I once climbed out of window (it was very low to the ground), faked a food allergy (harder than you think), and texted a raging jealous ex of mine to get out of a date. Why? The “so close” flag was burning. That’s not an official term pinned to everyone’s “been there, done that” repertoire, or sprawled out on any cover of Cosmopolitan. The “so close” flag is a term that I have come to douse onto conversations when my single and mingling friends can’t put their finger on why the person they went out with has to be added to the “do not call” list.
Right now, I should probably admit that I am one of those Millennials the media loves to give its backhanded pity to during the monthly jobs report. I do have an expectation to be able to do what I love and make money while indulging it. I do have fond memories of the original Four Loko formula dredging down my throat. And, yes, I do have that coveted prize of multiple stocks in the student loan debt bubble. However, these are in no way indicative of why, at less than shining moments in my life, I‘ve chosen to pursue some bizarre escape attempts that should only be done on television. They’re just an excuse to say, “You don’t know my life,” whenever I’m stuck at an airport listening to CNN.
The truth is, like many people, after having wonderful conversation (normally via text, if we’re being honest) and plotting out a time and place for a date, I have only one real expectation: for the other party to just be normal. By normal, I mean not serious-relationship-after-maybe-two-good-dates commitment prone. I don’t know if it’s because of How I Met Your Mother or the incredible housing market interest rates, but fierce commitment seems to be a norm everyone’s trying to get in to; hence the creation of the “so close” flag.
It’s unfortunate for the twenty-somethings that have their finances and emotions together, but a large majority of their peers aren’t ready to pull their resources together and by a house. In fact, a good percentile of that majority is still figuring out where to go for a free drink and minimal (insert socially awkward, no matter what the BAC level, pick up line here) unwanted attention. It sucks, but whenever that first or second date rolls around, and I’m purposely letting you talk my ear off to find out what kind immediate future you’re looking for and couples costumes for a Halloween party that is a year away, or, a wedding invite from a family member I just discovered you have comes up, the “so close” flag has been raised and lit on fire. It’s clear you don’t want kind of low-intensity monogamous relationship I crave, and I will be involved in far too much of your personal life if this persists any longer.
The “so close” flag is the moment the person across from you –or breathing in your ear because they chose to sit beside you on a second date for some reason, reveals him/herself to be too far down the “I want to find love” rabbit hole to realize, you’re not that serious.
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