I Dated Him After Being Benched — Here’s What I Learned

I Dated Him After Being Benched — Here’s What I Learned ©iStock/NKS_Imagery

I met a guy on a blind date and we hit it off big time. Then he went AWOL for a few weeks. I got benched! Worse, he returned, making it clear he was still interested. We had a great connection, so when he asked me out again, I thought, “Why not?” Big mistake, but hey, it was a learning experience.

  1. Benching is a fancy term for “keeping your options open.” After going on a few more dates with the guy, he totally ghosted me. We’d been texting daily when suddenly he didn’t reply to my last text — and I never heard from him again. I couldn’t understand it. It was like being pulled out of a football game when I was so close to making the winning shot! I realized the player was just keeping his options open by putting me on ice. He was all about playing the game without getting any results.
  2. The guy had issues. To spark interest in me then blow out the flame, only to reignite it? Who the hell does that? A player, that’s who. This guy’s picture should have accompanied the Bob Marley quote: “The biggest coward is a man who awakens a woman’s love with no intention of loving her.” The guy was not only a coward, but a commitment-phobe and jerk.
  3. I’d rather be told someone’s not interested. Enough with all the games and egos! The guy who benched me was clearly not 100% certain he wanted to date me, but I would’ve preferred for him to say so instead of giving me false hope. That just made me hurt and angry, two emotions I really didn’t need. Plus, he might have been confused but he shouldn’t have made his problem mine!
  4. The bencher didn’t feel the connection I did. He could have told me how much of a connection there was between us until the cows came home, but it was all part of his game. After being benched twice (eek), I was embarrassed that I’d come across as desperate when I really wasn’t. I had just believed we had a connection and something cool could have come of it. I wanted to keep the hope of love alive! But there was no use because if he’d felt that connection, he wouldn’t have thrown it away by benching me. I should have known that after being benched the first time.
  5. It was a wake-up call. Getting benched taught me something about myself as a then-single woman: I used to be too open and eager with guys. Sure, it’s cool to want to jump in and give things a chance, but when dealing with someone who hurt me as the bencher had, I should have played it cool and figured out his intentions first. I should have guarded my heart.
  6. Just because a guy’s hot doesn’t mean he can get away with benching. The guy who benched me was ridiculously good looking and used to lots of women wanting him. This made him think he could play around with all his options. Getting benched by a handsome guy taught me that looks are great but a bad attitude can rip them to shreds. After being benched, when I thought of the guy, I just saw an ugly AF dude.
  7. Dating doesn’t always bring closure. One of the worst things about being benched was that I didn’t get closure. The guy just disappeared, leaving me with lots of questions and making me analyze our previous interactions to death. But it taught me the cold, hard truth: dating doesn’t always end with closure. Things happened with that guy that left me going, “WTF?” but that doesn’t mean I should have held on or given him a second chance. He didn’t deserve one! The lack of sense in what he did was really enough of a sign for me to get up off the bench, dust myself off, and give myself closure by realizing I could do much better than that loser.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.