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I seem to have the opposite problem of most of the women in your blog when it comes to online dating – too much of a good thing! I get a fair number of interesting replies and first messages and there are two things I’m struggling with. First, is there an acceptable way to say, “My dance card is pretty full right now, but I’ll get back to you in a few weeks if none of those dates go further?” I can’t think of a good way to phrase this that doesn’t sound like the guy is “second choice” or a backup option – and usually he is a perfectly interesting and attractive person, not a second choice at all, but I don’t want to be in the situation of having three different dates every week and having to draw up a spreadsheet to keep track of them all! At the same time, changing my profile status to “seeing someone” every time I go on a second date seems like overkill.
My second question is about saying no/rejecting people. I hate it, and I’m terrible at it! I know what I am supposed to do – spit it out, be direct – but I really, really wish there was a less uncomfortable way to do it (men have it easy, all they have to do is not call). I feel like I need some formal practice – I would totally sign up for a workshop that was nothing but 2 hours straight of saying, “no, thank you, it was nice to meet you, I know we had a great chat about X, but the chemistry isn’t there for me and I don’t want a second date,” over and over until the cringy awkwardness was washed out of it. Do such workshops exist? (Yes, I’ve looked – no luck so far.) If not, any suggestions on overcoming my extreme internal resistance to being so blunt?
Thanks for any suggestions you can offer! –Erin
High-class problems, Erin. High-class problems.
And you totally came to the right guy to answer them.
Really, I hate to toot my own horn about my embarrassingly vast online dating experience, but, well, TOOT TOOT!
So your cup runneth over, eh?
There’s no dating without heartbreak, any more than there’s swimming without getting wet.
You want to act with integrity and be nice, but not hurt anybody’s feelings.
Join the crowd. Most people, men and women, have no interest in hurting anyone passively or actively. The problem is that there’s usually going to be one person who is more invested than the other person. And this power imbalance means that broken hearts are par for the course. Thus, there’s no dating without heartbreak, any more than there’s swimming without getting wet.
So for the first question, you have three things you can do more effectively.
First, you can curb the flow of incoming responses by either deleting your photos or hiding your profile. That way, you can deal with only the existing guys in a timely and fair manner. If you’re communicating with 7-10 decent guys in your inbox, that will usually result in about 2 dates. If one of the dates doesn’t pan out, you can either promote guys from the minor leagues, or reactivate your photos/profile to get more incoming traffic.
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