Sunday, September 18, 2011

Rejection: Don't be a Sore Loser

Written by Lauren of Love Kudos
At the beginning of online dating, everyone is just trying to get to know each other and all behaviors are magnified and scrutinized. We make judgment calls with very little data and sometimes decide prematurely that we "like" someone. Well, this happened to me recently with someone that lived a couple of hours away. Our first conversation was over an hour and a half and by the end of it, I had already figured out a plan in my mind how we could make the long distance work and how our dogs would become lovers. He has a beige shih-tzu and I have a black and white one. As soon as we said good bye, the texts of endearment began, as well as pictures of his family. I was extremely excited that he was so into me after just a phone conversation. Within the first couple of conversations, we had already covered serious matters such as religion, having children, and marriage. I learned that he was divorced, but had a very amicable break up.

I am not big on letting too much time lapse before the first date, so I definitely pressed to have an in person meeting sooner rather than later. He agreed and we met that following Sunday in Austin. Let me preface that I had a cold and almost cancelled the date, but did not want to delay our first encounter. He took me to Uchi and surprisingly, we actually did not have to wait that long for a table. I was smitten with his looks right off the bat and I could tell he was pleased with my appearance as well. I think he said that my pictures did not do me justice. Conversation flowed, but something felt off for me. It was like talking to Ryan, the too happy go lucky guy, from the bachelor. It seemed there was a lack of sincerity or perhaps I am just more cynical than most. Without divulging details of our conversation, I felt that our personalities were opposite in spite of  sharing so many things in common: religion, family pedigree, love for travel, the outdoors, and children. I really wanted to make this work and offered to buy him dessert at Amy's ice cream afterwards. During dinner and at Amy's, I never felt the urge to touch him, which puzzled me.

I desperately wanted him to meet Chloe to see if she would be a perfect match for his dog so I invited him to meet her at my place. It was a quick meeting and they got along really well. We said good bye with a stilted embrace and I apologized that I could not kiss him due to my cold. I should not have acted contrite, especially since I really did not want to kiss him. After he left, I felt sad and began to second guess my dating instincts. Perhaps, I was being too brash and should give him another chance. We arranged a second date in his city for the following Monday. I wanted to meet Chloe's potential boyfriend and see his digs. I thought perhaps the chemistry would develop in time. The texts of endearment increased in frequency that week and the daily affirmation messages started to feel generic.

Caribou left Chloe at the Altar
Our second date was a bit doomed from the start. I was under personal distress and really wanted to get back to Austin as soon as possible. When I got to his place, he welcomed me with open arms and brought up Chloe to meet Aldo*.  Aldo was more interested in Chloe's green monkey than playing with her. I guess they did not have instant chemistry either. In his defense, he is much older than Chloe. Don't worry, Chloe still has Caribou, but I thought it would be a good idea to expand her dating pool. (He is not the marrying kind). We left the two shih tzu's at home and went to dinner.

He picked out an Italian restaurant in a strip shopping center that was closed on Monday's. He did not call for reservations. This surprised me given his tenacious nature in other aspects of his life. We ended up at a locally owned restaurant a few minutes from his place. It was during dinner when I realized I was 99% sure he was not going to be my husband. Too much of our conversation was anchored to past relationships and talking about our family dynamics.  He did not seem interested in talking about my career plans or about current events. When it comes down to it, there was not shared laughter at the table and I would say dinner could be graded as a B

When we got back to his place, I wanted to leave, but I also felt a little tipsy from the alcohol at dinner and needed to sober up. We went through his DVD collection and finally arrived at a mutual interest to see Snatch. Great flick that created some good banter between us. He subtly tried to show affection towards me, but was not overtly trying to go in for a kiss or cop a feel. Chloe exiled herself to under his desk and then eventually returned to the couch next to me. Finally at about 10:30PM, I announced that I really needed to leave and stood up to see that my poor dog had just thrown up on his couch. I was mortified. So much for a clean getaway. I immediately cleaned it up and partly out of pity and more out of curiosity, I pecked him on the lips, which he reciprocated. I felt nothing. He was somewhat perceptive and asked me if my sweet, little kiss was an I am sorry kiss.

He later indicated that he had a good time that night and continued writing the morning text affirmation messages. "Have an awesome day, have fun tonight, etc." Although I was no longer initiating any correspondence, only responding to his. A week after my second date, I decided to just be straight up and end what had such a promising start. I called him and conveyed in the message that I wanted to talk about things and catch up. He did not rush to return that message. A day later, he texted me confirming receipt of my message and I responded telling him I would call him that night. "Sounds good" was his response.

The small talk / weekend in review conversation went well and then when I eased into the relationship talk, everything went south. I said, "I just wanted you to know that I don't see this blossoming into a relationship. I see this as more as a foundation for a friendship. I feel like something is missing." I was proud of my words and had carefully crafted what I was going to say before the call.  I expected to hear in response, "I am sorry you feel that way. I could sense you were pulling away and I wish you felt differently," or "Are you sure?"

However, what he actually said was, "Yeah, the chemistry is just not there for me. I see you more as a friend too." I was in shock. I guess no one likes to accept rejection. I knew that he was more into me, but he did not want to admit it. I responded, "I am surprised that you would say that given your level of correspondence with me." Then he said the biggest defense response in a harsh tone, "No love lost here on my end." With that, the potenial love connections for Chloe and me were done.

If he had reacted differently, I think we really could have had a friendship and I would have even set him up with another girlfriend. However, given his reaction, I can just imagine what he would be like if we actually had a real relationship, and that is not a pretty sight.

How you end a potential relationship is crucial if you run in the same circles.

Back to article on how to deal with rejection with dignity and integrity.

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