Remember “Jay”, the super nice OkCupid guy who just wasn’t my type and everything went wrong on our first date? Well, I broke up with him (do you call it breaking up when you’ve only been on two dates?). And I did it in, like, the worst way possible way — I texted, “Hey, when’s a good time to talk?” Jesus Christ, I would hate to date me. I’m the worst. Jay tepidly replied, “Um, I can call around 2.” Dreading the inevitable, I watched the clock as it drew closer to my sentence and filled the time by watching the Golden Globes. When my phone buzzed exactly at 2, I hesitated, partly because I would do anything to avoid a breakup conversation and partly because Emma Thompson was presenting and I love her to death. Did I mention I was at my ex-boyfriend’s at the time? No? Oh, okay, so yeah, I’m an awful person. Anyway, I muted the TV and took a breath.
Me: Hey! Thanks for calling. How was your day?
Me: Awesome! Okay, so you’re a fantastic person but I’m not physically attracted to you so we should stop dating. Don’t take it personally.
Jay: I wouldn’t dream of it. Have a great life!
And then we laughed and hung up. JUST KIDDING. What actually happened:
*ten minutes of painful small talk later*
Me: Okay, so you’re a super awesome person and I really like you, but…
Jay: *heart cracking in two, envisions a future of dying alone* [Or this is what I pictured happening at the end of the other line. Maybe I should start overestimating the guys I date and underestimating how much they really like me]
Me: You’re really great. I just want to take a break…from dating. Like, all people.
I could feel Jay starting to suspect my excuse was really just an excuse, and I jumped on the first reason I could think of that he wouldn’t dare question.
Me: Because my grandpa died. [This was partly true. Like 30% true. Okay, 22%. Which leaves roughly 80% of me being a terrible person]
Jay: Oh, god, I’m so sorry.
Me: Yeah, it’s been hard. I just need some time to focus on myself and family and stuff. And when I mean ‘some time’ I mean, like, six months?
Yes, I used the Dead Grandpa card. But before you think I’m 100% awful (it’s just 80%, remember?), let me explain. I hate hurting people’s feelings and really, really, really didn’t want to ruin the rest of Jay’s life by rejecting him (like I said, I should stop overestimating my effect on guys). So, I pussied out. And I figured six months would be plenty of time for him to meet someone else and forget all about me.
Jay: I mean, I offer my condolences. That’s awful. I’m so, so sorry.
Jay: Wow. That sucks.
Me: Okay, yeah. So…
Jay: But you still want to be friends right? While you figure out your stuff?
I knew this plan wouldn’t work.
Me: Obviously, yeah I want to be friends!
Jay: Cool, can you hang out this week?
Me: *face plant* I’m busy this week.
Jay: Next week?
Jay: Great, I’ll text you then.
Me: Awesome. Just…awesome.
*sigh* And that’s how I roped myself into going on a friend date with a guy I failed at breaking up with. Luckily, I fully planned on sticking to my word of taking a break from dating for six months. Unluckily, two weeks in to my dating abstinence the universe introduced me to the person who’s now Boyfriend. When I met with Jay for our totally platonic friend date (which turned out be really fun in a totally platonic way and Boyfriend was totally cool with it), we talked about how my soul-searching bachelorette life was coming along (“Just great, love being alone, yup no one loves me, yay!”), which morphed into conversation about past relationships, good and bad. With no first date pressure, we got to honestly say what was awkward about our own first date and share anecdotes about the best/worst first dates we had. And of course, I talked about the best first date I’ve been on (my first date with Boyfriend) because I have a disease called logorrhea where I can’t keep my mouth shut (at least I was smart enough not to mention Boyfriend was a current boyfriend). Jay listened to my enthusiastic tale before asking “So what happened to him?” I shoved a forkful of food into my mouth. Now, I could’ve grown a pair of balls, been honest for once in my life, and told him how my Eat, Pray, Love sabbatical was thwarted when I met someone who truly makes me happy. Instead, I went with, “Uh, you know. I got busy, homework, you know.” He nodded and mercifully moved on. By the end of the night, he asked when I would be available again. I wanted to say never because this was clearly a terrible situation, but of course I said: “In a couple weeks!” I think I’m going to have to fake my death in six months.