Actor and comedian Aziz Ansari painted a bleak picture of singledom on Conan not too long ago that we were reminded of the other evening after a tedious text message exchange. On the plus side, it was hilarious, but what’s sad is that any single young professional (YP) can relate. Thirty-year-old (and single) Ansari, who stars on Parks and Recreation, explores what love, marriage and babies mean to him with his current Buried Alive standup special (available on Netflix). He told O’Brien that another special was in the works, which will tour live next year (let’s hope for ample Canadian dates) and specifically tackles what it means to be single in this era, which Ansari calls a frustrating time. “I like the idea of being single in theory; you meet a bunch of people, you get to know them, then when you meet someone you really like, you pursue a deeper thing. That sounds cool. I would sign up for that,” he tells O’Brien. “But that’s not what being single is about anymore.”
While he imitates a text message exchange, Ansari explains what it is like to be single these days…
“Hey it was great meeting you, we should get together sometime.”
“Yeah, that would be great, be in touch.”
“Alright, cool. Bye.”
“Hey, what’s up? Should we grab a drink tonight?”
“Yeah, I am with friends in this neighbourhood.”
“Ok, cool, we’ll be down there soon. Can’t wait to see you.”
“Alright, cool. Bye.”
“Hey, what’s up? We’re almost there.”
“Shit, we just left.”
“Then, I’m like, thinking, why, why would you leave?! That’s so rude! You knew I was on the way!” he says before continuing….
“Maybe we can get a drink tomorrow?”
“Tomorrow is perfect, text me then and we will make a plan.”
“Alright, cool. Bye.”
“Hey, what’s up? Should we grab those drinks tonight?”
“I drank too much last night, going to stay in today.”
“I am, like, that’s not what was discussed yesterday… need a transcript of the convo? Scroll up on your phone,” says Ansari, before continuing the mock text exchange.
“Maybe we can meet up on Tuesday.”
“Tuesday is perfect, text me then and we will make plan.”
“Hey, what’s up, it’s Tuesday, should we get together today?”
Sound familiar? Exchanges like these have naturally inspired Ansari to view dating “like you’re a secretary for this really shoddy organization scheduling the dumbest shit with the flakiest people ever,” as he calls it. He has a point, especially with us time-strapped, over-committal, on-the-fence-as-to-whether-we-want-to-be-dating-in-the-first-place YPs. We’ve all been on both ends of this text exchange. There are many reasons for this…
1. When our knowledge of another person is limited to a brief meeting in a bar and a few text messages (or even a carefully created online profile) and when the hours in a week are so precious for most YPs, why would we waste our little free time with someone who could turn out to be a total creep, dummy or weirdo? Most of us would rather catch up with friends over cocktails where good times are guaranteed, not complete strangers.
2. Sometimes (guys, we’re looking at you) people pursue fellow singles at bars purely for the challenge and may not take a subsequent exchange of texts as seriously their fellow texter once the alcohol has worn off. This type may offer a few word-long responses just to be polite, as in the text exchange that Ansari explained. In reality, it may be better for all if they just didn’t reply at all and saved you both time.
3. With that said, we have on occasion sent out a thought-out text when we needed a little ego boost or attention from the opposite sex; even if we have zero interest in actually meeting in person. This could be out of boredom, loneliness, or to prove to our bruised ego that “we’ve still got it.” Is this fair? Absolutely not. Don’t make us feel worse about it.
4. The very device that facilitates such communication in the first place is the same that hinders your chance of ever actually meeting for the date. Why? The limitless options it offers, in everything from single-specific apps like Tinder to the multiple ways to find some better way to spend your time through all the happenings on social media, email, BBM, etc.
5. Some people are flaky or not ready for anything serious.
But if you are generally interested in a person, the wild goose chase of text messages will only serve to diminish your chances of ever meeting in person and will probably only annoy you. The solution? It’s called PICK UP THE DAMN PHONE, or reserve any banter for the TALK IN PERSON. If the person is serious about meeting, they will happily answer the phone or call you back when they can. The phone call, then, is a true test of someone’s interest. Of course, a couple of initial texts are fine for the phone-shy, but if a person seems unresponsive as to whether or not they want to meet, leave it in their hands and tell them to let you know when they can. And don’t ask again; he or she knows how to get a hold of you.
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Cover image courtesy of: HotNewsGator