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09-Jun-2020 19:53

Or he’ll agree to a date knowing that a day or two before he’ll find some way to cancel.

I wonder aloud if Billy and his dates are benching each other, having reached a mutual understanding that the planned meetings will never take place (e.g., the polite veneer of making drink plans with former co-workers we run into on Bleecker Street).

“Maybe they’ll text them to get a quick ego stroke.

But I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a woman who does this to a new guy she’s ambivalent about seeing.” Conor agrees: “Women, for the most part, still subscribe to the traditional dating idea that if the guy doesn’t reach out, it won’t happen.

No, he corrects me, there is always someone doing the benching and someone being benched. “In a romantic scenario, you’re not going to go along with this unless you want to actually date the bencher. ’ But that’s literally sales 101: Ask questions so the buyer thinks you think they’re interesting.” Some might call it gaslighting, but benchers suffering from nice-guy syndrome may not even be trying to exploit the situation.

and I had gone on maybe three dates, but we were still exchanging the occasional text months after the last time we saw each other. Instead, we were engaged in this bizarre textual limbo.

“If I were ever to bump into somebody that I’ve benched,” says Billy, “I’d have nothing to feel bad about.

I would put on a smiling face and say hello and ask how he was doing, and he’d have no reason to do anything but the same.” The bencher can walk around feeling like his karmic balance is fully in equilibrium — what’s the worst thing someone can say about him?

It’d be one thing if we were occasionally hanging out (or even becoming fuck buddies), but that never happened.

I’d invite him over, but his phone always “died omg so sorry.” Every time I was ready to dismiss him, though, he’d find some way to make his presence known.“He’s the fucking worst Really, benching is just the modern incarnation of what we used to call leading someone on.



The only thing that can break up a relationship are the partners themselves.”— Kelly Campbell, Ph.… continue reading »


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