8 April 2018

Dating diaries: Flakers gon' flake

As we welcome spring, I for one am hoping that the dreaded Beast from the east has finished causing havoc for the year. I'm done with bundling up, feeling my stomach flip as my sole slips on the icy ground, and hiding away inside, desperately trying to keep warm. 

I wonder if human flakes of the dating kind are seasonal, too?

The definition of a flake, courtesy of urban dictionary, is as follows:

n. Aunreliable person; someone who agrees to do something, but never follows through.

I've recently encountered a few flakes, one after the other. Consecutive flakes. Being flaked on, as anyone will know, is annoying and frustrating.

This is because a plan is (at the very least) implied, then time passes with the expectation of the plan occurring, but when the plan is imminent, your expectations aren't met because the plan is cancelled.

Formalities aside, these are my experiences - both different, but flakey in their own way.

Flake 1.

This flake was family-oriented and had a job that he loved, looking out for people. Both elements implied he was a caring guy. He didn't have much luck with the ladies - he took two previous girlfriends on holiday and they both broke up with him on said holiday - but seemed earnest and an old school romantic. He was complimentary during dates, quite tactile (but not in a mushy way), and admitted that he only liked to date one girl at a time. The latter, in particular, surprised me.

We had two dates, one night after the other, before he was due to go on a climbing holiday with friends. I thought the proximity of the dates showed he was quite keen. The date on the second night he was particularly tactile (arm around me in the cinema, hand on my knee, nothing scandalous) and I even cooked him dinner before the showing.

We messaged lots, day in and day out, but the day after that date they began to dwindle. The following day he went on holiday - nothing. The day after I sent a message checking he was alive, and about 4 hours later whilst I was getting a pedicure (#selfcare) I received a spiel about him thinking it wasn't a good idea for us to go on any more dates because "we are too different as people."

Which I respect - I appreciate honesty as opposed to a cowardly ghosting - but, um, mixed messages much? We'd discussed future dates before the holiday, but apparently a flight changed everything.

**In hindsight, his shift pattern would have annoyed me, and he had a lot to learn about language around race and feminism... So definitely a blessing.

Flake 1, down.

Flake 2.

Closer to the original definition of a 'flake', this guy was intelligent (no accidental racial slurs or confusion about #MeToo), had a complicated family background, and had been in two long-term monogamous relationships. He hadn't dated much, but it seemed like he wasn't a commitment-phobe, a huge deal in the dating world. On our first date he took me to an awful hotel bar with no atmosphere and paid an extortionate amount for a few drinks and nibbles, and when we parted ways I went to give him a peck on the lips, but he went fully in, and in shock I responded with 'um, keen!', laughed, and ran off to catch my train.

We saw each other again in a more relaxed setting during the day and I had a great time, but to coordinate another date before he travelled for work was tricky, and he ended up cancelling on me because he had too much on. Not ideal, but he said he'd make it up to me when he was back. He promised a present.

I thought, at this point, this was his way of slacking me off. He could have his work trip and needn't follow up when he returned. However, to my surprise he messaged throughout, saying he was keen to see me afterwards.

When it came to making plans - it would have been a month between our dates by this point - I suggested the night after he got back. He said wasn't ideal as he'd be tired, but it was up to me. I reassured him it could be local and low-key, as I just wanted to see him. But, sure enough, he cancelled again, reiterating that he would be "just too dead". Even though the messages kept coming, at this point I wasn't getting any indication that he actually wanted to see me. And didn't suggest an alternative date. So I told him to get in touch when he knew he was actually free, as I wasn't going to wait around, but he didn't.

**In hindsight, he probably wasn't willing to commit having been in long-term relationships, and he was just attempting to put me on the back-burner and failed to be subtle about it.

Voila. Another one bites the dust.

In terms of flaking, it will always come back to respect, I think.

Although Flake 1 got carried away and discussed future dates when he wasn't 100% into it, at least he was upfront. The delivery wasn't great, but it was clean.

Flake 2, because he dragged it out, has come out worse, even though we were probably more compatible. Keep it honest and keep it real, I say.

There will always be varying shades of grey with flaking, ghosting etc, but I think we can all agree that no one likes to be kept in the dark.

So let's hope the flakes stay in the winter, and let's all try to be decent, mm-kay?

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