I’ve dated my fair share of guys in real life; and, I’ve certainly dated more than enough guys online to know that every date that ends well (without weird crap afterwards) is a victory!
There is a reason a lot of people (guys and girls) are online. I fit into the niche of, I don’t meet anyone new at work and my friends have all been my friends for several years and I don’t have an expanding circle of acquaintances. I do not fit into the socially awkward, lack of etiquette group. For a blatant example, I don’t use vulgar, sexually explicit languages in my messages to people. I’m not sure why they do it, maybe because they think it’ll work or they just want to mess with someone. Either way, it’s hilariously juvenile at best and seriously disrespectful at worst. Most of all, it completely lacks good judgement– and who wants that?
One of the guys I’ve been seeing on/off for months, I’ll call him Chevron Boy (because he works in Oil & Gas like most of Houston), recently complained to me about my treating him more like a guy friend than say a guy I’m dating. I reminded him that he’s the one who kind of brought it on himself as he stated explicitly a few weeks into “our dating thing” that he didn’t want a relationship. I don’t know how guys operate, but to me that meant that if we did continue to see each other I no longer was going to take him seriously (and I didn’t). Besides, we later had a talk about how we didn’t see this going anywhere anyway. So I literally got roped into a DTR (“define the relationship”) talk, except we aren’t in a relationship to begin with so I’m just all sorts of confused. And we again affirmed we aren’t going anywhere, so what’s the point of seriously dating?
Although, one thing I must commend, he states he is OKAY with me continuing to see other guys. Good! Because if you aren’t willing to settle down with me, which that ship sailed a long time ago, then you better not try to tie me down to your side! I still have no idea what he meant by that conversation and we haven’t talked about it in a few weeks, and I certainly haven’t seen him since that obviously awkward talk. We still converse via text, gchat, and I know what goes on in his life and he knows what goes on in mine… generally.
I think the hardest part is that, usually it’s only too easy to cut the cords in communication with online dating. After all, you don’t really know the person and they don’t really know you. If, for whatever reason, you decide it’s not working… then stop responding. Some think it’s rude to not respond and others think it’s okay to use silence as the answer. I have differing opinions on the matter. If I’ve been on a date or two with the guy, I think it’s fine to let lack of response do its work. If it’s longer, like with Chevron Boy, I think I owe him some kind of explanation.
That reminds me of Mr. Nebraska. He said something to me once that has stuck with me. He told me one of the things he looks for in a person is if they handle things with “grace.” When he told me about two months or so after we had gone out on our first date that he couldn’t see me anymore because he was going to be exclusive with another girl he had been seeing a few months before me, I finally understood what it meant by example. Mr. Nebraska could have totally ignored my texts, but instead he offered to meet up with me in person and tell me the news face-to-face. I appreciated that he respected me enough to say it to me, because it certainly wasn’t easy, because he had no idea how I would react. But I’m proud to say, I handled it with grace.
And certainly, I hope in the future, I will keep handling things with grace.