As we’ve covered in previous Single Girl posts:
1. I can be quite awkward
2. I don’t have a ton of experience when it comes to dating — online or regular in-person dating.
Because of this, one of the great conundrums of this whole getting out there and meeting people thing is how to tell someone you want to stop seeing them after only one or two encounters.
Let me take a step back and acknowledge that the normal, cordial thing to do would be to tell someone to their face or through a phone call. But let me also acknowledge that the world of meeting late at night at a bar or through Tinder/OKCupid is not a normal situation and must be treated as such.
I’ve experienced a couple of different (almost always disastrous) ways of ending things.
First, there is the text message. This is by far my favorite way to end things. It’s quick, it’s easy, it’s less awkward for all parties. However, I realize that not everyone finds this to be appropriate. The first time I used this form of communication in this scenario was probably almost two years ago. I had been on a few dates with a guy, the first since a big break up, and had decided he really wasn’t for me. He lived about an hour from me and we had never spoken on the phone. Strictly in person and text message communication. I sent a very polite (or so I thought) text and then dreaded the next ding from my phone. But I was certain that I had chosen the proper form of communication.
Dude freaked out. Like, got really mad at me and called me immature. And I get that texting is not the best way to communicate. But what was my other option?! An awkward phone call when we CLEARLY avoided speaking on the phone?! Or asking him to drive an hour to hang out to only say once he got there sorry, just wanted to politely say I don’t want to date you! It was a lose, lose.
Good news is, recently I had to do the same text message thing and the guy thanked me for being honest and was very polite. So really, it is impossible to tell who prefers what form of communication.
The second form of ending things that I have (shamefully) utilized is the classic….just don’t answer their texts. This is reserved for guys I’ve met at bars and exchanged numbers with and then woke up with a clearly (less alcohol fueled) brain and decided there was actually no reason for us to hang out. This is typically successful and a mutual agreement, as I never hear from them either.
Except in one bizarre, bizarre case. Last year, on my birthday, towards the end of the night (which means around 3AM) a guy started talking to me at the bar. The bar was closing so we quickly exchanged numbers and I headed straight for Jumbo Slice with my peeps. He texted me the next day and I may or may not have Facebook stalked him and determined that I had serious beer goggles on the night before. Deciding that there was no reason to continue this as we DIDN’T KNOW EACH OTHER AT ALL I didn’t answer him.
And then he texted me the next day.
And then the next. This time he said I haven’t heard from you in a few days, is everything okay? Um yes, sir. You haven’t ever heard from me, I’m fine. I still didn’t answer.
A week later, another text. I hope you find someone to make you really happy, you’re a great person and deserve that. Sir, that’s sort of kind but mostly creepy because I DON’T KNOW YOU and we only spoke for 10 minutes max. For all you know I am the worst person ever!! Still didn’t answer him.
It’s now been 10 months. And without fail this guy texts me once a month either asking how I’ve been or just randomly saying hi. Luckily, I haven’t deleted his number so I don’t accidentally say who is this? and start a conversation.
Because at this point, dude, what do you think is going to happen? I’m going to say Oh hello!! I’ve been ignoring your CREEPY texts for almost a year but today, today I have decided I want to date you. WHAT?!?
And you know, I’ve been on the other end of the “don’t answer their texts” situation and it does suck, for about five minutes, and then you realize that you DON’T KNOW THIS PERSON and if they don’t want to know you enough to answer your text, it’s best to cut your losses.
So yes, this is not the most mature tactic but really, I hate talking on the phone, NO ONE TALKS ON THE PHONE ANYMORE, and I see no better way of going about this always awkward situation.