Is it ever a good idea to force resolution in dating?
June 23, 2016 9:19 PM   Subscribe

I had a few dates with a guy that I work with but not in the same departments. Even though everything was going well, last date was kind of flat. I get the impression that's the last date we will have. Should I clarify that or just let it fade naturally?

First couple of dates went great, lots of touching, kissing, laughing. The only thing that slightly bothered me is that I initiated most of the contact in between.

I had to reschedule the last date couple of times (legit reasons that he knew) and he seemed cool with that. When the date came, he seemed really disconnected, even though we still had a laugh and decent conversation, he didn't kiss me at all or held my hand and was very physically cold. As he was waiting for a taxi with me, his hands were in his pockets and even though it was freezing cold outside, he didn't even put an arm around me (which is stuff he did before).

My thoughts are that maybe he is pissed because of date reschedule (unlikely, he is generally easy going), met someone else, or lost interest for some random reason.

I texted him to thank him for dinner (since he payed and it was pricy) and told him that I had a nice time and hope to see him again. He responded "My pleasure. Thanks for sharing it with me."

So what now? He has never been proactive in scheduling dates/keeping in touch. Should I just do nothing and if he doesn't contact me again, let it fade?

Or should I go for honesty and in a couple of days tell him something along the lines: "I really enjoyed the time we spent together and would like to see you more and get to know you better. I got the impression from the last date that you may not feel the same way. I would like to avoid any possible let me know where you would like this to go from here"

Bad idea? Also the above approach may make it less awkward when I ran into him at work or social events since everything will be clarified.
posted by sockiety to Human Relations (17 answers total)
It's already clarified. He's not interested. He made it clear. Move on.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:20 PM on June 23, 2016 [8 favorites]

He's made it clear enough, but if you do see him at an event, you can just say something like "I enjoyed the time we spent together, but I understand you did not feel the same. No awkward feelings, OK?"
posted by Miko at 9:29 PM on June 23, 2016

I am all about clear resolutions in dating when there seems to be an unbalanced interest, or maybe it was a great date but you're not feeling it the day after and want to nip it in the bud. But this seems pretty clear to me. Neither of you were into it, no one needs to head off a move from either party. I'd just let it go.
posted by phunniemee at 9:32 PM on June 23, 2016 [2 favorites]

Honestly, in hindsight now that I'm encoupled, I wish I had done this every single time.
posted by Sara C. at 9:42 PM on June 23, 2016 [3 favorites]

Well...sometimes there are off dates. And sometimes one person is no longer interested. It's possible he met someone else. It's possible he was pissed about rescheduling the date. I think if you're interested it's ok to attempt clarification. If u wanna play it slightly less straight forward you could simply ask him out on another date. If he says no or just doesn't respond you have the answer. Perhaps try to come up with something different to do on the date. If the last date was a fancy expensive dinner go for something more casual and offbeat. You might be able to rekindle the fire that was there before. Nothing to lose by asking him out again.
posted by ljs30 at 10:44 PM on June 23, 2016

If you send a message saying you think he doesn't want to see you again then it will be self-fulfilling. Because unless he's super enthusiastic about it all, which it's pretty clear he's not (maybe just because he's not a super enthusiastic person), there's really nowhere to go from that except to agree with you. So I don't think there's any real reason to send your message, the outcome will be the same plus added awkwardness from making him confront it.

If you still do want to clarify and leave the door open for another date then just ask really straight, e.g. "Hey, do you wanna go out again sometime?". It doesn't need to be a big deal but don't presuppose what he's going to say. Otherwise do the wait and fade, if he does want another date he'll ask. And if he doesn't want it enough to get off his butt and ask then ... meh. You'll find someone that does.
posted by shelleycat at 11:17 PM on June 23, 2016 [7 favorites]

I would let it go and naturally fade into a cordial working relationship. If an opportunity arises to refer to him as a friend, take it. That w ill get the message across to him without awkwardness, and if he feels otherwise, he will say something..but I think it's clear from his behavior that he's not enthusiastic enough about dating you for it to be worth your while. Go find someone who adores you.
posted by Beethoven's Sith at 11:55 PM on June 23, 2016 [3 favorites]

Fwiw I think your proposed message is great, and sending it seems eminently sensible. I don't agree at all that he has only one way to respond because of the phrasing of it- you quite overtly state that you like him- and if I was him I'd think you were classy, confident and grown up for sending it, even if I wasn't into you.
posted by jojobobo at 12:07 AM on June 24, 2016

I'd let it go. He had his "in" when you mentioned in your last message you'd like to see him again.

Do you want to be with someone who you have to do all the work with, in terms of organising dates?
posted by NatalieWood at 2:01 AM on June 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

There's nothing to clarify. The guy went cold.

One of the greatest pieces of advice I've seen here is to think of the situation this way: he IS into you. He's totally besotted with you and is crazy about you.

And the other night is an example of how he demonstrates it. Hands in his pockets, cold and distant.

Would you want to continue dating him? Would you even want clarification?
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 3:00 AM on June 24, 2016 [14 favorites]

My thoughts are that maybe he is pissed because of date reschedule (unlikely, he is generally easy going), met someone else, or lost interest for some random reason.

Whichever of those it is, the result is the same. No lessons learned, no things to do differently next time, no right or wrong, no reason to suss out the reasons.

A few dates isn't a relationship that requires closure; a few dates is what people use to determine whether they want to pursue a relationship. This guy doesn't, and he's made that clear. That he hasn't made clear *why* doesn't matter.

posted by headnsouth at 5:50 AM on June 24, 2016 [3 favorites]

I think your script is reasonable and if you want to use it to know for sure, go for it.
posted by AugustWest at 7:13 AM on June 24, 2016

So, I really dislike these questions because they're all about how the guy FEELS.

Who flippin' CARES how he feels? You can minutely analyze every little detail to see if it's "damning with faint praise" or if the way he adjusted his collar for a millisecond means he's secretly into you forever and ever. And it will all be a complete waste of time and energy and angst.

What matters is how YOU feel. You do not feel loved. You do not feel wooed. Even if this guy secretly likes you, he has FAILED to demonstrate it and to be a good date. Ergo, YOU do not want to see HIM again. He has FAILED to impress YOU. End of. You are not his personal interpreter and guide to his hidden feelings.
posted by quincunx at 7:30 AM on June 24, 2016 [37 favorites]

The poster said in her script she enjoyed her time and would like to go out again. This is about her feelings, not the ones you are projecting on her.
posted by AugustWest at 7:57 AM on June 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

I would do no more messages, I know it's hard when you feel a connection with someone, and you work together, but I think he knew he wasn't feeling it after date 2 and didn't want to be a jerk by cancelling the 3rd date while you were busy, so went on date 3 to be polite/nice (which is not the best trait fwiw).

He sounds like he wants to avoid any conflict with you so I think going forward you have nothing to worry about, just decide how you want your next interactions to go so you feel more in control. I find being friendly is good "like "oh hi soandso, hope you're well", it's on them if they're awkward going forward.
posted by lafemma at 8:24 AM on June 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yeah even if he were into you but mad about rescheduling...expressing that by being distant and cold is a huge red flag warning sign. Either way, move on.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:20 AM on June 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

[Folks, this needs to not be an ongoing argument between answerers. Y'all can each give your own advice and let the asker do what they will.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:32 AM on June 24, 2016

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