Telling Me I’m Very Pretty & Other Ways Guys Have Cancelled Dates With Me

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Photo by Jazmin Quaynor on Unsplash

On Sunday evening, I had two dates booked. By Thursday, I had none. I’m sure it would be literarily entertaining for me to be a dejected wet Triscuit about it, but I was pretty happy sitting on my couch watching a comedy special with a cup of tea. Cancelled dates mean different things to everyone, and mine mean relief that I don’t have to shave anything.

The methods of cancellation employed here are what I find really interesting. Interesting in the same way it’s interesting what happens to a gummy bear left on a dashboard in the sun. The first cancellation was rude, but not creative. On Sunday evening, a man asked me to get drinks after work on Wednesday night. Then, on Wednesday morning, when I went back to our conversation to confirm we were still on, I found that the conversation was missing. He’d cancelled the date by unmatching with me sometime between Sunday evening and Wednesday morning. Shrug.

The second cancellation was different. To begin, I fully support the reasoning. High-level, he’d met someone else he was interested in sometime between asking me out on Sunday evening and our purported plans for Thursday night. He didn’t feel it would be right to pursue something additional with me. Very understandable, if not respectable.

Here’s what’s not: I get that a guy seemingly disappointing a woman will want to keep the blow as soft as possible. We’re strangers, and so he doesn’t know that I’m made of titanium alloy much like a space shuttle exterior. He didn’t know if his news would upset me. So here’s the sugar coat he chose:

“You’re very pretty and maybe I’m an idiot not to go out with you.”

It’s really hard to find the energy at this point, but I’ll try.

Dear Cody, (his actual name, fuck it)

Thank you for your honesty. It’s a rare trinket in today’s dating world, I assure you. However, I do take issue with the comment you used in what I’m assuming was an attempt to let me down easily and reassure me that your cancellation of our date was not my fault. You told me I’m “very pretty.”

First of all, obviously. But second of all, the statement was entirely superfluous to the situation. It had no place in your explanation. And while I’m not confused about why you included it, I think you might be.

Simply put, A woman’s appearance should never be used as consolation or reassurance that she’s still a worthy human being despite your rejection of her. Darling, she already knows. Telling me that you’re not cancelling the date because I’m ugly is about as useful as tits on a mail box. Your thoughts on my physical appearance have no bearing on what I think of your cancelling our plans. Your honest admission that you’d met someone else was quite sufficient, and it’s the reason I respect you as a fellow dater. Your reference to my attractiveness as counterweight to any feelings of rejection I might harbor is the reason you can go fuck yourself.

In the future, please note that a woman’s appearance either as a positive or negative should never be utilized as an explanation for cancelled plans or as a figurative comforting pat on the knee. Women are not made of eggshell, nor should any cracks in our exterior be repaired by a man thinking he is validating the way we look. We were valid before you, and we shall be valid after. But since you felt the need to tell me your opinion of my physical representation in a dating app, I feel the need to tell my opinion of your patronizing “compliment” to the internet.

Sincerely,

Shani

Written by

NPR once called me a humor essayist, let’s go with that. Host of A Single Serving Podcast. shanisilver[at]gmail

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