You receive a nice, personalized email from a man on a dating site. He’s crafted an message specific to you, commenting on items from your profile. His profile is fine, but something is a borderline deal breaker. You vacillate whether to respond with your nice boilerplate “Thanks but no thanks” email, or to encourage more interaction.
No doubt like you, I’ve received lots of contacts from guys who clearly weren’t a fit, or of enough interest for me to meet for coffee. Those were easy to deal with. I simply sent them my “Thanks but no thanks” email.
The slippery slope begins when you have ambivalence but decide to write back anyway. There was nothing odious about his profile or communication, but also nothing really compelling. And there was that one (or more) issue that raised a yellow flag. Not to say this is always bad, as I’ve met some great guys who I initially thought weren’t of interest, some of whom I dated multiple times or others who became beaus.
But more often than not, I knew we weren’t a match from the get go. However, his email was so nice, or he was articulate, or there was something interesting in his profile to offset the borderline deal breaker. So I answered the email, which progressed to a phone call, which led to coffee. And after you’ve built a bit of a bond through multiple emails and phone calls, when you meet and there’s no spark, it’s uncomfortable to have to tell him so.
In “Hello — goodbye: How to say ‘no thanks’ after meeting” I discussed how to gently yet clearly let a guy know you aren’t a match. I always feel badly when I must have that conversation when I was pretty sure we wouldn’t be a match from the beginning.
“Then why even encourage him?” you rightly wonder. Because some of my most special guys were ones who I was close to emailing a “no thanks” message. But after some emails, phone calls and coffee, I warmed to them. In “‘I only want to date someone I would marry’” I shared that as long as there aren’t glaring red lights and he seems interesting, go ahead and meet for coffee.
Sometimes you respond to his initial email out of selfishness. You haven’t had a date, let alone an interesting, flirty email conversation in a while. Maybe you are lonely. Or bored. And there’s no one else on the horizon. He seems nice enough, so who knows? So you respond, even though you’re 90% sure you’re not a good match. That’s not really a good way to start any relationship, even if it’s only a one-time coffee one.
The wisdom lies in knowing whom to turn down at the beginning to save you both time and possible rejection and who to respond to, in the hopes that there will be a spark. How do you get this wisdom? I wish it were just from reading these missives. But unfortunately, it is usually from having lived through a few experiences where you have to turn someone down for a second date, knowing you should have done so before the first.
Technorati Tags: dating Internet, dating online, senior dating, bbw dating, mature dating, dating over 50, dating over 40, online dating advice, dating after 40, dating after 50, over 40 dating, 40+ dating, dating after forty