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Know that if it’s happening to you, you’re getting dumped, even if the bencher doesn’t know it yet.
You no longer have to take someone to lunch or buy them a martini or even have a face-to-face conversation.
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.
The benchee is complicit because he wants Jean, a 31-year-old writer living in New York, thinks women are falling for the bencher’s perceived niceness. “I won’t actually hang out one-on-one because I want to avoid any confusion for her about my interests,” he says, “but I’ll still text with her, often a few days after those botched plans.
“The guys who’ve benched me are always doing the ‘How are you? She’ll say something like, ‘You’re too busy for me,’ and I’ll laugh and change the subject.