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By the spring ofMissi Brandt had emerged from a rough few years with a new sense of solidity.

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About six months after my son was born, he and I were sitting on a blanket at the park with a close friend and her daughter. It was a sunny summer weekend, and other parents and their kids picnicked nearby—mothers munching berries and lounging on the grass, fathers tossing balls with their giddy toddlers. Right yet, surveyed the idyllic scene. But it was also decidedly not the dream. The dream, like that of our mothers and their mothers from time immemorial, was to fall in love, get married, and live happily ever after. And despite growing up in an era when the centuries-old mantra to get married young was finally and, it seemed, refreshingly replaced by encouragement to postpone that milestone in pursuit of high ideals education!

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We're not purposefully giving those we date names to keep them at arm's length, though it certainly does protect our emotions when and if the relationship doesn't pan out.

Janie and The Stumbler went on several promising dates, including dinner and drinks, a key factor in determining where a relationship is heading. Next thing you know, The Stumbler started, well, stumbling. It stings a little less when you never acknowledged the person's name or legitimized them.

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The fact that "ghosting" is a frequent occurrence leaves many, like Janie, to rely on nicknames as a defense mechanism. We made plans to see each other one Sunday, when he was free from his alleged family duties.

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My friends and I are guilty of this. Three great dates and you think you've established some sort of connection and you'd like to continue seeing the person when suddenly, an "I'll see you this week! At first Janie questioned his behavior. Another not-so-friendly ghost: The Musician.

Well, Sunday came and went Our song and dance abruptly became a solo one. In Subscribe.

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When I ran into him a few months later at a bar, he stood no more than ten feet away while looking just past me at the television screen to watch the Jets game without so much as a "hello. Love continues, "And I think, that along with that, comes the phenomenon of short-term dating. With little to go off after meeting someone briefly in a bar during the wee hours of the morning, granting him a nickname wasn't the easiest of tasks.

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True to his name, The Stumbler stumbled on out of Janie's life, just as easily as he entered in. Because she had never invested her emotions into naming him, it was relatively easy to laugh the experience off.

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We hold back our excitement, manage our expectations, and heed with caution—all by referring to those we're seeing as anything but their given names. First he was having problems with his phone, then he was traveling for work, then more problems with his phone oh, get a new one already! Prior to this era, when you met somebody, and you really were travelling in smaller circles and because just the mileage that we covered was smaller, we'd have the opportunity to check them out -you went through that initial screening process before you had a date.

Some even have formulas for nicknames, such as taking their real first name and adding the bar or location in which they met as their last name. Sure enough, The Stumbler was indeed ghosting.

Popular Latest. One year-old in New York City explains, "I have always said that we can call them by their real name when they are worthy!

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I look forward to the day where I can boldly mention the proper name of someone I'm dating in casual conversation. As time goes by, and there's more than one guy who could be described by a particular nickname, we feel the need to affix new descriptors for clarification purposes i.

It's the norm to over-share. But after several more dates Janie was still referring to him as his nickname, refusing to let her guard down and legitimize their relationship on any level.

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Most of them never make it that far! They exchanged s.

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No texts, no calls, nothing. It's a subconscious psychological mind-game that we play with ourselves—and it is heavily supported by our best friends who legitimize and often help initiate these name games. The Brit Without the Maniacal Laugh. Related Story.

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Thus, "The Stumbler" was born, after the name of the bar we were at that night. It's a sudden end in communication that is unforeseen—and almost always unwarranted.

We divulge every serious and petty aspect of our dating lives, but there's one detail that we are shy about sharing: the names of those we are speaking about. When you text or call them to make sure they weren't just waiting for you to reach out, and get no response.

According to Pat Love, Ed. And that's new in the history of our species. One woman told me, "one of my favorites is the guy my friend is dating now—he was formerly a bit of a slut, so we call him TRW, for The Repentant Whore.

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I called a love doctor to find out why nicknames are so prevalent in the narratives of dating lives in this day and age—to make sense of this culture of disappearance, low expectation, and nicknames as a means of asserting control. The Atlantic Crossword.

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One friend of mine, we'll call her Janie, met a very eligible bachelor at the Stumble Inn, an Upper-East Side sports bar. He made occasional excuses every couple of days for his lack of communication, only to eventually power down on the relationship entirely.

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We went on several great non-dates: ice cream, coffee, a movie, a TV night in. As soon as we begin to tell a story about a date we had, or someone we've just met the first question is: "Wait, what should we call him? Refusing to tell your friends a guy's real name lessens the sting if he never calls back.