These days technology and dating seem to go hand in hand more often than not. You can meet someone online and even if you don’t, you power on your desktop, laptop, tablet, smart phone, etc and the temptation is immediately there: communicate, research or (let’s face it) cyber stalk the latest person (or people) to catch your interest. It’s very rare for there to be more in person communication, at least at the beginning of a new relationship, because of how easy it has become to contact someone without actually having to speak with them. It’s definitely made it simpler to connect with new people but have you ever thought of what other implications technology has on dating especially in its early stages? With the click of a button, or several buttons depending on how many avenues you have been communicating with someone, you can make it impossible for them to get in touch with you any further. Ghosting. There’s even a word for it. You can literally prevent them from being able to reach you, you don’t even have to ignore them, screen your calls, or selectively answer texts ~you can actually block them from having any say in whether or not they cross your mind. You can find out where someone is or what they’re doing depending on what they’re posting. “Oh you were too sick to come to my friend’s engagement party with me, that’s funny because Billy tagged you out at the bar . ..”. You can get a glimpse into your crush’s interests, friends, daily life. Or if you’re me, you can get way more than you bargained for.
Which brings me to our summer buddy, Lyle. Lyle was tall, hot, fun and 26. He seemed like such a nice change of pace, he wasn’t looking for anything serious and I was okay with that. I was wanting to date for the fun of dating, where you just enjoy the space you’re in and aren’t caught up or worried about expectations. Being 26, Lyle was much more into communicating via technology so I begrudgingly started paying more attention to my snapchat, an app that I had had for over a year with a whopping score of about 39 because I never ever used it. And I have to admit, that it was fun. In normal everyday texting it would be a little weird if someone sent you a heading-to-work-selfie or a quick snapshot of their day (or I guess at least for 31 at the time year old me, it would have seemed over the top). But via this avenue, it was the norm. So I tuned in when he sent me selfies during his morning commute or videos of him singing along to the radio during the ride or pics of his scenic route view (I live less than 5 from work and while you can’t beat the convenience, its not the prettiest of drives). He was funny, and young and didn’t seem weighed down by the responsibilities that hit us the older we get. So I’d be in bed ready to get a solid 8+ to be up for work the next day and would take a peek at snapchat to watch videos of him goofing around with friends, or photos of something he found funny or to watch him in a late night video sitting on his deck drinking a beer, listening to rap and getting high while this old timer was turning in after an evening of gym, cooking, laundry, dishes and tv.
We were having fun; we were dating and texting and snapping and sleeping together. I didn’t have any delusions that it was turning in to too much more than that but I did start noticing that a girl who had been showing up here and there in his snap stories seemed to be in them more and more. I had assumed they were friends and figured even if he was dating her a bit, it wasn’t a big deal. I was going on dates with other guys too and wasn’t expecting anything different from him. That’s how dating works, until you decide to be exclusive with someone, you get to go out with other people if you want to. One night about a week after we had last been together, I watched a video on snapchat of them sitting together with friends and things looked complicated like maybe she was a little drunk and maybe they were cuddling but I couldn’t tell. I personally feel that if you are dating multiple people, it’s your responsibility to handle it respectfully and in my opinion, letting one girl you’re dating watch you be in any way intimate with another girl you’re dating isn’t the best way you could’ve gone about things. But I wasn’t sure what I saw and I wasn’t sure he owed me an explanation and I wasn’t sure I wanted one. I also just wasn’t really sure how I wanted to proceed with him after that (you might be noticing a pattern but I’m just not sure).
I heard from Lyle a few days later, it was his birthday and he was hoping we could hang out. I was tempted to say yes and was feeling bad about the idea of leaving him to fly solo on his own birthday but the invite was more ‘hey, come over’ and less let’s go find some spontaneous birthday fun and I wasn’t sure where I stood in terms of being his only netflix and chill partner. I toyed with the idea and texted him most of the night but opted for staying in until I could get a better grasp on the situation. The next few days were more or less the same story – I got a text each night asking if I was around and a few snaps showing me what I was missing out on but I had a busy couple of days and it was giving me the time I needed to keep him at arm’s length while I debated whether or not I wanted to broach the subject of his possible other cuddle buddy.
As my busy weekend was winding down, I decided to take a peek into snapchat to have a look-sy at my friends’ snap stories from the past few days. Lyle had one posted as well so I clicked on it and low and behold there was a video of him goofing off with the mystery girl. In bed. Together. (I’m pretty sure together went without saying but . .) So there was my answer. They were definitely involved. Never in my life would I have thought that even with as invasive as technology can be, that I would watch the guy I was sleeping with lay in bed with another girl, on my phone. Sooo as you can probably imagine, that was the end of my fling with good ol’ Lyle. I decided that since he posted that knowing that I very well might see it, there was no point in addressing it with him period. We clearly had two very different sets of values and ideas of how we treat other people. I got rid of his texts, erased his number from my phone, and deleted him as a friend on snapchat.
Fast forward a month or so, three unanswered texts and a naked snap later (him to me obv ~~I didn’t realize that my settings allowed for anyone to be able to send me things and view my stories and for those of you wondering, I DO NOT send naked snaps), I finally though I had shaken Lyle Lyle Crocodile but no such luck. I had taken a photo of the bubble bath I was going to take one Friday night after a particularly long week at work when I got a snap message (you can send messages through the app) of a crying face and a text that he wished he had gotten an invite (p.s. points for originality going the taking a bath together route vs the typical hey let’s get a drink or watch a movie come on or just weird? I can’t decide.) Up until this point, even as I reminded myself that it was for the best that I had found out what was going on and was able to extricate myself from the love triangle I had never signed up to be a part of, every once in a while I would feel like the one who wasn’t picked or more often the one he didn’t care if they found out but it hit me that they had been dating for a while now and this poor other girl probably thought that they were exclusive all the while he had been dating, sleeping with, then trying to sleep with me. It really put things in perspective for me that the only thing I would’ve been picked for was to be two-timed. Let her be the girl that he fails to, in the words of poet Lady Leshurr, “hold [you]down like a snapchat” (you guys know when I say I’m quoting a poet, I usually mean I’m quoting a rapper, right?)
I still hear from Lyle from time to time. I still don’t engage, I just don’t see myself feeling any better off for expressing my feelings on the matter. But hey, on the plus side, my snapchat score’s gone up to 1,187. So there’s always that. Add me at meganroísín1227 if you want to see cat snaps and secret selfies (since my blog’s semi-anonymous).
photo cred: Copyright: <a href=’http://www.123rf.com/profile_juliatim’>juliatim / 123RF Stock Photo</a>