Hello fellas. My name is Jay, and welcome to The Mansplainer column. This is where I step out of my Gucci’s to put myself in your shoes, and then try to outwit life’s greatest conundrums known to men. Keyword being ‘try’, because unlike bad advice columns out there, I don’t pretend to be an ass of a know-it-all.
This week, a reader writes in about the perils of online dating.
“What’s a good way to quickly leave a Tinder date that turned out to be a Catfish?” – Kelvin T., 26
Say she got the wrong person, quickly turn the other cheek and go home.
I’m kidding, of course. The short answer is, never be a dick about it no matter how ‘cheated’ you feel (I put it in inverted commas because you didn’t do your due diligence on Instagram before the date). Or at least, appear not to be one.
I remember when the Tinder fever first hit me back in 2014. I had gone out on a date in my zeal. It was my third from the app, I think – obviously, not enough for me to be savvy towards the concept of Catfishing.
Whereas my digital doctoring had only consisted of an auto adjustment of brightness and contrast, my date had clearly taken great pains to look like a Miss Singapore Universe hopeful on Tinder. Because when I did meet her near the rooftop bar we were supposed to go, she was universal all right – in size.
I put on my best poker face, smiled, and went ahead to drown my thickening disappointment in Daiquiris. Ten minutes into the date, I texted a close friend to call me back in five, and to ignore everything that I would say. He duly phoned back.
“What do you mean she can’t see yourselves in the future?” I said in mock concern. “Where are you now? I can’t hear shit with all that weeping.”
When I hung up, I told my Tinder date that we’d have to do it another time. A bro was dealing with an unexpected breakup, and my presence was needed immediately. I probably apologised a thousand times before I left her high and dry.
The moral I’m trying to drive home is, you don’t have to formulate an elaborate ruse to cut your losses. I was merely dabbling in my budding interest in improv.
Ejecting yourself from a Catfish situation – widely considered a scourge on the online dating scene – could be a simple matter of asking her if she’s got plans lined up after the lunch/dinner/coffee/drinks.
When she turns the question over to you, you could offer something safe: you need to get going to catch the big match with the bros. Alternatively, you could get creative depending on how situationally aware you are, like how you need to rush for the early MRT closure.
Whatever it is, a little honesty goes a long way. It’s heinously ironic that I say this, sure, but I really meant you shouldn’t make the same mistake that I did: Giving her false hopes and making it explicit that you guys should do this again sometime. The truth is, that fall back line is just an euphemism for ‘I’m totally ghosting you’.
You’re already back to the swiping board, aren’t you?
Got bouts of manly troubles keeping you up at night, and don’t know how to deal? A little mansplanation could help you go a long way.