“Don’t start out personally,” a great friend said years back, back when I began internet dating. “He doesn't know you.”
I was younger then, and more stubborn.
“How can I not take it personally? We went out and he didn't call. It’s personal.” My voice was operatic. “He’s rejecting me. Me.”
In those days, I didn't have a clue.
My friends, who're a new comer to online dating, don’t have it either. It's as though they have expectations of polite, drawing room behavior, which is not a salon world. They're frustrated and wish to cancel their dating site memberships.
I remind them it’s not too easy when you're older, meeting a guy in the real world. “IRL,” I say. “See? It’s took its own acronym, therefore it should be a phenomenon.” This attempt at humor doesn't make any of my friends laugh.
“Online dating should be a supplement to meeting IRL,” I only say, hoping to appease.
Online dating takes time. You’ve got to keep track of who’s available, who emails you back, and who doesn’t. You don’t wish to waste time contacting someone who’s ignored you. You have a little spiral notebook, or you employ a large amount of sticky notes. Whatever works.
When you’re waiting in line in the supermarket, you'll take a peek at your phone. You’ve got the dating site app on there anyway, so you may too check, just in case someone’s emailed.
In other words, it's work. And becoming back to the not taking it personally part, that's why my buddies are so frustrated.
Getting Rejected by Someone You're Not Thinking about Dating
My friend Margaret went bicycle riding with a forensic lawyer who had an excellent opinion of himself. Margaret describes him as so overweight, “He looked like a pimple atop his bicycle. We roared with laughter for two hours,” she says.
At the end of their date, he asked if she wanted the good news or the not so good news first. “The not so good news,” she said, taken aback through the question.
“The not so good news is, your temperament doesn't suit mine,” he said. “The good news is, I truly wish to go to sleep with you.”
Margaret took this rejection personally, even though she wasn't thinking about seeing him again. “I wasn't adequate for him to get at know me. It had been denigrating. Daters need to know how you can be nice if they are rejecting you,” she says.
Several of my friends agree, and they're baffled through the inertia most of the candidates display on internet dating sites. “Why would individuals our age group mess around?” says Margaret. “We're there to meet.”
Mr. Nice Emails Daily
My friend Nancy says she'd prefer to meet a man, and she or he regularly continues her favorite online dating site. Sometimes having a glass of wine for any little added courage.
Her opinion? This internet dating thing is getting to become a second job. She's writing 4 or 5 guys, sometimes more. But there’s one guy who appears often.
We’ll call him Mr. Nice.
He's nice while he appears just when you really need him. In the end, scrolling page after page of photos, reading profiles, and thinking about clever ice breakers is exhausting.
That’s why Nancy thanks the online dating gods for sending Mr. Nice. Most men fade out and in, sort of a success and run approach.
But with Mr. Nice, every single day brings a new and chatty story, how his daughter aced her law boards and the grandson made the basketball team. She tells him about her grandkids.
It's as if they are fully aware one another.
And it’s been three, four, five, six days. Nancy is certain he'll request her phone number. Soon.
She's thinking she'll concentrate her efforts about this one man. Rate of return is a vital concept.
Then, one evening he doesn’t email. Nothing the following day, or even the next. Is he sick? She writes, asking if he's the virus that’s on offer.
His lack of response reverberates, and even her dog feels it. The noise of silence, email-wise. She never hears from him again.
Here's where Don’t take it personally is available in. You didn’t know one another. He’s not your friend.
She moves on because… what choice does she have? And you know what? She's an email from a guy with curly grayish-brown hair, his curly-gray poodle in the lap. She emails back, and he requests her phone number, much like that.
They talk for Forty-five minutes. She tells him about her grandkids and her pickle ball group. He tells her about his penchant for old black and white movies. She likes his warmth, his laugh.
“Yes,” she breathes in to the phone. She's already calling him Mr. Nicer in her head. He doesn’t suggest meeting, but he texts the next evening, a long and chatty text.
He sends her a few photos as he goes about his errands, a grill in your own home Depot, an iphone 4g at Walmart. I'm researching these items, he texts. He even sends an image of his salad; he’s stopped for lunch at Panera, not far from where she lives.
Rejection Is part of the internet Dating Experience
He texts several times each day, every day. He doesn’t call, but there are many texts. It’s been three, four, five, six days. They’re understanding one another. Through text, something Nancy never imagined.
Then eventually he doesn’t text. Nothing the following day, or even the next. This time Nancy is angry and frustrated.
This is the nature from the online dating beast. Crappy behavior has landed in Nancy's lap.
Even so, the internet dating gods are sending Nancy a note. The content? Don't take it personally.
Taking online dating personally hobbles your energy and enthusiasm, and you need all of your umpf because, even if you have a helmet, online dating is difficult.
Getting your feelings hurt over a stranger’s behavior keeps you from continuing to move forward. I have friends who’ve quit. It’s fine to stop, of course, we all need a rest. Make it your decision, though.
Still frustrated and confused? Well, there is something that you can do.
You can’t prevent ghosting or back burnering (he isn't asking to meet) or plain crummy behavior, but you can minimize the damage to your too-tender psyche.
- Instead of having stuck in Email Land, (or the texting Black Hole), politely request to meet after two or three emails. You'll either click, or you won't. Move ahead if you do not.
- Avoid analyzing the whys of rejection and inappropriate behavior. You don't know his back story and also you won't. Move ahead.
- If he's filled with excuses for not meeting you, click on another profile. You’re on a dating site to take a date, to not develop an email-pal relationship.
- Expectations are excess baggage you don't need to drag to some first online meet. Approach the internet dating process using the spirit of having fun, instead of an idea.
- Go get that helmet I mentioned earlier. I am not kidding.
Online dating rules aren't the same as the dating etiquette the majority of us knew growing up and practiced. Accept this as fact.
Armed together with your new (metaphorical) helmet, use the internet, date, and give yourself credit for it. You'll have stories, and your friends will want to hear about your adventures.
How do you handle online rejection knowing it is a a part of online dating? How can you handle somebody that wants to email forever, never mentioning meeting? “Online dating is growing rapidly tough, get a helmet,” do you agree? Please share your ideas and experiences the following.