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Rejections, the Giving and the Getting

Most people who date online follow a simple one-stop process for rejecting people: they disappear. It’s temptingly easy, but don’t do it. You don’t have to respond to first contacts, but once you’ve signaled that you’re interested, it’s rude to just stop responding. You’ll find out just what it’s like when someone does it to you. The worst part is the waiting. You don’t know if the person you’ve been emailing is just busy or has lost interest, so you sit around checking your inbox, even when you don’t really care about the person.

[TR: I think it depends on the rapport. If the communication is taking off, you don’t owe anyone an explanation. A “break up” might even be insulting or humiliating. But if the communication is pretty good, and you think that the other person might be getting into you, it would be considerate to let them know if you decide not to pursue things further.]

If you do lose interest in someone, you can make up whatever stupid excuse you want, but write something. I usually tell people that my life has gotten too crazy to deal with dating right now. I’m sure that they see right through the excuse, but at least they’re not waiting around for a message.

And if someone rejects you, either by disappearing or by giving you some excuse, take no for an answer. You’re allowed one follow-up, just to see if you’ve been temporarily forgotten or a message has been lost along the way. After that, it’s time to move on. A few months ago, TR went on one date with a guy and then rejected him unambiguously. He won’t go away, she still gets emails and text messages from him every few weeks, even though she doesn’t respond. I don’t get it.