Disappearing Dates

While at a bar in San Francisco, I met a 32-year old former college football player from the Midwest. He was in town with friends, and we chatted for a while before they moved on to another bar, but not before getting my business card.

I was excited the next day to find two voicemails on my work phone, as he didn't have my cell. We scheduled a date for the weekend. We met out in the Castro for drinks, and spent a couple of hours talking. While he went to order another drink, I went to the bathroom.

When I returned, he had disappeared, never to be seen again. Surely, there must have been a mistake. We were getting along great. Was there an emergency? Had something happened to him?

I tried phoning to make sure everything was OK, but no one answered.

It would be almost 24 hours before I received a voicemail from him - on my work phone, where he apologized for the night getting away from him, whatever that meant.

Unfortunately, that wasn't the only feat of teleportation achieved while I was in a restroom.

Just last year, I chatted up a scruffy-looking 38-year old transplant who’d recently moved to San Francisco from New York, but was originally from Georgia. We hit it off, and he bought a round of drinks.

Another Southerner eyed us and finally introduced himself. He was only 22 and had just moved to the West Coast from Kentucky.

Soon, it was my turn to buy Georgia a drink, so I walked to the bar, where Kentucky followed and propositioned me. I explained to him that I had just met Georgia, and I couldn’t ditch him; as that would be rude.

So I got Kentucky’s phone number and promised to hang out another time. Then I returned to Georgia with a round of drinks, and excused myself to hit the restroom. When I returned, Georgia had left the bar, leaving only the untouched drink behind.

I would have preferred some sort of explanation, which I still didn’t get when I found him shortly after on Grindr. He was already two miles away.

The following day, when I texted Kentucky, he apologized for leading me on and asked me to stop texting him.


Naturally, my oversensitive self replayed every conversation I'd had with these people trying to understand if I said something that had scared them off, but I came up with nothing. This was not what a reluctant gay man with suffering self esteem needed.

Were they bipolar? On drugs? Suffering from short-term memory loss?

I can't imagine ditching another human being like that, be it a friend, a classmate, or a date. Is it that awkward to feign fatigue and just excuse yourself to go home? It's hard not to take this personally, especially when it happens across multiple ages and demographics.

I don't hear straight female friends enduring this type of utter disregard in their dating life. So why is it so rampant with the gays?

Have you been taken for a ride?

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