Managing disappointments

Dating can take an emotional toll. You get your hopes up when it seems someone is a great match. Even when you try to manage them, expectations creep in. You start having hopes, perhaps fantasizing about a future together.

Then something happens that dashes it all. A deal breaker emerges. A total impasse. Something one of you is not willing to live with. And it’s over.

After spending 3 fun days together, nearly 24/7, he left with a promise to call that evening. He didn’t. I felt something was amiss. Giving him the benefit of a doubt that he was too tired or forgot to call, the next morning I emailed him a nice note, saying I had a wonderful time and looking forward to our talking. No response. A the end of the day, I called and left a voice mail asking him to call me back. Nothing. The next day I received a “have a nice life” email.

We won’t go into how cowardly it is to send a blow-off email after 2.5 weeks of nightly hours-long calls getting to know each other and 3 days together. There is sadness, hurt and anger when you thought there was a possibility for a long-term romance that is shattered perfunctorily, without the honor of a conversation.

How does one manage disappointments?

It would be easy to blame and name call. I try to feel the hurt and sadness and let it be, rather than shrugging it off. If I bury the emotion now, it will come out inappropriately later. Allowing myself to feel the anger and pain helps me move through it more quickly than trying to bury it. A good cry is often therapeutic. But be careful not to linger too long in sadness or you can get depressed.

After moving through the emotion, I remind myself that the person I am meant to be with wouldn’t treat me this way. I look for the lessons from the encounter and vow to apply them to future interactions. I focus on the knowledge thatpuzzle pieces what I learn from each guy is helping me complete the puzzle toward a great relationship. The most recent guy is but one puzzle piece toward the greater whole of a loving, trusting, growing relationship. The keystone piece — my match — has yet to appear. Some puzzles are simple, with only a few dozen pieces. Others have thousands. Let’s hope mine is less than 100 — as I’m on to man #72!

How do you manage your disappointments?

Technorati Tags:,,,,,,,




10 responses to “Managing disappointments”

  1. Linda Avatar

    I have been in a relationship with a man I met on a dating webiste, for almost two years. I saw his profile, liked what I read, and contacted him. We wrote back and forth, through the website, then exchanged IM addresses and started chatting, daily. We shared our lives, pictures of each other, children, grand children, hopes, dreams, and phone calls. He lives in Australia, but called me, often. We talked daily, almost from the beginning of our meeting, and this continued for several months, going into over a year and a half.

    When I had to make a trip back east, to have surgery, he called my daughter’s home, spoke to her, and called me several times, just to see how I was doing, telling me he loved me, told me of places he wanted to take me, making plans to bring me to his city in South Australia, telling me we would even marry on the beach in Queensland. We shared our lives with each other, and now, after almost two years of almost daily chatting, phone calls, the plans we made, the love we shared, the things he told me, shared with me, his everyday activities, the connection is gone.

    The last time I heard from him was October 5. He called me to tell me he was finally going to be able to make his trip to the US, to visit some friends in Missouri, and that he was coming to get me, to spend time with me, so we could start this life we had talked about and planned. He had said a few months before that he had been diagnosed with an incurable neurological disease, and while I knew it was a serious condition, I told him that I would stand by him and support him, as nothing would prevent me from loving him, wanting to be his confidante and support. Isn’t that what love is? Isn’t that what one does when one loves another? I am a strong woman and this was the man I loved, unconditionally, even though we had not met, face to face. I trusted him, believed him, honored him, respected him to be a man of integrity, and loved him because of what we had shared, in words and thoughts. We had shared so much over the past year and a half, and I thought I knew him, that all the pieces of the puzzle fit.

    I sent him IM messages, to try to find out what happened, did I say something to upset him…..then started to send him email messages, to try to get an answer in that way. I called him, left him voice mails. Nothing. I’ve been through the sadness, the all consuming sorrow of trying to figure out what has happened, why it happened, what I could have done wrong, what I could have done differently, anything to try to figure out what happened and why he’s just disappeared, after everything we shared on a daily basis, for almost two years. And what made it worse was I knew he was getting the messages, those emails, that his email address was still intact, his voice mail was still accepting my messages, so I knew he was getting those messages that I was sending to him, but he just wasn’t answering them.

    I’ve come to the realization that I”m not the one who let him down…..he’s the one who let me down. I put it out there, for him, and he just wasn’t the one that would put it out there, for me. Why he played me for almost two years is a mystery, but it doesn’t really matter what he’s done or not done. What matters is what I do. I have decided I’m just too much woman for him, too intense, too deep, just too much for him to handle. I wish him well, and hope he will find someone who brings him what he needs to complete his life, to compliment his wants and needs. I still love him, and I think I always will. I’ve been celibate, by choice for almost 20 years, while raising my children, after my last divorce, and I know Ive got a lot to offer the man who wants to be loved from the inside out, in an extreme fashion, but next time I get involved, if there is a next time, I’ll tread a lot softer, and take my time venturing into the arena of romance. I’m sure he’s a good person. Of that I have no doubt and I dont’ blame him, except for the fact that he just stopped communicating, and in my mind, he should have just told me what was up. I would have respected him for the truth. In any case, I’ll go on and I still believe in wonderful romance and loving someone to their core. I’m not giving up. I’m just too much woman to do that. 🙂

  2. Dating Goddess Avatar


    Thanks so much for sharing your story.

    > I have decided I’m just too much woman for him, too intense, too deep, just
    > too much for him to handle.

    Absolutely! This is exactly what I decided about my recent experience. Strong, together women are too much for a man who isn’t our equal. But they can’t admit that so they go poof!

    I’m vowing to not spend so much time w/someone before there is a meeting set up. I figure I invested about 100 hours from start to finish, talking for hours nightly, then 3 days of total attention. I need to know there is more a mutual connection (which I thought there was with this guy) before I do this again.

    Thanks again for your insightful story.

  3. […] I’m a regular reader of the Dating Goddess, even though I don’t date and have no desire to date. After relating a brutal “kiss-off” from a *gentleman*, DG asks “How do you manage your disappointments?” […]

  4. Sharon Avatar

    Linda thanks for your story. Have you ever heard “don’t put all of your eggs in one basket?” You fell in love with a man you really didn’t even know. What you are feeling is not sadness about being rejected by a love, but being taken for a fool. In these long distant affairs, (would we even call it that) my advice is to meet the person ASAP and put a time limit continuing the communication if he makes no effort. He can be Mr. Wonderful, in short doses on the phone and electronically, but really he was Mr. Unavailable. Chalk it up as a life lesson and reframe it like this: that at some level he fullfilled YOUR need to have someone there for you, and in a sense you “used” his long distance support to get you throug a difficult time. He has opened the door to your heart and now you can let a real man walk in.

  5. Sharon Avatar

    PS. My best friend was involved with a man she knew from high school after they became reaquainted at a reunion although he lived thousands of miles away. She spend hundreds of dollars over a 1 1/2 visiting him 4 x’s for short period of times (he came here once). The last time she was there, she went on line on his computer and discovered he was having long distant on line relationships with 2 other woman. When she confronted him,he broke up with her. It was a “make believe” thing but in her head it was so much more. God bless, and look for someone who can be in your life for REAL.

  6. Elena Avatar

    This video is hysterical and totally on target. It’s actually a clever commercial for a new book about online dating but it’s fun nonetheless. Check it out. It is for anyone who has ever experienced exhilarating online chemistry with someone only to see it go “poof” in an instant at the first coffee date.


  7. Gatti Avatar

    Absolutely brilliant, Elena! And so true, and so sad too… Gosh, they seemed like they’d make a a really nice couple.

    So, should we read the book???

  8. Elena Avatar

    Hi Gatti,
    I have no idea whether the book is worth buying or not since I haven’t actually seen it. I stumbled across the funny video on another blog. According to Amazon, the book goes on sale next week. I’ve already sent an email to Dating Goddess telling her about it. Maybe she can score a free copy from the publisher and blog about it in the future? (hint,hint) 🙂

  9. […] Managing the disappointment of built up hope: “Managing disappointments“ […]

  10. SANDY G. Avatar

    Linda – This is just a thought, but are you sure something didn’t happen to him? You did say he had an incurable neurological disease. Or an accident of some kind.

    I’m not trying to be mean, it was just something I thought of.

    ~Sandy G.