The Match Maven Online Dating Coach on Twitter The Match Maven Online Dating Coach on Facebook Contact Online Dating Coach The Match Maven Your Online Dating Coach The Match Maven
About Match Maven Briana Shestack Online Dating Coach
Online Dating Testimonials for Dating Coach | Match Maven
Match Maven Services Online Dating Coach
Blog Online Dating Stories from Dating Coach | Match Maven

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

How to Tell Someone, "No, Thanks."

I was recently asked to contribute to an expert panel on a topic that plagues many daters, both in the online world and off...

“How do I politely but firmly tell someone I’m just not interested?”

Here was my answer, and certainly one that I tell all my clients:

As someone who made almost every mistake in online dating, I learned this one the hard way.  But once burned, I quickly discovered a couple of practical and effective techniques for “letting someone down easy” in both the online and analog dating world.

When I began dating online, I felt compelled to respond to every one who reached out to me, irrespective of whether or not they met my basic requirements.  It’s hard to shake the need to be polite, even in an online world.  I was raised in the South.  My mother sent me to charm school and made sure I wrote handwritten Thank You notes on personalized stationery.  In high school, I wore sweaters tossed casually over my shoulders.  How could I not respond?

Not wanting to turn someone down outright, I devised what I thought was a clever way of saying “no thanks” without making them feel bad.  The site I was using allowed me to respond to an email using an automated system.  Just click a few boxes and you’ll say “No, thanks” and give the reason that a) they live too far away b) they aren’t physically attractive c) they don’t meet my educational requirements or d) I’ve met someone else.   (I can’t remember the exact categories now…but it was something like that)

I felt that outside of the distance, the clickable boxes seemed too cruel.  So I decided to tell a little white lie…that I’d met someone else.  See?  No one could be offended by that, right?  *sigh*  Wrong.

The last “gentleman” to receive the benefit of my gentle response wrote me an accusatory email a few days later:  “Your lying.  I see you online.  You’ve been active within the last 24 hours, so obviously you aren’t seeing someone else and your still looking.  Your just blowing me off.”

I quickly understood that he wasn’t online because he worked late hours and didn’t have the opportunity to make it to happy hour…he had anger issues.  But we had nothing in common.  His profile didn’t spark my interest at all.

I could have written him back saying:  “Why on earth, after reading my profile, would you think that we’re compatible?  Oh, and by the way, I think the word you were looking for and misspelled several times in your response was the contraction ‘you’re,” not ‘your.””

But I didn’t.  I’d been in therapy long enough to know not to engage irrational people in rational conversation.  So I ignored the e mail, reported him to the site and blocked him from contacting me further.

And I learned, if you are contacted by someone who you do not find interesting, don’t respond.  Let him believe his e mail went into cyberspace, got lost in your inbox or that you were abducted by aliens.  Odds are, he was probably employing the spaghetti technique (you know, throw a handful of spaghetti against the wall and see what sticks) and doesn’t even remember that he wrote you.

The same goes for winks.  Not interested?  Ignore.  Because, let’s be honest, it doesn’t take much courage to send a wink.

If, however, he sends a lovely, thoughtful email that was clearly written with you in mind (he uses specifics from your profile, proving that he read it and is interested in more than just your pictures), you should write back.  Simply thank him for his kind words, tell him that you don’t think you are a match and wish him luck in his search.

Now, here’s how this translates to live interaction…

If you’ve met someone and determined that he’s just not for you, it’s fairly simple.  If you’ve been on 1-3 dates, write him an email (you’re under no obligation to call this early in your relationship…if you’ve been on a few more dates, give him a call and say the same thing as the email, choosing whichever option best applies):  “Thank you so much for dinner last night/it was good meeting you yesterday.  I just don’t think the chemistry/connection is there to take our new friendship to the next level.  I wish you the best of luck in your search.”

That’s it.  Simple.  Sweet.  Kind-hearted.  The Southern girl in me approves.  And the "matches" clearly get the message.

XO, The Match Maven

No comments:

Post a Comment