I’ve written about this before, but I am going to keep flogging this horse until it’s dead. Why? Because I am still annoyed and I’m going to share the love dear reader.
The burning question of the day is this. How would you like someone to tell you they are not interested? Do you want an overt explanation? Do you prefer a text? Or is the fade away more up your alley?
We live in a fast paced world where we can communicate almost as quickly as the thoughts form in our heads. This can lead to some catastrophic situations (as everyone who has ever mixed excessive consumption of alcohol, a smart phone and an ex knows only too well). But it has also become the yard stick by which we measure romantic interest, and friendships as well.
The time between which a text message is sent and a reply is received is apparently indicative of the level of interest someone has in you. This is never more keenly felt than during the actual time elapsing between the sent and received messages. For me, it has now been 2 days since my casual “so how’s your week going” (pathetic I know) message was sent. I am pretty sure that a response is not coming. But what I want to know is how hard is it to respond and say thanks but no thanks (or perhaps something a little less terse).
Is it ever okay to go days without a response and to finally say “hey listen, I haven’t heard from you so I hope you’ve not been hit by a truck or similar. But if you are able bodied, could you just let me know if you’re interested in meeting up again or not?” Or perhaps “Oh hi there, not sure whether you got my last text, but if you did, and you’re not in a coma, can I just assume you’re an ill-mannered wimp who can’t be bothered responding?”
No, I guess it’s not. Because requiring any kind of confirmation as to whether someone is interested or not makes you into a sort of crazy person, right?
It’s not just in the dating world either. I’ve sat in cafes with friends who obsessively respond to every little ping of their phone and yet I’ve waited days to hear back from them. I really believe that unless you’re performing life saving surgery/in an ambulance/in a coma/living under a rock then there’s no excuse for more than 2 hours before responding to a text message. Three tops. It’s just rude and it speaks to the larger issue of an overall decline in manners. If you don’t like being treated that way yourself (and let’s face it, who does), then why would you think it was acceptable to treat another person that way. Yes it is uncomfortable to have to tell someone you don’t want to see them again. But it’s not the worst thing you’ll ever have to do and it makes you a better person when you treat others with respect.
I’ve had dates tell me they don’t want to see me again in a few different ways. Never in person, always via text, here’s a selection:
- I think we live too far away from each other. This is BS of course, he knew where I lived when we met but it’s a handy one because I live in the mountains. It’s not mean, it doesn’t blame either one of us and it’s a clean goodbye. NB: This does not work for locals.
- Oh, is that the time, I have to go and meet a friend. Lame but to the point.
- I’m going to be really busy with work over the next couple of months. Also lame but the message is pretty clear.
- I liked meeting you but I don’t want to take things further. Bit disappointing but super clear. No mixed messages. The end.
- I’m really looking to fall in love and I know you’re not someone I could fall in love with. Knife through the heart brutal. This really happened to me, after what I thought was one of the best first dates I’d ever been on. Talk about crushing a girl’s spirit!
I think number 4 is the best of the bunch (and I’ve used this myself). It’s not fun to be told someone you might like doesn’t feel the same way, but it’s short, sharp and ends things cleanly. No big conversations need to be had, no one has to be nasty or give explanations. You might feel a bit disappointed for a few days, there’s no ambiguity and the path is clear to pursue other interested parties.
So tell me, what is your preference? A clear cut message or the fade away?