It’s not a sexy-awkward goodbye: it’s worse. In fact, it may prevent you from ever reaching this stage with your linen-displacement buddy. However, to the dismay of desperate daters worldwide, “cocktailing” seems here to stay.
But what the heck is it?
While it is technically the evolution of mansplaining – an older phenomenon – “cocktailing” is an even more frustrating version, adapted for a digital age of bad hookups and worse Mojitos – and can be suffered by any gender.
It’s also the only thing worse than an over-salted Margarita: sitting at a sub-par restaurant, listening to your date talk about themselves, not being asked a single question about yourself, and stewing in your own frustration like a watery Negroni.
Also – as the response to New York artist Samantha Rothernberg’s recent depiction of “cocktailing” revealed – the trend is making people (particularly women) more selective about the number of first dates they go on.
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“First dates are always a gamble,” the social illustrator captioned the post, alluding to the time-wasting of this dick move du jour.
In response, she received a number of comments from women who had suffered a similar fate. From “so on point” to “nothing worse than wasting a full face of makeup on a lame date,” it appeared the sentiment resonated with the much of her audience.
Some even took her satire and raised it.
“Uhhh I’m not the kind guy that talks about bitcoin it’s a practically dead cryptocurrency ethereum is more current and in demand when I was interning in barthelona we discussed this at length I can understand if you aren’t following it’s really hard haha tell me if you need me to slow down haha.”
The conversation then took a turn for the educational, with one man asking how he could avoid being an accidental Cocktailer: “[Is it] by asking if you know about whatever first? Or by assuming you know already? That could be rude too…so what should we hope for? Obvi I hate this as well but I’m trying to think of solutions. Pls help ladies.”
In response, another commenter said, “If you realize that the conversation is one-sided, it’s not a good sign… Just make sure there’s a give and take, back and forth, conversation and you’ll probably be in the clear.”
Another suggested, “Just say ‘do you know what that is because I only found out last week’, you know, make it a joke.”
The discourse then went full circle, with comments like, “ok, no more bars for first dates. From now on, you each grab your shredded cheese, your dog, and whatever booze you have around, and meet up at the park,” rolling in.
What everyone seemed to forget, however, was that there is a crucial difference between mansplaining and “cocktailing,” which is that – although men are still the primary culprits – “cocktailing” can happen to anyone.
As “cocktailing”, at root, involves stewing in your own frustration as your date blathers on about themselves, without asking a single question about you, this is an indignity introverts at every point on the XY spectrum suffer on a regular basis.
The worst part about it all is that whether you are the “cocktailer” or the “cocktail-ee,” you both lose out, because – unless the “cocktail-ee” suddenly develops an unusual amount of tolerance, or the “cocktailer” suddenly develops self-awareness – you’ll both go home wondering, “What the hell is wrong with people?”
In other words: you’re both (somewhat) guilty.
The takeaway? Keep an ear out for a lopsided conversation. If you’re the extrovert; shut up. And if you’re the introvert; speak up – maybe your date is just not as comfortable with radio silence as you.