Kids, dating is a lot like playing the lottery – you don’t know what the next ticket might bring. Pots of cash or a total dud, it’s a total gamble.
As I discovered over the course of the 28 dates journey, more often than not, you’ll get a lot of duds – men who are utterly boring, totally chauvinistic or those who just don’t bother to show up at all.
And while smarting from my latest no-show date, who conveniently developed the flu two hours before our date, I pondered the genesis of this flaky male specimen:
Meet the Stand You Up Guy.
This is the one who generally messages you via the online dating site like a lovesick puppy, constantly wanting to know how you are, what you are doing, promising you the moon and the stars in romance and begging to meet you in person. Which you eventually agree to but he fails to show up for.
Over the past 18 months since my challenge started, I had quite a few of these Stand You Up Guys…
June 2014 …
There was Sporty Carter, who taught soccer to school learners, loved fast cars, enjoyed snuggling while watching romantic movies and was keen to get out of his comfort zone by dating a classy girl like me, he said.
Sounded great to me, since I was trying to get away from the tortured artist type I usually fall for, and we agreed to meet at Alexander Bar one winter evening. As I was dressing for this date an hour before our meeting time, Sporty Carter texted me to say he couldn’t make it because it was raining – which at the time it wasn’t!
Disappointed but not too mad, I agreed to reschedule the date to the following Saturday at Primi Piatti at the V&A Waterfront.
Now, Kids, Primi Piatti is one of my favourite restaurant chains, and I particularly love the V&A branch for its views and friendly waiters. I often dine there on my own during my me time but even I wasn’t prepared to sit there alone, during a busy rugby match day.
Which is what Sporty Carter, the ass, made me do for 40 minutes, without so much as a text or call to say he’d be late. When I eventually gave in to the urge to ask him where he was, I got a “Sorry, I got caught up at work. Can’t make it.”
Are you freaking kidding me?!!! I’d given this jerk a second chance and he was standing me up AGAIN?!!! Oh hell no!
To put it mildly, Sporty Carter was told to lose my number and jump off a bridge. When he kept texting me for months thereafter, I blocked him and you’d think I’d have learnt my lesson with losers like him until…
Eminem Wannabe was a Business Intelligence specialist with a dream of becoming a famous rapper someday. He was back in the dating game after his girlfriend of six years had left him for the guy she was cheating on him with.
He enjoyed comedy as much as I did and we bonded over our shared favourite novel, The Night Circus. Brainy, cultured and a reader with a sense of humour – hell, I felt like I’d won the online dating jackpot!
Our first date at the Cavendish Square Primi Piatti (I told you, I have a thing for this chain!) in late January went really, really well. I hadn’t laughed that much in ages and he was easy to talk to.
So naturally, when he’d asked to see me again, I was keen to. Date number 2 was to be pizza and drinks in Long Street.
The only snag was, it was the same evening as a farewell party for one of my friends. I texted Eminem Wannabe to say I was excited about the date but I’d have to leave early to make the party and he was welcome to join me if he wanted. I stressed that he didn’t have to, because I knew meeting the friends could be stressful so no pressure.
The dude surprised me by saying of course he’d love to join me, a party sounded awesome and he was looking forward to meeting everyone. Right…
Fast forward to three hours before the date, after he’d confirmed the day before that we were definitely doing pizza and the party, and he sends me this text:
“Sorry to drop you like this but I can’t make tonight. Enjoy the party with your friends.”
Wait, WTF just happened?! Did he really just cancel on me three hours before because he was freaked out about meeting my friends, which I’d told him explicitly he didn’t have to?! Gimme a f***ing break!
Three months went by before I heard from him again, asking how I was. When I told him to put himself out to pasture and die a slow horrible death, he seemed offended that I didn’t want to have some “fun” with him.
To quote the great Meatloaf:
I respect myself way too much to be someone’s time filler and you guys deserved a father who was reliable, respectable and worthy of being your Dad.
As it turns out, the jerk face got back together with his cheating ex… F*** it, next!