I first became aware of these missing men in 2014. I had recently come out of a long-term relationship and was dabbling my toes into the online dating world for the first time. I met a gentleman online, he was good humoured and handsome and wanted to see my face in real life. We met, I drank too much wine, he had the politeness to laugh at my slurred jokes and awkward flirting and it was a pretty good date. We had a number of solid dates after this and seeing him became a regular part of my weekdays. However, after about 4 weeks of dating we were having a bit of a less good time together and it became clear that at some point one of us might have to brave it out and say we should stop seeing each other. But before we’d even got a chance to send a broken heart emoji on WhatsApp – he disappeared. Poof, Gone, Gonzo, he vanished quicker than the Cheshire Cat in a tree. We had arranged to meet for another date but he never confirmed a time. I texted him, I called him. But all my attempts at contact went unanswered. Initially I worried I had upset him, maybe that time I rolled my eyes at one of his jokes he had seen it and I’d hurt him. Then I worried it was me, it was my terrible personality, it was my phone.
As time rolled onwards, I became pretty sure he was a spy and the government had sent him to Syria to negotiate with Isis. What if he had been hurt, or worse, what if he was dead? After a couple of weeks I assumed the worse, I hoped he had a well attended funeral and I laid a wreath at the local WW2 memorial. It was respectful. I moved on and life continued and then twelve months later I saw his name appear on all of my social media platforms. He added and messaged me and I almost fainted with shock and relief. He was alive. And yet, if he had not been murdered by terrorists, why had he not contacted me? When he texted me, he made no reference to that time he never messaged me back for a full calendar year. It was as if he had no memory of it.
Despite this I continued on the online dating path where I met more men and had other successful and not quite successful dates. And on almost every occasion, no matter the result of the actual date, the same pattern would emerge, one day we would be sending gifs of pizza and puppy dogs and then next day they were gone. On occasion they would return, sometimes after weeks, mostly after months and each time, there would be no mention or any glimpse of a memory of having disappeared into thin air. It was like their whole brain had been wiped. Then it occurred to me, when else do we know of people disappearing off the face of the earth only to return a few months later with their memories completely wiped? People! Single men in the United Kingdom are being abducted by aliens!
Now I know this is a wild theory and I am sure my critics will point out that perhaps I need to except that the men I have been dating are just not that into me. But answer me this, why would it be so difficult for so many men to have the courage to send a simple text to say they no longer wanted to date the women in their lives? Are we really suggesting that a whole swathe of men lack so little back bone that they could not cope to send a teeny tiny text? That we have created a generation of males who lack so little respect for women that after months of no contact and dodging any communication, that they think they can just send a “Hey, What up?” text and the women in their lives will be willing to strip of their onesies and leave their solo Netflix binges behind for the opportunity of one night with them? Nope, it’s definitely Aliens.
Men across the country are being sucked into spaceships, probed, fondled and then their tiny, malleable minds are zapped and obliterated before they are returned to this little green earth with no memory of their six month absence. These poor, unfortunate souls then land bewildered back into their lives and clasp their phones in their hands and contact the last person they remember being close to. Instead of sending back sarky texts of derision and hostility, we should embrace these poor little pickles and their blank teeny brains and cling on close to them to ensure the next time the ship flies over, your Tinder date is not swept up again with them. So ladies, don those tin foil caps, erect that nuclear bunker and save our men from the biggest threat known to our generation, Aliens.