26/10/16

Did I just get benched or what?

Did I just get benched or what?

On and off, hot and cold, back and forth – if you haven’t left this weird I-don’t-know-what-this-is stage yet after dating the guy for a while, it is very likely that you are being benched.

There I was being my fabulous self and going out for a night on the town with the girls, when suddenly I end up meeting a cute guy. We exchanged phone numbers, added each other on Facebook, and before I even made it back home after the last pit stop at our favourite cocktail place, I’ve already had a first text on WhatsApp from him. Nice!
That’s it, I decided. One week of teasing was enough. I wanted the real deal again.


We kept messaging back and forth over the next couple of days. At work I was daydreaming more than usual thinking about his manly hands holding and touching me during our wild make-out sessions. “That’s it”, I decided. One week of teasing was enough. I wanted the real deal again. Plus the battery life of my vibrator was going to come to an end very soon.

The waiting game    

I decided I’d send him a message that day after work. Or maybe during my lunch break. Oh well, now is as good a time as any. After fiddling around a little bit with the wording I came up with an easy breezy message that still got to the point. SENT! All right. It’s done. With a smile I returned to my desk and went back to work.

I obviously left my phone out next to my keyboard so I could see immediately when he responded. Ok. Focus. On. Work. Now. But an hour passed and nothing happened. Maybe it didn’t go through? Just to be sure I checked the message again. And there it was: a double blue tick to confirm he’s seen it. Five minutes after I’ve sent it and yet no answer or any indication of typing on his end. Hmmm ok. He might be busy at work or in a meeting. “He’ll write back later for sure”, I calmed myself down but I couldn’t help but feeling a little bit disappointed. I thought we really had clicked and that he would like to hang out again as much as I did. “Back to work now”, I murmured while shuffling back to my desk.
But just as I walked back in the door from the shops I heard my phone. So I picked it up and what do I see? He just texted me.


A few days had passed and I’d gotten over my disappointment. Time to make plans with the girls to hit the town again. I even went out and bought myself a sexy little dress to dance the night away in style on the weekend. But just as I walked back in the door from the shops I heard my phone. So I picked it up and what do I see? He just texted me. It’s been ten days since I’ve sent my message asking him when we could meet again. “How r u doing, beautiful? Any plans for the weekend?” Ok. He called me beautiful but what does that message even mean? Should I write back and ask if he’s up for a drink or should I just ignore it like he did? My mind started racing. “I’d better discuss this with the girls. I don’t want to write anything stupid”, I thought to myself.

Just do it

“Do it! Write him a sexy message. An offer he can’t refuse!” The chorus was clear. But I’m pretty sure those five glasses of Prosecco didn’t exactly help us reach a sensible decision. “OK!” My fingers started typing and before I could even check the message for spelling errors I had already clicked on send. “Ah well, let’s have another glass”, I shouted. “I did it! I sent it!” And on we went to the bar to celebrate my bravery with another sparkly drink and another after that.
My headache was already fading with the prospect of some passionate kissing and I floated through the day.


The next day I woke up with a throbbing headache AND a text from him. He was suggesting a meeting later that same day. My headache was already fading with the prospect of some passionate kissing and I floated through the day. One hour before our date though I made a hard landing on planet earth. He’d cancelled our date at the last minute. Something urgent had come up. I couldn’t help but feeling down and went to bed early after watching a sad movie.
I couldn’t decide if he was interested or not, if he wasn’t sure what he wanted or if he was just an asshole sending the occasional nice text to play me like a puppet.


This kept happening again and again. We managed to meet up for some drinks two weeks later but even after that he kept being very vague. Whenever I thought I was over it, a nice text came out of nowhere and pulled me back in. Sound familiar? I couldn’t decide if he was interested or not, if he wasn’t sure what he wanted or if he was just an asshole sending the occasional nice text to play me like a puppet. But we also hadn’t become friends with benefits by now. Weird. When I asked one of my gay friends for advice he didn’t even have to think after I was done venting. The only thing he said was: “You’re being benched, my dear.” I was being what??!

Hot and cold

Apparently benching is the current term in dating for stringing someone along. This on and off, hot and cold (yeah, Katy, it happens to the best of us…), back and forth behaviour is a way for someone, the so-called bencher, to keep in touch without being committed. To keep his options open. He’s in control. The benchee is being strung along with some nice texts or a meeting here and there and is always left wanting more. The bottom line here is that if you are being benched you can assume that the other person is not that into you, and will most likely never be. Otherwise you’d have left this weird I-don’t-know-what-this-is stage already a long time ago. Should you be mad at yourself for falling for a bencher? Hell no, like I said before. This happens to the best of us.
I don’t want to be his desperate back-up plan.


After feeling down for a bit I thought to myself, “Life is too short to be sad about being benched by this guy. I’d go crazy constantly breaking my head about analysing his feelings based on his texts. I don’t want to be his desperate back-up plan. I’m better than that (sounds cliché I know)”. So I moved on knowing that life lessons like that exist in dating. I believed that after I had my time to heal I’d get a good laugh out of it with my friends. And so I did.

by Hootie
 
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