Should I break up?
January 7, 2020 9:39 AM   Subscribe

It was fascinating reading through this recent question, as I am in similar circumstances.

I have been on two dates with someone who on the outset seems very friendly and normal. However, a few things have happened that have turned me off and I'd like the hivemind to calibrate with me if my sense is off or not. I haven't been in a relationship for a long time, and I really want to be in one. However, I have a tendency to drop quickly.

The primary thing that has happened is that after dinner they invited me back to their place. Although we had been talking about a movie, I wasn't feeling up to it and felt kind of tired. I dropped them off. Then I get a text later that evening saying that "they get the friend vibe from me." I was feeling a bit unsure. On one hand, kudos for their open communication. But it really put me off at the same time - I felt pressured and would have preferred a more organic way of doing things. I responded honestly that it takes a while for me to get to know people.

The next day, they sent a text saying "enjoy X, sweetie." The name "sweetie" felt really off given that we had only spent 2 times together.

I am ready to hear that I am a grinch. I also tend to find flaws in people relatively quickly and perhaps that is my issue. But right now I am not super enthusiastic about spending time with them again, nor do I see myself being sexually attracted. Should I cut off things or just go out one more time?
posted by treetop89 to Human Relations (26 answers total)
If you're not attracted to them, you're not excited about spending time with them, and they've done a couple of things that give you pause - why WOULD you go out with them again?

You don't have to go out with someone you're not interested in just because they're not the worst person you've ever been on a date with. Move on and wait to meet someone you're actually excited about.
posted by drunkonthemoon at 9:45 AM on January 7, 2020 [38 favorites]

I am not super enthusiastic about spending time with them again, nor do I see myself being sexually attracted.

If you don't want to see them again, don't (assuming your dating pool isn't severely constrained). You don't say anything actually positive about them personally, I suspect if you were into them you'd be reading less into their weird texts.
posted by momus_window at 9:48 AM on January 7, 2020 [6 favorites]

If you don't enjoy their personality and you aren't interested in hooking up, then why would you see them again?

If you WANT to see them again because you like them and enjoy their company, even if you have other doubts (for example, if you're wondering "but will the sex be as good as the conversation?"), I would go. But if you don't want to see them again because you just don't really like them that much...why force yourself?

Someone you don't even like enough to see again isn't friend material, let alone boyfriend material.
posted by rue72 at 9:49 AM on January 7, 2020 [1 favorite]

Sweetie seems diminutive or condescending unless it's an already-established pet name and the 'friend vibe' text seems like a masked complaint that you didn't take him up on the invite. I don't think your sense is off.
posted by WCityMike at 9:50 AM on January 7, 2020 [40 favorites]

And yeah, I get where you're feeling pressure and he seems a little too incel-y to me, too, what with the apparent anxiety of being friend-zoned and the generic pet name. Which wouldn't be crazy to overlook if you actually liked him, but it sounds like you don't particularly like him anyhow.
posted by rue72 at 9:52 AM on January 7, 2020 [7 favorites]

Data point of one here, but I don't think your sense was off.
posted by unicorn chaser at 9:56 AM on January 7, 2020 [2 favorites]

If I was borderline on deciding how I felt about someone, having them force the issue about going back to their place on the second date - you’ve only known them for a few hours! - and then being patronised by being called Sweetie would absolutely turn it into a hard no. Way to friend zone himself.
posted by Jubey at 9:56 AM on January 7, 2020 [10 favorites]

"Friend vibe" makes me want to throw stuff. It's actually pseudo-open communication that passive-aggressively challenges you to prove that you're not "just" a friend by escalating things physically way faster than you sound interested in. Honestly, I'd be ready to "break up" (it's been two dates; they have no claim on any relationship status with you) over just the "sweetie," but efffff people who believe in friends being a separate thing from dating partners and can't even respect something as basic as tiredness too. If that makes me a big grinch, so be it: forcing myself into uncomfortable interactions isn't going to suddenly cure me, nor would I want it to. You can find someone whom, try as your brain might, you seriously can't find significant fault with. That's whom you ought to be spending time with, because they'll increase your happiness, not your stress.
posted by teremala at 10:00 AM on January 7, 2020 [32 favorites]

I would like to point out that treetop89 did not specify genders in their post.
posted by See you tomorrow, saguaro at 10:04 AM on January 7, 2020 [6 favorites]

I would like to point out that treetop89 did not specify genders in their post.

This is key, and tbh the person's gender would change how I read these situations--if a cis man called me (a cis woman) sweetie after hanging out twice, and telling me he got a "friend vibe," I would block his number. If it was a queer person--who might actually have meant that they were excited about being friends--I would be more willing to assume this is a person who gushes with their friends, or just likes endearments more than I do.

In either case, though, it doesn't sound like you want to go on a third date, so why would you? Even grinches deserve dates they're excited about!
posted by dizziest at 10:21 AM on January 7, 2020 [3 favorites]

Why would you go out "one more time" with someone who you are not enthusiastic about spending time with and are not sexually attracted to? Unless one more time involves dinner at a restaurant you just cannot get a reservation to on your own... you do not need to go out with them again. This isn't even a breakup. You're not in a relationship with them.

Just kidding about the restaurant reservation thing.
posted by juniperesque at 10:23 AM on January 7, 2020 [4 favorites]

I am ready to hear that I am a grinch.

It is absolutely ok not to pursue a lovely, kind, cool date—yes, even when you are looking for a relationship and feel like there might not be a lot of options out there for you. It is still ok to want someone who makes you feel that zing. It might be a different story if you felt chemistry but then anxiety override that feeling, or if you rarely feel chemistry at first with partners you end up having great times with.
posted by sallybrown at 10:36 AM on January 7, 2020 [2 favorites]

My question is, why wouldn't you break up? You don't seem to want to spend time with them. It's okay not to want to spend time with somebody. You don't need a laundry list of reasons. Your time is valuable.
posted by tuesdayschild at 10:39 AM on January 7, 2020 [2 favorites]

Both of those texts would put me off, and I wouldn't be seeing them again.
posted by thereader at 10:40 AM on January 7, 2020 [1 favorite]

Its weird that so many above assumed the situation was between a cis man and cis woman. There's absolutely nothing to suggest that is the situation. Anyway, no matter the gender of either of them, I would read the OPs date as a potentially manipulative and certainly pushy person. Threat level at this point is yellow, but if there's no other good reason to give things another try, I'd just ghost this person.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 10:40 AM on January 7, 2020 [2 favorites]

Your only positive description of the person is "very friendly and normal." How hard it is for you to find potential partners who you find "very friendly and normal"? For example, if you're in a small town with few potentially appropriate partners, or you find most people neither friendly nor normal, then you should probably give it another chance. If you have plenty of opportunities to meet "very friendly and normal" potential partners, then you should try to find one who you enjoy spending time with and find attractive within two dates.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 10:54 AM on January 7, 2020 [1 favorite]

If they don't float your boat there is not need to make plans to go sailing. You seem to appreciate open communication. Give them the same gift in return.
posted by ShakeyJake at 11:01 AM on January 7, 2020 [1 favorite]

I would be suspicious that this person was trying to manipulate me emotionally, since being called "sweetie" right after someone tells me they get a "friend vibe" would be disorienting. The whole friend vibe thing reads a little bit like negging.
posted by lieber hair at 11:14 AM on January 7, 2020 [12 favorites]

right now I am not super enthusiastic about spending time with them again, nor do I see myself being sexually attracted

Is it typical for you to be sexually attracted to someone at this point in knowing/dating them? Like, think back to the last relationship you had -- did you want to at least kiss that person pretty early on, or was it many dates before you could even envision yourself finding them attractive? Think back to any time you've really enjoyed being around someone in a romantic capacity -- did it take you a long time to be enthusiastic about seeing them again?

I mean, I totally understand that it's been a while and you're concerned that you might not be giving this enough of a shot, but it doesn't sound like this person is doing it for you. They deserve to date someone who isn't meh about them, and you deserve to feel way more than meh about the person you're dating.
posted by palomar at 11:19 AM on January 7, 2020 [1 favorite]

Part of online dating is being frank and also letting people go when it's clear that things aren't a match. If you already know that it's not right with this person and they also quickly shifted gears to "not interested" when you didn't agree to go back to their place, why even continue to think about this person and communicate with them? You don't know them nearly well enough to call them a friend, and they're acting in a way that's not very impressive and has a whiff of manipulation. Dismissed! Block and move on!

The transition to online dating from how you behave in your every day life can be abrupt in this way, but being somewhat mercenary, especially as a woman, can save you from a lot of nonsense. Not interested? Not feeling it? Just say so, be nice about it, but then cut ties and don't spend time turning it over in your head endlessly. This guy sounds like he wasn't a good match and then also ended up acting like a clod. Why even entertain going out again?
posted by quince at 11:25 AM on January 7, 2020 [3 favorites]

I haven't been in a relationship for a long time, and I really want to be in one.

Dating someone just because they're someone who's willing and not because they're someone you actually like is a terrible idea. Trust me, I know.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:49 AM on January 7, 2020 [7 favorites]

I wouldn't consider this a breakup, not after two dates.
posted by zadcat at 12:06 PM on January 7, 2020 [12 favorites]

So I think this person was asking you for sex or some kind of physical intimacy with the invitation back to their place and that the movie talk was a euphemism for sex ("Netflix and chill"). So when you weren't interested, they maybe felt rejected or like you didn't want what they wanted.

My advice in the other thread was to consider giving the person another chance, but I have different take here. I think you don't owe this person anything and you should definitely not see them again. It sounds like you didn't have a great time and you're not attracted to them and you're not interested in seeing them again. It sounds like it would be a waste of your time and their time.

The best thing you said about this person is that they are "friendly and normal." That should be a baseline, not a reason to keep dating someone. That's definitely not enough for a relationship.

Also, this isn't breaking up! Two dates is not a relationship. Presumably you are both actively dating other people (or at least it's a fair assumption until there's an explicit conversation otherwise). I think the "friend vibe" text was them giving you a chance to say, "Yeah, I'm not feeling it."

With my therapist and friends I've come up with an approach that is direct and clear and simple (and a text is totally fine here):
It was great to meet you and talk about X. I'm just not feeling that spark, however. Best of luck to you.
posted by bluedaisy at 4:20 PM on January 7, 2020 [1 favorite]

I would probably text them back and tell them that you've thought about it and they're probably right about the "friend vibe". You just don't think there's a spark beyond that, so *shrug* guess you should break it off. The great thing about passive aggressive people as opposed to aggressive people is that you can just take them at face value and nothing happens. Yup, I guess you're right and we shouldn't see each other any more!
posted by Lady Li at 10:26 AM on January 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

I used to take it badly when people would tell me I "looked tired" or "looked stressed", and it helped a lot to start treating it as a neutral rather than critical statement. The same bit of mental judo works on "friend vibe".

It's only bait if you're hungry for their approval. And you don't feel a spark or interest, well... Why would you be? You're sending an accurate message.
posted by Lady Li at 10:28 AM on January 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks all! I've ended things. In reply, they said "they wanted to end things, too" which seems immature given their actions show otherwise. Whatever. And I haven't really felt that sad about it, which is very telling.
posted by treetop89 at 11:45 AM on January 8, 2020 [3 favorites]

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