After the non-relationship (seeing someone not worthy) and the almost-relationship (seeing someone with limited commitment which might be as well the same) here comes the latest trend in the new wave of non-committal dating: the almost-date.
Within only the last few months I can already look back to an assorted collection of almost-dates, dates that almost happened, but in the end – they never happened. More often than I have dated, have I not dated.
Those almost-dates I now find as an illustrious pool on my social media channels: possibilities passed, experiences missed and chances given away. I see their photos on Instagram, I read their posts on Facebook. With some I even have exchanged recommendations for trips on chat, others’ latest adventures I occasionally give a like, some even have become like virtual pen-pals to me on whatsapp, still on the verge of an actual meeting and talking face-to-face.
More often than I have dated, have I not dated.
Actually I never felt this inability to express a feeling of anger due to the non-binding and open nature of this “game” before. Because how can you be mad at someone who you never met, someone whom you never spoke to, actually?
Online it may seem natural and normal behavior standard instead of the normal cancellation or postponing just to ghost out, aka. to not cancel, even if you set up a meeting already, but to skip and say nothing, act like nothing happened.
Sometimes I myself may have acted like a date-phantom: you become more pretentious in this game than you may be in real life. And doesn’t it sound too desperate and random to throw out your phone number after 2 sentences and a suggestion to meet, before you ever exchanged a real thought?
On the other hand: how often have you set up a date, picked the location or event, even got changed and prepared to leave the house, just waiting for the last arrangements to be made and then just NOTHING happened and you went to see your friends instead? How often have you not ever received an excuse, because: it was just nothing real, all the opportunities were left open.
How often does this happen to people who we met in real life? You liked somebody, asked for their phone number or Facebook, and just never called or wrote? This seems like from another age.
Tried long and hard to find the pros of this phenomena and here is what came out:
It’s nice to collect almost-dates as virtual friends — you once wanted to meet, but then you didn’t — if they have something in common with you and remain a source of inspiration even if they are still strangers. It’s an advantage for lonely people to have an almost-date pen pal on WhatsApp, who distracts you on boring work days and sends you photos of the landscapes around them.
Sometimes an almost-date may even make your day by sending you a compliment and encourage you in your single-life to do things by yourself.
Maybe another almost-date shares a band you never knew before and you fall in love with.
Maybe in the end also some things just weren’t meant to be. Some people weren’t ready yet, others were meant to be met in real life, by chance, another day in the future.
So here is what I suggest: in the end, even if the online dating — let’s call it what it is — industry, seems to be easy-going, free and non-binding: Let’s all not forget that on the other end of the line there is still a human being waiting for a reply, no robot or machine, even if the game seems so unbinding and the opportunities plenty. So let’s not forget about humanity and common sense and behave at least similar as in a face-to-face interaction and have the decency to be true to them as to ourselves.
I prefer the reality for its humanity and chemistry: because we all know what a real match feels like.