Dating Dictionary: Being Lead On


The other day, I went on a date.

The first date in a long time, longer than I care to mention. The guy and I met on a dating app at the beginning of the week, and he was really nice. He has a job that he likes, has his own place, thought I was beautiful, yadda yadda yadda. We would text and conversations would fall short because he would end up calling me gorgeous or sexy and I would sort of just giggle and say thank you. I thought, “Maybe he translates better in person. Let me give the nice guy for a chance once in awhile.”

Fast forward to yesterday, the time is 6:50 PM. I drive on down to our designated meeting spot, a Starbucks halfway between where we both live. I was nervous because like I said, I hadn’t been on a date in so long, not to mention in a relationship, so I wasn’t really sure how to act. All I knew is that I looked great and I’m a dynamic individual with a lot to say, so I threw myself into the ring.

He was a very nice guy, honestly he was. He bought my drink for me, and was very courteous and respectful. Nothing was necessarily wrong with him, I just didn’t like him. It wasn’t a bad date per-se, he just was tooeager. He was too smiley, he looked like he tried a little too hard, he was too into me. Plus, the only thing we had in common was the socks we were wearing. He still spent time with all his friends from high school; I probably still only talk to three of mine. He plays sports and watches them with his buddies on Sundays; I go to art exhibits, concerts, and night clubs. He was raised on Guns ‘N’ Roses and AC/DC; I grew up with Jagged Edge and Boyz II Men. We’re in different stages of our lives, and he didn’t seem like the type of guy who could keep up with my unpredictable schedule. I feel he thought it was going really well but honestly I was really bored. I talked a lot about interesting stuff and I would ask interesting questions and he would just respond so dully. The man hasn’t lived, and from what I could tell of his body language, he thought maybe I could be the person to get him to start.

After the date, he suggested we go on an adventure. My ears perked, thinking, “Hey, maybe this guy isn’t as lame as I thought.” When we were texting, he brought up how we could go on adventures, which I was excited about, and I brought a jacket and an extra hoodie in my car in case such an occasion should arise. He also said in his profile bio that he enjoyed adventures, which was one of the things that piqued my interest. Following the suggestion, he said, “I’m feeling a movie.” (I’m sorry but how did you go from adventure to movie? Going to a movie is not an adventure, it’s going to a movie.) I tried to be helpful by looking up some movie times while he visited the restroom, thinking we could just chill out and maybe that way I wouldn’t have to force so much of a conversation on him. (That, and maybe I could get a free movie out of this guy that I could write a review on, to be quite honest.) When he came back, I told him the recent movies available and he wasn’t gravitating towards any of them, so he hit me with the most formal, sheepish Netflix-and-Chill plea I’ve ever heard in my life.

“I don’t know if this is too forward, but.. M-maybe we could go to my place? I have movies there.”
“…What do you have?”
“Well I have a great cable package where I get, like, every movie channel ever. And I have Netflix, but only on my laptop.”

Mind you, it’s almost 9 PM. In my book, that’s the dicking hour. I then straight up told him that I’m not really interested in that alternative “adventure,” and I would really just like to call it a night because I had a breast cancer walk to be at the following morning, which I did. (I don’t often lie to people, even if I don’t like them or care for them, but I feel like he thought it was a lie, which honestly isn’t my problem.) Before I left, I used the restroom just to give myself the once over, and walking out, I could tell he was self conscious after my reaction. He said, “I’m sorry if that suggestion was too forward,” keeping up the faithful nice guy behavior. I told him the again about the walk, how early it was and how I really needed to go home, so we hugged and I told him I’d “see him later.” (Poor choice in words on my part, because I had no intention on seeing him later.) When he hugged me, he hesitated and I could tell he wanted to kiss me, but that clearly wasn’t going to happen, and on my way home I felt kind of bad but also was overwhelmed with vast indifference.

Then, in the comfort of my own bed, I did what any mature, strong woman would do: unmatched his profile with mine and stopped following him on social media.

Granted, I should have waited about a week, meticulously dwindle my responses, and slowly slipped from traceable earth in an inconspicuous way; but my level of nonchalance was so high, it didn’t make a difference.

He then texted me, clearly with an upset tone, asking, “so you unfollowed me on Instagram, huh?” (Sidebar: He basically forced me to follow his Instagram. Before he gave it to me, he told me he put it on private, and then asked me if I “wasn’t going to give him the follow.” I caved and followed just so I could see if he was more photogenic on his page. He wasn’t.) He then sent me a second text, saying, “You could have told me in person if you had a problem with anything I did or said. I really expected more from you, that was a pretty cowardly thing to do.” I then answered, saying he didn’t do anything wrong, but I usually only use social media to keep up with friends and career, which also is true. He then proceeded to check the dating app if we were disassociated as well, and told me he doesn’t appreciate “games” and that if I was going to “lead him on” that we shouldn’t talk anymore.

I find this so comical. He didn’t post anything in the week I was forced to follow him, and from looking at his feed, the content was uncurated and uninspiring. Also, Instagram is a social platform that holds no value in who you are as a person. There are some people I’m friends with who I don’t follow on social media because I am neither inspired nor impressed by their content. It doesn’t mean I don’t think there’s anything redeeming in them, just the way they choose to share and what they share on social media ceases to interest me. It’s that simple.

Still, I’m mystified. What about my behavior was misleading? I entertained probably the dullest discourse of conversation I’ve ever carried with another person for TWO HOURS (which honestly felt like four), without checking my phone ONCE. I was a good conversationalist, and managed to conceal my struggle to pull topics out of the air for us to continue to build a shabby dialogue out of. He bought me a drink, a $5 cup of sugar, whipped cream, cinnamon and hot water that I originally planned to buy for myself. I refuted his attempt at bating me to his living space where I could be cornered in the nicest, most gentle possible way.

So how exactly did I lead him on? What games did I play?

Yes, I can admit that we spoke everyday for the past week, but it wasn’t real talking. Essentially, it was him telling me I’m beautiful, while I asked him real personality-essence questions, and him answering them with worse answers than I’ve heard from the kids on Toddlers and Tiaras. Yes, I can admit that saying “See You Later!” with no intent to see someone again can have repercussions, but it was a force of habit; I say the same thing to my friend who lives 4,600 miles away after we get off the phone.

However, I don’t think I ever gave him any implication that I wanted to be around him or spend anymore time with him. Every time he said, “maybe we’ll do that together” when I mentioned something he should try, I always replied with maybe or just breezed over the statement, because I was trying to be nice.

Just because anyone is nice to you does not mean they want to be with you, or are obligated to do so. I said I wanted to spend time together because I find it pointless to find a connection and do nothing about it. He suggested getting coffee and that’s what we did. Women are nice because society grooms us to be nice, polite, pretty, submissive and the rest of that crap.

Regardless of if the experience was great or not, I did learn a variety of things, but the most important would be to find your bliss. Don’t settle for someone just because they admire you. I feel as though a lot of people are in relationships and even married with that dynamic in action and still wonder why they’re so miserable. Have your lover be your best friend, someone who you can empathize with, someone who relates to you. This guy just wasn’t the dude for me. He obviously felt differently, so in my opinion he kind of lead himself on.

What are your opinions on this situation? Have you ever lead someone on? Have you ever been lead on? Let us know in the comments!

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