That’s (Not) What She Said!

MichaelWhatever happened to common courtesy, Modern Philosophers?

I was raised by The Nuns to be a proper gentleman.  I open the door for a lady, I help the elderly cross the street, and I treat others with respect.

That might make me seem old fashioned, but it also makes me a decent human being.

My recent return to the dating world, however, has made me realize that not everyone was raised as I was.  Believe me, I have no intention of turning this blog into a collection of bad date stories because that would most likely make me come across as a total idiot.

Every once in a while, though, I’m going to share a tale of dating woe.  Dr. Jekyll says the best way to handle failure is to talk about it.

Since I’m not the “pick up a woman at a bar” type or a “go up to a total stranger on the street and simply charm her” type, I’ve asked my friends and coworkers to set me up with friends, family members, and reclusive neighbors.

bad dateAlas, no one has any single friends.  So either nobody trusts me, or Maine is just a horrible place to be single.  As a result, I have resorted to using a dating website.

From a purely logical standpoint, a dating website should work in my favor.  A lot of it involves writing.  A creative profile catches their attention, and then a witty email entices them to write back.  Once an email conversation gets going, I am definitely playing to my strength.  Words are my friends, I’m very good at paying attention to what the other person writes, and I know how to get a laugh.

If I can get someone to write back, I’m usually very good at keeping them interested.

My first issue is with women who ignore that first email.  It’s a dating website, ladies.  You signed up because you want men to contact you and strike up a conversation.   Is it really that difficult to write back?  Even if it’s just to say you’re not interested?

It’s not like I’m sending: “Yo! You’re hot! I want to sleep with you.” I take the time to craft a well-written, properly punctuated email that touches on the things our profiles say we have in common. Would it kill you to hit the reply button and tap out two sentences?

Yes, Modern Philosophers, I always reply when someone new reaches out to me on the dating website.  I get how difficult it is to try to break the ice with a total stranger, and I know how annoying it is to be ignored.

Common courtesy.  Just like The Nuns taught me.

book of loveThe other beef on my grill tonight is the total blow off after a date.  Trust me, there are times when I can tell a first date isn’t going to lead to a second one.

Two weeks ago, my date took the ice cube out of her drink and methodically wiped down the table top with it while she continued our conversation.

Last month, my date said she had read my blog.  She then asked: “You don’t really believe there’s a Leprechaun and Gargoyle at your house talking back to you, right?”  I have to give her credit.  If she feared such things, it was very brave of her to meet me for a date.

Even in those cases, there wasn’t a total blow off.  We talked afterwards and mutually agreed that another date would be detrimental to our sanity.

I get that sometimes it’s hard to tell someone you’re not interested, but that’s part of the dating process.  You don’t leave the other person hanging.  It’s simple human decency.

This leads to my last date.  The one that I thought actually went well.  The first date I’ve really enjoyed since The Girl Who Moved Away left me alone and single.

I learned my lesson from previous expensive first date failures, and asked her to meet for a drink.  If we didn’t hit it off, it’s simple to not get a second round and call it a night.

gilmore girlsThis date went so well that we ordered food, and we just talked and laughed.

I earned bonus points for being a Gilmore Girls fan.  I told the Dr. Dre story, which I only pull out when things are going well.

When my date looked at her watch for the first time, we discovered that we had been there for two and a half hours!  The time just flew by, there weren’t any awkward silences, and I was smitten and hanging on her every word.  She appeared to be the same way.

So when I asked if we could go out again and she replied, “I don’t know”, I was stunned.

For the past two weeks, I’ve heard nothing from her aside from a couple of quick texts.

I flat out asked in a text, and then a few days later in an email, if she was interested in a second date, and got nothing in reply.

I’m definitely confused as to why she wouldn’t want to go out again after we seemed to hit it off, but I’m really pissed at her lack of common courtesy.  She can’t call or text or email that she’s not interested?  That lack of respect for the poor hopeless romantic, who’s just hoping for an answer, is what really kills me.

Angel RachelYes, Modern Philosophers, I am well aware that part of the issue here is the silent treatment I’ve received for the past four months from The Girl Who Vanished.

Clearly, the cold shoulder is a pet peeve and really messes with my self confidence.

Am I wrong to expect some kind of answer from her?  Am I just supposed to “get the hint” and go away?  How is that mature adult behavior?

This really sucks, and I can’t wait for it to be over.

That’s what she said…


About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
This entry was posted in Dating, Humor, Love, Philosophy and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

149 Responses to That’s (Not) What She Said!

  1. grannyK says:

    You are right to be mad. But, I think this is how a lot of people handle difficult situations now. Just ignore it and it will go away. Not cool. You are the better person!

  2. Ritu says:

    I agree with GrannyK! You’re definitely not in the wrong in my eyes! This is a huge case of mixed signals!

  3. hollie says:

    I have tried telling men I’m not interested. I’ve tried being blunt, I’ve tried being gentle, and it never works. I’ve learned from repeated experiences that in many cases it is best to just ignore them til the go away. You know why? People thing that women are clingers but they are wrong, it’s the men. When you do politely tell them you aren’t interested you get the “but, why?!” and that is generally followed by attempts at rebuttal and often insults. They want it to be somehow your fault that you don’t want another date. Then they wait a few days and try again. They never get the hint, no matter how honest. I only had one good experience with telling someone honestly (and gently) why I wasn’t interested and I still talk to him to this day even though we only met once. As for the dating websites, why waste your time emailing someone you aren’t interested. Why would you email if you absolutely know you don’t want a date? Honestly, men will hang on to every little shred of hope and bug you til the end of time if you email back. Then they start in with the hi. Good morning. How are you? What’s up? Emails all to no response and they still don’t get it. It is exhausting. I say you don’t email someone back and rudely tell them you aren’t interested, but guys need to recognize that if we are at all interested we will be in contact, girls love to communicate.

  4. I will watch Gilmore Girls with you for hours on end. 🙂

  5. Purpleanais says:

    I feel for you, I really do! It is totally unacceptable to leave people hanging, you just do NOT do that. As you said, it only takes a couple of minutes to let people know you’re not interested. As for why the latest date went cold on you after you’d had a great time….I honestly haven’t got a clue…..but she’s very rude to not even have answered your latest email. I would give up on her just for the rudeness, it’s something I cannot stand in people because there’s just no need for it.
    In any case, I do wish you luck with future dates 🙂

  6. I’ve had similar experiences with being left hanging and wondering what happened to courtesy and communication. It’s incredibly frustrating but it seems to be the norm in the dating world now.

    • Austin says:

      What’s even worse, is I’ve sent her a text and an email. How hard would it be to hit the reply button and say “Thanks, but no thanks”? I think it takes more effort to not reply!

  7. Fingerling says:

    People can just be so ridiculous and insincere! Honesty goes a long way and so many people just can’t be bothered anymore. #rude

  8. floridaborne says:

    Most of us have been on that ride and don’t care to go on it again, either. It’s one thing when you know from the first date that there isn’t going to be a second one. It’s another thing entirely when your date seems so into you and then just drops you into the trash like yesterday’s fish bones.

    • Austin says:

      The silent treatment kills me. This is also why things with The Girl hurt so much because she knows that ignoring me totally crushes me…

      • floridaborne says:

        Not knowing why is the worst feeling. If she’s like this now, you’ll be enduring the yo-yo of “everything’s fine” “silent treament” for the rest of the relationship.

        The perfect woman for you is out there. Now she has another chance to find you. 🙂

      • Austin says:

        I hope she finds me soon. I’m a tad bored with the single life…

      • floridaborne says:

        The writer in me says: A woman with dark hair, brown eyes and a bright smile is just waiting to join you at the bar for an unforgettable night.

        The person that doesn’t want to be sued says: DISCLAIMER…I’m not a psychic. 🙂

        But the writer isn’t wrapped in cultures straitjacket and wants you to know…that woman is waiting in the wings for you to notice her.

      • Austin says:

        You just describe The Girl Who Moved Away…

  9. The dating world these days often seems like a nightmare. I am old enough to be your mom, and I had my own set of bad dates, but I met my husband at the bowling alley. Heh. But all this deep “oh do I or don’t I” stuff seems a waste of time. You know when it’s right. No games. It works right off the bat. Don’t give up. Maybe pick up a bowling ball and see what happens!

  10. The Cutter says:

    Maybe she was just disappointed that you didn’t bring the leprechaun?

  11. Well I’ve had my fair share of online dating horror stories/mishaps what ever you’d like to call them. Here’s the thing for the no response if not interested from my pov. I’ve been the nice polite woman, who replies back thank you but no thank you, I see we don’t have a lot in common, or we want different things, etc, always in a nice manner. YET countless times 95% on given, their reply is a resounding ~ WTF are you even replying back for if you’re not interested. Just don’t reply. Now I’ve been on and off the sites for 2 years because it gets really crazy out there in the land of misfit toys* and so now if I know I’m not interested for whatever reasons, I don’t even say thank you but no thank you. It’s hard to be that way, but when your niceness gets a kick in the gut, it just wears you out.
    For the other part of your post. Sheesh if I only had an answer, you my friend are not alone. Many men do the same thing. For unknown reasons, well known to them at least. I’ve had it happen to me after 3 very promising dates most recently. I even sent the hey hope you didn’t get attacked by the Easter bunny, and no response. Sadly as much as I prefer brutal honestly, it’s also 95% of the time not going to happen.
    Ok and I apologize cause I totally went off on a tangent. :/

    • adamjasonp says:

      Ugh, dating is so screwed up that people should never say “no thank you”? Guys can’t be such playas that the time to read the “no” is “time wasted,” or soul-crushing—it’s just a date! 95% ego.

      • Austin says:

        I’m not complaining about her saying no. I’m complaining about her not saying anything…

      • It is totally an ego thing I think, to an extent anyway. I get that no one likes rejection, I sure don’t, but it goes with the territory. I know darn well I’m not everyone’s cup of tea and well they’re not all mine either. It’s sad when honesty becomes unwanted. I would gladly take a no thank you rather than an ignored message, and would prefer to give it, yet it’s mostly met with hostility. So I don’t bother, but only in those first email instances. If it were after an actual date, I will be honest, I don’t have to be mean about it, but honest~ yes.

    • Austin says:

      It just seemed to be a really good date. Guess I misread her laughing and being engaged in conversation for two and a half hours…

      • My first instinct would be to say, you didn’t misread it. But I’ve noticed on 2 occasions & only realized it after the fact, that I can have a seemingly fantastic date. Conversation, we laugh, we have so much in common, but maybe there isn’t a spark more than friendship. Maybe the kiss (if there is one) doesn’t have that spark. It can happen. BUt still that should be acknowledged with a reply of something. That’s just rude. We can all think of reasons why she did what she did, thing is, only she knows. I find myself doing the questioning a lot sometimes. Then I realize all the thinking I put into why someone just shuts down/off is taking my energy away that I can put into finding the right person, or enjoying life as it is even if it’s a single life. But then again what do I know, I’m still single. 😉

      • Austin says:

        The dating life. So much fun. Where do I sign up for an arranged marriage?

      • Ha! not laughing at you, I promise, but with you. It’s ok, I’m joining the convent. At least that’s what my sissy’s daughter thinks should happen to me. I’m old, never married and no kids. That’s where we all go! lol

      • Austin says:

        But Nuns are so scary!!!!

      • That’s what I said lol. So she told me -then you better start working on things don’t you think? She’s 7 by the way 🙂

      • Austin says:

        So wise for her age!

  12. AthenaC says:

    “Yes, Modern Philosophers, I am well aware that part of the issue here is the silent treatment I’ve received for the past four months from The Girl Who Vanished.”

    I commend you for your introspection, but believe me – your response is totally normal. I also hated to be left hanging; in fact, I went to some pretty ridiculous lengths to just GET A GODDAMNED ANSWER out of guys before. Even (especially!) if the answer is no! Just tell me and I’ll move on. I just think that with adult pleasures comes adult responsibility – grow a pair and tell someone what you’re thinking, because it’s the respectful thing to do. It’s respectful of their time and their emotions.

    • Austin says:

      That’s all I’m saying. It would have been simple for her to tell me she wasn’t interested. I would’ve respected that. I don’t respect the silent treatment.

  13. It sucks that she didn’t reply to you. From the sounds of it, you guys had a good first date. Sometimes people just have other things going on in their lives and that makes them feel like they don’t want to go on a second date. Whatever the case, it’s too bad she didn’t reply to you. But like I’ve said before, at least you know right away rather than dating for a while. You can try to look on the upside. You had a great date and had fun hanging out.

  14. Anita Stout says:

    Hang in there Austin. The only woman to even answer my husband on married him. I’m going to give you a tip that worked for me. Write out a list of exactly what you’re looking for in a partner. Then a second list of what you are unwilling to settle for less than ever again. Read those lists often. As soon as I got clear about who I was looking for, I found him. I never once said what he would “look” like. My friends thought that was nuts but I said “I won’t know him when I see him, I’ll know him when I feel him.” And that’s how it worked out.
    Look at it this way – if a woman doesn’t have the common courtesy to respond and not leave you hanging, then she’s definitely not the one you’re looking for. It should be a red flag. Common courtesy is something that’s important to you. DON’T SETTLE!

    • Austin says:

      Believe me, Don’t Settle has been my mantra. Somehow, the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met fell in love with me, so now it has me stupidly believing I could get someone else as wonderful to fall for me…

  15. Anita Stout says:

    Keep believing. Stupid is NOT believing… and make that list. Stop talking like you’re some sort of consolation prize! If you don’t believe you deserve someone wonderful you’ll project that no matter how hard you try not to. It’s an energy and it comes across loud and clear.

  16. I believe all it takes is a quick text to say,”Sorry, I’m not that into you.” A head scratched to be sure, but a few words will do the trick.
    I can’t believe people have become this rude and unfeeling. 😦

  17. Ally Bean says:

    First, it felt wrong to “Like” this post, but I did. Second, this scenario reminds me of sending out invitations to a party with RSVP on them. Which means that all you have to do is let me know if you’re attending the party or not, but people now find that much courtesy to be too difficult to handle. So your predicament while dating doesn’t entirely surprise me. People are lazy.

  18. It’s both funny, and not funny. It’s such a complicated, complex yet serious issue, in the world of online dating and texting, and it’s even more of a minefield for women. This may also help everyone in dating online safely, where it’s so easy to “hack” a persona and present oneself as exactly what the dating recipient person in question is looking for (like what a sociopathic personality indulges in). So many things can be misconstrued and miscommunicated by this increasing trend to online, virtual correspondence, where you can’t read the person’s body language or interpret visual cues. I’m speaking generally, here, and it’s not specific to your situation, mind you. I’m just trying to give you some background into what women can face that lies behind the unfortunate but very real risks “forced into silence” vs. “speaking out” motivation. I have a very distinct reputation as an a**kicker, but at least nobody has any doubt that I’m not interested in pursuing further contact. Having said that, despite my tendency to be very outspoken about letting people know exactly what I’m thinking, (often male) people that I’ve gone on even friend dates (i’ve been expressingly clear about my parameters, yet they still think I’m playing hard to get, and that they’ll ‘get some’ because, sadly, that’s a battle men have to face with the social conditioning they are exposed to–not that I’m being an apologist for rape behavior mind you!) still dismiss me, and continue to pursue contact. I’ve been full-on, no-holds-barred clear that I never want any more contact from certain men, and, even over twenty years later–yes, you read that right, 2-0–they have somehow managed to track me down on the internet and have sent me unwanted emails. And the system is set up that women often don’t have any legal recourse in that situation. Even if you respond to him with that one liner you mentioned, believe it or not, it can be twisted as to say that you encouraged him by even giving him a response. And, if you’re like me, and really get confrontational and say exactly what you think, that can be twisted around to be used against you by saying that you somehow provoked him with your attitude, and were therefore responsible for anything else that happens to you later. That may be where this silent treatment comes from, and people need to realize that it might stem from more than just “I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings” passive aggressive act. It’s a difficult, Catch-22 situation for women, because if they open that door and even express basic, firm courtesy, sometimes men (not saying this is you, of course 🙂 ) have adopted “she’s just playing hard to get” assumption about ALL women. I mean, when you sit there and tell someone to f-off and they still pester you with coded, seemingly innocuous aboveboard emails (scroll down to the end for more about this), you don’t really have a recourse unless the person has expressed a blatant threat to harm you in some way, and even then that’s not good enough to get a restraining order, which doesn’t even keep women safe. So, a women’s silence, sadly and unfortunately, may be the only way to cope with a society with undercurrents of victim blaming against ALL women, and people in general. I hope this opens up a constructive dialogue about the perils of dating from a women’s perspective, because that is its intention. I’m asking you to be patient, on behalf of women everywhere that have to navigate this society, and just respect and realize that women are sometimes forced to utilize silence by our societal codes of conduct (unfortunately, no matter how hard we fight–a battle that is still ongoing, even in 2015) and legal system, even though it’s not practical or common-sense, for our own safety and personal security, since the legal system is often not on our side, and situations/people that depict themselves as harmless and aboveboard in emails can be skilled (sociopathic) masters of manipulation. It’s almost impossible to predict whether the person online really is being sincere, or using masked, coded language simply to keep engaging you in a discussion, even online–keeping you on the hook, so to speak. You gotta understand and be aware that sometimes silence like what you referred (which I never encourage, but…) can feel like a woman’s only option/recourse in keeping herself safe, while we (as women) continue to work for change, challenge gender stereotypes for both men and women, and be more vocal in other areas to change the society we live in, in order to make it not only safer and more permissible for ourselves, and our self-expression, but for children, animals, Nature, and, yes, even for men.

  19. Remember, for every guy like you that accepts a woman saying “No” and will move on, there are multiple men that won’t (accept a woman saying “no”), and respect the woman’s boundary, and continue to make demands for their attention and time, and invade their (virtual) personal space.

    • Austin says:

      I suppose. I don’t like being lumped in with the bad apples, though. I’m just a nice guy, who appreciates a little closure and some courtesy.

  20. susielindau says:

    Actions always speak louder than words, especially in dating. Move on to the next one!

  21. arsheeray says:

    Lately, I’ve been following your posts and I have to laud you for writing in a very down-to-earth manner. 🙂

    I’ve been through that situation too and trust me it sucks more than my Econometrics class. –‘ No modicum of courtesy or respect.

    I would love to read more of your write-ups ^^

  22. The Real DC says:

    Aw! Hang in there! & I don’t think you come across at all as a douchebag for telling your dating anecdotes! I love your tone! Keep all us bloggers in the loop! I hope you find a girl that’s just as courteous as you! 🙂

  23. It’s not fair to leave you hanging, she should of had more balls but I think it’s pretty obvious you need to take the hint. I’ve had guys who’ve liked me in the past and every extra communication I’ve had with them after a date/meeting up, no matter how I politely declining another meet up, no matter how bluntly I’m now declining, has been met with obtuse and rather relentless “So what are you up to today then? Do you wanna meet up?” type of texts. Although I think her mixed signals are likely to (accidentally?) encourage that exact behaviour from guys. Don’t be one of them dude! :o)

    • Austin says:

      So I take it I was wrong to assume that she enjoyed the date? That seems to be the root of my issue. I need to convince myself she only pretended to like me for two and a half hours, and then this is much easier to swallow. Got it. 🙂

  24. Pingback: How To Tell If Your Date Plans To Kill You | The Return of the Modern Philosopher

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