More Adventures in Dating: Saying No
Adventures in Dating
Since I’ve been back on the dating scene for several weeks now I thought it was time for an update on my progress. So far, I’ve met quite a few men online and exchanged a fair number of messages, but only two conversations led to in-person meetings. I have been very careful about who I meet in order to conserve my time and energy and so far I think I’ve been doing a great job of pacing myself (insert pat on the back).
I went on a tea date with the first guy. He was pleasant, kind and a little nervous.
There was just one big problem: the date was a lot of work, and when I feel like I'm working on a date, I generally take that as a sign that I'm probably not with the right guy.
On this specific date, it took considerable effort to keep the conversation going and upbeat. I know that's not my job, but part of me has trouble with pauses in conversations on first dates, so I tend to work too hard to fill them. And there were many pauses on this date. There also seemed to be a lack of common ground, which led to a lack of conversation topics. Simply put, from my perspective there was no spark and no connection - plus I was exhausted afterwards. For him, I'm not sure. He wanted to see me again, and then I was left in the position of choosing to decline. I hate that position!
I had a little more in common with the second guy. He was more outgoing and we had quite a bit of fun on our first couple of dates. He was also really great on paper. He met pretty much all of my top 10 must-haves and seemed to have his life together.
After three dates with him, there were two things that weren't working for me though. One, he reminded me of my ex-husband, a lot, and two, I just wasn't feeling it. I really wanted to feel it, but I just couldn't get excited about him (was this related to the similarity with my ex? Probably at least in part). He was sweet and lovely and generous and kind and attractive, but the connection and chemistry just weren't there and that's not somthing you can force. We were on different wavelengths heading in different directions. He wanted to see me again and once again I was left contemplating how to say no.
Turning Down Another Date
Even if I'm not interested in seeing someone again, I have a really hard time letting them down if they ask me on another date. I feel bad and I don’t want to hurt them. But I’ve also learned that maybe I’m giving myself a little too much credit by thinking that me declining another date is going to shatter their world. I mean really, these are grown men and most of them will be just fine with moving on after, at the most, a handful of dates.
When I decline another date, I do my best to speak from my heart. I’m honest about
the big picture, which means that I usually express that I’m not feeling the sort connection I’m looking for or that intuitively I don’t feel like we’re a good fit. It’s just that simple.
I don’t get into details. I don't tell them that they remind me too much of my ex-husband, or that they seem too closed emotionally. These are not things that are going to change and aren’t ultimately the only reason why it’s not working out. If we’re going to click we click, if we don't, I will know within the first date or two - although I've promised myself to give it at least three dates if I'm unsure, because hey, you never know.