Thursday, December 13, 2012

I paid for this?

As part of my most recent string of bad decisions, I met a guy - on Since joining Match last summer, this is the first guy I've talked with long enough for it to turn into a date (though, I admit, I haven't been using Match the way they suggest).

Everyone says that the people on paid dating sites are of a different caliber. Even the most minimal financial commitment tends to limit the users to those who are more serious about meeting others.

I have honestly not found that to be the case. I have met more than one guy on Match who is either looking for just a hook-up, or who is looking to never meet in person. I do have to say - I find it hilarious that people will actually pay for this sort of "arrangement" when there are free sites that can get the job done.

That's not to say all guys on Match are jerks. I have met a few nice guys, it just happened there was no real spark, either on my end or theirs. That's not the site's fault. I actually really like Match. I'm particularly fond of their Stir Events.

So, I found this profile back in November. Attractive, funny, seemed to have his act together (though you never know...). I winked; he winked back. So I took the initiative and sent an email. We exchanged a few, and finally agreed to meet for coffee (this was about a week later).

We met at 6 on a Monday, and talked for two hours. Honestly, we only got up to leave because the cafe was closing. We were heading in separate directions once we got outside. He looked me right in the eye and said, "I really enjoyed myself, and would like to do this again."

We texted back and forth the following week and agreed we'd meet for dinner that Saturday at 7. At 4:30 pm, I got a text message that said, "I just walked in from work, my day was much longer than I expected. I am asking if we could reschedule for Monday. I understand if you're upset." Then he signed his name to the text, like it was a letter.

I knew he was working that morning, and at first, I really didn't think much of the text. I replied saying of course I still wanted to see him, and Monday would be fine.

That was the last I heard from him.

When I thought about it more, I knew the text was a blow-off. First of all, who signs his name to a text? That made it seem more like a goodbye. Plus, he said he'd understand if I was upset, and didn't want to see him again. If you are really into someone and planning the first real date, you wouldn't risk doing anything that might send them packing. You would just suck it up and keep the date. The fact that he wasn't really said all I needed to know.

But honestly, the fact that he didn't want to see me again didn't bother me. We met once, and it was barely a date. He owed me nothing. I totally get if the guy didn't want to see me again. But there are a few things I don't get...
  • Why say you want to see me again, if you really don't? I could I understand if I asked you, and you felt pressure. That's why I never ask. I figure I'll know soon enough.
  • Having said that...why set up the second date at all? Just say no, for crying out loud! (Or, don't ask, don't tell, depending on which administration you prefer.)
  • Why try to reschedule, if what you really want is to cancel? What you should have said was, "I've changed my mind and don't want to see you again." (Feel free to copy and paste this for future use, when the truth fails you.)
I know dating is tough, and this guy is just starting back after taking a long break to raise his kids. I get that it's hard when you meet someone who is nice, and you don't want to hurt her feelings. You never really know how to say you don't want to see her again.

So let me help you out - you can start by not saying that you do want to see her again. Then don't keep in touch, or schedule another date. Eventually, she'll either go away, and you'll never have to have the difficult conversation - or she'll get so annoying that you won't care about hurting her feelings. Either way, problem solved.

But maybe it goes even deeper than that. Maybe people - men and women - need to learn that before they start dating, they should be sure they're ready for everything it involves. We spend so much time preparing ourselves to handle rejection from others, and eventually commitment and all that entails, that we never prepare ourselves to be considerate of other people's feelings.

You will meet people who want to date you, but in whom you're not interested. You will have to reject them. You should be prepared to do so with some class and respect, because that's how you would want to be treated. You can't expect to get what you're not prepared to give.

So, yeah, you definitely find more serious users on paid dating sites. I would say overall, Match users are definitely more ready for commitment and relationships.

But they still have an awful lot to learn.

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