“The Fizzle,” And Why It’s Ruining Modern Dating

After being chronically single while I focused on my career, I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands and enter the online dating world. I was a young female professional and I was used to working to get what I want. In order to ease my way in I decided to download two dating apps to my phone. I was looking for a relationship, someone to spend time with, someone to travel with, someone to try new things with.

The dates came so easily: dinners eaten, adult beverages consumed, bowling played, coffee sipped. Date after date. Some led to second dates. One led to a good six month dating period. But no one really stuck.

They all started the same: messaging within the app for a day or two, exchanging phone numbers, texting, and then planning our upcoming date. The texting would continue right until the date occurred. Then, after much anticipation, we would meet, have a few drinks or eat dinner. Most of them went fairly well, about half ended with a kiss, a few ended with more. Texting would most likely continue the next day. Some planned second dates. Others just kind of disappeared.

The “fizzle,” as my friends and I now refer to it, occurs when one or both parties slowly begin to respond less and less to the other’s texts. Sometimes the feeling is mutual. Sometimes one person is interested and the other is clearly not. It continues to a point where the texting just stops. And just like that, it is over.

I have been in all three situations: I have been the interested party, the not interested party, and in the mutual zone of “meh, whatever.” The mutual disinterest is the best, there is no sense of rejection associated with it. The two former both have their awkwardness, which really just makes everyone uncomfortable. As my generation refuses to deal with confrontation and possible rejection, this is what we are left with. An awkward fizzle over a few lingering text messages.

It was annoying and I would much rather prefer a straight answer. Or so I thought — until I met Aaron. Aaron was 27, a Spanish teacher, and had no cell phone. Yes, you read that correctly. NO CELL PHONE. This meant no texting. So we had a few conversations over the phone, which were quite pleasant. I think people forget how nice it is to chat with someone over the phone, especially in this millennial generation. Then we met up a couple of times, once going on a walk to the park and then the next week grabbing coffee before I had to go to work. Conversation was still good, but I knew it wasn’t going anywhere. I didn’t feel the spark, and he had a few habits that I knew would drive me crazy.

After our coffee date, he gives me a call in the evening and I don’t call back. I had forewarned him I had a deadline at work, and he was taking a certification exam later that week, so I knew he would be busy as well. A few days go by, and he calls again. I thought I would be nice and ask how his test went and so called him back, but got to voicemail. He calls a couple of days later and leaves a message, “Call me back so we can figure out a day to go out this week.” Crap. He is clearly interested. I call him back the next day and told him again, that I would be working late that week and wouldn’t have time to go out. It’s okay he says, I’ll call back tomorrow, maybe you’ll have a better idea of your schedule. Ughhhhhh. Really?

True to his word, he does call. And I couldn’t handle it anymore. I ended up telling him that he was a nice guy and I appreciated his effort, but that I didn’t see us going anywhere. I had to tell him OVER THE PHONE. There was no fizzle. It had to be done, the bandage brutally ripped off. Aaron said he was disappointed, but appreciated my honesty so that we wouldn’t waste each other’s time. I hope that was true, but I still felt bad. I don’t like disappointing people.

So maybe I don’t like confrontation either. I guess I will stick with the fizzle for now. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

featured image – Thomas Leuthard

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