Dear John (no pun intended)

I just went on a date with John. Whereas I might normally try to protect his identity with a made up name, it would be with something like “John” anyway. No offense to anyone named John because it really is a great name, but with so many of them around… Although if he sounds like your match, I’d be thrilled to introduce you. He is still very single and at least one of my friends loves it when I – what SHE calls – recycle my former dates. I am into being a good friend AND environmentally friendly!

Anyway, John is one of those super nice, CUTE, considerate, thoughtful, well-traveled, educated, generous, smart guys that you WISH you were into but you’re just not. At least I was not. He was obviously nervous and asked quite obvious questions (and not even that many of those). I just want an inquisitive man who asks soul searching questions and tries to unravel the mystery of who I am. YES, on the first date! At least I need to see a glimmer of hope that he has the “unraveling” potential! I could tell he was kinda into me because he frequently exclamed “Wow, you’re really interesting!” or “Amazing how much we have in common!”. I can see how “on paper” we’d SEEM perfectly compatible, I knew there wouldn’t be a date 2.

I believe in being perfectly clear with people, particularly when I have no intention of dating them. Why keep them in suspense or worse yet, wait until they send you a glowing email enumerating everything you had in common and how wonderful they think you are. I mean the last part is not so bad, but SO awkward and unnecessary. I try to do all I can to help them save face and maintain a sense of dignity as I “let them down gently”. In fact, I must confess, I feel this incredible responsiblity – umm, potentially bordering on unhealthy – to protect their self esteem / ego. To this end, my “I am not interested, but you’re fabulous” email to John (let’s call it “form letter A”) read:

“Dear John (no pun intended)

It was great meeting you last night. You’re one of the most thoughtful, considerate people I’ve ever met. Thank you so much for dinner! I definitely sensed more of a friend vibe so should you ever want a museum buddy, just let me know – I’d love to be friends. Have a great week!”

I was perfectly satisfied with my Form Letter A. I had clearly stated my intentions, I was nice AND I gave him an “out” ! I certainly was not expecting the reply:

“I am confused. Did you get the friend vibe from ME? Because I am definitely interested…” It went on downhill from there. Sigh! I don’t get it! Dude, I throw you a rope – grab on and play along! Why set yourself up for further awkwardness or a blunt(er) rejection? Embarrassing and oh SO uncomfortable for both of us!

I was so confused, I had to run this by my friends. Almost unanimously women agreed that I was nice, clear and he SHOULD have let it go (apparently, most women have a version of Form Letter A and sometimes get the same response I did.) I was shocked that several male friends told me I was too subtle and left a “door open” in my email. HA?

I don’t know. What do you think? Was I unclear / too subtle? Did I leave an “open door”? What does your “form letter A” say and have you had better luck with it? What would you like to hear / read post date 1 if someone’s not interested? Would LOVE to hear your feedback and experiences!

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2 responses to “Dear John (no pun intended)

  1. I have to say, that I do see how he could have not gotten the message…and how, to him, there may be have been an open door. You have to truly spell it out bluntly with guys. Even say “I am not interested in anything but friendship.”
    Your phrasing of sensing more than a friend vibe and in the next breath, mentioning the possiblity of a museum get-together…to these somewhat dense men, means aha, there’s a chance. I think being very blunt, and in our female view, perhaps rude, is often the clearest way of gettin one’s point across (ie, I am not interested)

    Good luck.

    Jessica

  2. I hear you Jessica! Next time I’ll be a lot more clear. I just hate to hurt people’s feelings. I guess I’ll have to get over it. Thanks again for great advice!

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