Author Topic: Giving them a chance vs. leading them on  (Read 11415 times)

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Winterlight

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Re: Giving them a chance vs. leading them on
« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2012, 10:46:23 AM »
Giving someone a chance is fine- not everyone is sure that the person is right for them the first time out, or even the first couple of dates.

Leading someone on to me means you aren't into them and are using them- because you don't want to be alone, she's great arm candy and makes your friends envy you, he's loaded and buys you things, etc.
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls

blarg314

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Re: Giving them a chance vs. leading them on
« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2012, 08:31:42 PM »

I would draw a distinction between dating and going on a few dates. Going on a few dates to see if you like someone romantically, deciding you don't, and declining to go any further, is not leading them on.  Getting involved in a relationship with someone you aren't attracted to, because they look good on paper, or because you hope that sparks will develop is leading them on.

I think it also depends on how well you know someone. If you've known someone for a significant amount of time, and there's nothing there, dating them probably isn't going to change that. If you've met someone for five minutes, it's going to take a date or two to find out, unless the first meeting was really spectacular. So if your best platonic friend has a massive crush on you, and you don't reciprocate, then agreeing to a few dates is not going to help, and is probably going to make things worse.

As far as self knowledge goes, I also think it's worth paying attention to whether your 'sparks' give good advice.  If your initial attraction tends to lead to relationships that quickly fizzle out, or go bad, then it's worth stopping to reconsider your dating criteria.  I suspect that a lot of us have had that friend who, after a string of disastrous relationships,  complains that they never meet any nice men, and we have to bit our tongues to keep from telling them that they meet tons of nice men, they just dismiss them within a few minutes of meeting them as boring and not attractive.

It also helps to not complain or comment on having trouble meeting people around people who have unsuccessfully tried to set you up or suggest people, for the sake of both sets of people.


BasilDill

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Re: Giving them a chance vs. leading them on
« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2012, 10:24:11 PM »
Newbie here!

The way I see it is that in my experience when I go out with someone, there are four levels of how I feel:

1. Horrid date, awful person--never going out with them again.
2. They're not awful, and seem generally nice. But that's it. I'm not physically attracted, the conversation didn't flow, we have no common interests and I didn't have a good time. In this case, I'm not going out with them again. "Niceness" is not a reason for a second date.
3. It's not perfect--there's one thing that concerns me. Whether that is physical attraction or something else, I keep an eye on that, but other than that I had a wonderful time with that person.
4. Electric chemistry that makes you leave the date smiling and thinking, "Wow, I can't wait to see that person again!!"

It's the third category that is tricky, but I think most of the time they do deserve a second date. But keep it to three dates and if at the end of the third date you don't feel anything, then stop dating that person.

I think the best rule of thumb is to put yourself in the other person's shoes. I know I'd appreciate being given a chance with a few dates, but any more than that and I'd start feeling strung along.

Sophia

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Re: Giving them a chance vs. leading them on
« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2012, 11:23:41 PM »
I think the line is when you know absolutely positively that you aren't interested.  Assuming your only worry is leading him on, and not your safety, etc.  I think one date is reasonable.  After all, what is the purpose of dating but to get to know a person better on a romantic level.  The reason I say one date is reasonable, is that before DH my longest relationship (5 years) was with a person I didn't even like before the date.  I only said yes because I was broke and hungry.  First date was a huge success.

emwithme

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Re: Giving them a chance vs. leading them on
« Reply #19 on: April 09, 2012, 03:43:54 AM »
There's nothing wrong with going out on a couple of dates with someone you're not sure about.  Dates are there for you to get to know each other, and if the spark isn't there, then it's not there.   It's only when you carry on dating seriously (ie exclusively) after you know that the person's not right for you that it's "leading someone on".

Two and a half years ago, I was in Ikea picking up furniture for my new flat with my BFF.  I was looking awful, as we had spent the day moving house.  I was asked for my phone number by this guy, and wasn't sure, but gave it him anyway (we had had a brief chat about the t-shirt he was wearing and he made me laugh).  I was single at the time but was definitely Not Looking for anyone.  Having been in relationships all through my late teens and twenties, I was enjoying my 30s as a single woman, getting to know myself.

He rang the following day, and we agreed to meet a week later for a meal at a sushi bar.  I was really unsure, from our chats (although he was funny and sweet) he didn't seem like my "type", and physically he was totally different from all my previous boyfriends/crushes.

I was going to cancel the day before, but my BFF convinced me to go - as she said, I enjoy sushi and didn't go out to eat often enough anyway - let alone with a bloke!  We had a lovely time, met up a couple of days later for lunch, and he came for a roast the following Sunday.  To cut a long story short, this September, Ikea Guy and I are getting married, three years to the day that we met. 

He still isn't my "type", but he's my love.  And I am thankful to my best friend for making me go on the date and giving him a chance.  I can't imagine not being with him now.


buvezdevin

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Re: Giving them a chance vs. leading them on
« Reply #20 on: April 09, 2012, 08:13:03 AM »
Emwithme, what a lovely story, and all best wishes for your wedding and marriage!

It reminded me of a French movie we saw this weekend, "Delicacy".  Not that it matches your story, but it involves a young woman who is not remotely interested in dating following a loss, then through a series of events forms a friendship with romantic potential.  The obstacles to the romance include her friends and colleagues being unable to understand why she *would* give the fellow a chance, given disparities in attractiveness, and professional status.

Mentioning as we thought it a lovely film, and it was interesting to consider this thread's question from the opposite perspective of having people assume you should not give someone a chance, based on their perspective. 
Never refuse to do a kindness unless the act would work great injury to yourself, and never refuse to take a drink -- under any circumstances.
Mark Twain

Tilt Fairy

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Re: Giving them a chance vs. leading them on
« Reply #21 on: April 09, 2012, 09:01:52 AM »
There's nothing wrong with going out on a couple of dates with someone you're not sure about.  Dates are there for you to get to know each other, and if the spark isn't there, then it's not there.   It's only when you carry on dating seriously (ie exclusively) after you know that the person's not right for you that it's "leading someone on".

Two and a half years ago, I was in Ikea picking up furniture for my new flat with my BFF.  I was looking awful, as we had spent the day moving house.  I was asked for my phone number by this guy, and wasn't sure, but gave it him anyway (we had had a brief chat about the t-shirt he was wearing and he made me laugh).  I was single at the time but was definitely Not Looking for anyone.  Having been in relationships all through my late teens and twenties, I was enjoying my 30s as a single woman, getting to know myself.

He rang the following day, and we agreed to meet a week later for a meal at a sushi bar.  I was really unsure, from our chats (although he was funny and sweet) he didn't seem like my "type", and physically he was totally different from all my previous boyfriends/crushes.

I was going to cancel the day before, but my BFF convinced me to go - as she said, I enjoy sushi and didn't go out to eat often enough anyway - let alone with a bloke!  We had a lovely time, met up a couple of days later for lunch, and he came for a roast the following Sunday.  To cut a long story short, this September, Ikea Guy and I are getting married, three years to the day that we met. 

He still isn't my "type", but he's my love.  And I am thankful to my best friend for making me go on the date and giving him a chance.  I can't imagine not being with him now.



See? Irrevocable proof that one can find something good in Ikea! And that lasts long to boot!

Decimus

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Re: Giving them a chance vs. leading them on
« Reply #22 on: April 09, 2012, 01:29:10 PM »
You aren't obligated to date anyone.

I would not give them a chance if:
1. You just feel "wrong" and unsafe with them. Safety trumps all.
2. They have already engaged in behavior you abhore and/or you have a strong dislike of them. They aren't going to change, so why go out with someone who annoys you?
3. You already know that, however nice they are, you have no interest in pursuing a long-term romantic relationship with them, for whatever reason (if you are a devout Purple and know only want to marry people of the Purple faith, there's no point dating an Mauve believer, say).

However it is useful to give them a chance if:
1. You think they are nice but they don't meet a physical/wealth/education attribute you prefer.
2. You have a lot in common and would be happy to be friends with this person, even if you don't have romantic feelings about them.

Personally I think the latter is important.  Women, as a general matter, often fall in love more "slowly" than men do.  So if there's a man who has a lot in common with you, and you have friendly but not romantic feelings about, then it's fine to date them to see if romantic feelings develop -- and they may not.  It's only "leading them on" if you make the decision "no, I will never have romantic feelings about this person" and then date them anyhow.

Reason

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Re: Giving them a chance vs. leading them on
« Reply #23 on: April 09, 2012, 03:20:04 PM »
Leading someone on would require more than one or two dates. Most men will not assume that a woman is madly in love even if she puts on her best clothes and great make up on the first date. Nor will men assume that buying dinner entitles them to anything. If they do, thankfully, they let you know early and you can get rid of them.

To lead someone on, one would have to do something blatantly romantic like go date someone for over a month, confess romantic feelings, etc while having no interest in the partner in question. One date hardly qualifies. If a man feels like he's being "lead on" because a woman accepted a date and even went on a date, then he's simply wrong and has a long and difficult road ahead of him in life.

QueenofAllThings

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Re: Giving them a chance vs. leading them on
« Reply #24 on: April 09, 2012, 04:35:08 PM »
Similar story to Emwithme.

Met a guy at a party. Nice guy, funny. But (and a BIG but) - recently widowed with three little kids and lived in another state. He asked me to lunch, and I almost didn't go - but a friend persuaded me to, as it was 'just lunch'. We have been married almost eleven years.

My point is that I stuck with it the first two or three dates, even though I wasn't sure about the whole thing (was he rebounding? did I want to meet, much less raise, his boys?). He wasn't my type, and the situation wasn't anything I would have planned, but he was kind, funny, handsome and adoring. There was nothing that screamed "No!" - and I'd been on enough dates that had to know the difference.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Giving them a chance vs. leading them on
« Reply #25 on: April 09, 2012, 11:38:53 PM »
It certainly can be a fine line, and it often depends on people's differing perceptions.

For example, my friend "Carrie" refuses to date any man whom she "can't see herself marrying". She thinks that relationships should go something like:

1) She falls in love with a man (eg a friend, acquaintance, co-worker, etc).
2) The man notices her and asks her on a date
3) The man realises that he loves her too.
4) They get married and live happily ever after.

Consequently, Carrie doesn't date anyone whom she doesn't fancy like mad, first. She sees agreeing to a date with a man she's unsure about (or doesn't know that well) as "leading them on". Unfortunately, she is still single, but wants to get married and have kids NOW. It's hard to restrain myself from saying "Why not give Jim/Bob/Steve a chance?" etc. But I respect her right not to go on dates if she truly believes she'll only be leading them on.


Raintree

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Re: Giving them a chance vs. leading them on
« Reply #26 on: April 10, 2012, 01:27:11 AM »
I won't even go on one date with a man I'm not interested in. There's got to be *something* there to spark my interest first.

But I will go on a date with someone I'm not interested in yet, but think I could potentially be interested in if I got to know him better. As in, you never know!!

But if I already know I'm not interested, no. I do feel I know, within the first few minutes of meeting, whether it's a "maybe" or a "no." (So far I have never experienced an immediate "yes" feeling as it does take me a while to warm to someone).

shadowfox79

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Re: Giving them a chance vs. leading them on
« Reply #27 on: April 10, 2012, 06:34:27 AM »
1) She falls in love with a man (eg a friend, acquaintance, co-worker, etc).
2) The man notices her and asks her on a date
3) The man realises that he loves her too.
4) They get married and live happily ever after.

Consequently, Carrie doesn't date anyone whom she doesn't fancy like mad, first.

I see her point, as this is how I used to think it should work. However, that was back in my teens, and I soon discovered that dating a man you quite like can work just as well. (I also learned that, no matter how much you like the guy, if physically he sends a revolted shudder through your system the relationship is never going to work.)

Allyson

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Re: Giving them a chance vs. leading them on
« Reply #28 on: April 10, 2012, 02:37:55 PM »
Carrie sounds a bit like my best friend, though in my friend's case she's come to the realisation that she doesn't want to be dating someone she doesn't already have a crush on. She's had more than a few relationships where she was 'hmm, maybe' but always ended up breaking it off after a few dates due to just not feeling it. So she's recently decided that even if it means she'll be single for a long time, she wants to wait for a really strong interest.

DavidH

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Re: Giving them a chance vs. leading them on
« Reply #29 on: April 10, 2012, 03:35:32 PM »
I think I agree with Winterlight.

If you know you have no interest why would you want to date a person; it's a waste of your time and theirs? 

To me, telling someone you're into them or accepting a date because they'll buy you dinner or because they have tickets to a show is leading them on. 

On the other hand, if you're not sure whether or not you like them and go on a few dates to find out, that's fine, and how else could you find out.  I wouldn't tell them that's what you're doing, but I also wouldn't lie and claim to be madly in love with them. 

I think the time to end it is when you know it's not going anywhere.  It's never pleasant to break up, but is also doesn't get better the longer you drag it out. 

BTW, guys are also asked to "give her a chance", and it's just as awkward I suspect.