v: to (deliberately) counter, or otherwise reject an individual’s direct or, more often than not, indirect sexual advances (especially when said individual assumes they will get sex or is attempting to lure/seduce you); to deny/reject an individual’s expression of interest

n: the act of withholding or rejecting sex from an individual who has the intentions of having relations with you; the act of rejecting an individual’s advances or expressions of interest

Noun AND a verb? Yeah, I can mess with that. Men get curved. Women get curved. Friend-zones get established ( we’ll save that for a later convo), all o’ dat. Curves vary, dependent on the relationship prior to the curve, the context of said curve, any historical elements pertaining to the curve… mad variations of curvature. I was once curved three times by the same woman. Again, another convo. I’ve been the receiver of and giver of a curve. It’s a cold, cold world.

Sometimes there’s a flat-out dismissal, for example, X: “Hey, how you doing tonight?” Y: “I’m good, thanks. I’m not here to meet anyone.” That’s a Curt Schilling curve. Hard, fast and right to the point. Walk away with ya’ heart, 3 Stacks. You just lost one. There’s no debating this kind of curve. I’ve seen brothers try, and it always looks like the kid flailing his arms in the fight we all know he’s gonna lose, which normally results in the gentlemanly “well you ain’t all that anyway…” — This would fall under the category of “f*ckboy” behavior, which I explain in more detail here

Then there’s the lingering curve. You’ve been on three dates, all of which have seemingly gone well. (And by “seemingly,” I mean you’ve-had-the-walk-home-and-we-gon’-get-this-kissing-on type dates happening.) But then, he/she disappears. They could have found a newer, better, cooler dating buddy, maybe an old partner came back from Christmas past, or you missed that sign when you leaned in for the kiss on the third date and she gave you the “Nah I’ma just give you the halfway hug and I’ma move my face away from ya’ body” move, which is clearly indicative of a loss of interest.

We also have the classic “what did I do to deserve this” curve. This joint is tricky, because you’re not really sure how you ended up being curved, so you gotta stalk their social media to see if they’ll sub-tweet you, post some clever-ass Instagram meme that points to a convo you had or something you did or didn’t do, such as “I wish men understood why good morning texts are better than WYD? texts.” And then you scroll through those text bubbles like, “did I do that?” with the Urkel face on. This is one is a hard and bitter pill to swallow.

Moral of the story? All of this is alright! It’s okay. Chalk it up as an L and a lesson learned and keep it moving. Dust yourself off and try again. Everyone gets curved. Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Obama, Bill Clinton, Kermit the Frog… I mean, I don’t really have proof that any of these folks have been the victim of a nice “it’s not you, it’s me,” but I think it’s safe to say that everyone has played the fool (or have played a fool) or whatever. It’s all part of life. People meet one another, things work or they don’t. We’re human, we have emotions, and sometimes those emotions confuse interactions and our response to them.

I always compare love and dating to auditioning for a role as an actor. A casting director might love your performance but sometimes you’re just not what they’re looking for for that specific role, and that’s okay. It doesn’t speak to your lack of skills or talents as an actor, but rather the nature of the business. Not every role offered is meant for you to fill, even if at the time it might have felt like it was. Keep ya’ head up, champ. Your home run is just one swing away. Until then, keep stepping up to the plate. I promise that’s the last baseball reference I’ll use for the remainder of the year.