Saturday, January 14, 2012


So far during this round of dating, I feel good about my stats. Until last Monday, I had gone out on ten dates with four guys, all of whose company I enjoyed, and all of whom wanted to go on second dates with me. It didn't work out with any of them (mostly because the only one I was really interested in was Doctor O), but still, I enjoyed most of the dates and felt like they were a worthwhile use of my time.

On Monday, though, the inevitable happened: I went out with a guy who wasn't into me. After four enthusiastic suitors, it came as a bit of a shock, and it took me a while to clue in to his disinterestedness. At the end of the date, though, it became crystal clear. We walked out of the bar, I turned to my date and started to say, "That was fun!"

He interrupted me when "fun!" was halfway out of my mouth. "Nice meeting you. Good night," he said, turned, and walked away.

I was hurt and a bit horrified by his rudeness. I've gone out with many guys I'm not into, but I'm always polite to them and pretend like I had a good time -- mostly because usually I did have a good time, I just knew I didn't want to see them again. My strategy in this situation is to pretend I'm into them, then when they contact me I send them a polite breakup email (composed by my sister, Ms. Swamp) that goes something like this:

It was great to meet you the other day. You seem like a smart, thoughtful, outdoorsy guy, and a great teacher. I didn't, however, really feel a spark, whatever that means -- the more I do this, the more I trust my gut instinct on this stuff. I don't want to keep taking up your time if I don't feel that potential, but good luck with everything.

They usually take it very well, and I feel that this approach makes the situation as pleasant as possible for everyone involved. In fact, I half considered letting my Monday date know that the experience of going out with him was unpleasant for me, and suggesting he take an approach closer to mine.

On the same night as my date, my friend Surfer Girl went out on a first date, too. She texted me afterwards: "My date was awesome!!! How was yours?"

Unfortunately, it turned out that her date was, in fact, adopting my approach. He wasn't into her either, but while he was with her he pretended to be. By the end of the week, Surfer Girl was obsessively checking her email every five minutes and questioning what she had done wrong.

Hearing Surfer Girl's sad tale, which so many of us have experienced at one point or another, made me wonder if my date's approach wasn't so bad after all. I wasn't that into him, so in this case I wouldn't have minded in the least not hearing from him. But if I had been into him, I would have found out right away that the feeling wasn't reciprocated, and avoided those torturous days of waiting.

In any case, I'm pretty sure I don't have the cojones to reject someone to their face, so I'm going to stick with my approach. Which reminds me, I need to send the breakup email to my date from last weekend.

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