Have you heard? “Benching” is the new ghosting, says New York magazine — a term for someone keeping you “on hold” until they’re ready to actually date you (or not). “You just want to keep your options open,” says Billy, a 28-year-old lawyer in New York. Because why settle on one guy with a tiger selfie, when there are so many guys with tiger selfies out there? When you find yourself “off the bench,” maybe choose a date spot off the beaten path? Because restaurants and bars know how to spot you, Tinder users: “… [W]hen daters stare into their phones for 30 minutes without ordering, waiting for their match to turn up. And when they spend another two hours talking about their childhood and lactose intolerance while nursing a single, happy-hour-priced beer.” (And they said Tinder was just for drunken hook-ups.)
Good question! Maybe ask the guy whose girlfriend quit her job to breastfeed him every two hours: “Because she has not given birth to a baby recently, she and Brad, 36, need to ‘dry feed’ every two hours to fool her body into thinking she is feeding a child so she starts producing milk.” Love is a many-splendored thing! Also many-splendored? Actor J.K. Simmons’ newly-jacked bod, the “hot felon” getting into showbiz and Guy Fieri eating food soundtracked by Johnny Cash’s “Hurt”:
Dudes in underwear, dudes in stock photos, dudes figuring out why they’re so bad at sports. (“Practice can account for 18 percent of the difference in athletic success … [in] the relationship between deliberate practice and athletic achievement and found that practice just doesn’t matter that much.”) Why do we love the “Crying Jordan” meme so much? Ask the guys living in their parents’ basements — Pew reports that for the first time in more than 130 years, “adults ages 18 to 34 were slightly more likely to be living in their parents’ home than they were to be living with a spouse or partner in their own household.” (Don’t cry. Slate says it’s fine.)
Maybe they can start a book club? Or meet up for a coffee date, assisted by one of their friends, a This American Life producer? Shoot some hoops? Play some lacrosse? Or just discuss the subtle, but important, differences between “masculinity” and “manliness”:
“In general, people who use the term “manliness” are referring to a fixed and essentialist idea of sex and gender (usually glossing over the distinction between the two), whereas the use of the term “masculinity” accommodates a critique as well as celebration of normative masculinity.”
A great conversation starter, if you ask me.
Lindsey Weber is an editor at MEL.