You need to learn how to flirt again. I need to learn how to flirt again. We all need to learn how to flirt again.
Last night I ended up on an accidental double date. My newlywed friends had just moved to my neighbourhood, and due to the pandemic we got to celebrate neither their wedding nor their housewarming together. We were having some impromptu cocktails and a catch-up when a friend of theirs arrived. We are all double-vaxxed and the idea of meeting a meeting human is truly invigorating, to me, so when he started making various references to a particular woman in his life I found it disarming. Cool – he’s off the market and this is not at all a set-up. We’re golden. Let’s eat some pizza and get a little toasted. We’re all friends here. We’re comfortable. This is great.
It wasn’t until a couple of hours into the soirée that it unraveled that the woman he kept mentioning had made a very recent departure. He had broken up with said partner of a few years just a couple of days prior. As the drinks wore on, he started to put the vibe out there by caressing my shoulder and back. I hope the word “caress” makes you feel questionably repulsed, because that’s where I was – sitting in a small space with some friends and a super weird vibe. Sure – I’ve been on some pandemic dates, and our small group was all double-vaxxed, but I didn’t know him from Adam and he was tending to some really fresh wounds.
We left the condo and decided to try our luck at a bar, knowing full well with no reservation at almost midnight it was a bit of a pipe dream. Almost immediately, newly-single Sal started pulling me back so we *could talk*. He accused me of disliking him in the most bizarre way: “I think you’re a good looking girl – you’re beautiful, you’re fun, but we need to bury the hatchet.”
This continued an excessive amount throughout the course of the evening. “Let me buy you a shot and let’s bury the hatchet.” “I’m going to buy us a drink and we’ll bury the hatchet.” “I like you a lot, but let’s bury the hatchet.”
In earnest, I had no idea if he was flirting with me or if I even wanted to engage in flirting with newly-single Sal. The compliments followed by “BUT” made it seem like they were completely negated by the rest of his sentence. Which was fine, but what was this dude’s point? I kept reassuring him that there was no hatchet, no animosity, no bad blood, but buddy just was not getting it. With every pull of my arm to isolate me from our friends, I was growing aggravated.
To my own dismay, I often play the role of “Good Luck Chuck”. Right now, I’m actually really satisfied only having to parent plants. If someone comes along and is incredibly special and those sparks hit, then absolutely I would love to be in a relationship. I don’t, however, feel as though it’s my responsibility to tend to a random dude’s broken heart on Dundas West on a Saturday night.
Ultimately, because I wasn’t engaging in the kind of behaviour for which he was hoping, he walked away to socialize with another group of young women. Awesome. I had heard about enough about this damned hatchet and wanted to enjoy one of the first nights of liberty as we enter a post-
apocalyptic pandemic world without this man’s stressful energy.
He eventually came back as we were served our Gigglewater fries (iykyk) and he told me that I should leave. I’m the one that should leave because he wasn’t getting the kind of reaction to his advances he thought he deserved and the attention he craved. The three of us just stood there less in awe than in blank, exasperated silence. It was late. We were tired. We’re too old to be having a rager of a night, which quite frankly would have been impossible because I have an injury and it’s still Footloose in Uncle Dougie’s Ontario. Dancing is, indeed, still a crime. I don’t know what happened to Sal that night, but our carriage turned into a pumpkin and into an Uber. Our night was done and dusted.
I need to re-learn how to flirt. We all need to relearn how to flirt. But, if you give it a couple of shots and he/she/they aren’t interested, we all need to relearn how to be respectful and give it a rest.