under Date Night
I have a policy for when a date wants to know why I’m politely declining a second meet-up. Here’s the ugly truth: very rarely is the answer helpful or constructive. In fact, it’s highly likely to hurt their feelings, or make them hate me. The reason is often something the guy can’t change.
So, here’s a tip: If someone doesn’t want to see you again, don’t hate him or her. Be grateful that he or she had the decency not to waste your time and didn’t just disappear without a trace. They’re doing you a favor; you want the feelings to be mutual. If they aren’t that jazzed about you, you will likely find someone else who is.
Recently, I was dumped for the first time, and I found myself eager to know why. Then I remembered being on the other end, and I didn’t ask. And when I really thought about it, I sort of knew the answer anyway.
Watching Bachelorette Emily blindside and dump d-bag Arie made it easy to think of the topic for this post. The second Emily said he wasn’t the one, Arie turned cold and harsh. He didn’t want to talk, he wasn’t going to make her feel better and he was done. She thought he may want to ask more or fight for her or say something, but he was done, he didn’t want to draw it out. He gave her a hug, said “Good Luck” and left. Some people felt bad for him, others thought it only solidified his sketchiness. In his defense, he was totally blind-sided and she wasn’t very direct.
So it got me thinking, is there a “right” way to react to an in-person break-up speech? Do you want to be that person who keeps pushing and prodding for an answer that will make you feel better? Because nothing is going to make you feel better. You were just dumped. That sucks. Rejection stings. So are you going to go out with your head held high or are you going to grovel and try to convince the person to change their mind or are you going to get stark, raving mad and start cussing?
Really, at the end of the day, that person doesn’t want to be with you and it doesn’t matter why. You do not want to be with a person who doesn’t want to be with you. So as much as it hurts, thank the person for being honest, wish them luck in finding their Beshert and do so with a smile on your face no matter how forced. It would be okay to ask “Why?” once, but only once. Don’t ask if there’s anyone else, don’t ask if they want to be special friends, don’t ask what advice they have for you for future relationships. Wish them luck, tell them you had a nice time while it lasted, express appreciation for their honesty and go, get off the phone or walk away.
Note: this is advice for relationships that are less than one year old.
I’m not quite sure how I’ve done it, but somehow I’ve lasted three years on JDate. And I’m still standing. I’m on the brink of turning 25, working and living in Manhattan. And, yes, still single. In this time I’ve been on a fair share of good dates, even more bad dates, and my personal favorite, hilarious dates. Like when I lied and told a guy that I was going grocery shopping on the way home just so he wouldn’t walk me to my door. But that’s far from my best JDate story. Seriously, how long do you have? I can go on all night.
Every few months I take a break from online dating, which I was doing last fall when I met a really great, smart, nice, funny guy in a bar. It was as if I blinked and found myself in this relationship I wasn’t expecting… and neither was he. We tried to keep things breezy, but things were becoming serious without us even trying. Ultimately, he decided he wasn’t ready to commit. And while it was a short relationship, I was absolutely crushed when it ended, paralyzed at the very thought of starting over just to get hurt again. But eventually, I got sick of crying along to the pain of Adele and Bon Iver. So I did the only thing I could think of. I rejoined JDate.
Now that I’m back, I’ve decided to share what I’ve learned from my experience as a pro JDater – the good, the bad, and the downright hilarious – with all of you. You might be wondering how I’ve lasted so long here. It’s because I’ve figured out the key to surviving on JDate: a little bit of faith in the system and a hell of a sense of humor.
It is always difficult to cope with the end of something that you don’t want to end, no matter how much you agree with, or understand, why it’s happening. Break ups, signaling the end of relationships, are strong examples of this idea even if they are completely mutual and amicable for both parties.
When something that you invest time and energy in comes to a close you are naturally going to think about all the things that led to that point, and what you could have done differently along the way. Obviously, in the time after the situation ends you are going to gain better perspective on it, though this sentiment doesn’t offer much consolation in the wake of the negative feelings one endures during and immediately after.
Last night a woman, whom I had been dating for a couple of months, and I broke up and even though it was completely mutual, and we headed into the conversation thinking the same thing, it still didn’t feel good afterward. I had called her on my way home from work to express my feelings about how, even though we had fun together, our schedules were very conflicting and it was too hard to make plans and grow the relationship.
She ended up calling me back a little while later and therefore got to express that point first, but I completely agreed and we had small talked for a few minutes before wishing each other the best and getting off the phone. In the minutes immediately following, however, I could feel my mood begin to turn and my demeanor shift toward one that was more quiet and sullen. In the end it wasn’t that I was crushed by the fact that we had decided not to see each other anymore, but rather that I enjoy the feeling of having someone and being in a relationship, which is a feeling I have no idea of knowing when I’ll experience it again.