Dating is about as fun as banging your cold big toe repeatedly against the corner of a coffee table while someone yells at you, “HI, NOW I’VE GOTTEN TO KNOW YOU A BIT I’VE DECIDED I DON’T WANT TO SEE YOU EVER AGAIN. BUT DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY. BYE.”
I would very much like to meet someone, anyone, who has mastered the art of not taking total rejection by another human being, personally. It feels pretty goddamn personal.
As someone who spent about four years, most of my early 20s, dating, I consider myself an expert.
I’ve been ghosted (when someone drops out of contact immediately for seemingly no reason).
LISTEN: Mia Freedman, Holly Wainwright and I discuss the dating trend of ‘stashing’. Post continues below.
I’ve been breadcrumbed (when contact is on and off, but they never actually take you on a date).
I’ve been benched (when the person you’re seeing subs you out for someone else, and then calls you again when that didn’t work out).
And it was all as pleasant as it sounds.
The new dating buzzword is one most of us have experienced: stashing. And IT’S SUPER FUN.
Stashing is when the person you are dating refuses to introduce you to anyone in their lives, and appears to actively hide you from their family and friends.
Often, the stashee will keep their distance from you on social media, to ensure there is absolutely no evidence that you actually sleep together twice a week and after a few drinks he/she sometimes holds your hand.
Your entire relationship occurs in private, and it certainly isn’t by accident.
I have absolutely been stashed, and it went like this.
I met a guy on Tinder. We went for drinks. We appeared to like each other.
He added me on Facebook and Instagram, but never liked anything I posted for the duration of our three-month-or-so… thing. Not that I noticed. Or posted things and waited to see if he’d like it. I didn’t do that but I imagine some people do. (I did that).
He still lived at home, and only had me over when his parents were away.
“It’s just a coincidence!” I reasoned.
But it was not a coincidence.
I would justify to people, "Oh we're definitely a thing because he totally introduced me to his friends last Saturday night!"
But we ran into them. By accident. And when he introduced me, he just said, "This is Jessie".
Then. One night after about three months of seeing each other, I saw him at a bar. From a distance.
So I messaged him.
I repeat: This person who I had been sleeping with for months was so unapproachable, that I chose to message him rather than physically alert him to my presence.
You can listen to the full episode of Mamamia Out Loud, here.
He replied two hours later, after I'd left.
It was then I knew for sure that I had been brutally stashed - and if I had any self respect I had to run far, far away.
Here's my hot tip: If you're six months in, and you've never met any of their friends or family, something's up.
Unless they live thousands of kilometres away, or the person you're dating has managed never to make a friend in their multiple years of living, you're being stashed.
And GURL. You deserve better.