In season 5 of my all-time favorite sitcom How I Met Your Mother, there is an episode title “Hooked”. In it, Ted tells the story about the time he was “on the hook” to a woman named Tiffany (played by Carrie Underwood). The Hook Theory, as explained in the episode and here explains how a person can be semi-interested in someone without being in a committed relationship with them. The idea is that the hook-er doesn’t see the hook-ee as boyfridn/girlfriend material but shows just enugh interest to keep the hook-ee coming back for more.
In the example from the HIMYM episode, Tiffany is the “hooker” and Ted is “on the hook”. Ted is interested in Tiffany, but she will not commit to him. In fact, Tiffany has another boyfriend and is keeping Ted “on the hook” in case or until someone better comes along. As the episode progresses, we learn that all of the regular cast members (except for Barney) either have someone on their hook, or are being hooked themselves. Some characters are even in both situations.
I bring this up because it has occurred to me in the last few days that, I too, am on somebody’s hook. I will call her Ro. I met Ro several months back on one of the dating apps. We went out twice, but nothing ever happened physically between us. We never even kissed. She’s told me a couple times that she wasn’t looking for a relationship; yet she also expressed frustration that nothing ever happened between us. At the time, I chalked it up as me being too cautious and not really getting a vibe from her. Since I wasnt getting the vibe from her, I found myself holding back more than usual.
After ironing all that out, we had made plans to go out a third time. I didn’t hear from her at all the day before. Then, on the day of the third date, she write me and tells me she gets a feeling we shouldn’t see each other. I tell her that I think she’s afraid of getting hurt and doesn’t want to get too close to anyone; but that I would respect her wishes. The following day, she defriended me on social media.
A few weeks later, when the word came down about Roe v. Wade getting overturned by the Supreme Court, I texted her. In fact , she was the first person I communicated with about it. I kept it pretty brief, expecting nothing from it; the “I thought you should know. Hope everything is well.” kind if thing. At the time, she said some thing like “I’ve been a bitch to you and you’ve been nothing but nice to me”. I replied with “that’s because I care about you, dummy”. That was about it…until yesterday. She texted me basically to vent, but we got to chatting a bit again.
So it’s been established that this woman is attractive, horny and finds me at least attractive enough that she has wanted to sleep with me. As I was getting to know her, she warned me repeatedly that I might be taken aback as to how forward she was. I saw none of this and told her as much. At first, I thought I had just blown it with her. But after the back and forth, I feel like she’s keeping me on the hook. When she defriended me, I felt like shew was just cutting ties with me. And then we started texting again from time to time. This makes me feel as if she’s keeping me at arm’s length, just in case.
Are you on somebody’s hook? Do you have someone hooked?
UPDATE – 7.4.22: Ro has been texting me daily while she’s been out of town for the Fourth of July weekend. This is far from over…