Editor's note: Audrey Irvine is a senior assignment manager for CNN. Her experiences in the dating world inspire her "Relationship Rant" column. Check back every week for her take on dating and relationships.
(CNN) -- As I pack away the summer clothes, letting go of sunshine memories and preparing for the chilly fall air, I reflect on my dating life. Dates are like the changing seasons.
Consider the guy in the fall who seems so interesting with his comfortable sweater and boots, but come spring all that is revealed under that sweater turns out to be as regular as his ever-expanding six-pack. There's nothing wrong with the changing seasons; it makes the year interesting, just like those dates.
The real tragedy occurs when seasons collide. Just like global warming, there is confusion when seasons occur out of place or when one season lingers too long. In dating, that tragedy happens when a date has no idea his season has passed.
A couple of weeks ago, I was at work when I kept receiving hang-up calls with no voice mail message. It was annoying, but it didn't faze me until the same number appeared on my cell phone. Again, there was no voice mail.
I finally called the number back. A man answered, saying, "Hey there Audrey, do you remember me?"
I always hate this question, especially when I have no idea who you are. I responded that I didn't remember and wondered why I was getting all these hang-up calls. He reintroduced himself to me. Let's cue the uncomfortable silence.
Yes, I remembered him. I went on a couple of dates and had some decent conversation with this man FOUR YEARS AGO! Yes, that's right, four years ago and we have not talked since.
We didn't end on a bad note. It's just that our season had passed (at least in my mind it had).
Sadly, it hadn't for this guy. So, it went a little like this. He tried to convince me that he had been trying to "find the courage" to call me. (Note: If it takes four years of courage to revisit a dating experience, please remain timid and scared.)
The conversation went from bad to worse.
Him: Have you thought about me in the time that has passed?
Me: Actually, no.
Him: I was afraid you wouldn't answer my call because you recognized my number.
Me: I didn't know the number because I didn't save your number.
Him: I was hoping to pass through Atlanta this weekend. Maybe we can hang out.
Me: I have plans with my co-workers.
Him: Maybe I can tag along.
Finally, I realized that this conversation was going nowhere. So, it happened. I shined the mirror to his face and told him that his season had passed.
I explained that a lot had happened in four years in case he didn't notice. We ushered in a new administration from President Bush to President Obama. I managed to go from being a natural dark brown to a lighter more gray friendly shade of auburn. Whitney Houston went from "Being Bobby Brown" to staging an amazing career comeback.
What would possess any person after an extended period of no communication to think that you can just act like nothing has happened? He had pressed pause on our interaction while I pressed stop.
It was painful for both of us, mostly for him. But it had to be done. I would hope that someone would have the decency to let me know when my season had passed. The difference is I don't think I would wait for four springs, summers, falls and winters to pass before I got a clue.