A few months ago, I got a very lovely email from a woman named Tracey. A friend of mine recommended my blog to her, knowing that she was single and struggling to find love. Here is a quote from that email:
Unfortunately, I began reading it this afternoon and couldn’t stop until I finished reading all of the posts! Oh well, who needs to work anyway?
Thank you for putting into words all of ‘my’ on-line dating experiences. I will make sure that I share your site with everyone I know!
As a blogger, I’m sure you can only imagine how thrilled I was to get her email. So, in my Carrie way, I got up and started dancing/jumping for joy.
In my living room.
Those of you who know me, know this as my “happy dance.”
After flailing my body around in my living room like a crazy person, I immediately replied telling her that her kind words had just made my week.
She replied with the following:
No, you actually made my week!
I told myself yesterday morning that I was D-O-N-E with on-line dating (again). But, reading your stories I realized that I was not the only one who had these kind of experiences. Everyone hears about ‘those’ people who meet on-line and live happily ever after but no one talks about how many frogs they had to kiss to actually find their prince. That is what makes your stories so flipping fantastic!
Once again, I found myself doing my happy dance in the living room–so pleased with myself to know that what I’m trying to convey about dating had been clear. Yes, I have stories and stories about my unsuccessful dating life. They maybe entertaining, but for those who are in the same boat as I am, and maybe those who are married and think that single people have it easy, the one thing that I have found that all single people can agree on is that dating sucks!
Let’s face it, finding a decent human being to fall in love with has become much more difficult over the last ten years. Is it the times? Is it the change in society? Is it me? And usually, we think it is in fact us.
I’m doing something wrong.
I’m always going to be single.
‘Round and ’round the negative circular thinking goes and that’s why I’m so passionate about publishing my own frustrations with dating. I want everyone who reads my blog that they are not alone. Dating sucks and being single can be very lonely and hard on our self-esteem.
That’s why I’m here.
Two months after I got that initial email from Tracey, she contacted me again in an email. As soon as I saw her name in my in box, I knew something was up.
We ended up emailing each other all day long and when we finally resolved her dilemma I asked her if I could use it for my blog. I explained to her that from time-to-time, I like to publish correspondence that I have with fans. Lucky for me, Tracey happily gave me her permission to post it, so here it is:
RE: Help! Before I do anything stupid!
Hello my friend!
So, it has been awhile but I wanted to say hi and get your advice on a situation before I look like a complete idiot.
By the way, I am still reading your blog and love, love, love it!
So, I met this guy from OKCupid. He sent me a message a few weeks ago and things were going really well.
I met him for drinks last Friday night, which turned into dinner (5-hour dinner), a romantic kiss goodnight and him asking me out on Saturday.
I was reluctant to commit to the date on Saturday but I thought about it when I got home and was like screw it…. why not.
We went to Waterfire in Providence on Saturday night and when he dropped me off at my car he asked me out for this weekend and said he would call later in the week.
He texted me on Sunday morning and said he had a great time; we exchanged a few more texts then nothing on Monday.
Also, let me say that he was moving his kid into boarding school Tuesday and he was moving into a new condo in Boston (but is keeping his place in Providence too because his daughter lives there).
He texted on Tuesday night asking me how my business trip was… I texted at the airport on Wednesday when I was bored because my flight was delayed and then again on Thursday night asking if he wanted to chat and catch up. He responded saying that he was on his way home from a movie and that he was moving his furniture in to the new place on Friday. I did not respond.
So now the dilemma. It is Sunday morning… and nothing, nothing at all!
First I know I date like a 13-year old girl and check my phone every three minutes waiting for contact (which is not healthy!). And I recognize that he is busy… but really??? Am I wrong for wondering what happened?
Do I send a quick text asking him what’s up or do I just chalk this one up to another asshole who feels that women are disposable? At what point is it rational to expect a little hello and at what point am I chasing something that is not there…
Any advice? Fuck, I hate dating!
Hello! This is definitely a dilemma! But, before I answer, I have to ask you, why didn’t you respond to him on Friday?
Because I was a mess. And when I say a mess … I have a shit storm brewing at work and I was just a disaster. I needed to decompress and him not calling or texting didn’t help matters. So I opted to play it cool. So I just texted this to him 45 minutes ago:
Hey there: hope the moving went well. I hadn’t heard from you in a few days and wasn’t sure if I was reading the signs wrong or if you got super busy. No worries either way, just let me know.
And I take it he hasn’t responded? Well, that just blows.
Seeing that you have already sent out an email, which I probably would have suggested that you do anyway, I want to ask you something else…how much did you like this guy? I mean, really…how much did you like him? And try to separate the attention that he was giving you from the person he showed you he was…before he disappeared on you, that is.
Ah, I liked him more than anyone else that I have met in a very long time. I sent that text 45 minutes ago. But, to quote you, “No answer, is the answer.” I will give him until this afternoon and then I will resign myself to mending yet another dating combat wound.
It just sucks… Plain and simple.
Thanks for listening though… My friends were sick of listening to me bitch.
Well my advice would be, if you want someone to be sincere – then you have to be sincere. If you don’t want someone to be aloof, then don’t be aloof. You signed off by saying “No worries either way.” But, in reality, you’re disappointed and you’re really hoping everything is okay with him and okay with you guys as a couple. Right?
I don’t have a crystal ball, but what I do know is that things can easily be misconstrued by texting. That’s why it’s so important to call. Texting should not be used to communicate, unless it’s for “Hey I’m running 10 minutes behind” kind of thing. I’m guilty of it too, but we tend to hide behind our texts when we should really be calling the person, like an adult, and just ask the difficult questions. Look, we are all afraid of being rejected, but if he’s the right guy, he’ll appreciate your effort and honesty.
Maybe he thought you assumed he was at the movies with someone else and that’s why you didn’t respond. Texting is a delicate game, so if someone drops the ball or doesn’t return a text – all hell can break loose and then the assuming immediately kicks in.
We all know that love is a battlefield, but if we are going to find love, in this day and age, we also have to learn how to be vulnerable. If this guy never contacts you – that’s on him. It’s his loss. But, if we are constantly keeping ourselves in a “protective” state by being aloof and acting as if we don’t care, then why should they?
Personally, I would have sent the following text:
“Hey there! I didn’t hear from you and was hoping everything went smoothly with your move. You mentioned last weekend you wanted to get together again, but when I didn’t hear from you, I was really disappointed. Do you want to try for next weekend? I would really like to see you again.”
You gotta stay positive – not clingy – but upbeat. Putting the ball in his court and don’t assume anything tragic, like he’s not interested anymore. I know our minds can sometimes get the best of us, but you have to stay confident and positive, and if he doesn’t want to go out again, at least you had two awesome dates, right? My brother Nathan says all the time, “Dating should be fun.” And then he adds, after hearing my frustrations with men, which are just like yours (like why isn’t he calling back fast enough, etc.) “And it doesn’t sound like you’re having fun.” (I hate it when he’s right.) Then I pretend to cry and pout like a 5-year old…but he’s right and that’s why I decided to have more fun, and not take it so personal. It’s all about your energy and what kind of signal you are sending to these men. Believe me, they can sniff out our insecurity like…I can’t think of an analogy right now, but you get my point, right?
And this would be why I reached out to you. Thank you Carrie– from the bottom of my heart, thank you.
Dating is just such a pain in the ass. There is nothing else that we do in our lives that make us as vulnerable as dating.
Bottom line, if it is not meant to be then it is not meant to be.
When I look at my life I am just so happy with where I am. I have an incredible little girl, I have a great job and the most supportive group of family and friends. I need to relax a little, enjoy what I have and most importantly have fun.
Have a great weekend! And keep writing!
And here is the response and my response! Absolutely everything you said!
DUDE: Am flattered u are still interested. I got things yesterday from the Providence apartment, have been unpacking and my daughter is here with me so am enjoying that.
DUDE: How is your weekend going?
TRACEY: I am! Sorry if that last text indicated otherwise. Things at work fell apart on Friday so I spent Friday and Saturday trying to put things back together. I am not the best at dating and it is always so hard to gauge a persons interest, but I very much enjoy you and would like to get together again.
TRACEY: And to be more direct/specific I would really like to kiss you again.
I feel better!
*clapping profusely and jumping up-and-down*
I’m sooooo happy for you. Yay! Everything is back on track again and I’m sure you have let out a big sigh of relief!
I know when we’ve been mistreated so many times that it’s hard to stay positive, but the guy who walks away without any reason, is a jerk and in no way a reflection of you. Please remember that. I know we want the guys we date to move Heaven and Earth for us, and show us they really mean business, but in reality, men need us to show them we are interested as well.
I’m so happy for you!
So, the moral of the story is that no matter what, we need to stay positive and not give up so easily. Dating is difficult, especially during the time when you are just getting to know each other. Men tell me all the time that they don’t have ESP and wished women would be more straightforward. Nobody likes rejection, but we can’t always sit around and wait for a guy to make his move – especially if you didn’t return his last text.
Look at it another way, if this had been a business deal for Tracey, and her date was a client instead of a potential mate, I can assure you she would not have sat around and getting all depressed and thinking the worst. Nope. Instead, she would have been diligent, positive and proactive by returning the text on Friday no matter if she was having a bad day or not, because if you want to get ahead in life, you have to just bite the bullet to ensure she closed the deal–in getting another date.
LESSON LEARNED: Sometimes we make things more complicated and difficult than they really are, and that’s because of our perspective. Change your perspective and you just might change the outcome.