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On second thought, I actually am that superficial.
February 7, 2010 12:50 PM   Subscribe

After a first date that I can see isn't going to go anywhere based on a lack of physical attraction, how do I proceed decently?

(Apologies in advance for the overly long and overthinking question, but this has really been nagging at me.)

A week ago I started IMing with a woman on OKCupid. Pretty standard situation: we're both in our mid-to-late 20s, living in the same city, single, similar career/interests/values. I found her quite pretty based on photos, but she told me she was "heavy" (her word) and asked if this was a problem. I couldn't tell based on the photos if this would be a problem. I told her, truthfully, that my standards about body type are very relaxed and that most women I've dated have been fairly voluptuous, Rubenesque, or whatever you want to call it. (I'm on the skinny side of average.)

Once I met her in person, I immediately knew she's too overweight to be attractive to me. I still consider her pretty, but more with a footnote of "if only she lost a lot of weight..." I realize how superficial this sounds, but I can't see any way that it would be a good thing for me to ignore this if I know in advance it would be fatal to any relationship that might develop. (Additionally, we're opposite genders but about the same height. I wouldn't normally consider this a serious problem, but I kept thinking: "let's face it, we don't look good together.")

I'm now feeling very guilty because, aside from this factor, we both had a very nice time. It was very long for a first date (we were surprised to notice that a whole 5 hours had passed), and we had consistently scintillating conversation. We kept discovering more and more things we have in common. I think she's a very nice and good person. (There was no physical contact; the date ended with a mutual "I had a really nice time.")

We haven't talked since then. But I'm trying to figure out how to proceed. We've been in such constant contact over IM that it would be conspicuous for me to block her. Currently, I have blocked her, but this seems cowardly. I could, of course, not answer her phone calls, but that would also seem cowardly. (We've been communicating mostly by IM, and occasionally by phone, text, and OKCupid's email system, but we don't have each other's real email addresses.)

What should I do?

I could just ignore her and hope she doesn't contact me. But I have the sense that she wants to keep things going. (She's very outgoing and direct, and she's told me she usually takes dating at a very fast pace).

From reading some other AskMe questions, the common advice seems to be that you should give a pleasant and vague answer like, "I had a nice time, but I don't think there's a spark/chemistry between us." Should I send her a message/IM saying this? However, considering that she herself told me before the date that she was afraid I'd be uninterested because she's "heavy," I'm worried she would follow up and ask if it's because of her weight. If so, should I answer honestly, or would that be too cruel? There are a couple other things that bothered me (she uses substances I disapprove of, and she seemed a bit too interested in hearing herself talk rather than listening to me), but if I'm honest, I have to admit that appearance is the main factor.

Another question: Was I an idiot for allowing the date to go on for hours and to seem outwardly interested in spending time with her and getting to know her? I suppose some would say I should have done the opposite - act uninterested and end things early - but I couldn't bring myself to do this rather than have the enjoyable evening that we had. Also, my ex-girlfriend and I ended a one-year relationship the day before this new woman and I started communicating, so I was admittedly relieved just to be going on a fun date with someone new. Anyway, is there a better way to deal with this dilemma?

I'd be interested to hear anyone's thoughts. Since I'm anonymous, I'd like to thank everyone in advance.

Throwaway email: anonymousgeemale@gmail.com
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (46 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
Yes, you are correct that it is cowardly to just block her and ignore her phone calls and emails. Do what has already been suggested to you and tell her that you had a nice time but just didn't feel like the chemistry was there. She won't ask you if it's because she's fat, but if I'm wrong and she does, then it's not cruel to answer her question honestly (but tactfully).
posted by amro at 12:57 PM on February 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


Was I an idiot for allowing the date to go on for hours and to seem outwardly interested in spending time with her and getting to know her?

No. You were both having an good time. There is nothing wrong with that.

From reading some other AskMe questions, the common advice seems to be that you should give a pleasant and vague answer like, "I had a nice time, but I don't think there's a spark/chemistry between us." Should I send her a message/IM saying this?

Something along those lines, yes, but not in an IM. It's called letting someone down easily, and you should at least call her when doing so. Essentially, yes, you're telling a bit of a white lie, but being brutally honest does nobody any favors here. You may think that saying "you're too overweight for me" has emphasis on the for me part, but that isn't how she will hear it. She likely won't even hear those last two little words.

It sounds as if you wouldn't mind being friends with her -- you did have a nice time, after all -- but that you have no interest in dating. Say as much, but tell her it's her call; let her decide whether she's okay with "just friends" or not.
posted by axiom at 12:59 PM on February 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


Be honest but not too honest. Tell her that there is no spark but you don't have to tell her specifically it's because of her weight. If she asks tell her that you think she's very attractive and enjoyed spending time with her but just didn't feel that extra thing.

And don't feel guilty, attraction is not something you can force to happen, it either does or it doesn't. Often it has little to do with a person's looks anyway.
posted by fshgrl at 12:59 PM on February 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


Also, based on your email it doesn't look like she's tried to contact you. Are you so sure that's she's even interested? If it were me I would probably wait to see if you hear from her before pre-emptively rejecting her.
posted by amro at 12:59 PM on February 7, 2010 [10 favorites]


I don't think you did anything dumb or wrong. The point of a first date is to start getting to know someone and seeing if there's any interest there. 5 hours might be a bit much if you know for a fact there's no attraction there, but I think it would have been a lot worse to abruptly end the date.

I think it's really cool of you to want to let her know you don't see it going anywhere, rather than just disappearing. I think what you have in mind to say works well. IMO it's fine to say that by email.

If she asks if it is about her weight, I, personally, think you should be honest. This is because 1) if I asked a question like that, I'd want to know the truth; 2) generally, I think people shouldn't ask questions they don't want to know the answers to; 3) honestly responding to a direct question is, IMO, much more respectful than evading it to preserve their feelings, which has always struck me as a bit condescending.
posted by Ashley801 at 1:04 PM on February 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm with amro, I think you should wait and see if she contacts you before telling her that you're not interested in her romantically.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:04 PM on February 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


The weight thing is a side road you don't need to drive down. You met in person and you didn't feel that physical "spark"--end of story, doesn't matter why. You don't need to feel guilty and she doesn't need to hear about it, any more than I'd need/want to hear about the shape of my nose or the color of my hair or the pitch or my voice as someone's dealbreaker.

In a similar situation, I got a very nice email that said something along the lines of, "I had a really great time with you, but don't know if we're right for dating for me. Friends?" It was gracious, we actually do stay sporadically in touch and....get this....rejection is such a prosaic part of online dating (or semi-blind dates in general) that it wasn't a big deal.
posted by availablelight at 1:05 PM on February 7, 2010 [20 favorites]


based on your email

I meant "based on your post"...
posted by amro at 1:10 PM on February 7, 2010


I'm just trying to wrap my head around how you could spend five hours in animated conversation with someone and then say you weren't attracted to them. But whatever.

If you have in effect cut her off from the primary way you were communicating, chances are very good she's already gotten the message. If she contacts you another way, you can just say you enjoyed your date but have decided that you two won't be compatible in the long term, no further explanation needed.
posted by Sublimity at 1:10 PM on February 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


You're a dude, so I'm sure you have received the message you want to administer. Figure out who it was in the past that said it to you in such a way that you respected her afterwards. Do it just like that person.

This is one of those situations in which you learn whether you really are "classy" or just a douchebag. MeFi has enough of the latter...be better.

Good luck.
posted by hal_c_on at 1:13 PM on February 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


If you had slept with her and borrowed fifty bucks, then you would be a douchebag for not contacting her now. But you had a single chaste date. You can do whatever you want. She is probably already back on the dating site, looking for someone who approves of her use of substances.
posted by bingo at 1:30 PM on February 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


I'm just trying to wrap my head around how you could spend five hours in animated conversation with someone and then say you weren't attracted to them. But whatever.

Er, I have all sorts of friends like this--male and female, young, old, etc.--I don't necessarily want to sleep with. Those are separate circles on the Venn diagram.
posted by availablelight at 1:35 PM on February 7, 2010 [10 favorites]


Honestly, if this woman is preemptively apologizing for her appearance before even meeting you, it's a fair bet that 1) she's not in a good place about her body and 2) she's already had plenty of negative judgement about her weight.

You say you want to end this decently, so I can't imagine what positive outcome you can expect from telling her she's too fat to date. Weight/appearance is subjective - I'm sure there's plenty of guys out there who would love to go out with her. Don't leave her with ugly baggage because she doesn't meet your parameters for attractive.

I think availablelights's suggestion is perfect: "I had a really great time with you, but don't know if we're right for dating for me. Friends?"
posted by Space Kitty at 1:44 PM on February 7, 2010 [19 favorites]


It's normal not to be sexually attracted to fat people. Most people aren't. The "we don't look good together" stuff is pretty lame, but that's not the main point, which is that you aren't interested in having sex with her.

No matter what you tell her, she's going to feel bad and she'll probably figure it's her weight, but if you stick to the truth while being diplomatic and kind, it'll be ok: you think she's great as a human being (interesting, smart, funny, whatever you really think about her besides I don't want her you can have her she's too fat for me) but you aren't attracted to her sexually (or romantically or however you want to put it) and that is of course a deal-breaker in terms of dating. She doesn't need more detail than that and she probably won't ask for it.

Unless she looks like she wants to run away or kick your ass (she's a big girl, right?), you could ask her if she wants to go on a non-date somewhere, and now, not just some day, because you honestly had a good time hanging with her last time. Just make sure it's clear you absolutely aren't waffling on the bonking. But if you do end up spending more time with her, be prepared for her not to be the same woman she was when she thought she was going to get into your pants. Looking at you as a non-sexual being, she might decide you aren't very interesting or that you two don't really have all that much in common.
posted by pracowity at 1:47 PM on February 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, my ex-girlfriend and I ended a one-year relationship the day before this new woman and I started communicating, so I was admittedly relieved just to be going on a fun date with someone new.

Tell her this if you are put in a situation of having to turn down a second date. "Oh, sorry, but I just ended a relationship and realized that going on a five-hour date just for the attention was not cool, and I probably shouldn't string you along any more because I'm not ready to date." Why you're not attracted to her is irrelevant if you frame it this way.
posted by slow graffiti at 1:49 PM on February 7, 2010


As a fat chick, I would like to echo those who suggest simply telling her that you just don't feel any spark or chemistry...but only if the topic of going out again comes up.

If she's anything like me, she's probably well aware that her weight is a put-off to many guys, and she probably recognizes that there is not always attraction between two people. If she gets in touch again and wants to go out again, then you should just be vague and polite about it, with the whole "I just don't feel any real spark or attraction, but I had a really nice time." Yes, it's lame and trite, but it's much better than pointing out the specific shortcomings she's already well aware of.

You shouldn't feel like a douchebag for having a nice date with her that went on for 5 hours. Not all first dates need to lead to second dates or relationships to be worthwhile. You both went out, had an enjoyable few hours, met someone new, and seemingly had nice evenings. More first dates don't work out than do, and pretty much all adults are well aware of that by now.
posted by dumbledore69 at 1:59 PM on February 7, 2010 [8 favorites]


I don't think she is going to contact you. But if she does, don't give her any specific reason. Just say that you had a good time, but you ultimately didn't feel the right chemistry.

Telling her that it's because she's fat is not going to help. She already knows that some guys have a problem with that, which is why she mentioned it to you ahead of time. Also, she might meet someone who likes her the way she is. The only thing that matters about your opinion, from her point of view, is that you're not interested.

If you are really concerned about improving your behavior to make this kind of thing easier, then learn to find ways of asking for more telling photos before meeting someone. She pretty much gave you a window to do this, and you passed it up. Also: learn to tell by implication when someone is hiding their body with their profile photos. Short method: Is there a photo where you can see her whole body, head to toe, in the same shot? How about just her entire torso?

I have asked for additional photos before (and not necessarily out of concern about her BMI...one woman was obviously hiding her face, another was obviously hiding something on her face). I try to do it nicely. It can be awkward. But the truth is that (in my opinion) it's better than going out with her and trying to act interested through the whole date, and giving up a night of my life to do so. If I'm pretty sure that's what's going to happen, but I can't bring myself to ask for more photos, then I just don't meet her.
posted by bingo at 2:12 PM on February 7, 2010


I think it is great that you are trying to spare her feelings and not be a jerk. But don't overthink this. Speaking as a woman who has used online dating sites in the past-just being female means that you get inundated with responses. So you are likely not the only fish in the sea for her, whether she is a little bigger or not. Just tell her no spark. It's the truth, it's kind, and it's uncomplicated. She'll probably take that at face value and move on to the next guy in her inbox. But don't just block her-it's unkind to leave people hanging with no explanation.
posted by supercapitalist at 2:19 PM on February 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


she was confident and awesome enough to tell you straight up that she was heavy. that, in my books, is sexy and catch-worthy, and not at all a sign of feeling down about herself. lots of fat people *know* they are hot -- saying it up front is often a way to weed out, well, people like this (no offense, poster).

the least you can do is say you weren't feeling the spark... if she even cares. she sounds pretty charismatic and fun to be with, from your description. my guess? she wouldn't want to be with someone who cares so much about how they would "look" together.

i just wonder if you would have even bothered posting this, if she weren't fat? do what you would do wiith any other date where the spark just isn't there. if she asks if it's because of her weight... i think be honest. it's prob a big turn-off for her that you're self-admittedly superficial, and both of you leave knowing you don't like each other "that way" and it wouldn't have worked.
posted by crawfo at 2:19 PM on February 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


Nobody has mentioned that she is partly-to-mostly to blame for this situation because she posted photos that were not representative of her real appearance.

People come in all shapes and sizes and someone is attracted to every conceivable shape and size. By not posting photos that were representative, she set herself up for this kind of problem, put you in an awkward situation, and is probably even now missing date requests from guys who are looking for someone of her (actual) shape and size.

Be classy in the way you turn her down, and there has been lots of good advice about that. But don't feel guilty. The "I'm heavy, is that a problem?" thing is a game she played with you because of her own insecurity and that is not your fault.
posted by fritley at 2:22 PM on February 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Regardless of why you were not attracted to her, the fact remains that you were not.

Fine. Happens all the time. There's no need to even let guilt into the equation and nor should you. She is an adult. You are an adult. You owe her nothing but the courtesy that one human owes another. You both understand the dating game. Find a nice way to tell her you are not interested in a repeat date and that is all you need to do. Weight should not even enter the equation. Trust that she is adult enough to understand if someone she had one date with doesn't want to follow up. Let her worry about why that may be...its not your problem, that's her path to walk.
posted by jnnla at 2:29 PM on February 7, 2010


It's a first online date. Like someone above said, wait and see if she even contacts you. I have been "preemptively rejected" before by someone I had zero interest in ever seeing again anyway. She wrote me saying "no chemistry/let's be friends," assuming I was incredibly attracted to her, and it was incredibly presumptuous and obnoxious. Needless to say we are not friends.

So if she does contact you, let her down easy, like they said above. I personally find the word "chemistry" incredibly cheesy in reference to dating, but then I don't really know a better polite way to say "thanks but no thanks, just not into you." DO NOT mention her weight. It's just cruel. I'm assuming she owns a mirror and is aware of how big she is. And it's not something she needs to change. It's a turnoff for YOU, but I see overweight people dating all the time. Knowing the way online dating is, and the fact you said she is a pretty female, she probably has 5 other dates lined up this week already- or could if she wanted to. She'll be fine- you're not a bad person, but you need to let her go on with her life.
posted by drjimmy11 at 2:32 PM on February 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, don't call yourself "superficial." It's a dating site, not a friends site. What could be more natural than wanting to date someone you find physically attractive? I don't get why people feel they have to apologize for that, any more than they would apologize for wanting someone smart, or funny, or anything else.
posted by drjimmy11 at 2:35 PM on February 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


You wrote too much for me to think this is about how do I decline a second date? Because my money is on you liking her. Just consider that when you make your decision.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:07 PM on February 7, 2010 [8 favorites]


Continued dating usually requires effort and continued signs of interest. I have always dissented from the people who feel you need to send the “I’m not that into you” e-mail. I don’t know about you, but I could do without receiving a breakup letter after one date. Unless she’s ravenously pursuing you, you can just slip away through the time-honored method of not being flirty.
posted by thelastenglishmajor at 3:37 PM on February 7, 2010


You seem more conflicted about this than you'd like to be. If you know you're not attracted to her, fine. But it seems like there is something else. Don't forget that lots of people aren't instantly bowled over by chemistry, and an easy 5 hours with a stranger isn't something that happens on every date.

I'm not necessarily advocating you dragging it out while you decide if you might become more attracted to her, but there is such a thing as internalized homophobia, fatophobia, whatever. She wasn't exactly what you were expecting, but you had a good time anyway. That's the thing about chemistry and even love; it changes and surprises you at all the wrong (right) times.

Chalk it up to a good night out for the both of you, and be as absolutely generous and open in your response to her. You sincerely had a wonderful time, but you're looking for a specific spark, and it wasn't there. If she's up for being friends in the future, tell her the door is open. Bonne chance.

And that voice that says, "but we don't even look good together!" really isn't relevant. You can thank that voice for its input and tell it to shut the hell up, because you're enjoying yourself. Be kind to yourself and to the moment you're in.
posted by barnone at 3:49 PM on February 7, 2010 [8 favorites]


Never ever ever ever tell a girl that you don't like her because she's fat. Even if that's the real reason, and even if she asks you upfront. In this case I wouldn't even say anything about not being attracted to her or "not my type," because she's likely going to hear that as "you're too fat" too. Based on what you've told us, she sounds terribly sensitive about her weight, and telling her you're not attracted to her is not going to help one bit.
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:16 PM on February 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


"I had a really great time with you, but don't know if we're right for dating. Friends?" Oh dear god, that is perfect.

If it's not normal to be attracted to fat people, then there's something wrong with me. There are plenty of overweight dudes who don't make my motor run, and god knows I love a nice body, but if I ran the world, I'd jump in bed with Paul Giamatti long before Robert Pattinson.

If you're not attracted to someone, that's all they need to know. And what if she shoots back that she doesn't mind because she's slightly creeped out by guys with freckles or that many moles or whatever you might having going on???
posted by Lesser Shrew at 4:23 PM on February 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Be classy in the way you turn her down, and there has been lots of good advice about that. But don't feel guilty. The "I'm heavy, is that a problem?" thing is a game she played with you because of her own insecurity and that is not your fault.

WTF? If she was into game playing and dishonesty she wouldn't have said a thing about being heavy. You don't need to try and talk the OP into coming up with a reason to blame this woman for his feelings; it's perfectly okay to not be romantically attracted to people for any reason whatsoever. Making it the other person's fault is just plain weird.

OP, as has been said above, just say what you would say to anyone you're not romantically interested in (I had a enjoyable time but not feeling the spark or whatever). This is going to continue to happen all your dating life, so you might as well get used to it.

Plus she might not be that interested in you, if she hasn't contacted you yet.
posted by oneirodynia at 4:54 PM on February 7, 2010


Seconding oneirodynia - why are you assuming she was super attracted to you and wants to go out again?

How hard is it to be kind? Be classy and shoot her an email saying you enjoyed meeting her, had a fun evening, but didn't feel the chemistry was there for more dates and wish her luck on her search. If she presses, say it has to do with the substance use thing. She knows she is overweight. It's hard enough being an overweight female in our society, so what is the point of telling her she's too overweight for you to be attracted to her?
posted by socrateaser at 5:20 PM on February 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would send her a private msg or a text or an email (but not an IM or voice mail-- you want a static mode of communication, not an immediately interactive one). Say something like, "I had a really nice time with you the other night. Thanks again for the wicked conversation and [specific fun thing that happened]. -Me" That's all. It's polite and decent, and sends a clear non-verbal message.

If she takes the hint, she will either:
Ignore this - which means you're done, or
Write back a similarly dry/polite note, which also means you're done.

If she chooses to pursue further, she will either:
Contact you and ask you out again or ask why you didn't like her.

I would NOT tell her it's because of her weight (not that I think you would, you sound pretty nice). I would even be gentle about the "no chemistry" thing because that's usually interpreted to mean "not attractive". I think a white lie is the best: "You're great- beautiful and fun and smart, and I had a great time, but when I got home I realized I just have mixed feelings about dating and I don't think the timing is good even though you're great." Then you've blamed the end of things on it being your problem, not her problem, and you're sending her on her way without damaging her self-esteem at all, which is the kindest way to go. Let her save face by giving her an easy way to believe it wasn't about her looks or personality.

Good luck!
posted by pseudostrabismus at 5:41 PM on February 7, 2010


Dude, this comment of mine got like 60-something favorites and I feel famous for that. And I still think it applies. This is a perfect opportunity to use it.

Also, for whatever it's worth, I had a pretty great makeout session with the dude that wrote me that email, and it didn't occur to me at all that he's a jerk, wasn't into me because I'm heavy (I am), or whatever. We were both having a good time, that's all. There's nothing wrong with extending a date because you're having a good time in the moment. If you ultimately don't feel any long-term chemistry, you don't feel any chemistry.
posted by AlisonM at 5:41 PM on February 7, 2010


WTF? If she was into game playing and dishonesty she wouldn't have said a thing about being heavy.

I think he was referring to the fact that he "couldn't tell" how big she was from the photos...as Dan Savage said in one of his advice columns about a similar situation...

"Sending out misleading photos is a no-no, precisely because it leads to hurt feelings on all sides. Misleading photos are unfair to the person misled—it places the person in an awkward position—and sets the sender up for emotionally devastating rejections.
posted by mreleganza at 7:09 PM on February 7, 2010


I would send her a private msg or a text or an email (but not an IM or voice mail-- you want a static mode of communication, not an immediately interactive one). Say something like, "I had a really nice time with you the other night. Thanks again for the wicked conversation and [specific fun thing that happened]. -Me" That's all. It's polite and decent, and sends a clear non-verbal message.

What?? No. Do not do this. This is a mind game. The correct choices are either:

A) Kiss her. Maybe you do actually have chemistry - can't tell until you try; or
B) Copy and paste AlisonM's email and send it to her.
posted by yarly at 7:37 PM on February 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would send her a private msg or a text or an email (but not an IM or voice mail-- you want a static mode of communication, not an immediately interactive one). Say something like, "I had a really nice time with you the other night. Thanks again for the wicked conversation and [specific fun thing that happened]. -Me" That's all. It's polite and decent, and sends a clear non-verbal message.

If someone I went out on a date with sent me that message, I would definitely think they were interested!
posted by bearette at 8:01 PM on February 7, 2010 [11 favorites]


"Great meeting you...I just don't think the chemistry is there...take care."

Elaborate further at your discretion.
posted by Exchequer at 8:33 PM on February 7, 2010


If you haven't heard from her since, maybe she's not interested either.

I think it is interesting though, that you use the word "scintillating" to describe your conversation. That, along with the 5-hour date, signifies chemistry to me. Maybe her weight is an excuse because you are not ready for a relationship? Or maybe you are attracted to her, but she doesn't fit the image of someone you'd be with. It almost sounds like you feel so conflicted about this because you kind of like her. After all, it's not that much of a dilemma to tell someone you don't like you don't want to date them. Just thoughts.

In any case, it doesn't sound like you want to/are ready to date her. If she never contacts you, you don't need to do anything. If she does, the advice others have given should suffice.
posted by bearette at 8:57 PM on February 7, 2010


"I had a really nice time with you the other night. Thanks again for the wicked conversation and [specific fun thing that happened]. -Me" That's all. It's polite and decent, and sends a clear non-verbal message.

No, it doesn't.
posted by needs more cowbell at 10:15 PM on February 7, 2010


Just tell her that you had a good time, but you don't think you're interested in a relationship. You could wit till she calls you, she'll be waiting for you to call, so you should
posted by mattoxic at 10:18 PM on February 7, 2010


I agree that you're really going out on a limb to assume that she really is interested in you.

I also agree that the right thing to say is that you just didn't feel any kind of chemistry, but would be interested in being friends.

I also also agree that your conflict on this could be covering up some kind of subliminal attraction on your part that you don't want to or aren't ready to deal with. No biggie, but it might be worth thinking about this more. You're attracted to her enough to go on a five hour date and not want to hurt her feelings by rejecting her: if you weren't attracted to her at all, rejecting her wouldn't be an issue. Maybe I'm reading this wrong and you're just a super nice guy who doesn't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but it seems like your concern for her feelings belies some kind of interest in her that would be worth exploring on a second date, whether or not that date lead to a sexual relationship.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:44 AM on February 8, 2010


Don't block her. If she contacts you again and wants to go out, tell/send/IM her (depending on which medium you're on at the moment) a version of AlisonM's email. "I had fun, but I don't think this would work out." If she asks why, just say you didn't feel there was any chemistry (which is the truth). End of story. I don't think you'll cause any catastrophic injury; it was only one date and nothing physical happened. Also, get used to doing this, and being on the receiving end. This is what online dating is like. It's supposed to be fun; don't overthink it.
posted by bluefly at 6:55 AM on February 8, 2010


What's weird is that this EXACT same thing-OkCupid, lack of phsyical attraction due to weight, etc.-happened to me LAST night. Synchronicity.

Basically, after the date I just said, "Thanks for dinner, I had fun" (which was true). I emailed her later telling her that she was very cool, but I just didn't feel a spark (which was also true). I didn't block her or anything, but she seems to have left it at that.

Echoing many people above, it was only a first date. Just let her down as gently as possible, and I imagine she'll be okay with things.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:26 AM on February 8, 2010


(There was no physical contact; the date ended with a mutual "I had a really nice time.")

She probably knows you aren't romantically interested. This is pretty much the way to end a first date where nothing else is going to happen. If you'd said you were going to call/IM her later, than yes you should contact her and say you didn't feel the spark. But if not, I think she knows.
posted by grapesaresour at 5:05 PM on February 8, 2010


"I would send her a private msg or a text or an email (but not an IM or voice mail-- you want a static mode of communication, not an immediately interactive one). Say something like, "I had a really nice time with you the other night. Thanks again for the wicked conversation and [specific fun thing that happened]. -Me" That's all. It's polite and decent, and sends a clear non-verbal message"

I have to agree with bearette and needsmorecowbell -- this is NOT the right way to go about letting someone down. Please don't send mixed messages. It's a waste of both of your time and emotional energy. I recently got a similar message the day after what I thought was an amazing first date. For all I knew, he was really interested, and his message seemed to seal the deal. I allowed myself to get excited about the possibility of dating this amazing guy who I had all sorts of things in common with, but he hasn't called since. It's not the worst thing he could have done, but I'm more hurt by his rejection than I needed to be because he wasn't clear about his level of interest.

She may be hurt at first, but I can guarantee you it's better for everyone involved if you're totally up front about your feelings. There is nothing worse in dating than being strung along. You said yourself that she's an attractive woman, just not physically your type. Don't feel the need to pity her or give her false hope. I'm sure she won't have much trouble finding somebody else. She seems like a very well-put-together individual and her time is valuable; don't waste it.
posted by maggymay at 12:00 PM on February 18, 2010


Personally I think the pre-emptive rejection after a first date is unnecessary and sometimes funny (I only got that kind of email from someone I was fairly obviously not interested in on the date, indicating the guy wanted to feel better about himself by doing the pre-emptive rejection). She will be waiting for you to contact her if you're interested, though the lack of any physical contact and no mention of a 2nd date at the end of the first would indicate to most online daters that nothing is going to happen. In my experience with the online dating every guy who was interested would immediately ask for a second date at the end of the first. Even the guy asking for a second date immediately wouldn't always follow up, in which case I'd let it go. Much better to date someone who's really into you, and for women, there are plenty of fish in the sea of online dating.

"I would send her a private msg or a text or an email (but not an IM or voice mail-- you want a static mode of communication, not an immediately interactive one). Say something like, "I had a really nice time with you the other night. Thanks again for the wicked conversation and [specific fun thing that happened]. -Me" That's all. It's polite and decent, and sends a clear non-verbal message"

100% agreed that this is FAR from a "clear non-verbal message." It does not clearly indicate you are not interested - in fact, it sounds like a passive expression of interest, which is confusing and not attractive.

And agreed that unless this was your first online date ever, you must have some lingering interest in this woman to even post this question. That being said, she would likely prefer someone non-ambiguous about her, so it's better for everyone not to pursue.
posted by rainydayfilms at 8:28 AM on July 29, 2010


I have an update on this 6-month-old question, with a very happy ending (no, we didn't get together)...

First of all, I'm the OP. I asked this anonymously and am using a sock puppet now.

I do realize this wasn't the most important question. But I appreciate everyone who took the time to answer. To those who said the whole thing isn't a big deal, you're right. I admitted in my second paragraph that I was "overthinking" this, but I did feel the need to ask the question anyway because I was worried about getting into an awkward situation. Considering that I received over 40 thoughtful answers, I don't think it wasn't worth posting. Best answer goes to Ashley801.

I clearly made a mistake in asking this question by not prefacing it with: "I know she might not be interested in me, but assuming for the purpose of this question that she is..." To the many people who pointed this out, yes, I realize any given woman is not guaranteed to be interested in me.

I wrote a long question because I've seen so many Anonymous AskMe questions get criticized for not including enough detail. I was trying to make use of that lesson by including all the details people might ask for, plus some more to paint a full picture of the situation. People get criticized if they ask a brief question or if they ask a long question. (I'm reminded of that scene in Waiting for Guffman: "You're talking too loudly! ... Now you're talking too quietly! Why can't you just speak to me like a normal person?") In addition, I thought my question might offend people, so I was trying to be extra-delicate. I don't think the one- or two-sentence version would have gone over as well.

Some people referred to my point about whether we would "look good together." You know, I sort of apologized for this in the question, but upon further reflection, I don't apologize for it at all. In past relationships I've actually found it meaningful to look at the two of us - literally, in photos or in the mirror - and honestly say to myself: "this is really nice, I love the way we look together." You could even say this is less superficial than just judging another person's looks, since it has to do with the relationship itself. But, as some people suggested above, you can't really apologize for being "superficial" without apologizing for being human. Also, as someone correctly said, if I would be worrying about this kind of thing, then someone else other than me would be a better match for her.

Here's how it turned out between me and her: A couple days after this question was posted, she IMed me and basically said, "So, I get the feeling you're not interested in dating. Am I right?" And I said she was right. We didn't go into reasons. We just mutually said: yeah, the dating thing isn't going to work out, so let's just be friends. And we have.

And here's the happy ending (not that it has anything to do with me): About a month after our date, she met a friend of a friend one evening. They instantly clicked -- couldn't stop talking or keep their eyes off each other. He asked for her number and told her he wanted it so he could ask her out later ... then said he was so smitten with her that he just had to ask her out then and there. They started dating. (Meanwhile, she kept updating me with all the details of this.) And ... about a month after that ... they got engaged. This past weekend, they got married.

(Meanwhile, I'm still single.)

So, to those of you who said she could find a better match than me: I never doubted you. And now we know for certain that you were so, so right.
posted by jejune at 7:46 PM on August 11, 2010 [5 favorites]


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