Telling my online dates that they were not the chosen ones
December 14, 2012 5:52 PM   Subscribe

I was dating multiple people from OKcupid and Match, and now I've gotten serious with a guy I met outside of online dating and am no longer looking. Who should know?

Most of the dates I went on it was just kind of obvious we weren't matches and there wasn't further communication, it fizzled out naturally. But there were two exceptions
1. A guy I went on two dates with. I thought after the second we were definitely not a match and that he must think it too because there was absolutely no indication of desire on either of our parts and I thought the second date was really awkward. I didn't hear from him for two weeks so I thought this was a fizzle out like the rest, but then I got a text today from him telling me he just got back from a long business trip and that he wanted to take me out again. Maybe I'm awkward, but I don't know how to respond. I want to let him down gently.

2. The second we went on three dates. I definitely felt like the third was a fizzle. We kissed afterwards, but it was not a good kiss and it was super-short. That was about a week ago and I haven't heard from him since. Should I feel obligated to tell him I'm not available anymore? I was thinking no, but then I got the text from #1 today and I worry he might be holding a flame too.

Thanks for your advice!
posted by ponytime to Human Relations (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
For guy #1, the easiest thing here is to be honest and say you've gotten serious with another guy you were dating.

For guy #2, let it fizzle. If he contacts you, same response as #1.
posted by DoubleLune at 5:58 PM on December 14, 2012 [13 favorites]

Mmmmaybe message #1, if you thnk you'll be feeling guilty. I'd probably just forget about both and put my energy into the new exciting thing.
posted by mannequito at 5:58 PM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

1: You can either tell him, "Sorry, I'm seeing someone now," or just, "No thanks."

2: Same deal, but only if he contacts you asking for a date. At this point you're just someone he went on a couple dates with telling him you now have a boyfriend for some reason.
posted by cmoj at 5:59 PM on December 14, 2012

We're talking a time period of days and weeks here, not months, and you hadn't made any commitments to either of these guys -- I think you're overthinking it.

Text business trip guy and say: "Thanks, but I'm not interested in dating anymore* right now. Wish you the best!"

*maybe something less awkward than this? I was trying to avoid: "hey, I found someone better, OHSOSORRY" Maybe: "Thanks, but I'm seeing someone else right now"? Basically, you need to (well, you don't need to, but golden rule, etc.) show him some common courtesy since he reached out to you.

Text the exact same message to #2 if he gets in touch with you again. If he doesn't then forget about it.
posted by sparklemotion at 6:00 PM on December 14, 2012

#1: I'd text back and say either "Sorry, I'm going through a really busy period, no time for dating right now, best wishes" or "Hi, I'm seeing someone now, best wishes though!"

#2: Don't text him unless he texts you first.
posted by insectosaurus at 6:00 PM on December 14, 2012

Disable your profile and tell #1 you're seeing someone.
posted by rhizome at 6:02 PM on December 14, 2012 [4 favorites]

I'd let #2 lie -- you may never hear from him again. In my experience, if it goes a week without contact, it's REALLY unlikely you're going to have him pop up again. #1 being the exception proving the rule...ALTHOUGH I personally think "two weeks, no word, then I Was On A Long Business Trip" means he actually was back-burnering you anyway and the, um, front burner didn't work out, so he decided to get back in touch. If someone really likes you, they generally say, "I'm about to go out of town for work, call you when I get back," or you from the trip since I bet he wasn't, like, in a cave in Nepal. All that is to say: totally don't feel guilty about saying to him, "Things have actually turned serious with someone else I was seeing, so I won't be able to have dinner with you. Best of luck!" He is not going to be devastated.
posted by Countess Sandwich at 6:30 PM on December 14, 2012 [6 favorites]

As a guy who could be on the other end of these situations I'd say a short "No thanks" is appropriate for #1 and the same for #2 only if he contacts you. Don't make it about the other person you've met unless you'd really still be considering going out with either of them had you not met this new guy (or in the event that it doesn't pan out).

And yes, update or disable your profiles to make your current situation clear. On OKCupid I'd almost certainly disable, because otherwise you'll probably still get messages you ignore which will give you that lovely "very selective" red dot on your profile and may discourage future contacts if your situation changes again.
posted by meinvt at 7:19 PM on December 14, 2012

I would tell #1 sorry, I've actually started seeing someone exclusively. One sentence — takes less time than you spent posting this question. Same with #2 if he contacts you.
posted by John Cohen at 7:47 PM on December 14, 2012

Why bother with informing them you found someone else? Be a fizzle on them both for fizzling on you first. If it were me, I wouldn't be wasting time second-guessing things. It's not meant to be!
posted by lotusmish at 10:40 PM on December 14, 2012

If a guy waits over a week to contact you he isn't really all that interested, he's just sticking his toe back in the water to see if there's a response from you. I honestly don't think you're going to be devastating either of these fellas unless they are they types who like to make drama after blowing you off for a week. Business trips don't usually preclude cell phone use, especially a sweet text, so you're definitely off the hook.
posted by waving at 5:53 AM on December 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

Not necessary to contact #2 unless he contacts you. To #1 send a short massage that says "thanks for the offer, but there's someone else I've decided to pursue a more serious relationship with. It was nice getting to know you and I wish you the best."
posted by juliapangolin at 6:04 AM on December 15, 2012

Yah, I'd be really surprised if #1 actually was on a two week business trip, even if he was he's clearly not swooning over you. I agree with Countess Sandwich that most likely his first choice fell through, and now he's checking up on all his plan B's. Don't be overly concerned about his feelings, short and polite is perfectly fine there.

If number #2 has no plans to contact you again, getting a note from you saying you aren't available would be somewhat egotistical. If it turns out he too was on a business trip to one of the few places on earth without cellphone or internet access, again, a short and polite no thank you.
posted by Dynex at 10:02 AM on December 15, 2012

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