The "Put Them Out of Their Misery" Rule of Dating

Really, I think it's only kind and proper to be clear as quickly as possible with someone who may have a crush on you about how YOU feel.


This week, I've been recounting the saga of what I thought was a great date on Sunday night ... a date which has led absolutely nowhere. There's been a little follow-up, but absolutely no indication that we will hang out again, which has slowly driven me bananas.

As I reported yesterday, my dear friend Whiskers gave me some tried-and-true advice on Wednesday night:

"Stop over-thinking it!" he said. "If you want to ask Sir Hugo to hang out again, just do it!"

And I decided he was right. If only for the sake of my sanity, it was time to take action. So late Wednesday, shortly after getting off the phone with Whiskers, I wrote back to Sir H., rhapsodizing a bit myself about the pleasures of Ireland (in response to his note), making a joke or two ... and signing off with: Would you like to do something this weekend?

That was ... what? ... about 36 hours ago now?


By this point, I think it's MORE than safe to assume he's just not that into me ... which, as you may remember, I was assuming after the date ended rather limply ... and was assuming again after getting the note from him which, while wonderfully written in terms of style, was clearly lacking some important substance, in the form of a question about a second date.

And at this point, I'm disappointed, yes; it was the first date in about two years (which is when I met the last guy I dated in any serious way) during which I actually felt truly excited (even if I did have reservations about his state of career-less-ness).

But I also think--is this fair?--that it's bad manners for him not to have responded yet! As we all know, it's not like he is under so much work pressure that he's having trouble concocting a note. Really, it's not that hard to say: As much as I enjoyed our time together, I feel like you and I are not meant to be, so ... have a nice life.

I think I'm allowed to get on my high horse about this because I try to follow The Golden Rule when dating; I always aim to treat others the way I'd like to be treated.

Case in point? A different date I went on this week. The guy was a wonderful, sweet, vivacious person--animated, engaging, personally revealing in an interesting way. And we even quoted Rilke to each other! But, for whatever reason, I didn't feel the spark. (Maybe it's because he made a few jokes which made me cringe a little, they were so not funny. Maybe it's because his job is not in a creative field, and those are the people I seem to connect with most. Maybe it's because he was wearing open-toed sandals--not my bag.) Now, I knew, almost straight-off-the-bat he and I would never make out. But there I was, with a smart and lovely human being, so I took advantage of the opportunity to have a lively chat. We had a really nice time. So nice that at the end of the date, he said something like "Maybe I can take you out for dinner sometime."

I froze, deer-in-the-headlights style. "Maybe," I said. And then I waved good-bye and walked off.

But the next morning, I wrote him immediately--not even twelve hours since we'd said good-bye--and explained that as much as I'd genuinely had a great time, I didn't think he was the person for me. Then I suggested we keep in touch by following each other on Twitter.

Of course, I haven't heard back from him either, but that's understandable ... because ... "follow each other on Twitter"? What the hell was I thinking?



dear commenters: mink, staci, liz, raye, edwinna--thanks for all your support during this difficult time. (I-Heart: same to too! though I dunno what to call you.) ... as for the CA-girl who is unemployed: I think the idea that I might not be into someone because he doesn't have a job might be a result of me being a little sexist. Sad to admit, but true. I don't think you have to worry!