Friday, September 2, 2011

It's not you, it's me

So, I emailed this guy. He came up in my quiver matches, so I figured I'd take a chance.

A few hours later, I get a response:
Thanks for writing, but I don't really think you're my type.
I've said before, I'm not really a fan of the "polite response." I know some people think it's the right thing to do when someone takes the time to write you on a dating site. But I view that initial email as the equivalent of a slight nod, or smile or wink at a bar. If I'm not interested after that, I just look away, right? I don't have to walk up to you and explain why I don't think we're a good match. So why do that here?

I also don't view it as polite. Actually - it's sort of rude, if you think about it. I've signed off the site, so if you respond, I will get an email telling me I have a message. So, I get the notification, then I take the time to sign back in and read your response. So you make me chase down your rejection? Not cool.

Still, some like the polite response, so I accept it as one of the realities of dating sites. But that response? Wasn't polite. It was mean. This guy not only forced me to work so he could ease his own conscience - he was mean while he did it.

"You're not my type" loosely translated means, "There's something wrong with you." That is not how you politely reject someone.

I know it's cliche, but the truth is, "It's not you, it's me," really is the nicest way to reject someone. I know many say that it's condescending, since everyone knows it's not really what the person means. And in a case where you're ending a relationship - yeah, that's not fair. Be honest. Do the tough thing, and say what's really going on.

But in a polite response? Be polite, for crying out loud! Take the blame yourself; you aren't helping that other person at all by laying the blame with her.

When I bump into someone in the store, I say I'm sorry - it's my fault, even if maybe it wasn't. When I know a customer didn't send an email, but they're sure they did - I say, it didn't come through, can you re send it? I take the blame, I don't place it.

That's polite.

So if you're going to reject me - and you insist on doing so in an email - the least you could do is take the blame. "I'm not interested," or "I don't think we're a good match," both work. They are honest and direct, but still take the blame, rather than place it.

And honestly, I think at some point when you're dating, you have to at least consider the possibility that you just might be the problem.

1 comment:

  1. Ha. This is so very true. Ending a relationship is a mine field! Although I do think 'it's not you, it's me' is slightly patronising...