Raise your hand if you’re guilty of phasing someone out at some point or another. Most of us have done it and it’s not a cowardly thing. You’ve been on a handful of dates and you’re just not feeling it but sitting that person down to a formal breakup speech might seem psycho since you’re still basically strangers. So instead, you opt for the phase out i.e. answering voicemails with texts and generally acting disinterested. It’s sort of harsh but whatever. A normal person will get over it in about a week or so.
I was a huge advocate of the phase out until I started noticing guys turning the tables and totally burning me with the sneaky reverse phaseout. The first time the reverse phase out happened, I’d been out with a guy three times and at the end of each date, he’d given me the enthusiastic, “call me!” goodbye. Um sure, whatever you say, dude.
In my mind, guys are the ones who are supposed to take care of any date follow-up and scheduling. So whenever he’d tell me to call him, I wouldn’t. He’d eventually call me and we’d go out again. Sure enough, at the end of the night he’d tell me to call him and I’d nod and roll my eyes. After the third date, I realized I could sum up my feelings for him with an unenthusiastic “meh” and I knew it was time to put the phase out into action.
When his fourth date phone call came around, I ignored it and texted him something non-committal the next day. A few days later, he texted me saying he was sorry he’d been so busy and he wanted to do something Saturday. He promised to call me. Come Saturday, I was ready to ignore his call and text back an excuse but he never called. What a relief; he’d gotten the hint! Phase out = success. It was like the Gods of Mutual Disinterest smiled down on me. Birds sang at me on the street. There was a twinkle in my smile. I was like Snow White, twirling around town with a pep in my step.
Two weeks later, I awoke to a 2am text from Mr. Call Me. “Sorry I never called.” What the WHAT? I replied, “I didn’t call you either!” Annoyed, I awaited a response. But, it never came. He’d executed a textbook reverse phase out on me. In no time, I’d become the desperate girl sending the final text a few pathetic seconds after he’d sent one. Birds no longer sang at me. They just shook their little bird heads as if chastising me for taking his text bait. Curses!
This should’ve taught me to opt for the premature breakup instead of the phase out in future pseudo-relationships, but it didn't. I will continue to just hope that he miraculously forgets that he was ever attracted to me and pray that he doesn't try some reverse phase out maneuver on me first.