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It’d be one thing if we were occasionally hanging out (or even becoming fuck buddies), but that never happened.I’d invite him over, but his phone always “died omg so sorry.” Every time I was ready to dismiss him, though, he’d find some way to make his presence known.So I would ping him occasionally, just enough to pique his interest and dangle the carrot of a possible relationship without ever actually following through with plans.To use a sports metaphor (my first ever), he would be on the roster but not in play; I’d decided to bench him.It’s like they’ve died but keep coming back to life.” I ask Jean if she thinks women can be benchers, and she pauses briefly before responding.“I think women do play games with men in their lives who have been around for a while, just waiting in the wings,” she says.

If I know that I’m in a position of status because you want me more than I want you, I’ll just keep you dangling. But if we’re to be honest, benching is just the slow kiss-off.He’d double-tap weeks-old Instagram posts or ask me to have lunch in Greenpoint in half an hour (which is the grossest nonstarter of an invitation if I’ve ever heard one).The texts themselves would invariably be punctuated by baffling kissy-face and see-no-evil monkey emoji — the universal language offlirtation.“Maybe they’ll text them to get a quick ego stroke.But I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a woman who does this to a new guy she’s ambivalent about seeing.” Conor agrees: “Women, for the most part, still subscribe to the traditional dating idea that if the guy doesn’t reach out, it won’t happen.

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