. You thought your ability to be cool, calm, and collected on the dating scene would carry you through to engagement, and realized quickly that it will not. You face inadequacy and joy unlike you ever have before, and they say this is just baby steps till marriage. You sometimes wonder if being single again is better, but then you recognize this process is so good for your heart and that this could be the best battle you ever chose to fight. And while you dodged the early stage break-ups, there’s a slew more that are now possible, that you pray you also avoid.
Congratulations on your terrifying journey of falling in love.
The fun part is that each of the scenarios starts as a whimsical possibility. This allows for plenty of hope-filled responses to those who are concerned about your state of singleness and for the married folks who want to live vicariously through individuals finding love for the first time.
So vicariously live it up married friends, because this too shall pass – as soon as E-Harmony finds all of our unicorns.