Maybe you live in a small town and it’s inevitable. Maybe you live in a big city and live near each other, or maybe, you live in a big city and just have the worst luck in the world. You walk into work on a Wednesday morning, hungover and bleary-eyed, clutching your coffee like a talisman against human contact.
You reach down and fumble for your ID card, hoping the security guard doesn’t smell your regret from the previous evening. Luckily, he smiles and nods and you head for the elevator bank, eyes down and concentrating on your phone. Ding! You look up briefly to identify which elevator is opening when you lock eyes with the Bumble date you went out with two weeks ago and who you straight up ghosted despite their repeated efforts to set up a second date.
This was one of those dates where you showed up and knew immediately it wasn’t going anywhere. Those high angle selfies in outdoor lighting on their profile painted an EXTREMELY generous picture of this person that doesn’t quite match up with reality. You knew something was off when they texted you that they were, “jazzed to meet you, but in a cool mysterious way!” but you brushed off your instincts as being oversensitive.
Their social skills immediately confirmed your first impression and made you wonder why we haven’t all agreed to abide by Barney Stinson’s Lemon Law ages ago. However, you’re a nice person, so you suffer through the stilted conversation for two to three overpriced craft cocktails before claiming an early meeting requiring your immediate departure. You dodge the kiss attempt in favor of a quick hug and hop in your waiting Uber, which spirits you away to catch up with your friends at a different bar instead.
Obviously, you were delightful company, so your Bumble date continuously texts you to try and set up a second date. After a few curt non-replies, you think you have successfully ghosted. Your date seems to get the message and stops texting gradually, then completely. You breathe a sigh of relief, thinking they are out of your life forever. You remember them saying they worked in your office building, but it’s so large that the odds of ever seeing them are almost zero. After all, you’ve worked there for a year and never run into them before. Then, two weeks later, you find yourselves face to face in the elevator lobby of your office building. You both see each other, you both know what happened, and there’s no way to change direction. So, what do you do?
1) The RomCom Dash
Depending on your relative positions and how crowded the location is, you can pull a classic RomCom move and duck behind the tallest person or object in your immediate vicinity. I would highly recommend a large potted palm frond or that former D1 center who just got hired in your office. I have done this and I can confirm that it works, but you will get strange looks from the other people who see you doing it so it depends on your level of dignity.
2) The Very Important Email
Pretending to be suddenly fascinated by something very important on your phone is the way to go if you have very low tolerance for confrontation or a lack of large objects to hide behind. Is it the most adult and mature thing to do? No, but slightly more mature than hiding behind a large potted plant. Do people do it all the time? Yes. If your Bumble date decides to be the bigger person and come talk to you anyway, you’re fucked. However, if they mutually and silently agree to do the same, you can simply slink away into the elevator crowd (or a different elevator) and hope this situation never happens again. Of course, because you’re incredibly unlucky, it will definitely happen again and this isn’t a long term solution.
3) The Quick Nod
Maybe you’ve accepted this is going to keep happening or maybe you’re from the Midwest and you just don’t have it in you to be outright rude. It is perfectly acceptable to keep their gaze, smile, do a quick “sup?” nod, and then walk purposefully past them and around the corner to avoid being caught in meaningless conversation with them. This is a good middle ground option that will make you seem polite, but doesn’t put you at risk for an in-person second date ask, which is harder to turn down.
4) The Adult
This is not an option for the faint of heart. Maybe you’re brave (no), maybe you’re dumb (yes), maybe you’re just a decent person (no). You can walk right up to your ghost of Bumble past and greet them, exchanging mundane office pleasantries for less than 30 seconds until you say, “Oh! I actually forgot my wallet/phone/infant in my car/bike/etc. I need to run back and grab it, but good seeing you!” You can then sashay confidently away, waiting for them to get on the elevator and out of sight. You don’t actually have to take the elevator with them unless you’re really a glutton for punishment.
Whichever option you choose, choose wisely and don’t forget to block their number later..
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