Ryan Chartrand

As stated in the “Make-Out and Peace Out” article a few weeks ago, “In a college environment, sex is increasingly becoming a nonchalant act that carries little thought of what happens the next morning,” and I agree. I also think it extends further to actually dating someone, whether or not “liquid courage” is involved. It seems that the dating world has become a free-for-all in which one or both partners are likely to come down with a case of what I affectionately call “Sudden Asshole Syndrome,” a plague of sorts that seems to be sweeping the current dating generation.

This new dimension surrounding miscommunication seems to be a growing phenomenon, one that I will henceforth refer to as S.A.D. (S.A.S. just didn’t seem to cut it). This syndrome, as the name implies, occurs suddenly and without cause, when someone we date just seems to drop off the face of the earth. I mean, come on! At least have the decency to say, “I’m sorry, it’s just not working out; I was run over by a tractor and broke all the bones in my body, and don’t want you to see me in this state.”

Instead, men (and admittedly, some women) just seem to disappear without a trace, like they never existed (although the pictures may prove otherwise). For example, a close friend of mine dated a guy for a little more than a month. Things were going well, and “exclusivity” was even established. Then, one night, my friend called said guy to hang out, as per routine (they hung out/went on dates two or three times per week), and he never responded. After hearing nothing for two weeks, he sent her a cowardly and ridiculous text message that read something to the effect of “Sorry I haven’t gotten back to you . been busy with finals” (I was previously unaware that finals at Cal Poly lasted for two weeks and left no time for a text or phone call – my mistake). After responding in a courteous fashion, she literally never heard from him again.

OK, you think, so it was one instance. Surely this isn’t some sort of epidemic. Witness Exhibit B: I recently dated a guy for almost two months. Things were going fine. We saw and/or called each other often, and he was absolutely wonderful. Then something happened. I’d tell you what, but I really don’t know. He stopped calling as much, which I mistakenly took to mean he was busy. However, I ran into him a couple of times during Poly Royal weekend and he acted really odd, as in a “what are you doing here on the campus you attend?” kind of odd, and I didn’t hear from him for several days afterward. I called him, merely wondering what was up, and he brushed me off, saying he would call back later (mind you, he had always kept his word before). That was a couple of weeks ago.

In my mind, this boy tucked his tail between his legs and ran for the border of S.A.D.-ville. I was positively befuddled that he had just canned our relationship (I really wasn’t sure, but by the third day that’s what I was counting on). Well, fine. I’m a big girl. I can handle something like that. The relationship had “ended” (and by “ended,” I mean it didn’t really. I had to make my own closure by writing this article).

Thus, I would like to bring to attention the potentially idiotic and cowardly problem of Sudden Asshole Syndrome . daters beware! Don’t put up with this bullshit. And to those suffering from Sudden Asshole Syndrome? Grow a pair and have the courage to tell someone you don’t want to see them again. If you think you’re letting women off easy by being non-confrontational, you’re wrong. Oh, and P.S., if you think you’ll never account for your actions, think again. For instance, the guy that my friend was dating? Well, let’s just say that in-hall run-ins have been highly uncomfortable. Still not convinced? The guy I was dating is going into a field that requires attendance at a certain academy . where my beloved father currently teaches. Yeah, karma’s a bitch. Good luck with that one, buddy.

For whatever reason, people deem it socially acceptable to fall off the face of the earth. Let this be a lesson: it is not OK, it will never be OK, and all it does is label you as a coward and an asshole. I know it’s difficult, but have the courage to communicate that you don’t want to see someone anymore. Be accountable for your actions, and the worst anyone can say about you is that you “lost out” (which is what any party being broken up with will tell themselves if they’re trying to get over someone). As for myself? I know good men still exist and I’m holding out for one. To those men, I tip my hat (or I would if I wore hats) and raise my glass; you are my heroes in this world full of idiots.

Lindsey Lott is a Cal Poly alumna and a guest columnist for the Mustang Daily.

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