Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Dating => Topic started by: Larrabee on September 03, 2010, 06:30:22 PM

Title: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: Larrabee on September 03, 2010, 06:30:22 PM
I recently went on a first date with someone I met online.  We got along quite well and I agreed to a second meeting, however over the next couple of days a few things that had slightly bothered me on the date started to bother me even more and after a bit of thought I realised that this probably wasn't someone I wanted to be in a relationship with.

Because I think it would be wrong to go on the second date knowing there wasn't a future in it when he might have been hoping there was, I cancelled it.  It was by e-mail which I know some people might think is a bit off, but having met online its the main way we've communicated, we'd actually never spoken on the phone.  I gave polite, non personal, non insulting reasons for cancelling, apologised and wished him well.

His reply was mainly polite, but he accused me of being disingenuous!  I admit, I'm a bit put out.  I don't plan on replying because there would be no point, I don't plan to have any further contact with this man, but was he rude to get personal and basically insult me, or is it understandable as a response to an unexpected rejection?  Was I rude to cancel an arranged date?

Thanks.
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: JoanOfArc on September 03, 2010, 06:33:40 PM
No, I don't think you were rude.  You changed your mind.  It happens.  I think it would have been ruder to go on the date and have him assume you were still interested in him.  Now, he knows and neither of you wasted time.
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: LEMon on September 03, 2010, 06:37:57 PM
I had to stop and think about this.  I'm not sure either of you were rude.   You said yes to a second date, thought about it and decided no.  You tried to let him down easy.  But seeing this from his side, it does seem 'disingenuous' - you said yes to his face, then no in an email.  If that is the worst he said in his reply, I see it as him stating his feelings about the way it was handled.

Perhaps the lesson to learn is that 'perhaps' is a good answer.  You then get to think about the second date idea and reply later.
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: Larrabee on September 03, 2010, 06:44:01 PM
I had to stop and think about this.  I'm not sure either of you were rude.   You said yes to a second date, thought about it and decided no.  You tried to let him down easy.  But seeing this from his side, it does seem 'disingenuous' - you said yes to his face, then no in an email.  If that is the worst he said in his reply, I see it as him stating his feelings about the way it was handled.

Perhaps the lesson to learn is that 'perhaps' is a good answer.  You then get to think about the second date idea and reply later.

That's a good point, thanks.  The problem is that I felt pretty certain when I said yes in person, it was a little bit of time and detachment that helped me realise it was a no, so I did truly feel very bad about the whole thing.  I'll try to remember for the future that perhaps is always better!
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: Granny Takes a Trip on September 04, 2010, 05:41:12 AM
I had to stop and think about this.  I'm not sure either of you were rude.   You said yes to a second date, thought about it and decided no.  You tried to let him down easy.  But seeing this from his side, it does seem 'disingenuous' - you said yes to his face, then no in an email.  If that is the worst he said in his reply, I see it as him stating his feelings about the way it was handled.

Perhaps the lesson to learn is that 'perhaps' is a good answer.  You then get to think about the second date idea and reply later.

I disagree with this. I think it was extremely rude for this man to call the OP 'disingenuous'. That basically means sly. In fact, OP was the opposite of that. It would have been more 'disingenuous' to go on the second date, knowing it wouldn't lead anywhere. Not that that would have been wrong, either, as people are often awkward about dating in the early stages. I still think it's just as well the OP didn't go,as this man sounds like a bit of a fruitcake. OP, I think you dodged a bullet.
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: Larrabee on September 04, 2010, 08:59:44 AM
I had to stop and think about this.  I'm not sure either of you were rude.   You said yes to a second date, thought about it and decided no.  You tried to let him down easy.  But seeing this from his side, it does seem 'disingenuous' - you said yes to his face, then no in an email.  If that is the worst he said in his reply, I see it as him stating his feelings about the way it was handled.

Perhaps the lesson to learn is that 'perhaps' is a good answer.  You then get to think about the second date idea and reply later.

I disagree with this. I think it was extremely rude for this man to call the OP 'disingenuous'. That basically means sly. In fact, OP was the opposite of that. It would have been more 'disingenuous' to go on the second date, knowing it wouldn't lead anywhere. Not that that would have been wrong, either, as people are often awkward about d@ting in the early stages. I still think it's just as well the OP didn't go,as this man sounds like a bit of a fruitcake. OP, I think you dodged a bullet.

Thanks, I agree actually!  That response in the e-mail at least made me sure I'd done the right thing not seeing him again.


Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: Granny Takes a Trip on September 04, 2010, 10:14:22 AM
I had to stop and think about this.  I'm not sure either of you were rude.   You said yes to a second date, thought about it and decided no.  You tried to let him down easy.  But seeing this from his side, it does seem 'disingenuous' - you said yes to his face, then no in an email.  If that is the worst he said in his reply, I see it as him stating his feelings about the way it was handled.

Perhaps the lesson to learn is that 'perhaps' is a good answer.  You then get to think about the second date idea and reply later.

I disagree with this. I think it was extremely rude for this man to call the OP 'disingenuous'. That basically means sly. In fact, OP was the opposite of that. It would have been more 'disingenuous' to go on the second date, knowing it wouldn't lead anywhere. Not that that would have been wrong, either, as people are often awkward about d@ting in the early stages. I still think it's just as well the OP didn't go,as this man sounds like a bit of a fruitcake. OP, I think you dodged a bullet.

Thanks, I agree actually!  That response in the e-mail at least made me sure I'd done the right thing not seeing him again.




I'm sure you've done the right thing! Even if he felt disappointed, it was not appropriate to insult you. Even if it was 'what he fe;t at the moment' that doesn't mean he had a right to be rude. If I told everyone I knew exactly what I thought of them at all times, I would alienate a lot of people! This is quite apart from the fact that it sounds as if this man might have been investing too much into the relationship, too soon, Internet dating can be fun, but only if people don't take it too seriously.  I don't mean that you (general) shouldn't look for an LTR online, just that even LTRs have to start somewhere. Having a sense of humour and balance is very important. Here endeth the lecture for today!
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: LEMon on September 04, 2010, 02:34:11 PM
To defend my original answer,

Checking my (1967) dictionary, disingenuous is 'lacking in frankness, candor, or sincerity; insincere.'  I still can see how he could feel she acted that way.  She knows why she changed her mind; he doesn't.  He just knows the 'yes', then 'no'.  And not really why.

Not that I am advocating that he should be told.

And it does seem like a big word to use to say, 'What?  Why the sudden switch?'

(It's Dad's old dictionary so it is loved.  But online dictionaries yielded the same result.)
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: Larrabee on September 04, 2010, 03:20:28 PM
To defend my original answer,

Checking my (1967) dictionary, disingenuous is 'lacking in frankness, candor, or sincerity; insincere.'  I still can see how he could feel she acted that way.  She knows why she changed her mind; he doesn't.  He just knows the 'yes', then 'no'.  And not really why.

Not that I am advocating that he should be told.

And it does seem like a big word to use to say, 'What?  Why the sudden switch?'

(It's Dad's old dictionary so it is loved.  But online dictionaries yielded the same result.)

I think disingenuous implies that I didn't mean it when I said yes originally, I did, completely, so that's why it bothers me.
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: BettyDraper on September 04, 2010, 04:10:20 PM
Well, from an etiquette standpoint, we are supposed to honor social commitments once they are made, barring an actual emergency.  Cold feet are not an emergency and excusing oneself by saying "really, it's kinder not to waste his time.." doesn't work, either, from a manners standpoint, even if it's pragmatic as a dating strategy.

The OP said the man's e-mail was "mostly polite" and the word 'disingenuous' isn't automatically insulting -- heck, etiquette relies on insincerity on many occasions -- so I'd call this one a draw. 

Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: Granny Takes a Trip on September 04, 2010, 05:14:06 PM
Well, from an etiquette standpoint, we are supposed to honor social commitments once they are made, barring an actual emergency.  Cold feet are not an emergency and excusing oneself by saying "really, it's kinder not to waste his time.." doesn't work, either, from a manners standpoint, even if it's pragmatic as a d@ting strategy.

The OP said the man's e-mail was "mostly polite" and the word 'disingenuous' isn't automatically insulting -- heck, etiquette relies on insincerity on many occasions -- so I'd call this one a draw.  



Re the bolded: maybe you wouldn't be insulted by that description. I would be, and consider his response completely inappropriate. I would be tempted to send an extremely snarky email in response (which would be a very bad idea, as it escalates the situation).  I'm sorry, but the situation is by no means 'a draw'. d@ting is not quite like other forms of social interaction, especially in the early stages. What the OP did was standard practice, and as I have said before, very far from disingenuous. She actually saved this man time and emotional energy, and in return, was insulted. In whose universrse is that acceptable or polite? Certainly not in mine.

ETA. Even if you consider the OP to have been rude, then he was rude in retaliation, which is unacceptable. But your 'cold feet are not an emergency' maxim does not apply in the early stages of dating. I would say that most especially in the case of women dating men, as safety is always a factor there. 
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: Granny Takes a Trip on September 04, 2010, 05:25:43 PM
To defend my original answer,

Checking my (1967) dictionary, disingenuous is 'lacking in frankness, candor, or sincerity; insincere.'  I still can see how he could feel she acted that way.  She knows why she changed her mind; he doesn't.  He just knows the 'yes', then 'no'.  And not really why.

Not that I am advocating that he should be told.

And it does seem like a big word to use to say, 'What?  Why the sudden switch?'

(It's Dad's old dictionary so it is loved.  But online dictionaries yielded the same result.)

That isn't the point! Of course he's entitled to feel that she acted that way. (I think that any sensible person would see that was whack, but that's kind of beside the point) The point is though, it was very rude of him to express that feeling. He isn't entitled to anything from the OP, and in fact comes across as a bit of a nut. What he could have said was 'Oh, I'm sorry you didn't feel we were a good match, I felt we might have had a connection. But I wish you luck in your search, nonetheless'.  Anything else is very inappropriate, and borderline creepy, for only one date. To be quite honest, I find it disturbing that women would condone creepy and controlling behaviour shown by men towards other women.
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: bellawitch on September 04, 2010, 05:45:02 PM
The OP said herself the return e-mail was mostly polite, she just didn't like that one word. Nothing in the OP says anything that indicates he is controlling towards women, or there is a safety issue.
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: BettyDraper on September 04, 2010, 05:47:41 PM
Well, from an etiquette standpoint, we are supposed to honor social commitments once they are made, barring an actual emergency.  Cold feet are not an emergency and excusing oneself by saying "really, it's kinder not to waste his time.." doesn't work, either, from a manners standpoint, even if it's pragmatic as a d@ting strategy.

The OP said the man's e-mail was "mostly polite" and the word 'disingenuous' isn't automatically insulting -- heck, etiquette relies on insincerity on many occasions -- so I'd call this one a draw.  



Re the bolded: maybe you wouldn't be insulted by that description. I would be, and consider his response completely inappropriate. I would be tempted to send an extremely snarky email in response (which would be a very bad idea, as it escalates the situation).  I'm sorry, but the situation is by no means 'a draw'. d@ting is not quite like other forms of social interaction, especially in the early stages. What the OP did was standard practice, and as I have said before, very far from disingenuous. She actually saved this man time and emotional energy, and in return, was insulted. In whose universrse is that acceptable or polite? Certainly not in mine.

ETA. Even if you consider the OP to have been rude, then he was rude in retaliation, which is unacceptable. But your 'cold feet are not an emergency' maxim does not apply in the early stages of d@ting. I would say that most especially in the case of women d@ting men, as safety is always a factor there. 

Hey, she's the one who posted, so clearly in her mind it's not entirely as cut and dried as you portray.  Further, where did she ever say her safety was in question?  

She made a social engagement and then broke it.  There is no getting around that and I refute that "dating is different."  (Or, if it is, perhaps the rules of proper post-date correspondence are different, too, and she should expect candid feedback about her performance on the dating scene rather than polite euphemisms.  You can't have it both ways.)  The possible direction that a social relationship may take in the future does not "trump" the ordinary standards of social behavior in the present.
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: Larrabee on September 04, 2010, 05:55:30 PM
Well, from an etiquette standpoint, we are supposed to honor social commitments once they are made, barring an actual emergency.  Cold feet are not an emergency and excusing oneself by saying "really, it's kinder not to waste his time.." doesn't work, either, from a manners standpoint, even if it's pragmatic as a d@ting strategy.

The OP said the man's e-mail was "mostly polite" and the word 'disingenuous' isn't automatically insulting -- heck, etiquette relies on insincerity on many occasions -- so I'd call this one a draw.  



Re the bolded: maybe you wouldn't be insulted by that description. I would be, and consider his response completely inappropriate. I would be tempted to send an extremely snarky email in response (which would be a very bad idea, as it escalates the situation).  I'm sorry, but the situation is by no means 'a draw'. d@ting is not quite like other forms of social interaction, especially in the early stages. What the OP did was standard practice, and as I have said before, very far from disingenuous. She actually saved this man time and emotional energy, and in return, was insulted. In whose universrse is that acceptable or polite? Certainly not in mine.

ETA. Even if you consider the OP to have been rude, then he was rude in retaliation, which is unacceptable. But your 'cold feet are not an emergency' maxim does not apply in the early stages of d@ting. I would say that most especially in the case of women d@ting men, as safety is always a factor there. 

Hey, she's the one who posted, so clearly in her mind it's not entirely as cut and dried as you portray.  Further, where did she ever say her safety was in question?  

She made a social engagement and then broke it.  There is no getting around that and I refute that "d@ting is different."  (Or, if it is, perhaps the rules of proper post-date correspondence are different, too, and she should expect candid feedback about her performance on the d@ting scene rather than polite euphemisms.  You can't have it both ways.)  The possible direction that a social rel@tionship may take in the future does not "trump" the ordinary standards of social behavior in the present.


My first reaction was to feel insulted and I was also tempted to fire back an e-mail explaining exactly why I didn't want the second date (if he can make assertions about my character there are plenty I can make about his!) but I took a deep breath and ignored it, realising that wouldn't do anybody any good. 

Surely it would have been even more 'insincere', if not technically rude, to go along for a second date knowing I was only doing it because I felt obliged?

Could I have been more upfront in my reasons for not wanting to see him again?  I assumed that with 'polite euphemism' most people would read between the lines and realise that its actually "I just don't like you enough' but less brutal.
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: bellawitch on September 04, 2010, 06:23:41 PM
OP, since I haven't seen his original sentance I'm making a bit of a leap here,but I don't get that he was insulting your chatacter as your action.

I agree with Betty it is a draw, you could have both done better. However, there is no since in replying or really giving it much more thought, what is done is done. Just think of it as a learning experience in dealing with online dating.
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: BettyDraper on September 04, 2010, 08:38:49 PM
Just think of it as a learning experience in dealing with online d@ting.

As far as I can see, the OP dealt with it as she should have, unless the suggestion is that next time she should ignore how she feels and date from a sense of obligation.

Casual d@ting, particularly online d@ting, is not equivalent to a social engagement. It has to be flexible by its very nature - there is generally a high "turnover" of dates before any party finds their match. Considerations of safety may not apply in this particular case, but they are part of why the rules for casual dates are not as stringent as for dinner parties. Both parties must not feel they are tied down so a) they can get out of a bad situation (unsafe, or the other party is not as they represented themselves); b) they can walk away without any obligation early on.

(I am not suggesting that other behaviour that would be rude in any other situation would not be rude here, for example standing someone up is definitely rude. I'm referring specifically to the freedom of either party to change their mind while d@ting casually. I think it's an absolutely necessary part of the process.)

Then parties should refrain from making social commitments they may regret later.  I categorically refute the notion that casual daters are exempt from ordinary rules of etiquette.  The notion that -- from an etiquette standpoint -- one can treat potential romantic or s3xual partners more cavalierly than one treats others is gauche and immature, at best.   

One also might consider that such attitudes may explain one's "turnover" rate.
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: Granny Takes a Trip on September 05, 2010, 01:46:14 AM
Just think of it as a learning experience in dealing with online d@ting.

As far as I can see, the OP dealt with it as she should have, unless the suggestion is that next time she should ignore how she feels and date from a sense of obligation.

Casual d@ting, particularly online d@ting, is not equivalent to a social engagement. It has to be flexible by its very nature - there is generally a high "turnover" of dates before any party finds their match. Considerations of safety may not apply in this particular case, but they are part of why the rules for casual dates are not as stringent as for dinner parties. Both parties must not feel they are tied down so a) they can get out of a bad situation (unsafe, or the other party is not as they represented themselves); b) they can walk away without any obligation early on.

(I am not suggesting that other behaviour that would be rude in any other situation would not be rude here, for example standing someone up is definitely rude. I'm referring specifically to the freedom of either party to change their mind while d@ting casually. I think it's an absolutely necessary part of the process.)

Then parties should refrain from making social commitments they may regret later.  I categorically refute the notion that casual daters are exempt from ordinary rules of etiquette.  The notion that -- from an etiquette standpoint -- one can treat potential romantic or s3xual partners more cavalierly than one treats others is gauche and immature, at best.   

One also might consider that such attitudes may explain one's "turnover" rate.

 :o
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: Granny Takes a Trip on September 05, 2010, 01:51:43 AM
Just think of it as a learning experience in dealing with online d@ting.

As far as I can see, the OP dealt with it as she should have, unless the suggestion is that next time she should ignore how she feels and date from a sense of obligation.

Casual d@ting, particularly online d@ting, is not equivalent to a social engagement. It has to be flexible by its very nature - there is generally a high "turnover" of dates before any party finds their match. Considerations of safety may not apply in this particular case, but they are part of why the rules for casual dates are not as stringent as for dinner parties. Both parties must not feel they are tied down so a) they can get out of a bad situation (unsafe, or the other party is not as they represented themselves); b) they can walk away without any obligation early on.

(I am not suggesting that other behaviour that would be rude in any other situation would not be rude here, for example standing someone up is definitely rude. I'm referring specifically to the freedom of either party to change their mind while d@ting casually. I think it's an absolutely necessary part of the process.)

The Glen, thank you for saying what I was trying to say, much more clearly than I managed to. I think that to apply Miss Manners etiquette across the board in an unconsidered manner is shows a blythe yet frankly absurd unawareness
of the realities of today's dating world. OP was acting as many, many others do, and has every right to be annoyed and put off by this man's response.  I agree with posters who say to let it go, and forget that particular man, but there is nothing that OP could have done better. That is just how online dating works. End of story.
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: Larrabee on September 05, 2010, 03:20:31 AM
Just think of it as a learning experience in dealing with online d@ting.

As far as I can see, the OP dealt with it as she should have, unless the suggestion is that next time she should ignore how she feels and date from a sense of obligation.

Casual d@ting, particularly online d@ting, is not equivalent to a social engagement. It has to be flexible by its very nature - there is generally a high "turnover" of dates before any party finds their match. Considerations of safety may not apply in this particular case, but they are part of why the rules for casual dates are not as stringent as for dinner parties. Both parties must not feel they are tied down so a) they can get out of a bad situation (unsafe, or the other party is not as they represented themselves); b) they can walk away without any obligation early on.

(I am not suggesting that other behaviour that would be rude in any other situation would not be rude here, for example standing someone up is definitely rude. I'm referring specifically to the freedom of either party to change their mind while d@ting casually. I think it's an absolutely necessary part of the process.)

Then parties should refrain from making social commitments they may regret later.  I categorically refute the notion that casual daters are exempt from ordinary rules of etiquette.  The notion that -- from an etiquette standpoint -- one can treat potential romantic or s3xual partners more cavalierly than one treats others is gauche and immature, at best.   

One also might consider that such attitudes may explain one's "turnover" rate.

Could please explain this statement.  I'm trying to understand how I could meet the right person for me sooner by going on dates with people I have no further interest in.  :-\

Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: Wordgeek on September 05, 2010, 10:11:10 AM
I deleted an inappropriate (= rude) post.  Reminder: Make your point courteously.  That means without calling names, among other things.
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: Deetee on September 05, 2010, 11:08:55 AM

Surely it would have been even more 'insincere', if not technically rude, to go along for a second date knowing I was only doing it because I felt obliged?




I disagree. Once you committed to a second date, you have accepted a social engagement. That means that baring emergancy/illness or zombie invasion, you must go. At this point (in my mind) the fact that you know you don't plan to accept a third date is irrelevant. dating is not exempt from the standard rules of social etiquette and goes much more smoothly when everyone follows these rules.

(There are definate exceptions. If aspects of his character came to light in the interm that made you concerned about your safety (obsessive, inappropriate emails texts etc...or even a bad, bad feeling) or his character (he is married/embezzling from the company) you could cancel the date. But it should be stuff that would make you ban a friend from your house-well except for the bad feeling. I wouldn't want to encourage anyone to go into a situation theyaren't comfortable with because they feel obligated. But it dosn't sound like that was the case. You just didn't want to persue a romantic relatioship )

I think you treated him poorly.
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: evely28 on September 05, 2010, 11:38:11 AM
You just didn't want to persue a romantic relatioship )

I think you treated him poorly.

But that's the whole point of the second date, the potential of pursuing a romantic relationship. Once the OP realized her feelings wouldn't be going in this direction, I think she was right to call it off as it would be wasting both their time. I think she handled herself fine and the bachelor was smarting a bit at rejection after the first date. How would he have handled rejection after the second date?
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: The Glen on September 05, 2010, 11:48:48 AM
Just think of it as a learning experience in dealing with online d@ting.

As far as I can see, the OP dealt with it as she should have, unless the suggestion is that next time she should ignore how she feels and date from a sense of obligation.

Casual d@ting, particularly online d@ting, is not equivalent to a social engagement. It has to be flexible by its very nature - there is generally a high "turnover" of dates before any party finds their match. Considerations of safety may not apply in this particular case, but they are part of why the rules for casual dates are not as stringent as for dinner parties. Both parties must not feel they are tied down so a) they can get out of a bad situation (unsafe, or the other party is not as they represented themselves); b) they can walk away without any obligation early on.

(I am not suggesting that other behaviour that would be rude in any other situation would not be rude here, for example standing someone up is definitely rude. I'm referring specifically to the freedom of either party to change their mind while d@ting casually. I think it's an absolutely necessary part of the process.)

Then parties should refrain from making social commitments they may regret later.  I categorically refute the notion that casual daters are exempt from ordinary rules of etiquette.  The notion that -- from an etiquette standpoint -- one can treat potential romantic or s3xual partners more cavalierly than one treats others is gauche and immature, at best.

One also might consider that such attitudes may explain one's "turnover" rate.

I don't think anyone promoted this view. Attributing such an attitude to me is misleading.
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: Deetee on September 05, 2010, 11:59:06 AM
You just didn't want to persue a romantic relatioship )

I think you treated him poorly.

But that's the whole point of the second date, the potential of pursuing a romantic rel@tionship. Once the OP realized her feelings wouldn't be going in this direction, I think she was right to call it off as it would be wasting both their time. I think she handled herself fine and the bachelor was smarting a bit at rejection after the first date. How would he have handled rejection after the second date?


So the bolded sentence is where we disagree. Though I will say the disagreement is fairly mild. It's a matter of timing. I am firmly of the camp that one can turn down a date or any reason whatsoever, no matter how petty. Don't really like him, hair too long, smokes, has kids, hates cats, eats sushi, doesn't eat sushi, pronounces the letter r in an odd fashion, walks too fast, drives wrong car, eyebrows are crooked,wears too much blue clothing..all fine by me. If you don't want to date the person, it doesn't mater why. Attraction is a very personal thing.

However once you have agreed to the date, you (in my reading of etiquette) are bond by the same social conventions that hold that an RSVP is written in stone (with the safety caveats I listed in my previous post) and you cannot beg off because of a better offer (it doesn't matter if the better offer is a dashingly fabulous long term crush or a desire to eat ice cream on the couch) .  Once you say you will have the date, you should go. 
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: Shoo on September 05, 2010, 12:01:46 PM
I don't think that once an invitation is accepted that it can never be cancelled, especially in the dating world. 

Just because I say yes to something yesterday does not mean I can't have a change of heart and subsequently decline.  HOW I do it determines whether it is rude or not.  If I call with plenty of notice to the other person, and don't wait until half an hour before we're supposed to meet, then cancelling is not rude.

Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: BettyDraper on September 05, 2010, 04:28:44 PM
Actually it's pretty axiomatic in traditional etiquette that once a social commitment has been made, the only acceptable reasons for backing out are grave illness, death or an invitation to the White House.  As a concession to modernity, a work-related emergency may also be acceptable but "I changed my mind" or "I don't feel like it any more" is not and never has been. 

One needs no reason at all for declining an invitation but breaking a social engagement is considered quite the heinous etiquette sin.  Sometimes people confuse the two concepts. 

Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: DangerMouth on September 05, 2010, 04:45:39 PM
A "henious" social sin would be cancelling the date because she's had a better offer.  Cancelling because she is choosing not to pursue the relationship makes this a 'venial' social sin in my book.

Though I don't actually think he was insulting by calling the OP disingenuous, either. Not because she agreed to a date and then had a change of heart, but because she gave "polite, non personal, non insulting reasons" for doing so. The guy rightly suspected a lack of candor in these reasons. She doesn't owe him her honest exact reasons, but she can't be surprised that he felt she was being evasive.
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: Wordgeek on September 05, 2010, 05:52:45 PM
Betty's got the traditional view pretty well summed up.  Once we've accepted a social engagement, we're committed to it, barring any emergency.  "I changed my mind" isn't considered an emergency.   ;)
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: shhh its me on September 05, 2010, 06:15:21 PM
  Sorry OP I think you were rude , other then emergency and safety , you can't cancel without being rude. I would also make exceptions for .....


" I tried to say no or I tried to say I'd call him/I'll have to check my calendar for a second date *with no intention of never making one* and he just put so much pressure on me I couldn't figure out how to extract myself without saying yes"  So I e-mailed him the second I got home.

or

I found some new information so disturbing it would offend my sensibilities to ever speak to this person again.  think along the lines of ...I found out they stomp kittens , con little old ladies etc.  Something so bad you would decline to sit near them at a dinner party.
or

They were unfit for a romantic relationship ie married , engaged or even being deceitful about being gay and looking for a "cover girlfriend"

He may have been rude I can't decide if disingenuous is enough in itself .  I don't think a polite "telling off" is always rude. 
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: Fluffy Cat on September 05, 2010, 06:19:01 PM
Betty's got the traditional view pretty well summed up.  Once we've accepted a social engagement, we're committed to it, barring any emergency.  "I changed my mind" isn't considered an emergency.   ;)

I agree that she does sum up the traditional view quite well, however, d@ting and general social engagements are different because they have different purposes.  One could easily argue that were the OP were to keep her previously sincere, but no longer applicable commitment to the original date she agreed to, she would also be disingenuous because she has no intention of following through on the mutually-agreed upon goal of a "date".

The only way I can see to resolve this with utmost politeness is to inform the person that you are interested in/willing to stand by your commitment of social interaction at the previously specified time and place, but that you have changed the parameters to the pursuance of friendship, not romance. Frankly, I find this to be rather wasteful of time and effort for both parties unless there is a genuine desire for platonic friendship on both sides.

Theory vs. practicality.  I don't think the OP did anything wrong.  I think the OP's date was very mildly rude to express his annoyance in the way he did so due to the nature of the rel@tionship (or lack thereof) in question.  However, I do not blame him for feeling that way, only expressing it to the OP.
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: Deetee on September 05, 2010, 06:29:18 PM
Betty's got the traditional view pretty well summed up.  Once we've accepted a social engagement, we're committed to it, barring any emergency.  "I changed my mind" isn't considered an emergency.   ;)

I agree that she does sum up the traditional view quite well, however, d@ting and general social engagements are different because they have different purposes.  One could easily argue that were the OP were to keep her previously sincere, but no longer applicable commitment to the original date she agreed to, she would also be disingenuous because she has no intention of following through on the mutually-agreed upon goal of a "date".

The only way I can see to resolve this with utmost politeness is to inform the person that you are interested in/willing to stand by your commitment of social interaction at the previously specified time and place, but that you have changed the parameters to the pursuance of friendship, not romance. Frankly, I find this to be rather wasteful of time and effort for both parties unless there is a genuine desire for platonic friendship on both sides.

Theory vs. practicality.  I don't think the OP did anything wrong.  I think the OP's date was very mildly rude to express his annoyance in the way he did so due to the nature of the rel@tionship (or lack thereof) in question.  However, I do not blame him for feeling that way, only expressing it to the OP.

In my view, this viewpoint is actually one of the problems with dating and this sort of mentality seems to make dating a more high pressure success/failure activity than it needs to be. Can't people just have a nice dinner, learn a little more about each other, have some laughs, watch a movie ithout it being termed a failure because they  don't want a third date?

On the other hand, I have never dated so I'm coming at this from a spectators point of view. But my friends who enjoy dating seem to take it one date at a time. Then I had another friend who, after reakng up with her boyfriend, called the last three years of her life a waste becaus they didn't get married.

Anyhow, that's getting a bit off topic. My views on the original question have already been stated.
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: Fluffy Cat on September 05, 2010, 06:40:49 PM
In my view, this viewpoint is actually one of the problems with d@ting and this sort of mentality seems to make d@ting a more high pressure success/failure activity than it needs to be. Can't people just have a nice dinner, learn a little more about each other, have some laughs, watch a movie ithout it being termed a failure because they  don't want a third date?

On the other hand, I have never dated so I'm coming at this from a spectators point of view. But my friends who enjoy d@ting seem to take it one date at a time. Then I had another friend who, after reakng up with her boyfriend, called the last three years of her life a waste becaus they didn't get married.

Anyhow, that's getting a bit off topic. My views on the original question have already been stated.

Certainly people can.  Sometimes people go on a date or two and realise they are better suited as friends and continue along that path.  But if you know the other person is interested in romance and you know that you are only interested in friendship, isn't it better to either reset the parameters or discontinue the relationship?  And sometimes, people aren't suited to be in any type of relationship. 

I haven't dated much myself, my DH was my second long term relationship.  But, I was the person broken up with in my previous relationship and there was nothing polite, kind, or mutual about it even though he was not purposefully cruel.  He still had the right to break up with me on the spot, even though he broke off previous plans made to do so.  Thats the nature of romance - when the purpose disapears, so do the plans.  In a friendship its easy enough just to decline future invitations and make none of your own.  Romantic relationships have too many other, more important variables.  I'm glad he did break it off with me- imagine if he strung me along never intending anything but friendship.  I would never have met much less romanced DH.
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: DangerMouth on September 05, 2010, 06:42:01 PM
Betty's got the traditional view pretty well summed up.  Once we've accepted a social engagement, we're committed to it, barring any emergency.  "I changed my mind" isn't considered an emergency.   ;)

I agree that she does sum up the traditional view quite well, however, d@ting and general social engagements are different because they have different purposes.  One could easily argue that were the OP were to keep her previously sincere, but no longer applicable commitment to the original date she agreed to, she would also be disingenuous because she has no intention of following through on the mutually-agreed upon goal of a "date".

The only way I can see to resolve this with utmost politeness is to inform the person that you are interested in/willing to stand by your commitment of social interaction at the previously specified time and place, but that you have changed the parameters to the pursuance of friendship, not romance. Frankly, I find this to be rather wasteful of time and effort for both parties unless there is a genuine desire for platonic friendship on both sides.

Theory vs. practicality.  I don't think the OP did anything wrong.  I think the OP's date was very mildly rude to express his annoyance in the way he did so due to the nature of the rel@tionship (or lack thereof) in question.  However, I do not blame him for feeling that way, only expressing it to the OP.

Still disingenuous ;D

The OP doesn't appear to want to even a friendship with this man, so she'd have to say "I really have no interest in pursuing this any further. So, what time on Friday?"
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: Fluffy Cat on September 05, 2010, 06:45:59 PM


Still disingenuous ;D

The OP doesn't appear to want to even a friendship with this man, so she'd have to say "I really have no interest in pursuing this any further. So, what time on Friday?"

You are absolutely correct!  I forgot about that aspect, which increases my stance that stopping the plans when the purpose no longer applies minimises the problim of sincerity.  Thanks for pointing that out - I hate it when I miss something.  :(
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: DangerMouth on September 05, 2010, 06:47:15 PM


Still disingenuous ;D

The OP doesn't appear to want to even a friendship with this man, so she'd have to say "I really have no interest in pursuing this any further. So, what time on Friday?"

You are absolutely correct!  I forgot about that aspect, which increases my stance that stopping the plans when the purpose no longer applies minimises the problim of sincerity.  Thanks for pointing that out - I hate it when I miss something.  :(

I live to serve  ;)
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: BettyDraper on September 05, 2010, 06:48:56 PM
Betty's got the traditional view pretty well summed up.  Once we've accepted a social engagement, we're committed to it, barring any emergency.  "I changed my mind" isn't considered an emergency.   ;)

I agree that she does sum up the traditional view quite well, however, d@ting and general social engagements are different because they have different purposes.  One could easily argue that were the OP were to keep her previously sincere, but no longer applicable commitment to the original date she agreed to, she would also be disingenuous because she has no intention of following through on the mutually-agreed upon goal of a "date".

The only way I can see to resolve this with utmost politeness is to inform the person that you are interested in/willing to stand by your commitment of social interaction at the previously specified time and place, but that you have changed the parameters to the pursuance of friendship, not romance. Frankly, I find this to be rather wasteful of time and effort for both parties unless there is a genuine desire for platonic friendship on both sides.

Theory vs. practicality.  I don't think the OP did anything wrong.  I think the OP's date was very mildly rude to express his annoyance in the way he did so due to the nature of the rel@tionship (or lack thereof) in question.  However, I do not blame him for feeling that way, only expressing it to the OP.

For purposes of etiquette, social events aren't segregated into "might lead to something romantic" and "other."  People are presumed to be interested in friendship, intellectual stimulation, companionship or an escort to a particular event, etc. and to be pleasantly surprised if anything further develops.  (Again, I fully realize that some people's dating conventions may not adhere to the above but this isn't a dating-advice forum, it's an etiquette forum.)  

Maybe the guy in the OP situation recognized the lack of sparks too but figured that even if the poster wouldn't make a life partner, she still might be fun to have dinner with, to see a particular movie with or attend the bowling tourney with.  He's looking forward to Event X and planning his time accordingly and suddenly finds out the appointment is unilaterally canceled.  Etiquette frowns on the person doing the canceling unless she is rehearsing "Good evening, Mrs. Obama, thank you so much for including me tonight," -- or if she or one of her loved ones is in the ER or the morgue.  

Once made, a social appointment may not be canceled at whim. Imagine if you and your spouse have dinner with another couple, make specific plans to do so again and then when alone say to one another "I didn't really like them all that much and I can't see us all becoming firm friends.  What say we cancel out on Friday night?"  Is this situation to be exempt from normal etiquette rules, too, because you don't anticipate continuing the relationship beyond the date you've already agreed upon?  What about kids who accept party invitations and then confide to their parents that "Cindy is no fun, I don't want to be her friend any more and we aren't going to be in third grade together, anyway."  Should mom say "OK, then, I'll just call her dad and cancel for you."  Where does it end?   There is a requirement in etiquette that, once we have agreed upon a social appointment, we are required to go and make the best of it, however dreaded the occasion may be.
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: Fluffy Cat on September 05, 2010, 07:03:17 PM
Betty - I fully agree with your principles.  I disagree with your application of them here which I fully admit is somewhat objective.

I liken it to - the OP's date is accepts an engagement with a friend on the (possibly unstated but obvious as it will take place in the late evening at a bar) condition that the friend has a babysitter and it will be just the two of them.  The friend unfortunately has the babysitter cancel and tells me that she can't make it.  The unspoken possibility is that we can still get together, but the parameters have changed now and friend's child will be accompanying us.  If I decline, I have not broken a social obligation, and neither has friend.  Friend was also not disingenuous, because she fully intended on having a babysitter at the time, but the situation has changed.

The OP accepted the social obligation under parameters that no longer apply through no control of her own (we cannot control he who we are attracted to/interested romantically in).  She can certainly decide to go through with them, but since the parameter change means she is not interested in the same goal (romance) or even a related goal (friendship) it would be at least as disingenuous to do so, if not more, than if she cancelled or informed him of the parameter change and he decided to cancel.

I think the most polite thing is to keep the "date" but let the other person know that it is now a friendship-based interaction rather than a romantic one.  In the interest of practicality for both parties, I think this step can be reasonably skipped, especially when the interest for even friendship is actually insincere.

Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: BettyDraper on September 05, 2010, 07:15:12 PM
Etiquette presumes it IS a friendship-based engagement unless or until, as Miss Manners would say, one finds oneself unexpectedly swept off one's feet over the raspberry torte and champagne. To baldly and preemptively state something like "I don't really feel attracted to you and I don't expect that to change by dessert" is superfluous and gauche.

It was not a commitment with stated conditions (like "If I find a babysitter" or "If I mull it over and still find myself lusting for you on Tuesday,") -- it was a firm appointment and thus one can't get an etiquette pass for dodging it. 

For the record -- in the OP's position I probably wouldn't keep the date either.  But I would not kid myself that I was doing the correct thing by canceling.  I would live forever haunted by the  knowledge that in the eyes of etiquette I had committed a scurvy and improper act.  :)
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: Fluffy Cat on September 05, 2010, 07:25:40 PM
I'm suggesting that the ideal "change" of plans would be something more like:  "I'm just calling to confirm our plans for Friday, I had a nice time last week and I'd love to remain friends".  

I also contend that when it comes to d@ting, (and in this case it might have even be arranged through an internet d@ting site - which mostly removes the polite fiction that this is plausibly about friendship for its own sake) that the above is impractical and usually of no benefit to either party although it certainly is polite.

ETA:  I did love the smiley, I think we may be arguing a similar point except that I am trying to make a case for an exception to be adopted (if it hasn't been) and you are willing to take your 2-minute pass to e-hell for violating the rule.  I would too, assuming I'm utterly wrong (which I may be) and an exception hasnt been or won't be adopted.  I'll feel bad, but I'll still do it for my own sanity and in my opinion the other person's best interest.  :)
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: DangerMouth on September 05, 2010, 08:12:00 PM

Etiquette frowns on the person doing the canceling unless she is rehearsing "Good evening, Mrs. Obama, thank you so much for including me tonight,"

You know, I just don't get why an invitation to the White House gets a pass. We continually say "It's an invitation, not a summons", and this is a more or less free society, not a repressive regime with jack-booted thugs waiting to carry us off to a white tie dinner.

I don't really see this as anything different than 'something better came along'.
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: Wordgeek on September 05, 2010, 08:34:40 PM
I don't get the White House thing either, but it is traditional.  Anyone know if that's just a US thing or does it apply to an invitation from any head of state? 

The basic issue of disagreement here seems to be if dating is governed by the same rules as other social engagements.  For my part, I certainly hope that they do.  What else is there?  I guess there are specific situations that have other rules in effect (speed dating comes to mind), but that isn't the case here.
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: wolfie on September 05, 2010, 08:46:00 PM

Etiquette frowns on the person doing the canceling unless she is rehearsing \"Good evening, Mrs. Obama, thank you so much for including me tonight,\"

You know, I just don\'t get why an invitation to the White House gets a pass. We continually say \"It\'s an invitation, not a summons\", and this is a more or less free society, not a repressive regime with jack-booted thugs waiting to carry us off to a white tie dinner.

I don\'t really see this as anything different than \'something better came along\'.

I think for the most part it is because unless you happen to be in politics being invited to the white house is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: shhh its me on September 05, 2010, 08:48:03 PM
I don't get the White House thing either, but it is traditional.  Anyone know if that's just a US thing or does it apply to an invitation from any head of state? 

The basic issue of disagreement here seems to be if d@ting is governed by the same rules as other social engagements.  For my part, I certainly hope that they do.  What else is there?  I guess there are specific situations that have other rules in effect (speed d@ting comes to mind), but that isn't the case here.

I never took the White house example as literal but I would think it would apply to any head of State, just there are once in a lifetime opportunities that most people will and should understand if you have to cancel "normal" plans.  I can't cancel movie plans with Sue because Mary is having a dinner party but if I win an all expense weekend in the Bahamas for 2. (not to me and somewhere else but yes really happened 4th runner up was offered the tickets 36 hours before the flight left) Sue should understand we can go to the movies next week. I wouldn't bow out of a wedding if I won a trip though except maybe if it was on the space shuttle.
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: I'mnotinsane on September 05, 2010, 11:09:36 PM
Did a guy ever tell you he'd call but never did?  It only happened to me once but it is a fairly common experience-and it hurts.  They will get your hopes up, decide after one date that you are not worth the effort and then not have the guts to be honest about it.  I realize that this is not what you did but it is probably how he views it.   
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: Deetee on September 06, 2010, 10:39:59 AM

Maybe the guy in the OP situation recognized the lack of sparks too but figured that even if the poster wouldn't make a life partner, she still might be fun to have dinner with, to see a particular movie with or attend the bowling tourney with.  He's looking forward to Event X and planning his time accordingly and suddenly finds out the appointment is unilaterally canceled.

I'm just going to pull this quote because I think it's key and I hadn't thought of it until you posted it.

So she has decided that she feels no sparks and decides to cancel (not refuse, which would be fine) an already set date. She thinks of the date as one in a series towards a romantic relationship. Therefore (to her) there is no point in date number 2 if there is no chance of date number 3.
However, he may be looking foward to seeing a movie/trying that new restaurant/visiting that fair etc... He is interested in both the event and planned activity and getting to know her. Maybe he would like to have that second date even if it is their last. It isn't the case for her, but she should not be making that decision for someone else.

I have spent short periods of time in the company of people I have never met before and have not seen since (usually friends of friends) and had a great time. I would be pissed if we made plans to go hangout and they cancelled because "we wouldn't be long term friends". Maybe I just wanted to have a fun afternoon at the beach.


I'm upping my views on this to full out rude.

Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: Larrabee on September 06, 2010, 11:30:40 AM
I'm going to clarify some things that a few people are making assumptions about.

The reasons that I 'changed my mind' were that there were a few things mentioned on the first date that rang little alarm bells, but due to the fact that there were 'sparks' I was a bit stupid and pushed them to the back of my mind, then I accepted a very vague invitation to another date.  There was no date, time, or event specified.

Over the next few days, without the influence of the sparks, the alarm bells got a bit louder and I realised it would not be a good idea to pursue a relationship.  This man was definitely interested in a romantic relationship, not a friendship, he made that clear.  I did ask in the e-mail if he still wanted to possibly stay in touch as friends, he declined.

My options were to let him down over e-mail, or let him down in person after he had made the effort to meet me and possibly got his hopes up for a third date. 

I think I agree with some PPs that dating has slightly different etiquette parameters, in my mind anyway.  A 'date' is never just another social engagement in the early days.  You aren't meeting up for the sake of the movie or the food, most of us have friends for that, you're meeting up to see if you like each other enough to possibly enter into a romantic relationship and each further date is a step towards that.

I see that this differs from very traditional etiquette, but I know I'd hate it if someone went on a date with me out of a sense of obligation so I think I'll probably stick with my 'do as you would be done by' approach.  Actually, I'll just remember in future to give myself 24 hours thinking time before agreeing to a second date!

To Betty Draper, I appreciate that you are stating the case for very strict traditional etiquette, I did not appreciate you calling me 'gauche', 'immature' and suggesting that my behaviour was contributing to my single status, I feel the things you called me were far more insulting than this man calling me 'disingenuous' and this is supposed to be a forum dedicated to politeness.
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: DangerMouth on September 06, 2010, 12:02:48 PM
As there was no date, time, or event specified, I'd put this at the approximate level of "let's do lunch".

If someone says "lets do lunch" and doesn't follow up with a date, time and place, then any response of "sure, that would be great" should be taken with the same grain of salt. This wasn't a "date" you cancelled, it was just a heads up that you were 'breaking up' with him after your first date. And in retrospect, I probably wouldn't have even let him know I was cancelling a date that hadn't actually ever been made, I would have waited till he contacted you with a firmer invitaion, and then said, "sorry, this isn't going to work for me, best of luck, etc"

JMO 8)
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: Deetee on September 06, 2010, 12:40:55 PM
As there was no date, time, or event specified, I'd put this at the approximate level of "let's do lunch".

If someone says "lets do lunch" and doesn't follow up with a date, time and place, then any response of "sure, that would be great" should be taken with the same grain of salt. This wasn't a "date" you cancelled, it was just a heads up that you were 'breaking up' with him after your first date. And in retrospect, I probably wouldn't have even let him know I was cancelling a date that hadn't actually ever been made, I would have waited till he contacted you with a firmer invitaion, and then said, "sorry, this isn't going to work for me, best of luck, etc"

JMO 8)

I agee and the update that changes things for me. If there was no actual "date" planned (ie no date, time, place)then I need to revise my "It's defintely rude" verdict. Until you have  the date/time etc.. the iron clad RSVP does not not come into effect.

Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: cshiley on September 07, 2010, 12:43:58 PM
I don't get the White House thing either, but it is traditional.  Anyone know if that's just a US thing or does it apply to an invitation from any head of state? 

The basic issue of disagreement here seems to be if d@ting is governed by the same rules as other social engagements.  For my part, I certainly hope that they do.  What else is there?  I guess there are specific situations that have other rules in effect (speed d@ting comes to mind), but that isn't the case here.

I always figured it was a holdover from other lands with monarchs, where the monarch's invitation to a subject is actually not an invitation, but a summons.

A White House invitation is not the same to anyone who doesn't work for the government, as the president is not the boss of us in the same way a king would be. However, I am comfortable with using it as a rhetorical flourish to mean "You can break off social engagements for once-in-a-lifetime, extremely important events, that cannot be rescheduled at your convenience." For instance, I would also not consider you bound to attend your best friend's kid's play (or even, I suppose, your best friend's wedding) if you are awarded a Nobel Prize that day. But if the mayor wants to give you the key to the city, and you can suggest that perhaps the 23rd would be a better date, then you wouldn't get to skip on tea with your annoying cousin.
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: shhh its me on September 07, 2010, 01:05:47 PM
As there was no date, time, or event specified, I'd put this at the approximate level of "let's do lunch".

If someone says "lets do lunch" and doesn't follow up with a date, time and place, then any response of "sure, that would be great" should be taken with the same grain of salt. This wasn't a "date" you cancelled, it was just a heads up that you were 'breaking up' with him after your first date. And in retrospect, I probably wouldn't have even let him know I was cancelling a date that hadn't actually ever been made, I would have waited till he contacted you with a firmer invitaion, and then said, "sorry, this isn't going to work for me, best of luck, etc"

JMO 8)

I agee and the update that changes things for me. If there was no actual "date" planned (ie no date, time, place)then I need to revise my "It's defintely rude" verdict. Until you have  the date/time etc.. the iron clad RSVP does not not come into effect.

POD the update changes everything.  In fact the update" We'll have lunch, get together next week" etc. is exactly what etiquette suggests for "I really don't want to socialize with you again".   
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on September 07, 2010, 03:29:03 PM
Etiquette presumes it IS a friendship-based engagement unless or until, as Miss Manners would say, one finds oneself unexpectedly swept off one's feet over the raspberry torte and champagne. To baldly and preemptively state something like "I don't really feel attracted to you and I don't expect that to change by dessert" is superfluous and gauche.

It was not a commitment with stated conditions (like "If I find a babysitter" or "If I mull it over and still find myself lusting for you on Tuesday,") -- it was a firm appointment and thus one can't get an etiquette pass for dodging it. 

For the record -- in the OP's position I probably wouldn't keep the date either.  But I would not kid myself that I was doing the correct thing by canceling.  I would live forever haunted by the  knowledge that in the eyes of etiquette I had committed a scurvy and improper act.  :)

I was torn on my response here, because I think I would also have bailed on the 2nd date.  But your response here has convinced me.  It would have been rude, and I would be all too aware of it.
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: Starchasm on September 07, 2010, 04:30:20 PM

The reasons that I 'changed my mind' were that there were a few things mentioned on the first date that rang little alarm bells, but due to the fact that there were 'sparks' I was a bit stupid and pushed them to the back of my mind, then I accepted a very vague invitation to another date.  There was no date, time, or event specified.


This makes aaaaall the difference for me.  I thought that you canceled an actual date, not merely refused to solidify plans for one.  You did fine.

If you had agreed to "dinner at 7:00 on Friday" then called to cancel you would have been rude.
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: Larrabee on September 08, 2010, 12:08:16 PM

The reasons that I 'changed my mind' were that there were a few things mentioned on the first date that rang little alarm bells, but due to the fact that there were 'sparks' I was a bit stupid and pushed them to the back of my mind, then I accepted a very vague invitation to another date.  There was no date, time, or event specified.


This makes aaaaall the difference for me.  I thought that you canceled an actual date, not merely refused to solidify plans for one.  You did fine.

If you had agreed to "dinner at 7:00 on Friday" then called to cancel you would have been rude.

I didn't realise this was such a huge distinction, I said "yes I'd like to see you again, drop me a line and we'll arrange something" and changed it to 'actually, I don't want to see you again'.

Manners are a funny thing sometimes, I can't imagine that the lack of a date and time would have made the rejected person feel any happier about it, which was probably why I didn't think to specify earlier.
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: miranova on September 09, 2010, 09:20:07 PM
If changing one's mind about a vague date invitation made on the spot is rude then I guess I've been rude before.

Once I realize I have found a dealbreaker with someone, that is it.  I can't force myself to see them again in a dating capacity.  And trust me, I wouldn't be doing them any favors if I did.  I have to wonder if one has to be a great actress to have great dating etiquette, because I wouldn't be able to pull off pretending that I was having a good time if I wasn't.  There is a difference between "I don't feel like going anymore" and "I really have no ability to pretend and I don't want both of us to spend a really awkward night together, I care enough about you as a person to not put you through that".

I guess it is technically rude to cancel, but in my opinion it is the lesser wrong than deliberately continuing forward with something that you KNOW won't work and will potentially hurt someone more.
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: artk2002 on September 09, 2010, 11:18:59 PM

The reasons that I 'changed my mind' were that there were a few things mentioned on the first date that rang little alarm bells, but due to the fact that there were 'sparks' I was a bit stupid and pushed them to the back of my mind, then I accepted a very vague invitation to another date.  There was no date, time, or event specified.


This makes aaaaall the difference for me.  I thought that you canceled an actual date, not merely refused to solidify plans for one.  You did fine.

If you had agreed to "dinner at 7:00 on Friday" then called to cancel you would have been rude.

I didn't realise this was such a huge distinction, I said "yes I'd like to see you again, drop me a line and we'll arrange something" and changed it to 'actually, I don't want to see you again'.

Manners are a funny thing sometimes, I can't imagine that the lack of a date and time would have made the rejected person feel any happier about it, which was probably why I didn't think to specify earlier.

To me, there is a very big distinction.  Firm plans, with a date and time mean that the other person has arranged their life to make it possible -- in that case, canceling is rude, unless for absolute emergencies.  But "let's get together sometime" is not a commitment on either person's part, so that never solidifying into firm plans is not rude.

I think that you got confused because you assumed that it's the rejection that is rude.  It's not.  It may be painful (for both parties), but it's not rude in-and-of itself.  It's the cancellation of firm plans (a date) that is rude, because the other person has made a commitment.
Title: Re: Was anyone rude here?
Post by: Raintree on September 10, 2010, 12:38:32 AM
<snip> It was not a commitment with stated conditions (like "If I find a babysitter" or "If I mull it over and still find myself lusting for you on Tuesday,") -- it was a firm appointment and thus one can't get an etiquette pass for dodging it.  <snip>

Actually, I think a lot of modern social events do come with implied conditions.  If my boss invited me to the company Christmas party in October, the unstated condition is "as long as you're still working here."  If my boyfriend and I make plans to go camping in a month, the unstated condition is "as long as we're still together."  If someone sets up a date with me, the unstated condition is "as long as you're still potentially interested in d@ting me."  If you're interested, fine. If you're not sure, that's fine. 


Exactly. I agree. I am sorry if this makes me a rude person, but I would definitely not follow through with a date (vague or not) if I'd already decided there was no way I'd be interested in him, or if I'd decided I was uncomfortable with it for any reason. What's the point? He's clearly pursuing romance (presumably this was his stated intention on his on-line profile) and if I don't want that with him, let's nip that in the bud now rather than have both parties endure an uncomfortable evening. And let's not kid ourselves about the "friend" thing. The whole premise for the OP to get together with the guy in the first place was for dating. The guy isn't looking for a friend. He probably already has friends. He is searching for a mate. She is not it. dating is not the same as other social engagements. I can endure people I don't like at a party and nobody is expecting more from me, but in the dating world, the party who is no longer interested is obligated to step up to the plate and end it. Personally, it makes me very uncomfortable to be around someone who is interested in me when I don't share that feeling. Why should I put myself through a whole evening of discomfort? To spare his feelings? Well if he is that into me, then his feelings are going to be hurt anyway; more so if I lead him on by attending a 2nd date.

Of course, I would give plenty of notice (as opposed to calling half an hour before to say I'd changed my mind). I also might feel kind of obligated if tickets to something had already been purchased, or anything like that.

I agree that it's best not to accept in the first place, but sometimes you really do feel put on the spot and find yourself saying, "Oh OK, sure." Or it may seem like a good idea at the time. And then after the fact, become increasingly uncomfortable with the idea. I say in the dating world it's best to trust your gut.