A man and a woman get set up on a date by a mutual friend. The man isn’t me, nor have I ever met him. The woman and I know each other well. They are each given the other’s phone number and, in the week leading up to the date, an impressive level of banter & flirtation is reached. The date is a roaring success – both say as much, and they continue to flirt solidly for a further thirty-six hours.
But then…radio silence.
I join the story 24-hours into this silence.
The woman asks: ‘As a man, why hasn’t he written back?’
‘Could be any number of reasons,’ I reply, ‘Maybe he’s playing it cool, maybe he’s giving you space, perhaps it’s that work deadline he was telling you about.’
‘Or maybe he’s not interested?’
‘Possibly, but probably too early to say – Why don’t you text him?’
‘I texted him last.’
A few hours later she’s climbing the walls – Why hasn’t he replied? – He seemed interested – I guess not – Maybe I’ll text him? No, there’s a principle at stake – Why hasn’t he replied…
I figure she needs her mind occupying so I say, ‘I’m driving up to the midlands tomorrow to see my dad. Fancy joining me?’
During the two hour drive north she phones / texts [EXAGGERATED NUMBER OF PEOPLE] to ask for their advice, and is rewarded with comments like ‘Let him go – he doesn’t deserve you,’ and ‘move on’ and ‘that’s out of order.’ Meanwhile I’m saying ‘just text him,’ and she’s like ‘No,’ and I’m like ‘Why not?’ and she’s like ‘Because then he’ll know I like him,’ and I’m like ‘Isn’t that the idea?’
Next she calls the women who set them up in the first place (who we’ll sinisterly call The Instigator). The instigator starts apologising for matching her with such a douche-bag and saying how he seemed like such a good guy and what the hell’s wrong with men and why aren’t they straight forward like women are, and I’m driving and nodding sympathetically and saying ‘Alternatively you could just text him?’ and she’s saying ‘NO, IT’S HIS TURN!’
We get to the midlands and she asks my dad his opinion which (as I’ve warned beforehand) is an epic mistake.
‘Yep, definitely not interested,’ he says with his customary diplomacy, ‘time to move on, next.’
We have a great day walking in the forest, visiting a stately home etc, and all the while her phone’s buzzing and a sense a cyber-outrage is building in the online community that this man has dared to pretend that he enjoyed a date when all the while he was planning on not texting back.
It’s getting dark when we begin the journey south. It’s been 48-hours without a reply and even I’m starting to think that maybe the man’s not interested when suddenly the woman declares ‘My mobile data is switched off!’
She switches it on and instantly gets a day-old text from the man that begins ‘Hey beautiful – about that second date?…’
Now she’s ecstatic and waving her arms around, and I’m thinking: Maybe I should surreptitiously get this guy’s number and warn him?
I asked permission before writing any of this. When I mentioned the proposed title it was relayed to me that ‘I AM NOT A BUNNY BOILER!’
This blog might alternatively have been condensed to: Man goes on date with woman, likes woman, asks woman on second date, blissfully unaware of insidious support network, wonders why woman hasn’t replied…