I always found it funny when my friends and clients joked about being "in the trenches" when they talked about dating. However, after hearing lots of not-so-fantastic stories lately, I too am starting to think the incredible Pat Benatar was right when she sang "Love Is a Battleﬁeld." I am at a place where I am starting to believe that singles are in a battle.
A very large, uphill battle where no one is really winning.
The toughest stories to hear are the ones where they go on a few dates or so, are excited about the new prospective lady or gentlemen to only have them go missing. Dropping off the face of the earth. Radio silence. Incommunicado. No reasons, they just decided they weren't interested and didn't feel the need to share it with the other person. Wouldn't it be great if there were milk cartons for this?
Left with only our imaginations to ﬁll in the blanks, we make up weird stories or ideas in our heads that don't usually lead us to the happy place. We question everything we said, replay the dates over and over in our heads, just hoping for a glimpse on why it didn't work out.
After hearing the same story over and over, I feel like I needed to start the conversation about this really unacceptable trend. To bring back some decency to dating -- some basic human kindness.
If you are single and out there meeting people, mingling, texting, hanging out, making out or any other form of general dating, falling off the face of the earth is not an option.
Here is an explanation in case I am not being obvious enough: Whether you've hung out for a night or been on a few dates, you realize it's not working for you. Here is the deal, when that happens, you need to step up and tell them "thank you, but no thank you."
Be open, be honest, and both of you can move on. Not answering phone calls, texts, Facebook messages, tweets or any communication is not acceptable. It is disrespectful and downright gutless.
Please do not even think I am aiming this at one particular gender or age group, because this kind of behavior is an equal opportunity offender. I feel that if you can not be kind enough to do this, then you need to step back, check yourself and take a break from dating for a while. I know we all have stuff, that is why there are life coaches and therapists. There is no need to drag other people into your stuff with you and leave them in the wake of it. You and I both know that is just not kind and all I am asking for here is a little kindness.
We are all out here just doing our best to ﬁnd love and be loved, and it isn't easy. There are going to be freak-outs, missteps, awkward moments and lots and lots of nervousness, but if we are all kind to each other, this gets a whole heck of a lot easier.
I am also well aware that this is not easy. Rejection is tough and no one wants to hurt someone else's feelings. Nor do we like to feel like the bad guy/gal in that situation.
But there are tons of reasons why connections don't happen or fade and I already wrote an article about that. Either way, everyone deserves a little kindness and closure. Without that they have no idea what happened and have a hard time moving on. Doesn't everyone deserve to move on?
Just so you know, I would never ask you to stop doing something hard without giving you some idea on how to do it. No one needs a long list of reasons, excuses or you apologizing 76 times. Also, no one needs a bunch of BS, because if you really thought they were so amazing you would probably be dating them, right? Be kind, but make sure they know you mean it. Here is a kind way to end a new "thing."
"I just want to tell you thank you so much for the time we have spent together. I have to be honest that I am not wanting to move this forward and just don't feel it is what I am looking for right now. I have really loved getting to know you and truly appreciating getting a glimpse into your life. I wish you the best of luck."
Kind yet ﬁnal. That is what we are going for here, people.
I am going to give everyone the beneﬁt of the doubt that depending on the length, they know the best way to do it. But please, for the love of all that is good left on this earth, do not use social media for this. If you have been on at least a few dates it deserves a call (not a text) and if you have been dating more than a couple of months there should be some kind, but realistic, reasons so they can learn from the experience.
So who is with me?
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