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Dating Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Write Long, Emotional Emails

Dating Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Write Long, Emotional Emails


In a recent post, I wrote about Jessica, who went on only two dates with Matt before he got way too into it. Things fell apart when Matt witnessed Jessica flirting with another guy while they were out with friends.

When Forrest Gump had to de-stress, he started running.  And he ran, and he ran and he ran. Well, when Matt found himself at a similar emotional crossroads he started...writing. And he wrote and he wrote and he wrote.

The ugly result was a 674-word email, with 31 accusatory uses of the word "you."

Putting things in writing essentially immortalizes a situation, and it can be forwarded around and even turned into fodder for blogs...like this. It's usually a bad idea.

Jessica already thought Matt was overbearing, and this letter sealed the deal.

Here's a breakdown:

VIOLATION: Telling someone how they feel or think

 "The past few days gave me time to think about what happened and what was said between us. I imagine you've done the same."

"We have a good time when we're with each other and that's all that matters."

Don't assume this girl thought about it, and don't assume she has a good time when she's with you. Just speak for yourself.

VIOLATION: Playing the victim

"I'm still shocked by how little respect you showed me."

"...however, I'm having trouble convincing myself that how you treated me isn't a blatant sign of how little you care."

"...I feel I deserved a heads-up so as to avoid the situation and not be completely embarrassed in front of my friends."

It's great to wear your heart on your sleeve, but you have to be strong too. I mean, these lines resemble things women have written to me. As you know, I'm a huge fan of Lifetime movies; I'm convinced Matt can write lines for Lifetime's many jilted female characters.

VIOLATION: Assuming things

"Was I wrong to assume that me being more than just a friend to you gains me some courtesy or caring?"

"I did know and still do know we are not in a serious relationship. We are dating (or did I misread that too?)"

Yes, you were wrong to assume that you're more than friends. And you can't assume you're "dating," because what one person considers "dating," another person considers casually hanging out. You went on TWO dates — is that dating?

VIOLATION: Accusing a girl of being slutty

"Not only was I stunned seeing you all over some unknown guy..."

Wow, you really think lines like that are going to win her over?

VIOLATION: Contradicting yourself within the letter

"I've been trying to open up because I do really feel we work well together."

"My biggest strength and also flaw is my ability to let things pass, no matter how difficult."

So, you're writing a 674-word angry email because you're good at letting things pass? That would be like the Colonists stating, within the Declaration of Independence: "We are usually OK with unfair taxes and overall bad treatment, but..."

And, wait, you think you two work well together after you wrote she embarrassed you in front of your friends, blatantly disregarded your feelings, and was all over some unknown guy? That wouldn't hold up in court.

Matt's goal was to win Jessica back. In reality, it would have made a little sense if he wrote: "I wanted to let you know how crappy that was. Have a great life."

Instead, he wrote: "Call me later, we can discuss."

Does he really think that she'll want to have "further discussions" of this sort or even find him attractive after that letter?

This letter did the following:

I think we should all live by this commandment:

Thou shalt not write long, emotional emails to those who have spurned you.

As Led Zeppelin wrote: "There are two paths you can go by..." In this case, there was a high road and a low road. He could have ignored/dealt with the episode on his own. (Hey, his biggest strength/flaw is letting things pass anyway, right?) Instead he took the low road by writing an angry email. This girl is actually very nice and would never intentionally hurt anyone.

What are your thoughts? Do you think he's out of line, or should he vent his anger and frustration? Do you think his words were rude/counterproductive? Do you agree with me that long, emotional letters usually have the opposite effect of the desired one? 

Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/richravens

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