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.
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
…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.