About the Author

Honey's main interests are online dating, long distance dating, and long term relationships. She met her boyfriend on MySpace and they have been exclusive since their first date over three years ago. Currently they live in Tempe, Arizona. Honey graduated with her PhD in Composition and Rhetoric in May 2009. You can contact Honey via email here or online here.

Online Dating: Honey’s Greatest Hits

Lance is on vacation, so in honor of his absolute hatred of online dating I thought that I’d throw this post up.  This is one of my absolute favorite Match stories and is dedicated to the following peeps (besides Lance): (1) LisaQ, who asked for more details in the comment section of her article Rules for Breaking Up, (2) The Dateable Dork, who has made it known that she considers online dating to be a metaphorical form of Dumpster Diving, (3) all of you, who I think will really enjoy it.

Setting the Stage

So to set the stage a little, I’d exchanged several lengthy e-mails with this fellow (call him Steve) and I think one phone call prior to meeting.  He had a good job and although I wasn’t totally taken with his photos, he brought them up first and apologized, saying that they weren’t very good but all he had in digital and that he was way better looking in person.  This turned out to be not true, but it’s not like he was a troll or anything.  So I went out with him a couple of times because he was interesting, but avoided anything physically intimate while I decided if I could become attracted to him (which is possible).

After going out with him twice he called me on a night that he had reserved for drinking with his buddies (despite the fact that the bar was less than a mile from my house) to say he was too drunk to drive home and could I come pick him up and drive him back to his car in the morning?  Not at all impressed but not wanting him to drive into a cactus or something, I picked him up (today’s Honey would tell him to call a cab, btw) and we slept in the same bed–although nothing happened (I had to get up early the next morning and he was so drunk he passed out).

I accidentally double-booked myself on what was supposed to be our third official date, and invited him instead to hang out with me and two of my girlfriends (since I didn’t want to be the girl who would blow off girlfriends for a guy).  He accepted but was consistently rude to my best friend all night despite the fact that we were hanging out at her house. This, combined with the fact that I wasn’t particularly attracted to him anyway, inspired me to end it.  Since we’d only been on three dates and hadn’t done more than kiss, I figured that this was a casual enough “relationship” to call off over e-mail rather than in person.  Okay, enter the downward spiral of e-mails:

E-mail #1: A Polite (if Impersonal) Dismissal

Steve, As it turns out, I’ve met someone on Match that I had a really intense connection with right away, so I’ve decided to pursue that. Good luck on your search!

E-Mail #2: His Reply

Honey! Ouch, ouch, ouch. That really hurt! I thought we had a connection… at least one that merited more than a one-sentence Email dismissal.

I wish I knew why I keep running into women who can sleep with me and then discard me like yesterday’s trash. I’m not cut out for this shit. I would simply be disappointed that you found someone who interests you more if you acted with a little more respect – ie, a call or maybe a thoughtful note. I’m not out here for casual relationships but looking for someone for keeps, as I made clear.

Sorry I bothered.

Anyway, I can see I didn’t lose anything worth keeping…just another self absorbed college student.

E-mail #3: Maybe He Deserves The Truth

Steve, I’m sorry if my message sounded terse, but then it’s a pretty awkward thing to have to say, and I generally find  that it’s better to say less than to say more. That can become a downward spiral pretty quickly. I guess everyone has a different technique when faced with such an icky situation. And while we slept in the same bed, we never slept together, and we only saw each other three or four times. I understand what you’re saying about looking for someone “for keeps,” and you did make that clear, but we  certainly never got past the very casual stage and I thought it was more polite to break things off now than continue to see you when I knew it wouldn’t work long-term.

Reading your e-mail, I started to wonder if in trying to be polite I’m actually doing people a disservice. I  wondered when women typically break it off with you. While it’s true I did meet someone with whom the connection was really intense and immediate, the truth also is that I was kind of relieved that happened, because after we hung out the other night I learned that my friends didn’t like you. And, given the intensity of grad school and the amount of time I spend with them, that just isn’t a sacrifice I’m willing to make.
 
If you want to continue to think of me as self-absorbed that’s fine, I suppose–I understand why that might be an attractive thing for you to believe and there might even be some truth to it. But if you really are looking for  something serious with someone, then maybe it’s a little more constructive of me to give you a little more information.

E-mail #4: He Turns Out to be Crazy

Honey, You’re probably right that less is best when it comes to these things. I think something a little more thoughtful  would have been nice, but I was mainly just upset to have things end. I don’t feel seduced and abandoned…we didn’t have sex, but to me, that made it more important. I don’t think of you as self absorbed. I don’t know you. You don’t know me. I just thought there was some physical chemistry and ease of conversation, really important qualities that made things worth exploring. I find it troubling that you would dismiss me because what two angry women with major league axes to grind have to say about me. For the record, I thought they were pretty cool, regardless of the knee-jerk assessment they made of me and probably make of just about everyone they meet, including half of their classmates and teachers in the night I was there. [Side note: when I told my best friend about this later, she was insulted.  She said, "those weren't knee-jerk assessments!  It took me almost three years to draw those conclusions!"] These are some seriously jaded people – and not the people I would use as a lens to view others, even if they are worthy friends.

Needless to say, it’s a slightly awkward situation when you have to hangout with someone’s friends the second time you see her. I resisted the obvious implication that I was being set up for judging, and just came over, because I don’t worry about these things. But I can’t say I felt at ease. I won’t even ask what led to their judgment because it doesn’t matter – only your’s does. And you’ve given it. Anyway, I don’t want to get into the downward spiral, as you put it. I am just disappointed. I saw possibilities with you, nothing more, and hate to see things end before any truth can be discerned. Then again, I don’t want to waste time with someone who’s so easily dissuaded. I am truly interested in a serious relationship, and was interested in having one with you. But something in your manner the last time I saw you told me that wouldn’t happen, so I have been in touch with other women, went on a date Saturday, even while hoping that you might still be interested.

No hard feelings. Sorry for the snide note, and best of luck. 

E-Mail #5: A Defense of My Friends: Or, Sometimes I Can’t Leave Well Enough Alone

Subject Line: I’m sorry…

…I lost track of who the angry, jaded person(s)with major-league axes to grind making knee-jerk assessments were in this scenario? 

In any case, I’ll take your apology as it was obviously intended…an opportunity to make yet another snide remark.  Good luck on your search.

E-Mail #6: When Sarcasm Fails

This is all totally irrelevant, because I said I apologized and had no hard feelings and wished you the best, but if you want to know:

I was referring to your two friends… the ones who didn’t have anything good to say about anything or anyone. The ones who made fun of everyone and everything when I was there. I wasn’t trying to be snide. I wasn’t trying to belittle them. In fact, I said I thought they were kind of cool. I just said that people with such a negative outlook might not be the best people to use for a character judgment. I thought they were moving out of town anyway.

I was just disappointed and my note should only reflect that, as well as a sincere apology. I guess I felt slightly blindsided by how things happened but none of this really matters because you’ve made your decision. And as I said at the end of my note, I accepted it and have no hard feelings. Everything else is irrelevant.

This is the life of the single.

  • http://www.worklovelife.com Holly Hoffman

    Oh, that’s hilarious. The email exchange was longer than the dating period!

    Holly Hoffmans last blog post..Looking foolish along the way

  • miranda

    This could have come out of my own gmail account! Love it lady.

  • http://20-forty.com/ lisaq

    Haha…Good Lord! I’m so glad you posted this. Sounds like a major bullet dodge!

    lisaqs last blog post..Communication & the Fallback Girl

  • http://www.yankeeinnewworld.com NewWrldYankee

    That was the BEST email exchange ever! Nuff said

    NewWrldYankees last blog post..Caught Up – Top Picks From America’s Hits II

  • http://dadshouseblog.com dadshouse

    Sounds like you guys have a lot of history and really deep connection. Are you still seeing him on the sly?

    heh heh… too funny!

    dadshouses last blog post..When a Single Dad’s Daughter Needs Girl Stuff

  • http://www.whenawomansfedup.co.uk NML

    I was actually howling with laughter reading this! Serious assclown alert and exactly why I hate online dating. You actually did the right thing by keeping it brief – no explanation is the right explanation with these crackerjacks. If you’d sent him a four page letter in the first place, he’d have complained. You handled him well though!

    NMLs last blog post..Finally! The Daily Mail admits what I already know. This is NOT a revenge blog

  • http://thedateabledork.typepad.com The Dateable Dork

    Holy shit! That was seriously intense, not to mention awkward, uncomfortable, surprising, and aggressive. Honey, I’m proud of you for handling this so well – I admit that you were more polite than I would have been in that situation, especially in the later emails.

    On another note, it’s hard not to be intensely defensive in this type of situation – on your side AND on his. Your body’s natural instinct is to get on the defense when you’ve been dumped, and it’s also impossible not to get defensive when someone’s verbally attacking your friends and your character/judgment. With two people highly on the defense, strong words are bound to ensue, which always leads to this type of email exchange.

    I think you were totally justified in ending it over email, considering it was only a few dates and you didn’t sleep with him. If he couldn’t handle that, well, he shouldn’t be dating in the first place. As for attacking your friends, that was totally out of line and completely unnecessary – just a defense mechanism to make himself feel better, in my opinion.

    Man, I could go on and on about this! Suffice it to say: whoa, what a crappy situation. Thanks for sharing, hon.

    The Dateable Dorks last blog post..Excuse me, I’m on a date

  • http://diaryofadisillusioneddater.blogspot.com/ marc

    This is why I rarely exchange email addresses with dates. Email is too easy a form of communication that allows people to overthink and overanalyze, and get sucked into unnecessary drama. If I’m not interested in someone, I prefer the old fashioned no call back – as in: “when the phone ain’t ringing, you’ll know it’s me.”

    marcs last blog post..The Key to Looking Young

  • http://honeyandlance.com Honey

    I had a throwaway account that I used just for Match, so if someone turned out to be too crazy then they wouldn’t have “real” contact information. But I do see your point, for sure.

  • Thomas

    In regard to this email exchange, I don’t believe either party is totally innocent in causing the “downward spiral” (which seemed more like a minor tiff). Honey could have been the adult and simply stopped replying after his initial email. Does he deserve to know the truth? Maybe. Will it do him any good? Probably not, as you have seen.

    And it certainly doesn’t make you look any more of the adult that the exchange is being posted on your blog.

  • http://honeyandlance.com Honey

    Thomas, I totally agree with you that neither of us was totally innocent! I’m certainly not blogging because I think I’m perfect and want everyone else to be just like me…I make plenty of mistakes, too, and this was certainly one of them.

    It just so happens to be one of the most hilarious mistakes I’ve ever made, which is why I posted it here :-)

    Honey´s last blog post…Top 10 Signs You’ve Become an Adult

  • Jack Crowden

    It would be cool if the guy himself responded to this if he knew you posted it.

    That was a remarkably mild and normal exchange. He was right to be offended by the one sentence email. I can’t imagine being dumped electronically and with one sentence.

    I saw no reason to think you or he was the better person or more interesting person or even that you might have been better looking with more prospects as a woman than he is and has as a man. He could have been a Republican and you and your friends Democrat NOW supporters.

    Men are built to logically want to understand, scientifically, what cause and effect factors have made things happen, especially to them. Whereas a dumped woman might illogically NOT want to know why a man didn’t call or why he dumped her, a real man will definitely want to know how he can improve with the next woman. Such men, such as this guy, often get some answers and every piece of info can help make the next relationship better

    I’ve been in nastier exchanges especially with ideological urban Americans online, usually without having met…such as when someone’s first email was something stupid like “I’m sorry but 33 is too old for me” (when she is 27). My response to that one was “you mean 27 is too old for me” and it went downhill from there as she chanted feminist ideology about the patriarchy trying to date younger women (in non-feminist countries, 27 would be too old for 37).

    I remember a woman telling me on the first date about having had a similar bad experience like yours above with the previous man she’d met online.

    She said that she called him 30 minutes before their second date to cancel saying “this isn’t going to go anywhere so its best to cancel now”.

    I asked her jokingly “so are you going to do that to me and other guys” noting that a last minute cancelation like that was inappropriate.

    And she decided to stop liking me then and there. Good riddance. I escorted her out to a taxi and went back in for dessert.

    It was clear that she, as an urban feminist, wanted a man who would agree with her on such matters when an alpha male is going to stick up for other men where they might deserve it.

    And don’t get me started on women who insist that their male dates accept left wing ideology as a given. A terror attack happens and the man they are with is so dumb for not seeing that it is a ploy by financiers to start another war. When dates end on that note, it isn’t the man whose prospects of finding love and happiness are in question. He’s got more time (evolutionary biology is no theory).

    It is part of online dating that people with attitudes that don’t match will get into such a minor downward spiral that takes a few minutes of each other’s time.

    The dumper is not going to get the last word in something like this so there was no reason to let it go on past 3 emails…but the exchange really wasn’t that long…he was certainly not to blame for responding to what you wrote so numbering the emails as if there was something wrong with him (or any man) because of the number of emails that were mostly responses to your emails…

    In this case, his getting offended at the one sentence resulted in his learning that your friends didn’t like him. Maybe he could have already assumed that, but details really help people process what a reality was. For instance, I am sure he has now processed that he should NOT have been rude to your friend and adjusted his future behavior with others accordingly.

    Portrayals of such fact finding behavior as being something a lesser man does, seems to be part of an anglo-saxon paradigm of keeping men under control (Victorianism, Gender Feminism, etc). It seems he was being hated, at least by some of your readers, for trying to analyze and be intellectual about it. When a man really doesn’t care about anything but knowing what happened, it is smart for him to dig for answers.

    I see him happily married someday. He blew it with you but he has time. And you weren’t attracted to him physically anyway, so I can’t blame you either.

  • http://honeyandlance.com Honey

    Great response! A couple of things:

    At that point, I’d been “dumped” tons of times via one-sentence e-mails, so it totally seemed like a normal aspect of online dating, not something anyone would take personally. That’s why I was so surprised that he was bothered.

    Also, in my experience most women not only care about why they were dumped, but obsess about it and contact men who have dumped them repeatedly looking for “closure,” which is rarely or never provided. So I’m not sure why you would say women don’t want to know and men do.

    I also got the impression that he was fishing for ways to keep the exchange going so he could continue to be nasty, and that he wasn’t taking any of the valid (if inappropriately expressed) concerns I had to heart. It’s totally possible that he was just being defensive in the moment, though, and really did change his ways after thinking about what I’d said. I’ll never know.

    I am confused about why women are left-wing and men aren’t? I’m sure it’s a result of my profession (academia), but almost EVERYONE I know is RADICALLY left-wing. Plenty of them dudes. This seems to be a regular-person-compatibility issue and not a gender issue to me.

    I numbered the e-mails so people could follow along here, not because I thought there were so many of them that it was weird.

    It wasn’t the fact-finding aspect that I took issue with. It was the manner in which he expressed himself. There are lots of ways he could’ve gotten the same information without the exchange feeling like a downward spiral. Another time on Match, a guy emailed me and said, “I doubt someone like you would be interested in someone like me, but I really liked your profile.” I emailed him back and said, “No, I’m not interested in you, but I noticed some things about your profile that could be improved” and listed what they were. He thanked me effusively and that was that (we never emailed again).

    One of my new year’s resolutions is to remove myself from exchanges like the one above a lot sooner. My emotional energy is too important to me to do otherwise.
    .-= Honey´s last blog …Sexplorations in 2010 =-.

  • Michael17

    Honey, I came across this blog from Evan’s site. Anyway, I had two thoughts reading this:

    (1) “This guy is coming across as a creepy douche.”

    (2) “You know, this guy doesn’t sound that bad. He is really only expressing outright to you what any guy in his situation would be thinking.”

    These situations actually are really tricky. Anyone in them is playing double jeopardy here. On the one hand, if there is anything I’ve learned from dating, there are very few things you can say when you are being “dumped” before you come across as a psycho. On the other, this is one of the times where you really do want feedback. So you want to say more.

    One more thing: A short but polite and respectful email that you are not going to see him again is fine IMO, after 2 dates.