Q. I went on two dates with a girl, both of which were really fun, so I asked her out again. And out of the blue, I get a text message from her declining, saying that she appreciates the offer but is “feeling we’re not really compatible for the long term.” WTF? Of course, I don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t want me, but my confidence has been shaken. It’s now making me wonder about this other girl I have been on four dates with. I’m just afraid of being blindsided again.
My dear Freddie,
I’m sorry that you got the dreaded “see ya never” note. I’ve been on the receiving end of one of those myself. More than one! It’s never easy to take. There’s nothing to “do” about this, really. She said it clear as day: She’s not into it, and she’s moving on. There’s a lot that sucks about being in your position, but ambiguity isn’t one of them. Because she’s made the decision for you.
I do want to question your choice of the word “blindsided,” however. I know you’re feeling shafted in a big way right now. But having it end two dates in does not qualify for being blindsided. Blindsided is when you’ve been married 15 years, have three kids, and everything seems sweet as pie, and one day your wife goes out to get her roots done and never comes back.
Of course you never saw it coming, because you couldn’t have seen much coming at that point! You weren’t even out of the driveway yet!
I don’t say this to minimize your disappointment, but to remind you what dating is: It’s taking a risk every time, knowing you can and will get rejected, more than once. (Read why you should get rejected more).
The very thing that makes dating hard is what makes it exciting: Because you never know. The same thing goes for relationships in the long term. Of course, when you commit, you should kinda know—but you don’t always.
You might reasonably expect that if two dates went well, then you should have a third. Maybe a fourth. But where does it end? Should she go on 10 dates, and then end it? She’s doing a kind thing to cut her losses and save you some time when she’s not feeling it. I can’t tell you how many people say they feel slighted that someone didn’t “give them a chance.” But there comes a point when you just know this isn’t the fit for you. And you may not have realized it, but she did. And now you do.
What puzzles me is that now you’re “wondering about” this other lady in your life that you’re seeing. Wondering what, exactly? Whether she and this other girl and everyone else you’ve starred on OK Cupid have convened under secret cover to plot the systematic takedown of your self esteem?
You know this isn’t true. But you also know that to love and to date is to risk, every single goddamned time. No one, not even the love of your life, should you find her, can promise you you’ll never get hurt.
You’ve got to ask yourself: Are you seeking a partner…or mass acceptance and approval by other women? Is the goal never to be rejected by any of them and then fill a multi-bedroom house with sister wives? My guess is no.
If you want someone you can love, and maybe even marry (if that’s your thing, and it might not be), then by design that means you’ll pass on most people. Almost all of them. You will get weeded out, and you will let others go. At some point, the pool of folks narrows. Worry less about what this “means” and instead, thank her. She’s just done you a favor.