What Is A Cinderfella? Here's How To Spot One On The First Date
Holy Tinder swipe, guys, we have gone on way too long without a word to describe this dating phenomenon. For those of you wondering what "Cinderfella" means, we need to give some mad props to Michelle Martin of The Huffington Post for coining it. See, it hasn't escaped anyone's notice that we have all been brought up in a culture where, stereotypically, the woman is the "clingy" partner, the one who has immediate relationship expectations and projects them all on a guy halfway through the first date. Here is Martin's term for anyone who has experienced the exact opposite:
I call my new discovery "Cinderfella" -- the middle-aged single man with an insatiable hunger for intense emotional and physical intimacy. Cinderfellas want passion! They want fireworks! They want to feel alive! They want to be rescued from their loneliness wastelands! And they want it all by the second or third date.
Alas, honesty hour: I myself have not dated any middle-aged men. I can't speak to the specific phenomenon that Martin is describing firsthand, because she describes this demographic as recently divorced, lonely, and not emotionally available. But I am here to propose that "Cinderfella" is not just limited to middle-aged men. This is also an alarming Millennial phenomenon, and the worst part is, our generation doesn't have the years of past romantic turmoil as an excuse.
I don't consider myself a commitment-phobe in the least, which is why I've been thrown for a loop in modern dating when I am constantly the one who has to hit the brakes — not because things are moving too fast sexually or anything like that, but because the guy is moving way too fast emotionally . And I know all the buzzy op-eds and research articles would have us all believe that guys are all just out there for a ~good lay~, but in my experience, and in the experience of many of my friends, it is a danger on the opposite end of the spectrum. They're there for the long haul, and they're there for it way too fast.
Martin already outlined how to spot a classic Cinderfella, but how do you spot a Millennial Cinderfella out in the wild? Here are a few warning signs to pick up on during the first date:
He Tells You You're "Different" From The Other Girls He Has Dated
Never mind that this is already problematic because a) The casual way he is disrespecting people he supposedly cared about is a huuuuge warning sign, and b) Complimenting a woman by tearing other women down is hella reductive. If that weren't enough to make you head for the hills, this has Cinderfella written all over it — I mean, it's the first date. He barely knows you, and he has already put you on some kind of pedestal.
He Is Offended By Your Reluctance To Engage Physically
Any first date is going to end differently, depending on the mood, how well it goes, and (let's be real) how slizzard you are. Some dates are going to end in beautiful sloppy drunk sex, and others are going to end with a hug goodbye, and none of those are really indicative of how the rest of your relationship or non-relationship will transpire. Of course, it's when your expectations for what is going to happen on that first date differ that you run into problems. Sometimes a guy will be annoyed at you not wanting to engage because he's just an entitled jerk; other times he is a Cinderfella, and has weirdly associated your willingness to engage with him sexually for your approval of him as a person, which of course you can't even give yet because it's the first date, bro. This is right up there with guys emotionally manipulating women into sex by accusing you of "being mad at them" when you don't want to have it — in fact, this is the prequel to that sad movie, y'all.
He Gets Pushy Over Text After The Date When You Don't Respond Right Away
Cinderfella: hey how's it going beautiful
Cinderfella, five minutes later: i thought we had a good time what's going on
You: ... i was in the shower?
If you happen to be dating the classic, middle-aged Cinderfella, though, you best be heading to Martin's post about Cinderfellas to get yourself learnt. In the meantime, may the dating gods all have mercy on our souls.
Want more of Bustle's Sex and Relationships coverage? Check out our new podcast, I Want It That Way, which delves into the difficult and downright dirty parts of a relationship, and find more on our Soundcloud page.
Images: Disney; Giphy