I AM DONE DATING PEOPLE WHO DON’T MAKE PLANS

For several months last year, I was sleeping with a guy who didn’t really believe in having a social schedule. I mean, he had a laid-back part-time job, attended rehearsals sometimes, and fulfilled responsibilities for his family that he couldn’t escape, but he didn’t choose an hour and a location to meet folks on the regular. He actually told me once that when he has a day off he wanders the streets of Toronto until he runs into someone he knows and then he spends the rest of the day with that person. The person who he HAPPENED to run into. I speak no word of a lie.

This is how he operated on a daily basis. And no, I wasn’t dating Jordan Catalano. This was a real human person who continues to not be a character from My So-Called Life. Although, we definitely did have an Angela-Jordan vibe going on. He would be totally irresponsible thinking it was edgy and interesting and charming and I would be totally frustrated by his irresponsibility thinking it was none of those things.

As you can imagine, his non-agenda made having intercourse rather difficult since you typically need to be in the same room with someone in order to intercourse them. The majority of fornication that we had together was a result of me bumping into him at an event, me getting a drink at the bar where he worked, me randomly being free when he unexpectedly came to one of my shows, me occasionally being awake when he texted me super late at night, and me magically catching him while he was ACTIVE on Facebook messenger. We did successfully book some dates a few days prior to our coitus sessions, but it wasn’t common.

You know what WAS common? Him cancelling at the last minute, asking to reschedule, or forgetting that my existence was a thing. He was a nice enough guy and a cool enough dude and I liked him lots, which is why I tolerated his self-involvement for way too long, but his communication skills left something (everything) to be desired. He just couldn’t “play by the rules” (and by “rules” I mean a calendar and by “play” I mean “look at a calendar.”)

I knew that texting and calling and emailing and writing and speaking made him feel a bit anxious, thus I tried to be empathetic, but it was hard to look at his struggle as only a struggle and not him hurting my heart over and over and over again. When I would sadly message him to inquire as to when we would be seeing each other next, or if he was on his way ‘cause we were supposed to get lunch, or if he remembered who I was, he would instantly apologize and ask if I received his text, which included justifiable reasons for why he couldn’t/hadn’t/wouldn’t make plans. I would then roll my eyes, nod my head in sarcastic agreement with his elaborate excuses for his extreme disorganization and respond with, “It’s fine. See ya later,” or “I can’t believe you’re doing this to me again,” or “Seriously. What the FUCK, man? I’m done.” And then I would delete his number, mentally say adios, and inevitably bump into him at an event a month later (only to begin the ridiculous cycle once again).

Eventually I came to my senses and ended our long, fickle string of trysts, and although possibilities of banging again have surfaced (and I’ve been guilty of tossing out a curt, horny request here and there), I know it’s for the best to cease and desist. My personality simply can’t handle this brand of spontaneous rendezvous. Plus, my rational thought and my self-worth and my demand to be treated like a sentient creature can’t handle it either.

I am very much finished with dating folks who refuse to take thirty seconds out of their day to look at their Google calendar, choose an empty box, and type in “Hang out with Jess.” If they can’t meet this base level, necessary component of making sex appointments, then they’re not deserving of my time or my energy or my vulva. If you want the goods you gotta reserve the goods. You gotta pencil in the arrival of my vagina using the easy-to-understand concept of a seven-day week and a twelve-month year and Eastern Standard Time. You gotta purchase a working clock or glance at your phone every now and then or ask strangers on the street what hour it is and if you’re ten minutes late how much cunnilingus you should provide to receive forgiveness. That’s BASE LEVEL, people. You can’t wander the streets hoping to run into the person you like who just so happens to be at your disposal for the entire evening. That’s not an effective method for romance.

I find it mind-boggling that obeying the laws of space and time in relation to dating has become a novelty or a surprising bonus. “Oh. They actually wrote down WHEN your party starts and they showed up a few minutes EARLY? Holy Christ! Someone give this muddled individual a ring so they can propose ASAP. They’re clearly head over heels in love!” Seriously, when did scheduling something in advance, respecting another person’s time, and meeting up before 3 am become not the norm?

I know that everyone is different and certain people enjoy flying by the seat of their skinny jeans, but most of the population that I hear from are annoyed by this newly established culture of “last minute” everything. In my opinion, it’s incredibly selfish and disrespectful and inconsiderate to tell your paramour that you’ll hang out when YOU’RE free. What about when I’M free? Does that factor into this equation at all? Or are we purely having sex and getting drinks and eating food based on YOUR availability? Am I expected to drop everything on a dime to see YOUR dick? Oh, I am? Cool. Just wanted to clarify the power dynamics here. Bye forever!

Plans are a requirement for me these days and for most employed people who own friends and have family and aren’t a robot created to pleasure privileged straight men 24/7. I’m a busy fucking person with constant deadlines to meet and comedy to perform and pals to be there for and a mom to visit and laundry to clean once a month and an overall solid life that needs to be lived. So I can’t really spare the emotional turbulence or the lost time or the guaranteed frustration that comes with dating an unreliable narcissist. I am officially saying “NO!” to every transient vagabond whose concept of a schedule is not having a schedule. I’m done. Adios. If you want the goods, you reserve the goods, and if you don’t, then bye forever!

24 Comments

  1. Allana Reoch
    December 30, 2015

    You are the voice of reason for our generation

  2. Si Si Zhou
    December 30, 2015

    Melissa Lee I only read the title so far lol

  3. Tanya Natalie
    December 30, 2015

    Based on the title I was all ready to share..then I read it. I’m confused…by a lot.

  4. Fabio Neves
    December 30, 2015

    There’s a balance to be had. I wouldn’t date a person who insists on scheduling a date three months from now on a Thursday at 5:38 because life simply can’t be planned that far. But yeah, flakiness sucks.
    For the record, I’m a flâneur with a flexible schedule myself, and there’s a lot to be said about just winging it. But if I say I’ll be somewhere at a given time, it means I’ll likely arrive 5 minutes early.

  5. Rochelle Latinsky
    December 30, 2015

    Bless you for always putting in writing how I feel about dating.

  6. Rachelle Williams
    December 30, 2015

    There is a special place in hell for people (and dudes especially re: dating) who cannot, *as a rule*, make and keep plans. It’s inconsiderate and self-involved and communicates a lack of effort/interest, even if that’s not the message one wants to send – which leads to nothing but a lot of frustration and straight up missed opportunities. Hats off to you for writing the manifesto I have shout-lamented after almost every thwarted dating scenario over the last few years. Things can’t happen if you don’t show up. BE A REAL PERSON!

  7. Rachelle Williams
    December 30, 2015

    Also U0001f44fU0001f44fU0001f44fU0001f44fU0001f44fU0001f44fU0001f44f for good measure.

  8. Dasko
    December 30, 2015

    Good for you Jess! Cut anyone out of your life who doesn’t have time for you! I made this decision a few years back and haven’t looked back since!

  9. Meagan Crawford
    December 30, 2015

    “Just wanted to clarify the power dynamics here.”
    For one fleeting moment she brushed up against the truth

  10. Anne Marie Silva
    December 30, 2015

    Amen sister!!! Amen!!!
    Sick of “tating” (that’s what I call it) too! That combo of texting and dating…the period where you get to know someone via text…then there is this line that’s crossed where you can tell it’s turned into texting out of boredom…and no plans made!
    I’d rather take a fork and stab myself in the eye.

  11. Kol Aerndis
    December 30, 2015

    People with anxiety issues aside, I like this girl–I personally can’t stand wasting mental preparation/gearing-up to go through with a plan, only to have said plan cancelled. Or worse–cancelled & rescheduled several times IF said rescheduling is unnecessary.

  12. halshak
    December 30, 2015

    This plus people whose lives are way too busy they need to pencil you into their busy calendar for something in a week or two weeks or more are just an instant bye-bye for me.

  13. Ani Hajderaj
    December 30, 2015

    Yeah! Men suck! #MaximumTriggered

  14. Harith Al-Shakarchi
    December 30, 2015

    I get a lot of “tating” from women too… If we do agree to make plans it’s in the distant future and we’re supposed to keep up the texting. Hate it.

  15. Pete Forde
    December 30, 2015

    Why dudes especially? I don’t think we have a monopoly on flaky behavior.

  16. Rachelle Williams
    December 30, 2015

    Pete Forde Just meant in the context of dating, as per the essay topic (I’m a straight woman). That realm is where no plans, apathy, and flakiness drive me nuts and suck the most. It also sucks in general! That being said, I rarely encounter it much outside of dating.

  17. Pete Forde
    December 30, 2015

    Rachelle Williams I’m sorry about the douchebags. I’m single and I use a calendar, if you know anyone looking.

  18. Vicki-maree Brimmell
    December 30, 2015

    Let’s face it. he’s just not that into you!

  19. Susan Busse
    December 31, 2015

    I wish more gals would not accept disrespect from guys. I think it’s up to us to collectively raise the standard again.

  20. AishaBrown
    December 31, 2015
  21. Wendy
    January 14, 2016

    Kudos to you Jess for reclaiming your vagina! But can we just dig a bit below all the surface humour about our shitty experiences with assclowns? Sometimes we chase people who have clearly shown disinterest as a way of validating our own self-worth.  The desire to try to change someone’s opinion of us and have them start seeing us as worthy – valuable — special — is an endless quest if we don’t realize that’s what we’re looking for at the core.

    It’s also easier to blame the people who treated us badly instead of looking introspectively as to why we would find such a person who cancels plans and doesn’t text us back — so attractive. 

    And although I agree with you that this type of flaky behaviour is completely unacceptable and annoying – and believe me, it has happened to me….it will continue to happen in society and in our dating lives when there are people around to chase/ normalize it /accept it beyond the first indication of it. 

    For any of those readers who can relate to Jess’s story and who have a repeated pattern of this happening to them —  Can I recommend you check out Baggage Reclaim. (blog/Facebook page) I highly recommend her insight.

    Love and Peace,
    Wendy

  22. MonokandilosaJuliana
    March 20, 2016

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  23. Campfire30
    April 10, 2016

    Jess suffers from codependency. It’s clinical. I don’t think she’s aware of it.

  24. Campfire30
    April 10, 2016

    I literally can’t tell if you are a parody or not. Please forgive my ignorance and end my suspense: Are you for real?

    “He actually told me once that when he has a day off he wanders the streets of Toronto until he runs into someone he knows and then he spends the rest of the day with that person. The person who he HAPPENED to run into. I speak no word of a lie.”

    My word, somebody help me to the fainting couch. Imagine an adult human being spending their days in a way that you don’t prefer. How can people treat you this way after all you insist on doing for them?

    “Plans are a requirement for me these days and for most employed people who own friends and have family and aren’t a robot created to pleasure privileged straight men 24/7.”

    You accidentally revealed yourself here. “…for most employed people who own friends…” You don’t own your friends, dear. You didn’t choose codependency, but you can choose to get help.

    If you are a parody, forgive me and you are a brilliant parody.

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