Are you one of those people who cannot decide whether or not you want a would-be love interest to stick around? Are you a second guesser who has a few honeys on Whatsapp who hold your interest somewhat, but not completely?
If you said “yes” to those two questions, then you might be “benching.” Unlike ghosting, a term used to describe the act of disappearing from the early dating stage, benching is what happens when you string along a benchee with texts and tiny romantic clues that allude to potential romance. Benching can go on for weeks, months and sometimes years but one thing is for sure, it wastes so much time.
To help you figure out if you are guilty of this crime, here are a few clues.
1. Your text response rate is sporadic, random and makes absolutely no sense
Sometimes you answer in 1.4 seconds for a continuous 20 minutes spar-fest and get deep into an exchange that feels like a RomCom. Sometimes you wait two to six hours or five days before getting in touch, not even bothering to apologize for being MIA.
2. Your first text of the day is an emoji
If you are really into someone, playing it cool after three weeks makes no sense. This means if you are reaching out to someone but not really giving them the right kind of attention, it’s like the equivalent of giving a hug and the middle finger at the same time.
3. You move from intimate to aloof… in a matter of seconds
One night you’ll swirl into an oversharing spiral and text your benchee on how a re-run of Gilmore Girls recalls your own complex relationship with your mom. Another night you’ll say things like, “I’m not sure how I feel about a sleepover just yet” forgetting that you’ve already done the deed some 16+ times. MAKE UP YOUR MIND.
4. When a plan to go out in public arises, you don’t confirm until the last minute
Listen closely to the first line of Diana Ross and the Supremes’ classic hit, “Keep Me Hanging On”—“set me free, why don’t you babe!”—because Mz. Ross is singing about you. Respect someone’s time before you text “not sure I’ll be free that night.”
5. Your emotions jump from Crazy In Love to Lemonade
You so don’t really care about this person, but for some reason you start causing drama and/or sending him/her some seriously inappropriate signals such as heart emojis, then jealous speculations, then gifs from The Notebook…or a trailer from Gone Girl… your text box starts sounding like a script off The Housewives of Atlanta. Your inner Sasha Fierce keeps fighting your inner Dreamgirl and none of it means anything because you are so bored with this non-romance that you have to end it. But will you have the power to do it?
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