Honest Rejections: New Rules For The Online Dating World

We all know there is a large increase in online dating. There are going to be new problems that arise as we learn how to deal with new situations. Here I am going to talk about four tips that may help if you need to end a new beginning via text.

Even in falling apart, you are turning into seeds that will be nourished into new ways of being.

You’ve heard the saying, “easy come, easy go.” Have you ever taken it to heart? Probably not; since it is a cliche, and is best not taken to heart. But lo and behold, this particular cliche indeed holds some resonance for the online dating world.

You can join a free online dating site and meet people in a matter of minutes. You can plan dates incredibly fast, especially if you live in a city and have no standards. However, you are often times not equally prepared to end these relationships, mini-relationships, or blips of almost-relationships.

If you can form a relationship with someone based on a few clicks, you should be able to end it just as fast if things have not grown significantly deeper.

The problem is that this is hard to do. Some of the nicer humans in the world tend to feel a sense of protectiveness over people even if they hardly know them. Maybe it has something to do with attachment theory. Maybe not. Either way, some people find it incredibly stressful to have a first date, not like the person, and then simply say so.

Here are four simple steps for formulating a text to get your point across in the event that someone is asking for a second date when you do not feel the same.

1:  Identify Your Actual Feelings

Are you completely positive that you do not want to see this person again? Are you just thinking that maybe it’s not a great idea, but you aren’t sure? Are you up in the air with the feelings in general?

If you do not want to see the person again, read on. If it is anything else, then you may need more time to figure it out. This is not an article about playing hard to get.

2: Get Rid Of Your Indirect Cop-Outs

I kind of think that maybe we should stop seeing each other. I don’t think it’s a good idea if we go to dinner again. I am not sure I really want to continue. We probably shouldn’t keep doing this.

Read any of those sentences and pretend that you have felt a “strong connection” with the person writing it. “We probably shouldn’t keep doing this” suddenly turns into, “I am so madly in love with you that I cannot control myself.” And, “I am not sure I really want to continue” turns into “Maybe if you buy me some flowers, I’ll come around.”

That is not what you are going for. But with such vague, indirect and heartless lack of clarity, how can you expect them to get it?

I say heartless because that type of indirect fluffy rejection leads to more suffering in that other person. A clear text or message is going to get your point across without any extra hurt or confusion.

3: Find The Direct Words

I do not know why so many of us seem to feel that honesty is the same as rudeness. Maybe we were hurt in the past by someone being careless with their words, or just being mean. We then assume that any honest feelings that point towards rejection are going to hurt someone else as much as they hurt us in the past. Or we just have no positive role models for honest and non-hurtful behavior.  There are probably a thousand possible reasons.The truth remains that being honest and direct is not necessarily the same as being rude.

The goal is to find your truth and say it in a direct way without being careless.

We all have different communication styles. However, some of us care more about hurting someone’s feelings than others. Do not let this get in your way. Here are some potential templates; and keep in mind that we are not done with formulating the honest-but-kind breaking-it-off text yet:

I do not see this going any farther.”

I am not interested in another date.”

I do not want to continue seeing you.”

Those are three basic ones, but you can make one based on your particular situation. Of course, on their own, those templates are a bit blunt. That is why you add the final step.

4: Honest Gratitude

Regardless of what happened between you and the person you are not interested in, there is something that you can be grateful for. Maybe they paid for the cab to get you home, maybe they bought you dinner or a drink. Maybe they took the time to write you a long email once, or they remembered some important event in your life. Maybe they were just simply nice.

Whatever it is, find it, verbalize it, and use it to smooth the edge of the rough truth.

“I do not see this going any farther. Thank you for dinner, and I wish you the best of luck with your new job!”

“I am not interested in another date. Thank you for remembering that lilacs were my favorite flower, I know you’ll do great with the right person!”

“I do not want to continue seeing you, but I really appreciate that you were so understanding of my difficult past.”

Whatever it is, you are going to find something truthful. Feeling badly about telling someone the truth is ludicrous. The reason you may feel bad is that you are not telling the whole truth. You do care about them as a human, just not as a dating partner. The fact that you found them on a website based on a few clicks and profile sentences should be able to give you the leisure to cut things off just as quickly.

The bottom line is that when two people have a first date, they may both agree on how it went or they may not. If you find that it did not go well for you, and yet they are texting or messaging you to ask for more dates, you can use these tips to formulate a response.

Let’s Bring It To The Bigger Picture

I have been intending to keep the blog topics as close to my book themes as possible. This particular post is an outlier because it was inspired by talking to a new friend at a show a couple of nights ago. Before Guy Forsyth took to the stage, she was telling me how incredibly frustrated she was with having to turn down a person she had just met. The relief she felt upon finding the best way to say what she meant was fabulous to see.

It made me want to share the advice I gave with her to others so that perhaps more people could benefit.

In terms of how this relates to the book…I am not quite sure. I suppose that for a lot of us, finding ways of telling the truth can be very hard when we feel it is going to hurt someone. How do we get around this? I know that for me, there have been many hard times where telling the truth seemed impossible, but was the only way to prevent even more harm from happening to another person, and I would bet that those moments will show up in the book; now with a bit more retrospective clarity.

Do you have any stories or moments where you found that telling the truth was hard, but worth every ounce of awkwardness that you felt while doing it?



4 thoughts on “Honest Rejections: New Rules For The Online Dating World

  1. Just wanted to say thanks for leaving the nice long comment at my blog. what you wrote I could have written myself in another post. It is pretty much exactly how I am looking at things. Sometimes it makes me sad….but life goes on, and I am not going to let it get me down.

    • I am glad you liked it, I was worried that it was too long or strange 🙂 Your way of writing brought me right into how you were feeling, and I am incredibly glad to hear you say that you will not let it get you down. Life is really short, and feeling dread or worry about things that haven’t happened is one of the things that plagues me far too often, so when I see other people doing it I am tempted to jump in and intervene, because I have to do it to myself on such a regular basis. Take care 🙂

  2. Hi Jen, this is great! I wish I’d had that kind of advice when I was in the horrible throes of dating. Reinforcing the values of clarity, honesty and compassion, go you!

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