New blog

I am amazed this blog still gets the hits and new followers that it does, since it hasn’t been updated in months! However, I am not planning to update Datingwise again. You can find me over here, where I’m blogging on dating and the single life with two other lovely ladies. Fair warning, tho: It’s more openly religious than this one. Hope to see you over there!

Anna

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What not to do when rejecting

While searching for articles on unrequited love, I came across this old NYT piece that was sympathetic to the rejecter’s side.

Despite the eventual heartbreak that is the destiny of the unrequited lover, by and large the incidents revealed that there was often more unhappiness on the part of the person pursued than on the pursuer. The unrequited lovers spoke of hope and passion before the final disillusionment; those who spurned them told of an initial flattery that soon gave way to bewilderment, guilt and anger at an intrusive, relentless pursuer.

Yep. I’m sure I’m not feeling the emotional upset that my pursuer is feeling, but I am definitely Annoyed.

I have tried to come to some conclusion about what I could have done to stop this situation from happening, and the fact of the matter is, there’s not much I could have done without having been unnecessarily cruel. For example,  in the past when he said something like, “I get flustered when I’m around you”, what should have I done? Said, “well, the feeling’s not mutual?” I’m sure I just smiled stupidly and vaguely demurred. Or, even worse, I suppose I could have tried to preempt with “I’m worried that you’re falling for me and I should let you know that I don’t feel the same” How horrible for the both of us!

If he had done something out of line I could have been upfront that I felt uncomfortable, but his M.O. was mostly to be complimentary, and I think “thank you” is typically the only appropriate response (btw for any guys reading, being complimentary without occasional gentle teasing here and there is boring. “Nice” guys never believe me when I tell them this and try to argue, so you won’t listen anyway, but at least I tried).

Anyway, at least I have finally figured out how to let men down. If they are part of my social circle, I can say, “I only think of you as a friend”. If they are not I can say, “I just don’t feel a spark”. I don’t think anything else is needed for the Rejection Arsenal.

Important stuff:

The inability to tell an undesired suitor that there is no hope is very common, Dr. Baumeister found. “The rejecter usually feels guilty and doesn’t know how to say ‘No’ without hurting the pursuer,” he said. “So the most common tactic is to lie low, continue to be nice, and wait, hoping the infatuation will fade. It’s like a conspiracy of silence, where one person doesn’t want to openly speak rejecting words and the other doesn’t want to hear it.”

That strategy, however, feeds the fantasies of romance of the would-be lover, and so inadvertently encourages pursuit. “People send mixed messages, saying to the unwanted lover something like, ‘You’re a nice person, and I’d like to be your friend, but I don’t want to get into a relationship just now,’ ” said Dr. Baumeister. “Even when telling the would-be lover the bad news, the rejecters often sugarcoat the rejection with conciliatory words.”

The would-be lover sometimes seizes on the positive side of the message, remaining hopeful. Moreover, for most people it is clearer how one goes about wooing someone than how to spurn someone gracefully.

So, if you don’t want your pursuer to try again in the future, being wishy-washy is not the way to go. Just say, “I only think of you as a friend/I don’t feel a spark”.

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What not to do when rejected

We had known each there for almost 10 years and we lived a good 5 hour trip away from each other, so meetings were rare. Still, this is the age of the internet, so contact over social media and email was not infrequent. Earlier in the year, he broke up with a girlfriend, and his attentions turn to me. Mixed CDs arrived in my mail and the occasional email declared how much he thought of me.

Even tho I had rebuffed his advances years ago, I have found that men don’t typically fear trying again later.

He chose my birthday to openly declare his affections. I received a card followed by a bouquet of flowers and a note signed “love”. Unfortunately, the feelings weren’t mutual, and I gently let him know that I only thought of him as a friend. His reply was a relief to me; he thanked me for being direct.

His mistake came the next day. Clearly distraught that I wasn’t interested in a romantic relationship, he sent me a message undoing any goodwill he had built up the previous day with his low-drama reply. Making clear to me that his emotions were out of control, he said that he could not pretend to feel different than he did and to do so would be tantamount to lying. Apparently my feelings and wishes did not come in to play! I was also alarmed to find out that he would prefer “not to face the future without me”, basically guaranteed the very thing he sought to avoid.

I replied that I did not like being put on pedestals and that he needed to examine reality, life, and my place in it. Not knowing what to do with my message, he left Facebook  and I hope to not hear from him again any time soon, especially without an apology.

Faced with rejection, going out to the bar with friends is a good idea; writing desperate emails is not. I post this hoping that it could dissuade even one person from sending a message when emotionally distraught.

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Rules debate

Hi everyone,

I have turned off the comments for the post “Rule #5 Don’t Call Him and Rarely Return His Calls“. I think a bunch of good points have been brought up, both about this particular rule and The Rules in general, and I don’t think any more hashing out needs to happen.

In fact one of the reasons I quit updating this blog was because I got tired of The Rules project, because The Rules themselves are tiresome. I mainly see them as somewhat helpful guidelines for clueless women, with much silliness thrown in.

Apparently, a new edition is coming out in a couple of months. At some point I will read it and report on it. In the meantime, I’d like to know if you get anything out of this blog and want you’d like to read on. Book reviews? Specific topics? Dating? Singleness?

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Short update

This blog is basically defunct, but sometimes I’ll come across articles like this one that make me want to stab my eyes out, and I realize that I should keep posting. 

The reason why I quit posting was because life got busy, and, frankly, I didn’t feel the need to keep posting. It’s not that society came to its senses and starting courting in a dignified way, but because the emotional impetus that made me first start blogging (broken heart) rather suddenly went away (yay!). 

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Linkage

Who spends more on dates? Of course, this has already been covered on Datingwise

How women ruin romance.

If you could be brutally honest with your S.O., what would you say?

10 horrible engagement rings.

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Dating Insights from Carolyn Hax

Reading Carolyn Hax is like a sitting down with a hip, worldly older friend. Her advice may be coming from a secular point of view, but at least it contains much sense and even a bit of refreshing prudishness.

Recently I read her book, “Tell me about it: lying, sulking, and getting fat and 56 other things not to do while looking for love” and I would recommend it to any single looking for advice on things to watch out for while dating (or who is in a dating funk). Excerpts follow.

What not to do when dating:

2. Get fat.

The person who gets fat, who gets big as an adult from eating too much – as opposed to being lifelong big [...] – does himself the grave disservice of making his “issues” immediately visible.

15. Have sex before you mean it.

There is, in fact, no way to make this point without sounding like a prig. So if I’m going to be the prig here, I’m going to be the prig with gusto: Stop having sex with people before you develop an exclusive emotional bond with them, you slut.

22. Pine silently for your “friend”.

Just tell the person your feelings have changed and deal with the consequences. In fact, if you are a man, confess as soon as you feel them change. Otherwise, the object of your affection will pick up on your unexpressed feelings (instantaneously – trust me on this) and will, consciously or not, read your silence as a sign of weakness. Not a great moment for your masculinity. Call it sexist, but I call it true: Women can get away with hesitation, men can’t.

23. Be indecisive.

This much I know: Indecision in men is a deal breaker. [..] A decisive man, on the other hand, is a magnet, for reasons that are hard to describe. [...] Whatever the reason is, it’s gone, pft, the moment a woman sees she has to run the whole show.

47. Listen to your family and friends and ignore your family and friends.

On one subject, though, friends and families almost universally excel. [...] They can tell if you’re happy. If one of them sits you down and says, “I’m worried about you,” listen.

49. Expect marriage to fix a problem.

If you’re considering marriage, don’t look deep into her pretty green eyes and ask if you can imagine life without them. Look deep into your problems with her and ask, “Am I ready to make these permanent?”.

56. Be a single parent and have screwed-up priorities.

Don’t fear being alone. Fear him. Fear the weakness in you that makes you so deeply crave the presence of someone in your life that you’ll let anyone into your life, regardless of how toxic.

58. Rule out the possibility that you might always be single.

Marriage has rewards I won’t torture you by listing here [...] and still, anyone who shares a life with someone is lying if she says there’s nothing about single life she misses (or she’s choosing to forget what she misses about it). [...] Having been both, I’d rate the quality of these common life configurations as follows:

1. Happily coupled
2. Happily single
3. Unhappily single
1,074 Unhappily coupled

Here are some things single people should never take for granted: making your own decisions – great stuff, I could stop the list there. But then I’d leave out the surface perks – viewing habits, eating habits, reading-in-bed habits [...] and the profound ones – where you live and what house you live in and how you live within it. Eight hours of undisturbed sleep, bliss bliss bliss. If there’s a mess, it’s your mess. Ice cream for dinner! Cool! No section off holidays to appease the needy in-laws! Cooler. No compromising on the future you see for yourself. Coolest.

[...]

It’s only when you’ve made some sort of peace with yourself that your judgment becomes reliable. Then you can look at your already happy life and decide, does this person add enough to justify the compromises?

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