After my last post, my cousin emailed to ask me how one politely blows someone off. It was a great question and one I think a lot of us wrestle with in the online dating world.
The reality is that most people don't take the time to write a note to tell you they are not interested. It’s not such a horrible thing if you’ve never met the person, they email you out of the blue, and they clearly have not read your profile because if they had, they’d know they didn’t fit what you’re looking for. But for those with whom you’ve met and spent some time with (even just a quick first date) I think it’s important to provide some closure. After all, no one likes to be left hanging.
So back to my cousin’s original question about how I tell someone thanks, but no thanks. Well, generally if it is someone who has taken the time to write me (although we’ve never met) I will send something back that says a variation of this:
1. “Thanks for your email. I actually just met someone with whom I’m interested in getting serious, so I’m not meeting any new people right now. Best of luck in your search. I’m sure you’ll find someone soon.”
I send the above response even if there is NO ONE I am interested in dating. I have always felt it’s a nice way to say no thanks, but lately lots of guys have been noticing that I am still active on my profile and are asking me if I’ve changed my mind and if I’m actively dating again. That presents a bit of a challenge so I’ve been reverting to my old way of saying I’m not interested which is honest, but not as nice.
2. “Thanks for your email. I know how hard it is to put yourself out there to a complete stranger. I’m not sure why, but I’m just not feeling that you and I would be a good match. I wish you the best of luck in your search.”
No matter which response I use, I sign the email with my middle name. That way if they ever email me back and refer to me as Anne I know they were rejected by me in the past. That little trick has been a time saver for sure!
The other day I was SUPER proud of myself because I actually mustered up the strength to tell someone the truth to their face at the end of the date. Usually I just say, “Yeah, this was fun.” And then send an email the next day with some over thought or made up reason that I don't want to see them again. But this guy was cute. He had a good job. He seemed nice enough. Yadda, yadda, yadda - He was BORING, BORING, BORING! And I was NOT up for the charade at the end of the night. So when he told me he had a nice time and asked if I wanted to go out again, I said, “Umm yeah, no I really don't think so.”
He was confused as hell and looked as if he didn’t know what to say. I filled in the silence, “There’s nothing wrong with you. I’m just not feeling the connection that I want to feel with someone.” This could have been a very awkward situation because we were splitting the check and the bar tender was not picking up our check to close it out, so I had no idea how much longer we would have to sit there and wait to get our credit cards back. But I was resolute. I just kept a smile on my face and made small talk. He asked me again if I was sure that I didn’t want to at least try a second date. I said, “No. Thanks. I’m sure.”
When our cards FINALLY came back we walked to the corner, said nice meeting you, and went our separate ways. I was so proud of myself I almost skipped to my car but thought that might be a tad bit insensitive if he looked back and saw me so I didn’t do it.
Of course I’ve also been the recipient of the, “it’s not you, it’s me” blow off. I can’t complain though. It is a nice way to end things, but the reality is that the person who says it would rather be without you than with you. That reality is easy to brush off when you’ve only met the person once or twice, but it cuts a little deeper when it comes after you’ve gotten to know someone. Oh well, onward and upward right?
My next experiment in Internet dating will be to see if I can muster the strength to politely excuse myself right away, or very soon into the date if there is no connection or if the person has misrepresented themselves in their profile. Like the one time I met someone who strongly resembled Gargamel from the Smurfs. I desperately wanted to leave before even saying hello to him, but instead I got stuck spending 2 hours with an unattractive AND arrogant man who kept licking his lips while looking me up and down, and then tried to stick me with the check by asking for the bill and immediately leaving for the bathroom. YUCK!
So that’s how I let people know I’m not interested. In the end I think it comes down to the golden rule: Treat people the way you would want to be treated.