Are you someone who dates multiple women, always having one or two of them waiting in the wings? Do you have ladies on your Facebook or Instagram who you dated, felt less than excited about, but don’t want to write off entirely? Maybe you occasionally like or comment on their posts, just to remind them that you’re still out there. Are you interested in dating them again? Maybe… if you’re desperate enough. Will you randomly flirt and string them along?
What I have just described is known in the online-dating world as benching. You’re not taking these ladies out of the game, just delegating them to the sidelines, and it’s a douchebag practice that needs to stop.
If you’re genuinely undecided about someone and you need a little time to gather your thoughts that’s one thing; but knowing that you have no interest beyond keeping her around as a form of sexual insurance… that’s just gross. Read on to discover some better alternatives to benching.
Listen to Your Gut and Make a Choice
Listen to that persistent voice inside your head. Are you into her or not? If the answer is no, cut her loose right away. Don’t second guess yourself or keep her in your life out of guilt or concern for her feelings. Ultimately, it’s much kinder to be honest than it is to keep her wondering what you’re thinking.
Part of being a man (or woman) is learning how to make decisions and to take responsibility for them. Trust that you’re intuition will tell you if you should pursue something or not, and don’t get hung up on regret. I say this because I think that self-doubt can often lead to benching. If you really want to be with her, you’ll know early on.
Date More Women
I firmly believe that another reason for benching is the myth that women are hard to come by. Sure it can feel that way, when none of your messages are being returned and you’ve already scoured the dating site for new options. I’ve been there myself, tired of the effort and fearful of rejection. Sometimes it takes trying a new approach, or simply understanding that you’re not really that hard up, just feeling too tired or vulnerable to really appreciate all the options before you.
Broaden your parameters. Take more chances. Go out on as many dates as you can, and reserve your judgement for after you’ve met. You might be surprised by the number of great women you meet. Just be sure to follow my advice above, and be honest about your intentions as soon as you’ve discovered what they are. With new women entering your life, you should feel less inclined to bench the old ones.
Delete Her Contact Info when You Break It Off
If you’ve been known to drunk dial or cyber-stalk the ladies on your bench, deleting their contact info is the very first thing you should do. Even if you haven’t fallen victim to drunken desperation, it’s way too easy to string her along when her number is right there in your contacts.
I don’t recommend just disappearing without warning. That’s called ghosting and it’s really just benching’s equally douchey cousin. Have some integrity, grow some balls, and end things properly. Benching is a cowardly habit and you’re better than that, right?