It wasn’t until I started seeing someone I was on the fence about that I understood what was going on. After two dates, I couldn’t quite decide what I was feeling for this person — whether we would never see each other again or become friends or maybe date down the line — but I didn’t want to end the conversation either. So I would ping him occasionally, just enough to pique his interest and dangle the carrot of a possible relationship without ever actually following through with plans. To use a sports metaphor (my first ever), he would be on the roster but not in play; I’d decided to bench him. It’s despicable, manipulative, selfish behavior — and something we’re all doing.