My date lied and used coronavirus as an excuse to not meet again
I had one of my best and worst dates recently.
After six weeks of talking to a man named Ray* on Tinder – because I was in no rush to meet anyone in person during a pandemic – we decided to have dinner and drinks at an outdoor restaurant.
We had a great time, laughed a lot and ended up staying for hours. We didn’t organise a second date then and there, but I assumed that he would ask about it later.
In the days following, I tried calling to keep the conversation going – he didn’t call back. He also began taking longer to answer the few texts I’d sent (an obvious sign that someone just isn’t that into you) and even replied with some unprovoked angry messages, such as complaining that I didn’t laugh at his jokes.
Ray was showing more red flags than a bull rider at a competition, so I didn’t consider him a romantic prospect anymore. But online dating is time-consuming and since I wasn’t speaking to any other men at the time, I decided that our fling could be a fun distraction.
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A week after our first and only date, came the final blow: ‘I don’t feel well today. I would rather talk when I’m not worried I have Covid. Thanks.’
I asked why he thought he had coronavirus, but received no list of symptoms or further explanation.
‘I sure hope not and I don’t think I do, but I’m not feeling well as I said. Talk to you later. Please and thank you,’ came the reply.
Translation: I was being blown off and Ray was using the virus as his excuse. You’d think I’d be mad, but I actually think it’s genius.
Initially, I was very surprised. Based on multiple conversations we’d had before our date, I knew that he was already taking extreme precautions to prevent himself from contracting Covid-19. Maybe he could have really had it, but since he has now gone silent, I think it’s probably unlikely.
But who can argue with a person who says that they might have coronavirus?
Without a hazmat suit, a cotton swab, and a test site readily available, there is no way to prove that your date is lying.
It may seem distasteful, given the devastation this pandemic has caused, but I don’t believe anyone using Covid-19 as an excuse underestimates this virus. I think people are just trying to cope with our reality in any way they can.
I told Ray that I’m available if he wants someone to talk to, and I wished him good luck. He didn’t text me again.
The coronavirus excuse doesn’t just apply to dating.
I have read various social media posts that feature people bragging about how the pandemic is allowing them to turn down offers to meet up with friends when they rather stay at home.
The pandemic makes hiding your disinterest in someone easier than ever before, and my experience has taught me that, in 2020, it is the most effective way to reject someone
People can now capitalise on this historic moment in time.
For example, if you don’t want to go to brunch, simply tell friends you’re worried others won’t socially distance. If you don’t want to attend a baby shower, claim that you feel it’s best not to attend so that you can protect the mum-to-be.
And if you don’t want to have sex, tell your other half that worries about the pandemic are making it impossible for you to get in the mood.
The pandemic makes hiding your disinterest in someone easier than ever before, and my experience has taught me that, in 2020, it is the most effective way to reject someone.
If someone fakes concern about having caught the Rona, they’ll be granted 14 days of solitude and space, thanks to social distancing. No questions asked.
Within two weeks of quarantine, the person they’re no longer interested in dating will hopefully just move on to other prospects and the event they missed will no longer be on anyone’s mind.
I hate turning down an invitation just as much as I dislike being questioned about why I don’t want to attend something. Coronavirus is an efficient get out of jail free card because most people won’t interrogate you for details – it’s a plausible excuse.
Sometimes we would just rather stay home instead of being social, and that’s a hard thing to tell a friend, family member or date.
No one is saying that coronavirus hasn’t wrought havoc, costing lives and throwing everything we know and love into a state of flux and uncertainty. I also appreciate that to some it may feel odd to use this virus as a line to fob someone off, but so many of us are genuinely fearful of what the future holds, that using this excuse is small fry in the scheme of things.
Giving someone an excuse, even a poor one, will always be better than ghosting, so I’m not upset about Ray’s lie – in fact I appreciated his dishonesty.
*Name has been changed.
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