Author Topic: Politely Reject? (I'd rather not "poof")[long,OP updated]  (Read 5057 times)

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Softly Spoken

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Politely Reject? (I'd rather not "poof")[long,OP updated]
« on: February 04, 2013, 08:17:55 PM »
BG1: I took a break from (online) dating to concentrate on myself after my exBF and I broke up over a year ago. Now I'm in a better place personally, as well as having recovered and learned from that relationship. I went back into my inbox on the dating site to discover a nice message from Suitor#1, a man that I didn't see myself dating (too far away and too old) but was very nice and I figured we could be pen pals at least. Then suitor #2 contacted me. We have hit it off unbelievably well and he lives only about an hour away. We haven't discussed being exclusive yet. Then I was contacted by Suitor #3, who is relatively close but who I am not as interested in. I sent a few messages back and forth to gauge his personality and I don't think we're on the same page. I tried to be open and friendly but he was very awkward, and complained about not having a lot of luck with the whole online dating thing. (Gee, I wonder why? ::))
BG2: As you may or may not know, there is a phenomenon that happens in dating. It happens in real life as well but seems, or at least feels, more prevalent online. It is called "poofing" - this is when a person just magically disappears. I guess it's like the 'cut direct' except it is usually done to avoid confrontation or the
break up talk. Emails go unanswered, calls unreturned, etc. How annoying and/or hurtful it is depends on how far along things are, and how well you feel it is going. People are divided over the issue. Some chalk it up as par for the course and move on, others consider it cowardly/rude and complain about not getting closure. I can see both sides. I don't like rejection personally, but part of me also appreciates the explanation. I have not enjoyed being poofed, but when things have not been working for me I admit I have usually poofed because I didn't know what to say. This apparent hypocrisy bothers me.  :-[  /end BGs

So the situation as it stands is thus: I wouldn't mind staying pen pals with Suitor#1, but he has talked about his desire to get married and asked me for a full body picture - I feel I should tell him I have "chosen" Suitor#2 and let him decide if he wants to remain friends. I feel sorry for Suitor #3, but I also really don't feel the desire to continue talking with him. I really want to be encouraging to him because I understand how hard it is to be a shy or socially awkward person trying to reach out online. I am trying to figure out how to word a message to him that basically says "Sorry I"m not the one for you but keep trying because you obviously have a lot to offer the right person."

So what is the ruling ehellions? I am pretty sure I need to tell S#1. He's extremely good natured so I think he'll take it well. For all I know, he's speaking with a bunch of other ladies and he'll just move on to better prospects.
I don't want to assume, but S#3's complaints about online dating and somewhat overly enthusiastic pursuit of me leads me to think he may not have as many options. I am not about to keep in contact with him out of (projected) pity, but I would hate to think my rejection sours him on trying to find someone that makes him happy. So I guess my official etiquette question(s) is/are: Should I tell or poof, is poofing rude, and if I tell how should I word it?  :-\

Thank you!
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
ETA UPDATE FOR CLARITY:
For the sake of brevity I did not go into detail, but some posts have made it clear I need to break things down a little further:
S#1 contacted me through a dating site which I no longer use. I had identified as "seeking a long-term relationship." When he contacted me I made it as clear as I could that my policy is "let's be friends first and see what, if anything, develops." I told him that I was not looking to get married any time soon, and was more interested in cultivating/expanding my social circle. Based on how we have communicated in our emails, I am not 100% sure if he is interested romantically or just a naturally warm and enthusiastic person. Our communication has been infrequent because we are both very busy. He has not expressed any desire to move past email to phone/text/in person.

S#3 contacted me through a different website, the same one on which I met #2. It is not like eHarmony or one of those other sites that focuses on marriage and/or finding "the one." It is a more casual dating site with social networking aspects worked into it. When we fill out our profile, we are asked what we are looking for in a relationship. Boxes that can be checked include "new friends," "activity partners," and even "casual scrabble". I checked every box except the scrabble one. S#3 and I have only exchanged 2 or 3 messages at this point, nothing beyond basic pleasantries.

I do not appreciate the presumptive conclusion of some PPs that I am leading these men on. If they bother to read my profile they should be aware of my expectations. I do not open any communication with the language or attitude of "let's start dating." I always approach or respond with the cautious attitude of "let's get to know each other better." The idea that I would string men along while I weigh my options is ridiculous, especially since I don't get that many messages or responses to begin with. I am far from the only fish in the sea and I'm sure I"m not the only one they're trying to land.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 12:04:56 PM by Softly Spoken »
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Venus193

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Re: Politely Reject? (I'd rather not "poof")[kind of long]
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2013, 08:25:50 PM »
Suitor #1 asked for a "Full body" photo?  What does that mean?

I'd run.  It sounds like he hasn't gotten the message yet that you are not interested in him that way.

Promise

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Re: Politely Reject? (I'd rather not "poof")[kind of long]
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2013, 09:13:33 PM »
If you are not interested, then you should let him know. If he hasn't seen a pic of you he won't know it's you if you ever run into him on the street. Treat him how you would like people to treat you even if it's hard.

How about saying this, "It's been a pleasure emailing with you, but at this point, I will not pursue things further. I wish you much joy in your future relationships."  Keep it short and polite.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Politely Reject? (I'd rather not "poof")[kind of long]
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2013, 09:14:55 PM »
Suitor #1 asked for a "Full body" photo?  What does that mean?

I'd run.  It sounds like he hasn't gotten the message yet that you are not interested in him that way.

Full body photo just means a photo that is more than head and shoulders.  Mainly to determine if the person has been truthful about how they look.  It doesn't mean nude or anything like that.

I like pinkiu's suggestion.
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nuit93

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Re: Politely Reject? (I'd rather not "poof")[kind of long]
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2013, 09:26:13 PM »
Suitor #1 asked for a "Full body" photo?  What does that mean?

I'd run.  It sounds like he hasn't gotten the message yet that you are not interested in him that way.

It's basically a way of seeing if the person has the body type that you find attractive.  I don't *entirely* like it but I can see where people are coming from.

gramma dishes

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Re: Politely Reject? (I'd rather not "poof")[kind of long]
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2013, 09:36:17 PM »
If you are not interested, then you should let him know. If he hasn't seen a pic of you he won't know it's you if you ever run into him on the street. Treat him how you would like people to treat you even if it's hard.

How about saying this, "It's been a pleasure emailing with you, but at this point, I will not pursue things further. I wish you much joy in your future relationships."  Keep it short and polite.

I like *Pinkiu*'s wording here for #1, but not necessarily for #3.
I feel sorry for Suitor #3, but I also really don't feel the desire to continue talking with him. I really want to be encouraging to him because I understand how hard it is to be a shy or socially awkward person trying to reach out online. I am trying to figure out how to word a message to him that basically says "Sorry I"m not the one for you but keep trying because you obviously have a lot to offer the right person."


I actually like your own wording for him.

WillyNilly

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Re: Politely Reject? (I'd rather not "poof")[kind of long]
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2013, 09:59:26 PM »
I've done internet dating.  In fact I met my husband on Match.com (after meeting and dating other guys previously).

I have to say, I think you wouldn't have this problem if you stopped leading these guys on.  Unless they have specifically indicated they want "pen pals" you are being very unkind to string them along.  Its a dating site.  The moment - the absolute very moment - you realize you don't want to date them you should either either poof, because its way way way in the beginning, or you should send a polite "thanks, but I'm not interested, good luck" note.  And then in either case you should block those users.  To string them along is just... its just mean of you.

As for now I think you should still do that. "Hey its been really great getting to know you, but I've thought it over and honestly I don't think it would work out.  Thanks so much for your interest.  You seem like a great guy and I'm sure you'll find someone."  Then don't JADE, just stop emailing with them.

Deetee

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Re: Politely Reject? (I'd rather not "poof")[kind of long]
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2013, 10:34:18 PM »
I agree with Willy Nilly. This is not a pen pal finding site or a friendship site. This is a dating site and if you don't want to date these people, you should let them know ASAP.

sweetonsno

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Re: Politely Reject? (I'd rather not "poof")[kind of long]
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2013, 01:48:16 AM »
First of all, THANK YOU for deciding that you are not going to *poof* on someone who you've been corresponding with. It's horrible to be on the receiving end of that.

I agree with PPs that you should handle the two of these guys a bit differently. However, the core of your message should be the same: I've met someone who really interests me, and I want to see where it leads.

As WillyNilly said, unless S1 has specifically indicated that he is interested in finding long-distance pen pals (some sites do have that option), you do need to be prepared for him to not want to accept the offer. Unless you've seriously misjudged him, I doubt he'll be angry, but not everyone is thrilled at the "consolation prize" of friendship. After you've let him know that you're going to be exploring things with S1 for awhile, say that you'd enjoy keeping in touch just as pen pals but that you understand if he would rather focus on his romantic prospects. Wish him the best.

As for S3, I think pinkiu's phrasing is fine. Explain that you've found someone who you want to explore things with, so you're going to stop pursuing other options. Wish him luck. Don't volunteer the fact that you wouldn't be interested in him even if S2 was out of the picture unless he asks you to contact him if things don't work out.

Lynn2000

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Re: Politely Reject? (I'd rather not "poof")[kind of long]
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2013, 11:27:05 AM »
I think if you feel a strong connection with #2, and little with #1 or #3, it's time to tell #1 and #3 that you're going to pursue other options. Is it more hurtful to be told, "I don't think you and I are compatible" or "I think I'm more compatible with someone else"? It seems like the truth is the former--even if #2 hadn't come along you wouldn't be interested in dating #1 or #3, right? But I think that would inevitably lead to questions about "why" and there's very few "pat" answers to that question that aren't going to upset someone.

If #1 has already talked about getting married, maybe you can tell him that you aren't ready for that yet and you think that the two of you should "not pursue a romantic relationship." Maybe throw in that you've really enjoyed talking to him, but let him be the one to suggest remaining in contact as friends, or not.

For #3, I think it depends on what you really think about him. If you can truthfully say something like, "You are so funny and kind and intelligent, and you really deserve a partner who's more compatible with you than I am," maybe that would soften the blow in a sincere way. Or, maybe you could try being very casual--"Hey, it's been great talking to you, but I think I'm going to go in a different direction now, good luck in the future," and then not reply to any other messages he sends you. You don't owe him a psychoanalysis of his connection attempts, just a polite, clean break.
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Re: Politely Reject? (I'd rather not "poof")[kind of long]
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2013, 11:31:54 AM »
I think it's better to make a clean break now before either gets more invested in you.
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Hmmmmm

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Re: Politely Reject? (I'd rather not "poof")[long,OP updated]
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2013, 02:41:17 PM »
Suitor #1 asking for a full body photo would imply to me he is interested romantically.  Otherwise, why the interest?  I think you can either:
A. Send him an email saying that you've started seeing someone seriously and are uncomfortable continuing to communicate with anyone you met through a dating site. But you've enoyed getting to know him and wish him well.
B.  Send an email that you are dating someone serioulsy and while you enjoy conversing with him via email, you want to make sure he is clear there will not be any further potential for development of any relationship other than friendship. But if he'd like to continue staying in touch, you'd welcome the opportunity to keep him as a friend.

For Suitor #3, I'd just send him a note and say you've entered into a committed relationship and do not feel it is right to continue to converse with him but you wish him well. 


WillyNilly

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Re: Politely Reject? (I'd rather not "poof")[long,OP updated]
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2013, 02:45:20 PM »
Suitor #1 asking for a full body photo would imply to me he is interested romantically.  Otherwise, why the interest? ...

I think absolutely anyone who contacts her via a dating site is doing so solely out romantic interest.  That's what dating sites are for, they are not for chatting or finding friends or pen pals.  They have one purpose: to find a romantic partner.

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Re: Politely Reject? (I'd rather not "poof")[kind of long]
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2013, 03:21:30 PM »
I've done internet dating.  In fact I met my husband on Match.com (after meeting and dating other guys previously).

I have to say, I think you wouldn't have this problem if you stopped leading these guys on.  Unless they have specifically indicated they want "pen pals" you are being very unkind to string them along.  Its a dating site.  The moment - the absolute very moment - you realize you don't want to date them you should either either poof, because its way way way in the beginning, or you should send a polite "thanks, but I'm not interested, good luck" note.  And then in either case you should block those users.  To string them along is just... its just mean of you.

As for now I think you should still do that. "Hey its been really great getting to know you, but I've thought it over and honestly I don't think it would work out.  Thanks so much for your interest.  You seem like a great guy and I'm sure you'll find someone."  Then don't JADE, just stop emailing with them.

POD. It may not feel like "stringing them along", but it is. The purpose of the site is dating, so if you don't want to date, you owe it to them to say that and not hem and haw over it in the name of politeness.
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bah12

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Re: Politely Reject? (I'd rather not "poof")[long,OP updated]
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2013, 03:34:29 PM »
I personally don't see how you are leading these men on.  It seems to me that online dating (I've never done it) can be compared to "not online" dating in that it is perfectly acceptable to go out on dates with several people (ie email and communicate with) for the purposes of getting to know them and figuring out who, if anyone, you want to be exclusive with.

It seems that you know for a fact that Suitors 1 and 3 are not and will never be for you.  Suitor 2 is a strong possibility and you'd like to progress that relationship with him to something more exclusive/serious than what it is now.

So, what do you say:

Suitor 1:  "I enjoy communicating with you and getting to know you.  I'd like to continue talking, but feel that I should be honest and let you know that I am seeing someone and don't see our relationship progressing beyond a friendship.  If you'd prefer not talk in the future, I will understand."

Suitor 3: "I have enjoyed the process of getting to know you, but feel that I must tell you that I don't see us progressing any further.  Thank you for your time thus far and good luck in your future relationships."