Online Dating Rejection
The Rejection Dilemma
(Hey guys, this was written by Marlee. I’ll chime in tomorrow with my thoughts on what she’s written this week.)
Upon being completely new to the online dating world I first found myself excited to read anything in my email inbox.
Each email carried the weight of my potential dream man matching with my vaguely laid out hopes and dreams, and I treated it as such. Logging on in the morning was a sweltering feeling of excitement. Sometimes I just sit and stare at the little green digital unopened envelope… could this one be worth the effort?
No. Sorry to say but the vast majority of my email inbox is not worth the effort. The greater part of the messages I receive are those who skimmed my profile, and wrote a poorly misspelled email complete with a picture of their abs… obviously taken from their phone camera in a dimly lit bathroom. Only one guy in 40 actually read my whole profile and put the word “green” in the subject line. I cannot reiterate the fact that this tactic will never work. Even the minimal message, “Hi,” is bound to get my attention before a half naked, retarded ape showing me his stomach. C’mon guys, get with the program.
However, on top of the lame attempts these guys made at sounding cool but really coming off like sex-crazed fourteen-year olds, there’s one other issue that just seems to continually be popping up (pun intended)… this whole “rejecting” business is difficult stuff.
Not surprised? Well you should be. Originally, I thought giving telling someone I’m not interested followed by a metaphorical pat on the back would be much easier than breaking it off in real life. Hell, I could even have my own online refusal speech typed up and saved as a Word document, all I’d have to do is go through a little copy and paste and that would be it. And, if all else failed all I’d have to do was stop writing back or ignore their IMs, right? Not quite. As it turns out, rejecting someone in the online world is a bit tougher than I expected.
See, in a real life dating world, the other person can often get an idea of what’s coming. They can sense when your body language might be a bit off… your laughs seem forced, you avoid any kind of body contact, and you hesitate when he suggests meeting up tomorrow night. All of these things can give a person the hint that things may not be going the way they hoped it would.
Online dating is different though. The terms “haha” and “lol” basically always mean the same thing. Granted, you can capitalize them for maximum effect, or resort to other little combinations such as “rofl” or “lmao”, but the point is in person, it’s easy to tell when someone is fake laughing. Online? Not so much. Your sarcastic “haha” and your sincere “haha” are going to appear exactly the same on the other person’s screen. In a sense, to them, your sense of humor appears identical to the first time you both chatted.
Also in online dating, there’s no body contact to gauge how each person is feeling. On a real date, a touch on the arm may mean either fireworks or creepy crawlies, and it’s fairly easy to know the difference by whether the person shy’s away from you or leans into you. Plus, an in-person hesitation or deflection is often the most obvious of rejections, but any online hesitation is easily brushed away by a quick, “Sorry, I have dinner on the stove and had to check it real quick,” followed by a subject change.
So with the obvious lack of “It’s just not working out” body language, which tends to usually do the trick, I’m finding I have to heavily rely on getting my message across in the clearest way possible. Giving someone the familiar, “Look, you’re great. I’m just not feeling it ‘that way’ right now…” may be more difficult in person, but the fact is they get to read your facial expressions and hear the sincerity in your voice. Typing that exact phrase over a chat comes across as, well, a bit harsh.
But even with all my trying to be nice, there are still guys that just simply won’t take the hint… the clear cut, “I’m not interested in you in the least, please stop contacting me,” is even completely ignored. So when it comes down to it, I try to be nice, then I try to be firm, and when all else fails I pull out the big guns. The simple line, “Dude, I’m a guy,” always seems to get the job done.